Texas American Legion State Commander gives thoughts on Veterans' Affairs
POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 11:59pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 12:01am
(KETK) - Tyler Tx — Texas American Legion State Commander Jim Fleming drove in from the Dallas area to speak with KETK Wednesday afternoon.
We spoke about the negative affects these wait times have had on our vets, as well as his take on the future of their health care.
"They can't get into the VA for months or even years and that's unacceptable," said Fleming.
Fleming served twenty years in the US Navy, and today serves as the American Legion State Commander in Texas.
He says if the Veteran's Affairs Hospitals cannot handle the influx of patients, veterans should have the option of seeking other covered alternatives.
"Let veterans visit civilian facilities if the VA can't handle them right away."
In his position, Fleming meets with many vets, young and old, who have suffered because of delayed medical care, including one soldier who had served in Iraq, and now suffers from extreme post traumatic stress disorder.
"He has been trying to get into the VA system for quite a while and he could never get an appointment so as a consequence he just said that's it, I quit," said Fleming.
These waiting periods have also contributed to the deaths of veterans suffering from heart disease and cancer.
"That time there is what's causing a lot of our veterans to pass away before they get a chance to get into the VA system," said Fleming.
But with changes in the leadership, and newly added pressure to get quality care out in a timely fashion, Fleming urges all vets to stay the course.
"If you need care go to the VA just don't give up, just keep going don't quit because your life depends on it," said Fleming.
Fleming has confidence new leadership will find those who have been responsible for covering up neglected patients, and getting veterans the quality and timely care, they justly deserve.
"They're really concerned about this and I'm quite sure that there's gonna be quite a few heads rolling when all is said and done," said Fleming.