East Texas veterans react to VA scandal - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas veterans react to VA scandal

Veterans and civilians in East Texas react to the VA scandal. (Source: KLTV) Veterans and civilians in East Texas react to the VA scandal. (Source: KLTV)
(KLTV) -

The shake-up and scandal in Veteran Affairs has veterans and civilians angry over how a government agency, designed to help veterans, could be so mismanaged.

The resignation of secretary Eric Shenseki means little to many East Texas veterans.

"I feel that Shinseki's fallen on the sword, and they're trying to get it all swept under the rug," says USMC desert storm veteran Robert Bumbard.

"One resignation is not going to solve the problem. I think its deplorable that the veterans are being treated the way they're being treated," says Kilgore resident Mike Clements.

Veterans say their desperate need for care does not go away with Shinseki's departure.

"I know personally that if I call to get an appointment with my general practitioner that I'm looking at 3 to 4 months to get an appointment. If you need to see a specialist , you're talking a year. I feel an overhaul of the VA is definitely necessary," Bumbard says.

"I really feel there’s a lot of cancer in the veterans administration health system and it needs to be cut out," says Air Force Vietnam veteran Paul Audet.

Supporters of the military are equally angry that veterans in need are caught in the middle of the VA scandal.

"Well I think it never should have got to this point to begin with. We owe everything to our veterans. We've got people suffering that have given their all for this country, lets fix it now," says Kilgore resident Marvin Hall.

"You could possibly die on the battlefield and you're getting better treatment on the battlefield than you do at a VA hospital," Clements says.

For some, it's a matter of the government keeping its word to those who've served.

"I have a lot of veteran friends and I've heard the horror stories. There's certain things you said you're gonna do and to me that's a sacred bargain," Audet says.

The VA's inspector general reported this week that data manipulation occurs systemically throughout the VA.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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