- Posted October 27, 2012 by
The VA Hopes You Either Give Up Or You Die
I am a disabled veteran and I would like to let others know about my ongoing battle with the Department of Veterans Affairs. I was discharged from the Army in December, 2011 for medical reasons. I went on my first deployment to Iraq in April, 2009 and returned in March, 2010. Unfortunately, I suffer from a combat related illness. After I returned from Iraq, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and started the Medical Evaluation Board process in January, 2011. After 11 months of appointments and talking with alot of doctors, I was found unfit for duty so I was honorably discharged with service connected disability of only 10% and a severance pay from the Army. I began my appointments with the VA and was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After recieving my award letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs in February, 2012, I filed a Notice of Disagreement with my local VA office. The Veterans Service Officer looked at me and said "now the waiting game begins". I applied for unemployment benefits and had been actively seeking employment since my discharge date. Most of the companies I applied with never called or scheduled me with an interview. One company (Firestone) scheduled an interview and it seemed that all went well, the store manager was waiting for the district mangers approval on how much I could be paid hourly. I got a call about one week later from the store manager asking about why I had a medical discharge, so I told him. Well, weeks went by and no word from the manager so I called the store and kept on getting the same answer that "they were awaiting approval from the district manager on an amount of hourly pay". Eventually the unemployment compensation ran and I just gave up on the job search all together. I have appointments with the VA about every 2-3 weeks to see a Psychiatrist and Psychologist. Every time I go in for an appointment it seems like it is the same as the last, I tell them everything is getting worse, I isolate myself, refuse to step outside because of the anxiety and fear that someone is constantly watching me. Im so depressed to the point that I cant perform basic daily functions such as getting out of bed, maintain personal hygiene or even talk on the phone. Every appointment ends up the same, they either increase the dosage of my medication or they say " well it seems like you are getting better " when in fact my condition is getting worse. Sometimes I sit in a corner of my house for hours and wonder if anything is going to get better, if I'm going to be able to pay my rent or car payment, if the VA is going to increase my disability anytime soon or if somebody is going to hire me. My father got fed up with it and contacted the Alabama governers office and it seemed to help a little bit but not as much as it needed to. I filed a Hardship form with the VA Regional Office in Montgomery, AL in hopes that something would happen soon but absolutely nothing except a phone call that said we recieved your hardship request and it is being processed. At this point in time I do not leave my house unless it is to check the mail, I do not socialize with hardly anyone and I cannot take care of myself because of these mental health conditions. I have exhausted all of my options that I know of and have no where else to look. Like the Vietnam era veterans tell me in the clinic waiting room, " The VA hopes you either give up or you die " and the VA has certainly lived up to those words.