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    Posted May 18, 2014 by
    San Diego, California
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    A Veteran's Affair with the military

    I am so outraged at the current events reported within the VA System. As a 25 year veteran of the United States Navy, I can tell you first hand this has been an ongoing issue. Waiting lists for a medical appointment have spanned from 1.5 months to four months for my own accord. There is defiantly something wrong and no veteran should have to be subject to this under any circumstance.
    As the Commander stated from the veterans group that the culture has to change and it has to change from the top is very true. The culture of the fact that veterans don’t mind waiting because when active duty, you are faced with long waiting lines everywhere so we as individuals are conditioned to handle it, but this is not the case for sick and now mentally challenged veterans in dire need of medical attention and intervention.
    I have been going to the VA for all of my medical needs since 2003 and I can’t tell you how many times I have been placed on such a wait list. It makes you feel like a pebble kicked aside, and the people I have spoken with over the phone or in person for this matter trying to get an appointment have at times told me that I will have to be patient as there are many other veterans in more need than me right now with more serious issues.
    I have witnessed firsthand also within the clinics that clerks and physicians cope attitudes and even talk out loud on the phone to veterans calling in in front us while waiting in line, this is not only unprofessional but systemic throughout the clinics I’ve been to. I personally get so frustrated and exhausted from some of these events that I just give up and don’t want to go see them anymore. This is not right and no veteran should feel like this either.
    I have my own physical, mental, emotional issues to contend to and forced to use a cane to get around with let alone someone else’s, and recently lost my wife to cancer, now it’s just me in this big home by myself. I suffer from grief and depression of my loss coupled with all the other medical issues I am sometimes overwhelmed.
    Not only does the culture within the VA System have to change but the attitudes and ways the VA physicians, consultants, inspectors and attendants perform their jobs and intervene to the veterans when seen in the clinics and hospital. I’m very scared and have been for my own health as it declines and scared of being shoved in a corner and forgotten to tell you the truth. I felt safe for all the years I was active duty and should feel safe today but that’s not the case.
    I shun the day that I have a catastrophic medical event occur because right now I would not only be affirmed of it but have to deal with waiting to be seen. I hoped that I have the strength, willpower to hang on until that event occurs. Because if does happen today, I’m basically toast.
    I wished that we had General Colin Powell in the helm, we would not be going through any of this at all for sure. There is a man that puts a smile on my face just the mention of his name and I have all the confidence in the world with his history and background as a true leader and one you genuinely cares of every veteran in this Nation.
    Please can someone help us?
    I’m proud of my service to this great country till the day I die.
    Your’s faithfully,
    Howard Elliott
    MSC (SW), U.S.N. (ret.)

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