tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 29, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
i can't walk. i can't do squat. i'm luckier than most guys, to get that so that's what i can fall on. right now i'm using my medicare but i have to pay for my own medication. my question is instead of talking on deaf ears i understand that i can get outside care at the va can pay for because i refuse. this is the last time i'll ever be in the va because i've been doing this since 1972 and all they have done is screwed me up and it almost cost me my life, major times, two times. i want to know without me just saying this i want somebody to get hold of me and tell me. i have one patient advocate liz, she hasn't gotten back with me. i think that's her name. to be able to talk to me and tell me is this possible or what do i have to do what do i have to sell my house, finish up my will and kiss my own goodbye? what have i got to do?
>> we will call you and give you some information. >> anytime that has ever been happened i've been lied to, every time. every time. every time. this thing about waiting. that's what stuck me in a hospital. i've been waiting and i told her not going to see you. the biggest problem in this hospital and this goes from the clerk to medical, they do not do ama protocols, period. that's the biggest problem. all medical centers do the same thing. in tucson you get the head of the university down there that runs all the stuff that he does they are working with the va wouldn't take me off my test strips and i got a thing there that said test your blood. i walked in there with my blood sugar at 7:38 in the morning because i refuse to come here. i thought they could help it i walked out with my blood sugar still at 600 the clerk, i don't know why they had them in the waiting room walking around.
my wife was with me. she's a witness to it. she was really bored and suicide. the clerk was there and you know when you are 100% and your wife is -- gets champ va. they twisted va. he twisted around were on the dependent she's a veteran and i lost my records and then i couldn't do nothing. i walk out with 600. i should've been dead. i had to go to the civilian hospital to stay alive. i want to know if i can get outside help and let the va pay for because they are not going to do anything here. >> let us get your contact information we will get the information you need. i don't think that's lying. >> is going to kill me if i have to keep paying my own medication. my life is in your hands . and the only way you're going to kill me is by not doing anything for me.
i have another belief system too. i'm not going to die and tell god wants me. >> absolutely. >> there's nothing you can do to kill me until it's my time, my turn. [applause] >> get us are contact information, and we will try to get your information. >> my name is matt and i was a combat medic in afghanistan. i was in the army from 2008 until late 2012. it took me two years after i got up to get an appointment. i'm just curious, the general reason the whole va is in trouble is because you have the secret waiting list. in my relatively correct? >> right. >> that is because you are putting people on the secret waiting list because there are too many people and not enough providers, relatively correct? something like that? >> correct. >> i came here june of this year and i got seen for three minutes via doctor.
he didn't ask me a single question about service related disability and i got a letter in the melting my disability was cut in half. it asked me about my mental health issues. they spent three minutes saying hey what's up. being disrespectful and then sent me on my way. since i got out of the army my wife left me in a move back with my parents and i can get a job. i couldn't get a job for the longest time but telling them that made them think that my issues were all better. they scheduled me, living gilbert and they scheduled me for a primary care provider appointment in late august. i get a phonecall saying it's been canceled and they scheduled me in september. i get a postcard saying it's been canceled and i get one in early october. i get a postcard saying it's been canceled so i start calling calling. surprisingly i can get a single human on the phone. i can get an operator who i'm sure has been caused out more than anybody on this planet because she's the only point of contact with the human. i finally decided to screw it i'm going to the clinic. i walk in and tell them up head for canceled appointments because it does want to talk to someone. after walking and they told me
go ahead and talk to this guy over here. he spent an hour answering phones. don't you think it's a little ironic the reason i had to go to a clinic to talk to someone was because i couldn't get anyone on the phone and i had to wait for an hour for a guy to stop answering the phone? they wouldn't even give me his phone number. so i get talking with one of the advocate people they told me i canceled all of my appointments. i have canceled five appointments and here i am? so i'm curious, you guys got in trouble because you are not making appointments are putting people on these bogus list but now you're being open about it and doing the same thing of making the patient's canceled limits themselves. the only reason they i got tears because i went down and raise hell. i wasn't going to leave unless i had handcuffs or had an appointment today was my planet and they said december won't work? so they give me in the very next day. [laughter]
>> there's no rhythm here and i finally got to talk to a doctor who couldn't speak english. i have nothing against immigration but i could understand him. i know of a couple of things about medicine surprisingly, i was enlisted whatever. she was telling me supplements that are proven scientifically accepted by every medical society in the world she's told me they would rot my kidneys. she does know the first thing about medicine i have to put my life in our hands? these guys go to clown college and they come here and work for you guys. it's absolutely insane. [applause] thank you. >> my name is brenda lawler. i served my country very proudly as a firefighter emt in the united states air force. [applause]
it seems we have a problem with this va in prescott. i was at the press get va facility. i was kicked out of there for not being suited for the place, and not even a week later i was brutally raped and beaten. i was the third veteran he did this too. unacceptable i think. unacceptable. i was sent down here. unacceptable. for being? gay, i got the air force accommodation medal in korea. they sent me to korea after my 17-year-old brother was killed in sedona, arizona, my hometown. [applause]
>> my name is martin ridgeway and man i don't know where to begin. it's been a comedy of errors for quite a while but i will just start with my most recent interactions with the va. this is all sense the new va since all this came to light and we ain't screwing with you no more. sunday night i'm feeling pretty down so i called the crisis line or the guy talks to me and he was a nice guy and everything and he talked me off the ledge and said okay somebody from the phoenix va is going to to contact you tomorrow. thank you sir. i hang up the phone and i wait all day, all day. at 2:30 i start calling the jade opal clinic because nobody has gotten back to me.
and it's busy, busy, busy until 3:30 and manages rings until it goes to a busy signal which means we are just cutting you off, screw you go away. so i call crisis line back because now i'm a little upset. i call the crisis line and he puts me on hold. yes, i am that guy, 11 minutes. i was ready to hang up when someone finally answered. he rushed me off the phone. this has happened several times when i've called there. okay, good, we we have got other people. have a good day. finally someone started calling. i get social workers that start calling. if i'm a social worker, i think if when one of my clients, one my patients, one of my veterans
comes to me and says i need your this is what i have going on, and i say, ok. first of all, i wouldn't say ok, try to reach out to these people. that is bull shit. if i hand you a list and say try to read out -- reach out to these people. i want to know what is on that list. i'm going to know who those people are. i'm going to know they can even help you. because trust and believe when you have somebody like me, a cold war veteran, i still have ptsd. 70%. guys,l the rest of you who had four plus years, we are still playing the game. i'm sitting here in reaching out, saying i need help. and you say i need help. you say try these.
i start going on the list. oef, oif,f them is can't help you. sorry, we only do vietnam veterans. or you don't have children. after about four of those, i'm in tears. i'm not ready to call anybody else. anybody. [applause] i sit here i even went as far to tell everybody you go on facebook, and you go to the , and youaffairs page search my name is -- martin ridgeway, you will see the post that i put on there. i want everybody to know that if and when that time comes, and i commit suicide, it is his fault.
and this hospitals fault. jeff flake and john mccain and whenever the other guy's name is, everybody i have reached out the standouts come out all these town hall meetings, and everything else. blew mee all either off, or passed me on to the next person. becausen i went back, kiersten has her deal about how she wants to help people and not commit suicide. i sent her a personal message. here is the deal i have problems. do you think it many got back to me? no, they did not. i understand it's not necessarily the v.a., but those
people are here too. they can hear me. i already told my family. i already started clearing my roster, getting my affairs in order. my called them during that time, is that i need to speak to a privacy officer because there are things in my record headed is illegal according to arizona law. for another thing, i just want to get it cleared up. i don't want everybody to have access to all my stuff. guess what? that has not happened. i called and left messages with i finallyvocates, and saw one. i walked in and was lucky enough to get to see one. that led to nowhere. but i believe she sent a message to the privacy officers.
never heard back nothing from them. that was on sunday. my initial call that i need help. >> this past sunday? >> [laughter] no. this was about four weeks ago. that was sunday night. on friday afternoon, somebody finally called me to schedule an appointment to see the nurse next week. really? one week? and the doctor five weeks from now. what do you say to that? let's do that. the beauty of that is, then i get to go to court. the judge says you are going back and see me, and is the same day i have an appointment.
i call and say i can't make that appointment, and they say, wait another month. and push me out. it is really sad. i posted several but one that i made on the v.a. site, some of the on the crisis line did actually call me back. just to make sure i was okay. but that is as far as it goes. everything is pure lip service. everyone says we will help you. and everywhere i go all these web sites, and millions and millions of dollars wasted because when i go on there they say we will try this then you go those agencies we don't have any
money. come back and see us in a couple of months after the new year. that is not acceptable. rapid re- housing for homeless veterans? come back in a couple months after the fiscal year when we have money? that is not acceptable. there is the lack of legitimate services here at the v. a. the biggest problem that i have. i'm a diabetic, too. i have problems controlling my sugar. there is an earth -- a nurse at the northwest clinic who calls a fairly regularly, and follows up. and this is the first one that is ever done that. when i go to the diabetic clinic they say you are noncompliant. get the fuck out. hit wrong with my head.
i tend to forget things. things tend to slide into the carpet. she calls to remind being keeps me on track. now, my blood sugar is more in control than it has ever been. because one person cared. that is the problem. how many have i dealt with in the last month? i have one person that says i am here for you i will help you and i will call you. and does. because i come to the stand down and the town hall everybody says we will help you then the next one the same people or the same organizations say we will help you out and follow up deal know what they do? nothing. you never hear from them again.
>> "groundhog day." >> "groundhog day." exactly. the wait times are ridiculous. i call my psychiatrist. they call me because i'm in crisis. and they want five weeks. i called him back and say i can make my appointment in a couple of weeks, and they say ok, the next one is for weeks after that. a month after that. that is not a recipe for success. at one point in time i didn't feel i was being treated appropriately for my situation. the doctor that i had was not an expert and he said so himself. i said okay. next. they gave me another doctor.
do you know about this? are you an expert? i have treated some people with that. that is not good enough. i know more about my illness , that's a problem. you were a doctor, you are getting paid to treat me, and i know more than you do, that is an issue. i had half pharmacist at the me, tellt angry with me i was doctor shopping, and medication seeking behavior. and i said if you had a heart disease you can into my office and i told you it is because you are fat and you did it yourself i will not give you medication. for your high blood pressure, or whatever. would you be doctor shopping? she tells me we will put you on strattera.
strattera, ie on have been on it before. it makes me suicidal. she says it does not depression. she gets in this big argument with me. so she calls security. my psychiatrist brings me into her office bless her heart. to calm down and chill out. which i did. then i go home and print out everything i can find. it's about that thick. the first place i went was strattera.com. everybody has the smart phone. on the top of the page is a big black box. fda warning it is known to cause suicidal thoughts in adolescents .
no, it doesn't cause depression. really? where do we get these people? where do we get these people? that person should not be in charge of any care especially mental health. she does not even know mental-health drugs or the side effects. that is just wrong. i was the bad guy? when we call to get help you cannot get help from patient advocates. they listen but that is as far as it has gone. it is a sad state of affairs. what you going to do about it? one of the issues that i do have , and i understand, you are not
the claims department. still veterans affairs administration. if there is nothing you can do about it, and sure your boss can, or his boss, or somebody. that is what i would redo in. climbing the ladder, asking why we are screwing with these people? i believe in my heart that it costs the v.a. as much or more every month to keep me from my benefits unemployment than it does just to pay them. they will pay than in the end but everybody says you only have a couple more years to wait. and that was from travel board july 23rd. whenedhen i ulexpe she yre thiaa
e of 6.r i ouatback ahi. cee epent y could ck ied bse was cil. tstsord ts nds a ini't maen thath rmnnsson ofs an sol mla that ou do noincae it waa crals se. eolic it vil. wain atate omb 'fis.cto cones ca, ls npnsfi. enceenss my sonand urthd werts ul not bcotial erlaer wconstitional lssstate no lved.lnggetot this wing om r ctiobytag sane- hewiolescoe
lds that theme athk he dseon days. ys aeady. onhe web se 5.a whicorre? claee ud eetout claim ty todeniwiwiwitowi for neural surgery. he is up for secondary on his right side. they keep telling him we paid you for that know you paid for paid for the left but not right. but it is not service related, but both legs are connected to his body. it is service related. [laughter] and he goes to a happy person
but is someone says the wrong thing he is ready to kill them. i had to get on the phone so he would not get so frustrated yesterday, but now, after seeing my dad getting 10% they took it back from him. he is still disabled. 10% for getting stabbed and he did time in the marines and the navy? something is wrong with this system. i am one who sees the other side when they are at home. they cannot get the things that they need. i went with my uncle and his caseworker to get his medical
records. the doctor told him i will not give the medication until you tell the doctor you will not see him and he will not treat you he will not give you medication and i will not be there what does that do? he is still in pain. being an ex-military wife they give people motrin, that does nothing and some get ibuprofen. he cannot sleep at night walking around in a haze, we are the ones that take the brunt because they come here get no help and come home pissed off. somebody needs to do something about this my dad and stepdad and uncle. now here is a lot of people.
does more people have to die before anything is done? 893 days? he has done his time somebody needs to look get his appeal from 2009. [applause] >> i have a statement. i have been a disabled veteran 24 years. i have been treated in florida and ohio and pennsylvania and now phoenix. i will read my statement first. there are two kinds of people in this world the first of those who believe that service to others than the second tied to only believe in service to self. a person in the group of service to self. while she was collecting bonuses i was one of them. she is currently on paid administrative leave how can we trust the v.a. an system when you reward a person who purposely harmed us
for many? you say you want to move forward. i do, too. to build trust we have to go to the source that caused the mistrust to stop funding sharon holman. [applause] i'm here to support past, present, and future veterans. we hold the power to change things. if we don't make these changes future generations, your sons and grandchildren will be treated the same way. i pray we make positive changes today, to work together to ensure all veterans are listened to and are taken care of.
it we do not make the necessary steps, then we take back the power in a peaceful way. [applause] >> here are some examples of my care. >> congestive heart failure. they gave me my last rites. v.a. said to move her to cleveland. my doctor said if you move for she will die. and never received medical records from one heart doctor. i survived through prayer. not v.a. back pain since 2004 with bulging disks and a torn spleen. have asked for two years for acupuncture. i finally have a great doctor.
and i am grateful. as i am talking to the sea-based gentlemen, i say i have been paying for my acupuncture a week, $75 a week, because mentally i could not take the pain anymore and i did not receive any help. fee basis that out. that person requested acupuncture. my primary care physician followed through. she is great. she sent it to the pain clinic, and i have never heard from them in two years. it has fallen on deaf ears. i would like to say one other thing. i empowered myself over the more and i do not have any money for acupuncture, but i saved myself and i had to.
-- two thingsg is -- i would like to say to my primary care physician at the clinic, since i have been coming here, half the time she never had a nurse. she is overwhelmed and overworked and limited by you guys. i go to primary care and i eersonally ask, i got f out, and still need acupuncture to get me through once a week they tell me come
back in march march 2015, six months from now. it will be two years. >> good evening and chief petty officer retired and one of the first seabees let into construction. not that we can get the boys did not want us there. how many women veterans are here? please identify yourself. five or six or seven? there are according to my friend that sent me the information about this meeting from organ, vets in arizona, most of them are near phoenix. where are they? i am not going there. the men that we served with, or most of the majority now, the
treat me liketa crap. there is a gentleman in this room right now that treated me like crap. you want to act like a man, and i will treat you like a man, and i was called a dyke. you know what? the loss is something different now, but we still get treated like crap. i grew up army and the army saw on the basis, they were either, s whores, sluts, or dykes, and those do not fit the ladies. do they, ladies? we get disrespect in the military. we come here to the v.a. we get disrespected. stop.at needs to
told i am not equipped to treat you because i do not like your tone of voice. i am soller, i was a drill instructor for three years. i am a navy carpenter. i worked and played with the boys in the sand and dirt. i am not some little thing that goes -- and talks like that except somebody who was taught to talk that way. real women talk like what we do. but we are misconceived. with that statement, they came from a physician's assistant whom i made a complaint against him and i am told, we are sorry that, but she is still working here. she is still abusing people. i had to get out of town to get treated because this person would not and did not like my tone of voice. i cannot change it. patientther thing, the
, she is akaren military veteran. she has busted her butt to be a but nothingvocate, is done about her. i saw her last month getting frustrated with veterans because she is so overwhelmed. she got changed -- and i cannot believe the people did not know -- they are over here on the other side, on the first floor, they got moved him those spaces a year and a half ago because they were too small. now they have more space and they are back in the same place again. today she's the only one in there. the last representative a a.rmanent job as a v. advocate and they would not hire her. she went to get a good job in mesa, a good one, but this v.a.
said no. she cared too much. i had to take a friend of mine. iran into her in the outside buildings on the other end. goo-goo, ga-ga stuff. i had to go and force the person she had to see to see her come and i said something is wrong. this is not her. it is not her. do a test on her and see if she is all right. then i had to force the person to help me wheel her automatic chair to the emergency room. the reason was because the emergency room here will not accept a patient on this property that gets sick. i was told call on ambulance on the outside, and then you can bring her around to the emergency room or on the outside to another hospital for she can
be brought here. and the end result of all this doctors overmedicated her. it on purpose.id she has a personal living assistant watching her every bit, and they had her upstairs nd a half, and i had to advocate for her there. did you check this? . that is of female veterans are treated. one of the nurses decided to infect both tonsils and not have gloves doing the swab test. in lieu of that, i was put on the second floor.
the room was filthy. it had not been cleaned i was supposed to share a bathroom and it was filthy before i could even walking in there my tonsils and i was told get in bet we will send a somebody. the only reason this one is halfway clean is it is brand-new. my friend was put in a bed that was broken with ripped sheets. in bedseterans that are that have ripped sheets. are veterans and there are pictures of that that is going up to the i.g. and others are complaining.
i am a senior enlisted individual. i did not get there by putting , but i people's crap have had to bite my tongue in here because if i do not bite my tongue the right way -- no offense, guys -- but the gestapo gets called. that means the police, because when they come in, the button has been pushed. all of a sudden you are being surrounded, and you are going what the heck? because i did not like your tone of voice. that was the last time -- no, you just do my blood pressure. i just want to get out of here. these people that work in those front offices that you have to go through them to get to your , they kiss you off, they do anything to irritate you so they can keep you from getting treated because they are overloaded. >> there are affirmative action employees that do not log in
here. >> they do not belong in here. you got veterans that may be and gotne or two years out because they could handle it, and then you are talking with people who put their lives on the line and stuck it out. because you're in the military does not mean you are sitting behind these asks. some of those people have ptsd, too, and when you put ptsd against ptsd, you get fire. is that not true, guys? you're laughing, because you know. diabetics. diabetics. i have had the series of you got to wait and take so many blood tests, which is an expanded time them and they say, now we will tell you that you did not tell
me that before question mark now you tell me i am prediabetic question mark how did that happen? maybe it was in my family question mark i do not know. i went to all the food things they have here. i have gone through the little classes, and guess what -- i am smart enough to know and i have a master's, so i'm not a bimbo standing up without an education. i researched this. this place is teaching the wrong information about diabetic control, and they are killing you by giving you the wrong -- by saying you you can still eat bread. they are kill you by saying, just graze throughout the day. grazing throughout the day kills or pancras and makes it worse. they do not have updated
information on debut this -- on diabetes. a nutritionist is being told to tell people that, and it is wrong. like one gentleman talked about his diabetes cause of the misdiagnosis. i can be proactive and be healthy, but what about the veterans who cannot? women that take the initiative are seen as negative. men to take the initiative are seen as what any person. they are so good. ok question mark -- ok? that is how women are treated. we are not necessarily those prima donnas wearing skirts. we are not there for your sexual pleasure, but that is what they thought we were therefore in the military from an eighth advantage. there's something called military central, on top of
ptsd. how many women know about that? oone, two, three, four. they come in here and get harass. there are guys that stand over the coffee before they put the coffee in. e the women going by and do cap calls. that was two years ago. -- stillme little goes on. i hear from women counterparts because we combine everybody's back, ok? that kind of stuff needs to stop. 59,000 women. where are they? they do not want to come here. afternoon anday this friday afternoon i could have gone home, jumped in my pool, and had a very fine evening. but i did not, because
need.was a woman in i met her at my truck as i was on my way out. i saw that she was navy, so i introduced myself. i said, how is it going? she said -- i said, come with me, i got back in here, and i got her through some steps that nobody else would help her with. i said, hasn't anybody in the v.a. told you this yet? no, but i've been trying, but nobody helps me. that means the clinics, the freaking guard dogs in the clinics, and that is all i can call them, because they are not human because they have no compassion. they do not do anything. and that was last friday. this friday, just since 12:00 need. i saw a family in
the father in a wheelchair, taking him away from here to get him into michigan. the daughter lives in michigan. she can get her to get him. she could not get his lasted meds come and the supervisor up pushers sate pill there and told her, well, you have to wait. he can only have one medicine because that medicine is in need. you have not shifted. it shows we shipped it. the next breath he says, it has not been shipped. she says, give me proof. my computer all of a sudden does a print back. they went back to the gold clinic, printed out everything them and said, yeah, this is what you need, this is what you now to go on your trip to go back to michigan. the daughter was about to flip out.
i was sitting there, staying calm down. it is ok. the father himself was getting upset, and the dollar is telling him to be calm. how can you be calm when they're running a and forth between monica take -- between one clinic and the next whenever left-handers not know when the right hand is doing? nobody in this place gives a damn. she says i cannot do anything because the father was down in the pill pusher online. -- pill pusher line. i said that as his advocate. i cannot see that i just followed policy. she cannot do anything. i have the phone number. they do not want to hear about it. the daughter left in tears, and she told me how bad this v.a. is, how nasty and dirty it is. in said it is not like it is
michigan. they treat us good up there. that is why we are taking him out of here. that does not say much for anybody. i have had people do passive aggressive behavior. if they do not like you, do not like the way you look, do not like the way you sound like because that is your voice, they get back at you. they will get a wrench on you. they will stop you from getting an appointment that you wanted. they will stop and not give the doctor the paperwork the doctor is supposed to sign. they say the doctor is not allowed to sign. signature?'s what does that mean. the doctor is supposed to be able to decide it. these doctors have been told they are not allowed to sign anything. the doctors himself from the
scum and i said what the hell? ptsd.ych ward down here, i got taken out of seeing my doctor because they said we have to let you go because we have to take care of the new vets. here excuse me, i was first at the leads come and that sounds really immature, but that is the level they take you to. bear with me. i will make sure i did not miss anything. do not wantrking, i anybody touching my blasted vehicle. it is bad enough. the people park racing around here anyway. want somet volunteer taking my view, to take my vehicle somewhere when it has my meds and my stuff in
it, and tell me i cannot park my own vehicle? they can put that in their sock. now one of the things about parking since it has been brought up by you guys that reminded me, there is a bunch of vans vans, vans, vans everywhere. parking in spots that patient should be parking in. doctors are taking parking spots off the night shift and they are saving them for their counterparts. they're switching parking lots for the day people. taking the spots of the veterans. doctors that come here and visit, i have seen them do this, they go right up front. they should not be parking out front, veterans park upfront. it is a long way from that back lot.
>> they are handicapped! >> those little carts are not efficient and if you don't have enough volunteers, they say they don't run. you might as well. that is an efficient. god bless the volunteers because they busted their butts. they can only do so much because they had to follow some procedure. i spent two friday's here. i found out about this meeting from my friend in oregon it was very high in politics and i said, where did you get this and how come we do not know about around here? i had several veterans looking today, trying to find something about this meeting. when i come back tonight, a big sign up by the elevator. ooh. i see you guys trickle in -- where is everybody at?
the veterans i told already had plans -- i cannot make it. ladies, do you know on the 27th from nine to 2:00, they are going to have the women's veterans affair upstairs? it is not very clear. did not know that did you? nothing for women veterans. we are second class or worse citizens. if somebody in here thinks that is funny then you should not be in the room if you think that is funny. i brought women through boot camp and i said you are strong navy women, do not let stuff happen. one my strongest recruits is here in phoenix. she was in charge at night when i am gone. she got beat up, raped. this is not the same individual
that i brought through boot camp and helped her be strong. then, she is caught shit through the v.a. also. one of these atrocities need to stop. i have compassion for both. but, the women have it worse than the guys get treated. i am senior enlisted. i busted my but to get there and i got shit on by the guys who cannot pass their test, could not read, cannot lay block. when they could not do it as good, they might find a wide -- a way to make me look bad but it did not work. they still do it now. some of the women in here that are working in the building. they are the cute girls a look at us like we're bad people because we are women military -- we are not like the rest of the
women. that does not mean we don't dress up and clean up nice. if i put a dress on, you would not recognize me but i am riding my motorcycle tonight. i am sure somebody is going dyke, dyke. the gentleman inferred i was standing here. have you guys heard the new catchphrase? have you heard it yet? this is their excuse on how to make things better at the v.a. you talk to them, call them, get on the phone. i am helping another veteran, can you wait? i told the gentleman at the front door this before we started but i will let you all know about this. i am sitting in the topaz clinic waiting to complain about somebody for being stupid.
two employees are talking about personal off work stuff. the phone rang. one of them finally picks up. and never gets picked up because people are talking about personal stuff -- and what they are doing on their own time. the person finally picks the phone up and says -- i am helping another veteran. can you hold? did not give the veteran enough time to say yes or no. they went on and talked about the personal stuff again. finally, after they were done, they answer the phone again. i don't even know the person was still on the line. that was the first time i heard that phrase and i am hearing it when i get on the phone and trying to get through to somebody. we are helping another veteran now. what am i? chopped liver? that is saying a nicely. what are you doing when you tell us -- i am helping another veteran.
>> the patient advocate is doing her nails. she is too busy to help you. >> obviously, you saw that. >> people think we make this stuff up. >> they are watching youtube or doing their facebook. >> i want to make sure everybody gets a chance. the emergency room is a joke. they tell you, oh, you're not sick enough. go to your primary care doctor. if you do get seen, you will be there all night long. the last time i was there was when i was in the hospital because my limp nodes were
poisoning my system. i accident left my phone in the car. those idiots say you cannot get your phone. it is right there outside the emergency room door. i found a parking space. it was nighttime and fourth of july. i had a fun time getting in here. i cannot call my family, my friends, cannot call the person who had the keys to my stop to let my dogs get watered. i was in limbo for about three days. when i looked in the medical records, they say you are only in the hospital for one night. fraudulent. why would they make a fraudulent? say what it was. what would it hurt if i was there for 2.5 days or three? why do they put one? i don't know what kind of games they play but the doctors are behind their computer typing away.
red tape, whatever it is and the patients are sitting there. the same thing happens to my friends. they sit there and sit there. car problems, sitting there. they should be on the heart problem right now. i've been told ptolemy of a heart problem right off. that is lying when you really just wanted to see them for your tonsils are you dropped something on your foot. they don't care. they see some physician assistant. i am so sick of these assistants that do not have any training. that may have passed the test but that is a make them any
good. these doctors -- the dietary -- they go in and one dcotor. there maybe be 10 people having an operation but that one doc tor jumped in the room and said i am here. that substantiate the dr. being in the room with you have students doing major operations. that is bullshit. and i said shit.that is wrong . the assistant should be looking at learning how the doctor is doing it tom and not the other way around. that is scary. would you gentlemen like your doctors to be that way? i doubt that because you make big money. a lot more than the rest of us make. how many officers and above are in here? one officer. two officers. well, the rest of us are enlisted and we don't make that money. even if you get paid by the v.a. you're not making that kind of money. but they wouldn't put up with that kind of care and we have to.
wrong. oh, and one of the gentlemen that died out of that 40, he was on the v.a. bowling league him and his son. they took an old vietnam veteran man put a pacemaker in his heart in this hospital and sent him home. they didn't cake him overnight for observation. his son found him the next morning dead. and i'm sure he would have been saved if they would have just kept him overnight. and that commercial that's on the tv now where the lady is talking about the guy, her brother that committed suicide because this emergency room said we don't have any beds for you go lay down and you can go home when you feel better, go out that door, look up that hallway, there's a ton of beds and they've always been there. at one point -- and this is from people in your staff -- those beds were moved because cameron didn't want them there. but now that she's gone they're back. and i heard that day before yesterday.
they're back. they hide them for their purposes. and when they don't need them hidden anymore, they bring them out. [inaudible] >> that's not a storeroom, that's a hallway. that's a hallway out that door. >> they're down there, i went to the wrong room. they're there. >> well there's more. they were there an hour ago, two hours ago. so you found another spot they're hiding them. >> yeah. >> excellent. so gentlemen. >> that's so they can have the penthouse office for the director. >> so gentlemen what are we going to do about this? >> [inaudible] >> we can say all we want about stand together. we don't have the money to fight it. we don't -- most people don't have the energy to even stand up here. i spent two fridays helping two different sets of vets and their families, and it's not the first time i've done it. but these are the most recent. and they can't get help by anybody in this facility.
[inaudible] staff at these meetings. [applause] >> fellow veterans, everyone in this room here is a veteran or veterans advocate. mr. coats, coaty. >> cozdy. >> excuse me. i've been involved in this hospital since 1973 when i was released from walter reed army hospital after 14 months. i received three battle wounds, three purple hearts. i have parts of my body missing and artificial arteries in my person. i am a three-tour medic, triage specialist. i've worked in airborne units, recon units for three years and five years in the national guard. i'm from the state of new hampshire. when i first came here because i have one lung gone they did not want me to be in the
manchester veterans hospital because i was going to be dying of pneumonia because of the altitude. they sent me to a low-altitude state, which is arizona. which i dearly love. when i first came here, there were members in this room right now who will vouch that we had to actually fight the v.a. system to get the posttraumatic class stress clinic in. not only that, we had people dying out in the park out here with 90-day meds in their pockets commiting suicide by overdosing. we finally got that squared away. i became the state commander of the am vets.
i am also the international commander of the proud eagles, which are native american and nonnative american brothers called the wounded warriors. since november of last year, and i might add this, i personally as a commander have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for this hospital during -- because we gave things for over 15 years. we're am vets. we still do the same thing now with all the fraternal clubs. we had no parade in this town for us. we erected and put $12 in the bank with one member in the back right now, threw in the final 30 cents. if you were there, raise your hand.
we had $12. we got ahold of judy levy. i happened to be the executive director for the veterans service commissioner, which was countrymen, we came in and we asked them on the legislative committee that we would like to have a memorial built. well, guess what. not only did we get it built, we commissioned the korean war memorial to get their memorial built. we put on the biggest parade this town has served in. we had everybody including our old commanders who stood out there in the line who said that was my men. general westmoreland, casper weinberger. the hospital at that time was under ray bourne. he worked to get us established in this hospital. we did not let him down. we came back, we did the things that were needed to raise the funds for certain programs and stuff that wasn't allocated by federal budgets. now there's one thing that's really bothering me and one 1.5 million of my compadres. we want the locals of the seal of this country and the eagle, its guardian, being used as doormats outside of this
hospital as i speak right now. we have sent a letter to the president explaining to him that we would like to have those placed out of the disgraceful and disgusting manner and placed in the proper areas. and i noticed yesterday, i looked at some of the guys and i said, gee, was, they're wearing the crest on their left breast pocket which they never did before but they're doing it now. all these patches i'm wearing, i have earned every single one of them, just like this
gentleman here. and there's 50 years between us. i'm 74 years old i'm dying of agent orange caused by bad blood transfusions by the v.a. i'm on a special native diet and for the first time in two years they told me gee, we couldn't find your arm. we thought you died. when are you going to tell me that? i now have a good doctor. and for the first time in two years i got an appointment that said ron, we've got to put you on some $2,000 a day drug or you're going to die. i can't even receive that until i go through an extensive program of antibiotics. my kidneys are shut down, my liver's shut down. i've only got partial use of one lung, i have artificial stints in my right leg.
severed fingers and hands, 13-inch scars down my chest from bayonet wounds while i was working on a veteran patient. i want to make this very clear, before i pass on to the great reward there are men in this room that know me very well, we started the fire-based concept which is still running to this day since 1984, we're not a bunch of rabble rousers. we've had helped take people off the street. i'm an avid life member of the american legion, amvets, state commander, regional commander, and we would like to see before you leave to go back to washington, glenn i met you in the elevator a month ago, i would like you to try to do -- get those doormats taken off. we're at war with isis right
now, gentlemen, and we need to protect that eagle and that flag which we have all bled for and that's the reason we're in this room right this moment. i'm simply asking everyone here to stand and be counted to protest the removal of those signs you put on the walls where they're supposed to be. i have nothing else to see. i salute you for what you're doing. >> god bless you guys. i belong to these gentlemen right over here. and they're doing their very best to help you guys, too. some of these things that these people are saying are absolutely right on the money. i am a federal investigator, news reporter, and if i heard
some of these stories and took them down they would be considered verbatim information. [cheers and applause] in order to successfully implement -- what? oh. i've been asked the person before your position called me a disgruntled vet when i asked her why can't we get these mats taken off and placed into proper positions where they should be not on the floor? people are walking over them. the wheelchair guys, you're on top of them. that's the things we fought for. they're not supposed to be used as doormats. those are our flags and that one should be on the other side of you. i salute the right, i never saluted to the left. we won our independence. we want our flags removed to the proper positions. thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> and he wanted to add why is sharon still earning six figures on paid admin lead? isn't it time to stop the clock? >> put her on the fifth floor. >> my name is lisa, united states navy. i probably wouldn't be -- i probably wouldn't be in this position as i am today if i could have gotten an appointment in a prompt manner. i was told back in 2012 that i would have to wait nine months to a year before i could get an appointment with a primary provider. in the interim, i we want ahead and i went up to utah. i also have property up in utah. so that was my biggest mistake. i got in there, first day.
they said are you homicidal? i said no. are you -- well, first they asked are you suicidal? are you homicidal? if they don't stop dinking with me, i will be. ok. that's not a threat. and i did it in a joking manner. but i was told by the v.a. that i was considered obstructive as well as disruptive as well as "accused of threatening v.a. staff," which was an absolute lie. doctors, counselors. what a crock of crap. number one. i used to work for the department of corrections. so that was part of my problem right there. my house has been monitored. that's no imagination.
medical records were actually verified where that information was only in my home. not over the telephone. i've had a communication company dinking around for the last 3-1/2 years playing little head games. now, i realize that's part of the discrediting aspect. we'll just say you're nuts. it's a lot easier. but on march 26, when i no longer had any legal action to go i guess use for the doctors that mistreated me back in 2012, nor the -- 2011 nor the hospital i could go after, the v.a. injected me and they said are
you sure you're exposed to hepatitis c? i said i only know what i was told. i said i took treatment. and before i could say -- when they asked me that, i said are you sure -- i said i only -- and then bam. given a shot, an injection. it's supposed to be a tetanus shot. it was supposed to be a whooping cough combination. no, it was a major mega dose of hepatitis b along with hepatitis c. if i was being exposed to hepatitis b, once would have been sufficient. but i realize the department of corrections has to do what they call damage control. not as though i would have said, hey, that's how i acquired it.
but i don't appreciate that nonsense, the lies. i had dealt with an advocate. now, they had already stolen my records from my home. they wanted me to say sexual trauma. you know, i don't know a female in the united states military that hadn't been sexually harassed. but it's not like we're all jumping on the band wagon say, oh, i'm a little wuss. oh, i'm breaking down. that's all i think about. what a bunch of crap. these people are looking for a free ride. they're accusing they're using people that were exposed that do need help and basically jumping on the bandwagon trying to get a free ride trying to get disability. i did like her comment in
regards to the classification of women. because i knew -- i know the exact same thing. when i was in the military, the same thing. it's either you're a slut or you're a dike. well, i really don't like that word, either, and i did mention that word to her. i would take definite offense to that. even though i am gay, i'm happy. i used to be happy. until i had to deal with, quote, the v.a. march 26, 2013. salt lake hospital. and the funny thing about it is everything is running in the basement. when i was escorted out by v.a. police up in salt lake, they asked me, oh, was it a wireless phone company? come on.
obviously they do this on a regular basis. they're stealing our identities and selling them off. to either canadians, polish, or russians. but the individual who wanted my identity was 5-7 because that's what they changed my records to be. i was 5'9 1/2" before treatment. now i'm 5-81/2. so, oops, you know when i was forced into an incident -- i refer to it as an incident because it was no accident. it was an insurance scam. they do it on a regular basis, department of corrections. they take their officers out, they end up in the hospital. they run that little bill up. it's all a medical scam. i blew the whistle. 380-some dollars.
that's not a little ride in the park. and they're doing this crap on a regular basis. and as far as the judicial background, what they're doing at the department of corrections was falsifying records, training records for pae, people that were applying for pae. the people that i dealt with at salt lake also pae. securities, along with boridian. they work for the v.a. they go from sitting at the desk and end up working communications.
i'm tired of being dinked with and now at this stage my legs, i have turned into -- my vascular system has shut down. my feet have abscesses to the bone. and the strange thing about it, when i talked to a psychologist -- because that's what they want to say you're nuts. you know what -- she said what happened? what happened to the individual -- and she referred to me as a bitch -- who leave it up to karma? oh, that's right. university hospital. and when i sit across the street. oh, yeah. check this out. 1,900-some odd dollars to go a quarter of a mile across the street. now, tell me who is scamming, who is scheming. and the fact is i was paying $593 a month regular insurance and yet i am screwed by the v.a. well, you know, i dealt with individuals that were supposedly -- i said doctors? i haven't seen a doctor since i've been in this dump. how is that?
i've got a nurse practitioner, i've got a p.a. i said, oh, that's right, dermatologist. i finally see an actual doctor. when my feet were infested. i can barely walk. i have abscesses on my feet down to the bone. and thank you so very much. my partner of 30 years said don't come here. they'll throw you in the nut ward. i said let them try. i've taken on bigger boys than i've seen around here lately.
now, that's the last little game i dealt with up in salt lake, harrisville, actually. i call it damage control. initially i was brought in as a white sheet, pink sheet, suicidal. that way the v.a. would pay for it. i said but i'm not suicidal. you know, i realize it's all an insurance scam. now, while i was paying $593 per month to supposedly united health care, it wasn't going to united health care, it was going to an individual's pocket. and the v.a. was supposed to end up picking up the bill. i don't like that. i don't like how our judicial system is so corrupt. i mean, i don't care where you go. i mean, they're doing background checks. i go to the bank. who does a background check on those banks? they were stealing.
they stole $56,000 out of my account, every penny that i had out of my 401. i had receipts. i put in $37,000. i got a receipt for $50,000. so that meant basically the department of corruption basically gave them a ticket of $50,000, you deal with this problem. you get rid of the problem. i'm at a stage in my life that i don't really -- you know, i don't give a rat's hiney about what people think. i've always been asked if i was from back east. i said why is that, back east?
they said because you're outspoken. i said, well, if i were in utah, i said, you're correct that i would be considered back east. i laughed. i said, but those women up there, i said, they keep them medicated. you know? they don't speak out. because they're afraid. this system is definitely broken. the v.a. hospital -- i asked for out. outsourcing as far as medical. i was laughed at so gently and told they don't treat hepatitis b.
and i said you're full of crap. they do. when it's considered chronic. and since you've given me such a mega dose my body is collapsing. i said and hepatitis c, thank you so very much. i said, i don't appreciate it. i said, but i'll deal with it. and what they did -- and this is what i refer to as engineered, engineered crap. they do this on a regular basis up in utah. first thing you're going to feel is the pain in the knees and the hips. oh, gee whiz, now who replaces those knees and hips? oh. that's right. doctors. doctors on the scam. well, while i was dealing with
medical, being in the hospital and from the hospital to a nursing home, and here they thought they were going to go ahead and own my house. that's part of the game. it's a lot of investors. they pay certain groups, they use a lot of youngsters as well to basically intimidate people to move out of the neighborhood. they sell their house cheap because they're getting harassed. i was called up in utah by my neighbor and said do you have your camera on? i said no. my cameras? no. they broke into my house. so you don't know who you're living next door to. i dealt with one individual across the street, i guess his specialty is insurance. v.a. related. he is the one that told me to go ahead, since i was in the navy and i was in the vet, go ahead and apply. so the corruption runs deep as one would say. i think the v.a. hospital, when i came to the v.a. hospital here it wasn't so bad. i admit that. although i know it was a scam because they said there was nothing wrong with my left lung. now, that lung was collapsed. back in 2011 when i was
basically forced off the road. ok? i flipped around. could i honestly say was i going to work? that's what they told me. they told me in the hospital i was going to work. they said i never arrived on friday night. well, i did arrive on friday night. it was saturday morning that i was sent home an hour early. i should have been escorted home. but would i say on a bible that was i going to work? i have no idea because i was basically comatosed, induced, more than 2-1/2 weeks while they sucked my insurance dry. they rearranged my face, and when i say rearranged, one doctor had, as 48 screws, ten plates. next time i get my medical records -- because they were stolen
from my home -- was it by the v.a.? i don't know it was by the v.a. or who. records were stolen. ok. next time it's, since i had 26 screws and only six plates. well, i can tell you this much. i don't feel anything on my face. under my eyes, totally numb. my nose. well, it certainly isn't my nose. it looks exactly like an individual that i dealt with who is now a parole officer who is a thief who broke into my house, she has my towels.
her mother has my aunt's sewing machine in her house. you know, just a whole theft ring. and it's called theft by advancement. that's how you advance. that's the department of corrections. >> ok. i was in the navy, i was a corpsman. i joined the military because i wanted to serve this great country of ours. i always -- i would die for my country. i just didn't think that it might be at one of the v.a.'s that i would have to do that at. 18 months ago, i went -- i was noticing some swelling in my feet. in my one foot. and it got progressively worse and i called my primary care and i got his nurse.
that was at the time where you could actually get through the telephone. well, he kept putting me off. oh, the doctor's not here. blah blah blah. well, i managed to get a copy of my medical records and it said that -- it said in there that the doctor had wanted me to come in on an emergency appointment. i call her and -- so he put a message back to the doctor that said called patient trying to tell her to come in for an emergency appointment with the doctor. she refused because she can't find child care for her four children. i ain't never had a child in my life. and here -- and then he tried to back it up when i confront him with it. he says, but you told me you couldn't find child care for your four children.
so they shows you right there, dumb, dumber and oh my god. well, finally after about, what, nine months, they finally did. the message was getting to my doctor which i have the best primary care there is here. [inaudible] >> oh, yeah. i went to john mccain's office and that's, somehow, just opened up the doors. well, they did an mri and found out that i had a torn peroneous brevis which is the tendon under your toe that goes all the way up your ankle and you have it on both sides. over the years of jumping out of the airplanes and all that stupid stuff it just took a toll. well, january 10, they set up for me to have surgery. i was so excited. january the 8th i get a phone call from the surgeon. he's wanting to know if we can
reschedule the surgery because he has to go to the airport to pick up his family members. i never heard of a doctor calling and asking something like that. so i said well i really don't want to do that. he says well we'll do it, it was the 15th. well, in the meantime i had a heart attack. and that -- what was really funny, i had gotten out of the hospital already when he called back to reschedule it again. and i go did you know i had a heart attack? oh, well we can't do it at all. i've had five cancellations too, when i was right there ready to have it done. and then the third one or the fifth one was just, what, 2-1/2 weeks ago, 3 weeks ago. i was on the table, butt naked ready to go, and they stopped the surgery because my blood sugar, which i did a preop on the 18th. this was the 29th.
i did the preop on the 1th. so they knew all my bloodwork. nobody called me. and i kept trying to get it on my healthy vet but that bloodwork would not come up. i don't know if it was because it was a preop or what. it doesn't make sense that it wouldn't. but i never got it. and of course you can't call these clinics because you get big spring, texas, with somebody named john who speaks some other language that you can't even understand. so i get in there thinking they didn't call me so everything must be ok. well my blood sugar was high then. nobody called me to let me know. and there was enough time to do that. and so they stopped the surgery. well, for the preop i had gone in. i don't understand this how these nurse practitioners or these r.n., he was actually giving me -- ok, i want you off of your
this this and this. and i said well does the doctor know about this? because i'm not on anything else to sustain me. i can't take aspirin. oh, no. this is regular protocol. you don't need to talk to the doctor. i didn't talk to the doctor. they took me off of plavix. i was supposed to have surgery the 29th, i ended up in chandler regional with a heart attack again because when they took the plavix away for the five days i formed two blood clots. one stuck to my stint i had got nn january and basically i was 100% occluded. i would have died in my sleep that night if i wouldn't have got that severe pain that i had. so they go in and put in another stint. and i tried to call the podedite trick clinic.
they don't want nothing to do with me. oh you call us in a year and we'll talk to you. i did not -- i didn't join the military because i knew that 20 years later i would need to have medical care. i joined the military because i felt proud of this country. i wanted to be part of this country. [applause] no matter what. and so i give all the way like they say you sign the check all the way up to and including your death. but we're not getting that back. we're getting people giving us a bunch of bologne talking out of both sides of their mouth. and i'm in here quite a bit at least three times a month, and i'm just getting sick and tired. i'm sick and tired of seeing these little non-veteran kids talking to these older veterans like they're dogs. and believe me, if i'm here and i hear it, you probably heard my name, i stand up and let me tell you they don't get away with it. not on my time.
[applause] these people that are up on the front lines, when they check you in and all that. they should not -- i swear, i went to nursing school, paramedic school, i've got all the these things. these people have never gone to -- they have no medical training at all but they can stand up and tell you, go home and we'll call you. that's not the way that works. if you were in a civilian hospital or a civilian doctors' office and a patient came in and said i'm having chest pains and i go, go home and we'll call you, that's termination right there. these people are allowed to turn people away. i was just here the other day and a little girl, she had just gotten out and she's real timid and she comes up and she goes i'm really having a bad time. she goes, i feel like i'm going to hurt myself. it's like, oh, my god. well, the girl told her, we don't have any of your paperwork so
you need to go home and we'll call you. this poor child -- poor child walking out of there. we're trying to tell her about the opal clinic. do you know the people in the primary care didn't even know it exist snd oh, where's that at? it's right around the corner if you would get off your butt and go around. i just -- i just don't get it. turn that poor little girl away. the whole night, that's all i worried about is am i going to read about this poor girl who has gone out, you know, death by cop or death by whatever. all because you don't have the time to take the tinal. and that's not right. if it weren't for the veterans before and after and now, there wouldn't be a job for these civilians to have and to treat people that way.
and they need to understand that. we're not here for them. they're here for us. and by damn it they're going to do it if i have my way about it. and don't ever say something bad to a veteran. because i will clock you and i will take your name and number. and i have someone else with me that will do the same thing only she hits harder. [inaudible] patient advocate, that's an oxymoron to me because how can you have somebody help somebody who works for the v.a.? they're complaining about the v.a. and they're helping them for the v.a. and i had a bad experience with them when i heard her go into a room and tell the doctor, what do you want me to do to get rid of her? that pissed me off and i let her know about it. that's not right.
so that's all i've got to say and i got to go. >> thank you. >> hello. i'm a bit overwhelmed, kind of tired. more importantly, besides the bitch session, which i might have a couple, we need the v.a. staff to be in these meetings instead of collecting their easy money and things go in one ear and out the other. more importantly with all the money that they're putting into the v.a. and stuff, this is phoenix. we're a huge city. veterans made arizona what it is and at this time there's no doubt in my military mind that there should be two shifts instead of everyone living the luxurious life and going home at 4:00.
secondly, patient advocate, as we've discussed a few times, should have like a patient advocate that can -- you can kind of communicate with. as a team player that we were taught so much when we were in the military. someone that again can help you with your treatment plan. i'm trying to keep it as short as i can. i've got third stage lung disease, yada yada. and what is happening to all these people? sharon, is she still collecting money? what the hell is going on? dr. bloom was my pulmonologist.
and just like the rest of the v.a., he conveniently retired. that's what -- they just conveniently do this and that. i'm a licensed aircraft mechanic, licensed electrician mechanic, united airline since 1990. been seeing these pieces of shit for 2-1/2 years. i was finally terminated with united airlines may 31 of this year. and i'm black balled. again, the police officers not the last like four times but previous to that have always like again messed with me. the whole thing's a big joke. it's a big joke. it's basically like the walnut
shell game or hot potato. there's so many people here that no one is accountable. they just pass the buck to another person. but if we're going to keep having these town meetings, we need -- we need the v.a. staff in here. because we can complain all we want. whatever. >> i don't know if anybody knows it but it's international peace day. >> how perfect. >> yeah, how perfect. anyway, i'm honored as a mother of a veteran who served in desert storm to speak to all of you. and what he would say, he died last october. what he would say to me through
the eight years that he went on the waiting list and died october 25th, i was with the personal advocate here at the hospital when he died, the phone call came. he would say mom, don't do it for me. do it for the other veterans. and that's why i'm here. and i'm appalled to hear what all is going on here. i want to tell you my medical experience. at ten years old i was changing diapers of a baby that was born with his bladder out and his penis on the side. at 16, i was my mother's, my father's nurse because my mother wouldn't assist him so i changed his trach, i cleaned it, i
showed him a mirror after he had four places in his jaw broken, two broken wrists and a broken leg. he's an irishman from illinois and i'm proud to say i'm a farmer's daughter. and i want you all to know the crisis in medical care that we're in. i've assisted five or six people in hospice to die. so we all are here. for temporary reasons. what we do with that short span of time that we're here, assist everybody. be an advocate for civil rights. learn the getiesberg address. get out there in your community and establish help. go get a degree in medical professions. you know we're overloaded. everybody knows we're overloaded.
the v.a. knows we're overloaded. we're all overloaded. everybody's overworked. do you get it? do you get it? >> we get it but they don't. >> everybody should get it. >> they don't care. >> do your part. do your part to assist. i know. i understand. i hear you. i know there's mistakes. and i know there's people that didn't hear my son when he had a tumor in his face and he had to get on the waiting list. and so he proceeded to go to the state hospital and say i'm nuts, i know i am, help me. three times at the state hospital. no help. nothing. value options. go to value options. we'll give you a good drug. oh, no. they went out of business.
they had to hide and change the name to magellan. yes, my father worked at the state hospital. i spent six years visiting my son. and i got to watch, i got to watch him die. i got to watch the doctors overdrug him and give him bladder cancer. and when i requested the records i was told that i had to pay 50 cents a page. can you imagine, six years? of medical records at the state hospital? i requested from the governor from the department of health from the state hospital from the v.a. everybody that i could, can we please have his records? yeah. the first records are supposed to be free from the v.a. but guess what. he knew there was no assistance at that time. he entered in peacetime as a
mine man. does anybody know what a mine man is? who know what is a mine man is? nobody. they don't tell you what a mine man is. a mine man hauls explosives and bombs. he delivers bombs. it was peacetime. i married his chicago cub father because president kennedy said if you got married you didn't have to go to war. where are we now? thank you. >> my name is staff sergeant richard harris, retired, 23 years army national guard, army reserve, afghanistan 2002. iraq 2006-2007.
i stand here pretty able bodied. i'm 40% disabled. i've got all my limbs, thankfully. i just want to say i filed -- i filed my claims after i retired because there's a stigma of you don't want to -- they don't want any broke soldiers. i was a mid-level nco. had soldiers reporting to me and i was counseling and encouraging and mentoring. still in the reserves after afghanistan and iraq for another two years before i retired after 23 years. going to do a pt test and everything. and you go in the locker room afterwards and people are cleaning up it looks like a pharmaceutical convention
because you've got half the units on psychotropics trying to deal with the stress. i was a triathlete, now i get winded after about 45 minutes of a workout. i used to be able to work out eight hours a day and longer. ok? i was just solid. now my wife complains because i'm fatigued all the time. i don't want to complain. i want to solve the problem. i haven't been to the v.a. except for today because i registered with the gulf war registry. something i wasn't told about in 2010 when i first filed my claims. i filed nine claims, two were approved, two were denied, five were forgotten.
ok? i overcame another four of those and the two that were declined through naturopathic means out of my own pocket. thank god i am employed and thank god i do have insurance outside of the v.a. and i even changed my whole career to go into psychology and everything to help vets to deal with this stuff. and i'm working on applying for my masters and i help volunteer for encouraging vets in different things like that. >> like a peer to peer type thing. >> most definitely. but i want to say your system is broke. if i can help, i will. if i can help, i will. if there is somebody who needs somebody to talk to, other medical advice, i've saved yself from surgeries through
natural means and i've overcome a few things. funny, one of the things that ibs and it's as kind of fitting because the army and the v.a. has been a pain in the ass ever since. that's about it. i do like this. you're asking for suggestions, what is going good, what's going bad. kind of real quick, gulf war registry, it's a study. it is not necessarily there to help with your claims though it will hopefully long term. i think it's kind of misguided. i mean, if you do your research, there was chemical exposure in