Local Veterans Speak Out On VA Scandal

You may remember last month, an inspector general's report confirmed allegations of excessive waiting times and inappropriate scheduling practices at a VA Hospital.

So we wanted to know what local veterans thought, and the answers were a bit of a mixed bag.

"How many times do I have to go through this till I just give up? There is nowhere for me to go."

Larry Gentner is one of the thousands of Alabamians affected by the Veterans Affairs Scandal.
Gentner was in the service for 24 years before he retired.
While active, he had 16 surgeries on his left leg, and he paid for all of them.

"I have permanent P3 profile on my left leg from injuries that occurred in service. For 8 years, for permanent. I've been to medical boards, they had a permanent profile on my leg, I have no disability for it."

And that's not all. Michelle Sapp works at the VFW in Daleville and she says the stories are far too common.

"Driving to Montgomery, driving to Tuskegee, they will get up there and their appointment was cancelled and they were never notified that their appointment was cancelled. Where they have been diagnosed with something, all of the sudden the doctor in Montgomery will tell them, Nope, you don't have it. The veterans go through a gamete of problems with the VA."

And while some appointments are being cancelled without notification, other veteran's say they aren't even being seen.

"The local office was supposed to do that for me and look through the package I had and help prepare one to forward it. But it's been lost and lost and lost and when I was hearing on T-V about people that never got an appointment I'm one of them," said Gertner.

The news is not all bad.
Some veterans we spoke with say have not had any issues.

"At this point in my life, I've been to the VA in Montgomery and Tuskegee; I have never had any problems what so ever. Appointment times, right on schedule. I was in, I was out, and that was it," said U.S. Veteran Buddy Branch.

While opinions on the VA’s quality of care may vary, people we spoke with today agree on one thing…

"Their all trying to cover butt now, but they are still not taking care of their veterans."

Now several of the veterans I spoke with told me that once files are transferred from Montgomery to Ft. Rucker or other local VA clinics, that making appointments was easy and they had no problems.


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