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Montel: We need a ‘surge’ to stop veterans from dying waiting to see doctors

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DENVER -- Famed talk show host, and Marine veteran, Montel Williams says the Obama administration and the Defense Department must act urgently to clear the backlog of veterans waiting to see doctors at veteran's hospitals.

Appearing on Good Day Colorado, Williams said he wants to see a surge in resources to help veterans.

"Four years ago in Afghanistan when we weren't getting the job done, the President said 'Please. Please. Please. Congress give me the money to surge.' We spent $60 billion dollars sending troops over to Afghanistan," Williams said. "Right now we need a surge to clear the back log of all of our veterans tomorrow."

The Department of Veteran Affairs has admitted that veterans have waited for appointments for more than 30 days at VA hospitals and clinics. This week the VA said they are working to reduce the wait time.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a comprehensive review of the military health care system on Tuesday.

Under the initiative, reviews have been ordered of each VA facility to determine whether it can handle its current patient load.

This includes examining whether VA clinics need to extend hours or approve overtime so more veterans can be seen.

The reviews are expected to be completed by Friday, according the VA.

The most disturbing problems emerged at the Phoenix VA, with sources revealing details of a secret waiting list. According to the sources, at least 40 American veterans died while waiting for care at the VA there.

Williams has been a loud proponent for veteran's rights in the wake of the controversy.

He became visibly choked up while delivering a speech addressing the ongoing Veterans Affairs scandal at a Memorial Day picnic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

He shared the same emotion during the Good Day interview.

"We have soldiers dying on a daily basis just because they can't go see a doctor," Williams said. "You promised me that if I go put this uniform on and take a bullet, you will take care of me. And all you do is lie to me."

Williams said he wants to spread people to spread the word about his surge idea using the hashtag #VAsurge on Facebook and Twitter.

"Get it done," he said.

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15 comments

  • Debora Beck-Massey MPA/MNM

    I fought for years to get the VA to even acknowledge my fathers rights to use the VA’s services as a Korean Vet he was ignored, the excuses that his records were misplaced, when we provided the records, VA would lose them. When we finally got an appointment for a hearing test ( he shot BIG guns in Korea without protection) the doctors did a P** poor job even to the point of not recognizing my father was in the middle of having a stroke, sending us home over 200 miles. By the time we got him home and realized what was going on it was too late for the clot drug to work. The man doing his eye test verbally abused him because he was slow to respond to his questions. Dad is 87 years old. Dad has more than paid the price for serving on the front lines of Korea, an unacknowledged war, no benefits because it was a”police action”, denial for years of his need for services, denial of monetary benefits he should be receiving. There is little honor in what our country has done to our veterans.

    • malice420dotcom

      Nothing new here. These are the same people that created a war on Vietnam veterans not returning home in a box so severe even the VFW didn’t want us in there ranks. Today they run the government.
      I had my first VA visit in October of 1971. I didn’t hear a word after the initial application. Only after the courts ruled on Agent Orange thirty years later did I get a response.
      When we returned we were left without any support, zero, and a country of protesters hating every move we made.
      These deaths, secret lists and the bonuses these people received is showing another level of hate for the military by the same baby boomers that had an appalling amount of hate for Vietnam veterans.
      rvn70/71

      • colocaver

        Liberals are EVIL and HATE real American Heroes, and hate America!

        These fools are FLUSH with funding…… and we have veterans dying??

        There is a lot more to this story…… This problem is the result of conscious choices against AMERICANS AND THIS IS TREASONOUS

        WHAT CAN BE MORE TREASONOUS THAN CRIMES AGAINST OUR VETS???

    • Anonymous

      My wife and I know your frustration. We tried to get her dad into the va system but kept getting the runaround. He was a WWII veteran in Germany fighting the Nazis. Bronze Star recipient. Prior to his death, he began having flashbacks of the war that was heartbreaking. We were trying to get help from the VA but the kept saying he needed to have an appointment with the doctor. Finally we were able to get an appointment, but guess what, not soon enough we had to get him the help elsewhere where hospice was able to help and two weeks later he passed away. Im a veteran from the Vietnam era and put in 6 years and have been trying to get in, but they told me I made too much money and I had insurance. Had to get the insurance cause they wouldn’t except me. I worked for a living and that was my income. I was not on welfare.

  • Edwina E. McCall

    I am a veteran of Shield/Storm and this war as an Army nurse. I am willing to go back into service if the military wants me to help straighten out this VA mess. All they have to do is send me the letter because my DD214 says they can call me back anytime.

    I can not think of a better way to get all this solved than by using all of us. I am 100% dedicated to our soldiers.

    Captain E.E. McCall

  • Carol McGee

    Montel, Thank you for serving and for caring for our veterans! Please continue to speak up, hopefully you will get the attention of our government. God Bless You!

  • Paul V. Mitchell

    Montel, I saw your discussion w/ Neil Cavuto today. Your message was powerful and right on target. I admire your passion and commitment as a soldier and American. You had solutions and expressed them w/ class. Keep up the fight – our soldiers and veterans deserve it.

  • Darrell M Johnson

    Its about time that someone has come out with outrage for the handling and serving our veterans. As a wounded vietnam veteran i have become disachanted with being an American. Montel keep speaking out your voice means alot.

  • House

    My mother has served for over 30 years and now works as a general service contractor at the elite 101st airborne division hospital (Blanchfield Hospital) at Fort Campbell, Ky. she and I both lived in Germany and participated in Berlin when the Berlin Wall came down. She deployed to both Desert Shield and Desert Storm (youngsters will have no idea what i’m talking about, let’s just call it Iraq parts 1 and 2.). She served in Bosnia (again youngsters…just look it up.). I want Montel Williams to know her story. She has served faithfully, even when our government FORCED her to work without pay multiple times during our “government shutdowns” over the years. So what’s the point of all this?

    Guess what my mother did in the army?…… she was a nurse! An R.N.! And ever since she has retired she has continued to serve as an RN helping wounded soldiers from all the conflicts we currently participate in. All she desires to do is serve our country by helping the wounded, the sick, and the lame. Can’t our VA hospitals hire our veteran Medics, Lpn’s, and Rn’s that server faithfully for so many years and have proved, through the trials of war, their dedication to heal the wounded, the sick, and the lame?

    it just makes me sick to my stomach to see so many succumbing to their infirmity when so many of their loving brethren cannot even get a chance to help because the V.A. hospital is “over staffed” and certainly not hiring.

    Yeah my mom has seen it all. Been there. Fought that. And if you want to know some serious details about some serious conflicts. feel free to contact me. the house foundation2012 @ gmail. com ….. i’ll be happy to give details. but honestly I just really want everyone to know that there are medical workers out there that have served faithfully and desire to continue to do so. There is no reason the V.A. hospital cannot fully starff its facilities. Thank you Mom for Your service and for being my inspiration to serve as well.

    See you on the battlefield

    House

  • Linda

    All of the things you spoke of and feel for the Veterans, I grew up with this being common sense!! Please do not stop for I feel the whole USA needs to hear it over and over again. There will be only respect for these men and women giving there lives for us…constantly!
    Unlike hearing things that have gone nowhere over and over again. You-Montel are so right on.
    Thank You so very much and God Bless You.

  • colocaver

    We need a real President who has a backbone and can be successful, this pity of a pajama president is an embarrassment to our veterans and country

    When Obama lies, our Veterans Die!

    Nothing but corruption and incompetence on Obama’s watch, this is ALL his fault and responsibility!

  • Anonymous

    Father-in-law served in WWII in Germany and was a Bronze Star Recipiant. Helped release a conscentration camp (I have pictures he gave me prior to his passing away). Participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Never could get into the system. He was having flashbacks of the war which was so sad to see. We tried to get a VA doctor to see him. Took a long long time to get him scheduled. So long he passed away before his appoinment. I’m a six year Vietnam Era veteran and still get the run around in trying to get in and see a doctor. Frustrating.

  • Linda Fitch

    Something finally has made me sicker than my MS. Treatment of our vets. Keep up both fights,true Americans are with you. We have your back, Washington needs a lesson in what happened the last time the people felt gov’t wasn’t representing the people.

Comments are closed.