Veterans Die…Waiting for Medical Care

VETERANS DAY 2013

VETERANS DAY 2013 (Photo credit: arbyreed)

We sing the national anthem with pride, take the day of November 11th to remember those who served our country, wear “Support Our Troops” paraphernalia, and thank veterans for risking their lives…but what does it matter if we fail to accommodate their health upon return?

I am extremely disappointed with the recent medical record fraud in Phoenix, VA. According to a recent preliminary report, “at least 1,700 military veterans waiting to see a doctor were never scheduled an appointment and were never placed on a wait list at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Phoenix, raising the question of just how many may have been ‘forgotten or lost’ in the system.”

Unfortunately, this is not as rare as we may think. The report also states that “forty-two VA medical centers across the country (are) now under investigation for possible abuse of scheduling practices.” What is even more disheartening is the fact that it took at least 40 veterans to die while waiting for medical appointments to eventually prompt an investigation into this tragedy.

The way our heroes have been treated is absolutely unacceptable.

As these investigations continue, here are a few things we can do:

  • Contact your member of Congress and ask that they draft and/or support legislation that would create more liaison positions for veterans to speak to about grievances, and get the help they need in a timely fashion.
  • Volunteer at veteran support organizations.
  • Vote to get rid of local representatives that are not addressing the needs of veterans; vote in people with a track record of supporting veterans and/or solid plans for doing so

Though I am very disappointed and saddened that many of those who have served our country remain affected by flawed medical practices, causing them to fall through the cracks, I do not want my present sentiments to overshadow my constant gratitude to our troops.  To all of our veterans – thank you!

Please comment below on how we can support and ensure that our troops have access to quality and timely medical care.

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Dana Howell

As an Executive Assistant to the CEO and President of Campaign Consultation, Inc. I primarily work on initiatives with Very Special Older Properties (VSOP), Transit Choices, and the School of Social Work. Prior to joining Campaign Consultation, I worked as account manager for a growing medical company, interned with both the U.S. House and Senate focusing on health care and national security, and served as part of the Commerce Department for the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen where I helped U.S. companies find potential business partners in Denmark. Read more.