Monday, April 4, 2011

Enough is Enough

I try to stay positive and not bash the VA as much as possible, but enough is enough.  I am just one of millions of veterans who signed on the dotted line to serve my country, and came back just to find out that the government doesn't care about me or my injuries.  I've already written about my struggles, but I never realized how similar my problems are to other veterans problems.  I have been talking with the wife of another veteran, and they have been going through some things that are so close to the same problems I have gone through that I thought they were telling me my story all over again.

Matt is a veteran who had shoulder surgery in November, and he has been put through the ringer since.  They couldn't get him in to physical therapy until six weeks after the surgery, and they only saw him once a week.  They have not yet decided whether or not to grant him a temporary 100% rating (which they should do for the recovery period of the surgery).  This sounds eerily familiar to my story, where I had my fourth hip surgery in October.  They couldn't get me in for physical therapy for six weeks, and they only saw me twice a month, even though my surgeon said I needed to be seen twice a week.  I still have not been given a temporary 100% rating, even though I have been out of work since my surgery.

Matt also has PTSD from his time in the service.  He has struggled to be seen by a therapist, and he has applied for disability for his PTSD.  They denied his claim because he did not specifically say that he feared for his life during the traumatic incident that he endured.  Again, this is very similar to my story.  For over three years, I could not get a therapist to listen to me about my mental health.  Nobody seemed to believe me when I told them that I needed help, and it wasn't until my older brother died that they took me in for regular appointments.  I applied for disability back in May 2010 for the PTSD, and they just told me that they are waiting until they can verify my story with my old company.  My old company would never verify my story because they abused me and forced me to train and tear up my hip just one month after surgery.

I could go on with horror stories about what we have to endure, but it is too depressing.  We need to get together and demand more of the government we swore to protect with our lives if it came down to it.  We should not have to put up with sub-par health care, and a bureaucracy that is set up to deny claim after claim because it cannot be proven to have happened during our military service.  We should not have to wait weeks or months to see a doctor, or wait a year for a disability claim to go through.  Nobody in the civilian realm has to put up with all that we go through, and we need to stand up until we are treated the way we deserve.  Send this article in to your congresspeople, and please email me at so that I know we have your support.

To read more about Matt's story, please visit

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