Veteran Neglect Durham VA Emergency Room

VA is attacking a couple that posted photos of neglected veterans at Durham VA Hospital emergency room claiming the photos misrepresent what happened.

Last week, Stephen and Hanna McMenamin waited in the Durham VA Hospital emergency room for care when numerous veterans were forced to wait many hours waiting for care while in extreme pain.

One veteran eventually resorted to lying on the floor to abate his pain after a nurse forced him to sit prone in a chair despite complaints that the position was painful.

The couple took photos of the incident, which are tragic, as they depict enormous neglect and lack of staffing and proper facilities at a major VA emergency room.

Those photos then went viral and shamed the entire VA facility. The amount of attention garnered by the images show Americans still care about us.

Meanwhile In The VA Spin Room

Rather than repent, VA director DeAnne Seekins doubled down. She said the photos misrepresent what happened.

“I feel very, very good because those veterans received high quality care,” Seekins said.

Apparently waiting for a long time and being forced to lay on the floor is somehow negated by getting good care later?

Seekins said the emergency room was very busy that night and seems satisfied despite at least one veteran having to lay on the floor. Instead, according to Seekins, the surveillance footage shows the veterans received reasonably timely emergency care.

Seekins reportedly asked the couple to pull the photos down claiming they violated the privacy of the veterans whose images were captured by VA surveillance footage.

Seekins Facility And Wait Times

It is important to note DeAnne Seekins’ facility was implicated in the wait list scandal back in 2014, and while misconduct was confirmed, obviously veteran neglect at the facility went uncorrected. According to a VA OIG audit at the time:

According to a VA OIG audit at the time:

In preparation for this audit, VHA (Veterans Health Administration) Central Office learned on May 12 that a Durham VA Medical Center employee indicated that some employees at that facility may have engaged in inappropriate scheduling practices at some point between 2009 and 2012.”

VA takes any allegations about patient care or employee misconduct very seriously. If the allegations are true, the inappropriate behavior is unacceptable and employees will be held accountable.

So what happened? The photos look bad. Did these veterans really get high quality care?

Come on VA, they say a picture is worth a thousand words for a reason.

The McMenamin’s Story

The McMenamin family gives us the rest of the story. And let’s be honest, VA’s reaction is typical spin after being caught with their pants down. Where there is smoke, and photographic proof, there is more than a fire.

According to McMenamin’s Facebook page:

Yesterday (2/24/17) while at the Durham, NC VA Hospital, my husband Stephen McMenamin and I witnessed some very disturbing events. The man in the wheelchair on the left, were waiting in that waiting room at least 3 hours. The man bent over grabbing the chair, was yelling in pain and was borderline convulsing and almost falling out of his chair he was in so much pain. No one paid him any attention until I approached a nurse to please check on him. This gentleman sat in the waiting room in extreme pain for hours upon hours with very little attention paid to him.

The gentlemen seen in the two photos on the right, came in extremely sick. He could barely walk, sit up, or breathe. My husband had been directed to a chair just off the waiting area because it reclined (my husband was being seen for extreme lower back pain). Upon this man walking in and telling the nurse he needed to lay down, and her telling him to have a seat (with very little regard for his well being), my husband got up and offered this man the reclining chair. This man sat in the chair for probably about 15 minutes before he was told he had to get up immediately. Upon being approached by the nurse (who was extremely rude to him), he told her he could not sit up and he needed to lay down. She completely disregarded him and demanded he go sit in the waiting room area, leaving the recliner completely empty. Upon seeing this, and seeing how rude the nurse was being, my husband approached the nurse and asked why this man was not allowed to stay in the recliner given that my husband had been sitting in it for 30 plus minutes. The nurse refused to provide any explanation or even her name, and stormed off while this man was still struggling. The man then asked multiple times for a place to lean back or lay down, and was completely disregarded by the nurse. Eventually after being completely neglected, he laid on the floor.

The point of this post is to show the issues that exist at the VA. Yesterday at the VA we did encounter some nurses who genuinely cared about the patients, but after seeing what happened, I had to share this. There are good people that work at the VA and genuinely care, but then there are people like this particular nurse who should not be working with our nations finest. We did end up getting the nurses name who was extremely rude and neglected patients in need. And are planning to go through any means to make sure people know what was going on.

Please share this post. Our Veterans deserve better. And the problems in the VA system are very real.

Thank you.

UPDATE 2/28/17- The VA is very unhappy that we have posted this photo and it has been seen around the country. They have asked us again to remove this photo, claiming on of the participants does not want this posted. They claim to have told him his face is blocked out. I am not sure that they actually told him that, and I am sure they did not mention he is not identifiable. Due to potential legal concerns, John Burk has volunteered to help us continue getting the message out. Please like his Facebook page, I will link it below. Also we have started a page called “Help Put Veterans First”, and I will link that below as well. Thank you to everyone for sharing, let’s keep on going with trying to make the changes that need to be made.


Help Put Veterans First:

What do you think of this fiasco? Did the family do the right thing by outing VA via posting the image on Facebook?

The incident went viral and now that VA facility must explain why its nurse acted with such indifference and diminished common sense.

In instances like this, I think it is important for every veteran negatively impacted to record or photograph the incident and then expose it. This particular incident will get enough coverage to force the Durham VA to reform, at least a little.


Disgruntled Veteran
Attaboy Ben! Keep after ’em. A truly occurrence that is played out at many VA facilities on a several times weekly basis. This time, the VA facility happened to get caught in the act. Hopefully, America will begin to wake up as to just how the VA is living up to the promise of “caring for him who has borne the battle”. Good words, when Abraham Lincoln spoke them. NOTHING but a HOLLOW PROMISE and PATHETIC JOKE today. A sincere… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

Please insert word Tragic between “truly” and “occurrence” in the first sentence of my posting.


Right-on. One thing, you are definitely consistent with your statement. I like that.

Ex va

@ namnibor!!! ROFLMAO!!!

I second that statement! “PENDEJO VA DEATHCARE SAME SHIT DIFFERENT DAY VA ONE BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BY @ FOR C AFGE UNION CONTRACTS VETS YO ARE SSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED V BY VA DEATHCARE FROM SATANIC HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Very consistent and true! Along with the Fat PIg, buffalo belly OIG Fat ass tuna beast nurses that don’t do shit! And don’t forget that Johnny Isackson, the man girdle wearing, aardvark with a limp looking edematous eyelid having bitch… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

C’mon Doc, Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel . . .

I was rollin’ when I read about the “Fat ass beast tuna nurses”. Sounded like one of my less than stellar date from the eighties.

Semper Fi. And thanks for lookin’ after me and my bros.


@CorpsmanUP!– “[And don’t forget that Johnny Isackson, the man girdle wearing, aardvark with a limp looking edematous eyelid having bitch , who highly approves of the fuckery.]”

Aardvark. That fits Isaacson perfectly. While on his stairmaster he can wrap his snout around the bundle of $$$ hanging above him as he steps on ants. (the ants are Vets)


@Disgruntled Veteran,@namnibor,:
A swayed back, knock kneed, yellow belly,and a furry wandering snuffaluffguss trunk to be exact!
The disturbing part is the appointment of a pregnant “Greg Brady” looking Secretary to head the VA! This shit is straight out an Alfred Hitchcock movie, no butter, no 3d glasses, nothing!
Semper Fi! The Corpsmen will always speak up!

Peabodys Cow
Deanne Seekins was the Director at the HAMPTON VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER: she was total closed door,I watched as her reps. Collected the “Tell the Director” forms that were thrown into the garbage,UNREAD. I went to her for help with a doctor who ripped up my scripts,throwing them in my face. She Did NOTHING to help the Veterans. I had to acquire help through my Congressman. The only good thing she did for the HAMPTON VA was Leave. It would… Read more »
I knew the VA WAS going to attack this couple once I seen the post. The Phoenix VA did the same to me when I not only went viral with the photos I took of the horrible conditions of the patient rooms straight to the House Comm on VA Affairs. The Phoenix VA got down right pissed at me! My phone rang off the hook for weeks. Also gave two incidents of what two nurses did to my husband while… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

By any chance is your last name Mitchell?

A veteran friend of mine who is now gone faced the same thing when he was in the Houston VA back in the 1990s for testing. His family picked him up on a Friday evening to take him to a hotel for the weekend. When they returned Sunday afternoon, the beds had not been made, bloody bandages were still in the room and the food tray they brought on Friday was still in the room. Rotting and moldy. When I… Read more »

They did it to me last year in Durham kicked me out actually becauae my wife was voice recording them, they dont care

That is the VA’s normal response to anyone who drops the dime on them with the truth,People who work at VA Hospitals enjoy better than average wages and Benefits,but after a few years they learn how to collect with less work,I personally saw this kind of abuse at the John Cochran Hospital in ST.Louis,MO. and reported it around 2007 and I was told there would be an investigation,Guess what! No investigation because I asked and then a few years later… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
@Bob – – – You sir, were RIMA’d. As in Rima Nelson who was the Director of that facility at the time. As punishment for her part in that tragic scandal, she was moved to the Manila, ROP clinic for a few years to keep her “below the radar”. Some punishment! She of course, should have been fired and prosecuted – – – but NOOOOOOOOO. Since last September, she has been the Director of the Phoenix VA. Now that the… Read more »

“I feel very, very good because those veterans received high quality care,” Seekins said…..ARE THESE PEOPLE DELUSIONAL ….I think she needs to go to the psycho ward….and she thinks we are supposed to believe her statement, nothing here move along folks says the QUEEN OF PAIN


Clearly their triage is non existent if they cannot at least provide some kind of pain relief in such a timely manner so as to prevent a veteran from having to lie down to get relief.

There is nothing about this that says they got excellent care no matter what that liar Seekins says.


Nothing if anything will be done to discipline these trough feeders from AFGE. Not until POTUS lays the smack down and crushes this virus that’s infected all branches federal government.


jmo,,with Dr.Government bullying their way into our PRIVATE HEALTH CARE DECISION as adults,,,todays technology is our only defense against abuse by our own government..I have personally recorded 40 phone calls ,,w/this terribly nurse of my Doctors,,and it brought out the truth,,that the nurse was lieing to the doctors a lot,,soo keep those phone on,,,it may just save your life or someone elses,,jmo,,maryw

Crazy elf
Y’all did notice, the VA “asked twice” to have the pictures removed! Well, I would have said, “Come-on VA, let’s go to court!” – “And, you make damn sure that nurse is there!” – “Those pictures, and our statement(s) will continue to be on the internet, until VA admits to those egregious acts committed by those responsible, PERIOD!” Evidently, VA doesn’t have the legal authority, or rights, to get the McMenamin family to take down those pictures. That “$25 million… Read more »

@Crazy elf– “[Question: How soon do y’all think it will be, before VA will NOT allow veterans, or their spouses, to bring camera phones into the VA’s nationwide?]”

I was thinking along the exact same wavelength, elf. Veterans, do not let the VA intimidate you. About time WE intimidated the meat grinder.

“Won’t get fooled again”– The Who

R. Michael Maddox/ Sae Bee Can Do
R. Michael Maddox/ Sae Bee Can Do
They tried that a year or so ago. It was ruled that they can NOT stop you from recording on the facilities. Plenty of us Vets. have memory issues. WE must record so we can have proof of doctors directions and such. My only recommendation would be to Watch Your Back! If you piss them off. Been many cases of employees found to be planting “stuff” and calling the law. Keep cars locked and storage buildings locked. Just watch your… Read more »

Even if ,”they”ask u to keep all phones in your vehicle etc,,,LIE,,,,,, they do,,allllllll the time,,,just hide it in your pocket,,jmo

Yes, and the audio alone is remarkably clear on today’s smartphones and if one gets creative, you can fashion an opening in a pocket where your phone will be at a VA appointment as so the camera video lens is only thing that hole is around and screw the one/two party recording laws the VA likes to pull as well…what’s good for the gander is certainly good for a VA crow. If they were doing their jobs properly, they would… Read more »
Steve C

They have had signs at my local VAMC that say photography is not allowed for several years now. I had a similar experience as the one depicted in those photo’s. Staffing wasn’t the problem. There were 3 to four in front desk and at least 6 in the back area that were doing nothing. I was there for 6 hours in agony because of out patient surgery I had that morning.


Simple, inexpensive devices can be purchased on Amazon for around $25 that record video in hi resolution 1080, and audio.

A device I have records to a 16G micro SD memory card.

Crazy Elf, if you recall an earlier post here, some VAs already tried that. I suspect VA printers are burning up right now printing up temporary signs saying any pictures or video is prohibited. Those temporary signs will be up until a VA flunkies uncle can get the official, contracted for signs designed and made up and delivered for this one day sale price of only $439000 for each hospital. Then the next VA flunky who replaced Burch, in his… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
@elf – – – I do not imagine that too much time will elapse before the VA tries to institute a camera-phone and total electronic device ban upon veterans while they are on VA property. Similar to the sign that is placed at the entrance to the Honolulu facility that basically states ‘Firearms and all other unauthorized weapons prohibited on this property.” Then goes on to threaten the reader within an inch of his life with very severe penalties for… Read more »
“[VA is attacking a couple that posted photos of neglected veterans at Durham VA Hospital emergency room claiming the photos misrepresent what happened.]” No, the VA is scared shitless of that VA Kryptonite called Accountability. “[“I feel very, very good because those veterans received high quality care,” Seekins said.]” Well, Ms. Seekins, of course YOU feel *very good* because you are high on VA Kool-Aid. Would that be a Dr. Houlihan Candyman Kool-Aid Cocktail from all those missing controlled medications… Read more »

What’s the reality here is, that photo could be ANY regular VA patient waiting room in NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS, never mind after hours at an ER at any VA. Truth.

Ex va

@ namnibor, looks like a typical va clinic to me too. TRUTH!

Crazy elf

“ News” (two articles of concern)
28 Feb. 2017
Title #1;
“VA to Get Funding Boost from Trump Budget Proposals, Shulkin says!”
by: Richard Sisk

Shulkin really didn’t think this through before making that statement! A must read!

title #2:
“VA Offers Pre-Determination of Burial Eligibility!”

Now veterans must do (more) paperwork to see *IF* they are eligible to be buried in a “Veterans Cemetery”!!!!!!!!!
What a crock of shit!

@Crazy elf — “VA Offers Pre-Determination of Burial Eligibility!” Now veterans must do (more) paperwork to see *IF* they are eligible to be buried in a “Veterans Cemetery”!!!!!!!!! What a crock of shit!]” The VA spared no expense. Each Veteran will receive a $320. Black Sharpie Marker to fill-in all pertinent Veteran info on VA provided toe tags, so it’s yet another thing the VA does not have to do. Like housemaids that absolutely refuse to do windows, the VA… Read more »

I posted this to my facebook page as well! Lying POS they keep saying everything is fine, here is proof that the public needs to see! The responses I received were that of shock and disbelief! This really needs to get to Trump!!


I have sent it to Pres. Trump’s team and encourage ALL Vets and Survivors and Spouses of Vets to send this story to : “”””

Also sent it to everyone of my State of Ohio’s Congress Critters and encourage all to do same. Let’s play the long-run shame game on the VA.

Crazy elf

My wife, the computer expert, sends everything off to President Trump, his son “ERIC” and other great people, ie; Reps. Chaffetz, Gowdy, Jordan and more, everyday I or she finds on the “net”!
Before she sends anything, she “Fact Checks” it.

If that VA facility follows the lead of Roseburg VA when getting outed in the press, they will issue either a Cat One Violent and Disruptive PRF against the vet who took the photos, or as Roseburg did with me, they issed a Cat Two (no typo) Violent and Disruptive PRF. The Cat One PRF in theory can be appealled. My Cat Two Violent and Disruptive PRF cannot be appealled and requires ALL communications between myself and ANY VA employee… Read more »
Dennis, you should get one of those hidden cameras, then call the VA to tell them you are coming to visit. Dont tell them why. Go there, then just walk down to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee, and see if you make it that far. Then post that video to Facebook. I suspect that video would get some serious attention. Ps. Anyone wanna bet that part of the legislation Shulkin will be pushing is some kind of law… Read more »
It is all ready criminal if prosecuted. Patients have a right to privacy. be careful of the pictures you take and make sure it is O K the patient or that the patient can’t be identified in the picture. Notice Ben’s care in his posting. Of course if you are destitute like me one can’t get blood out of a turnip. So I don’t have to worry. My VA compensation and SS are not attachable. In jail I’d probably get… Read more »

But they would take my VA comp away if I were charged with a felony. So it is risky after all for me. But if you are just a veteran who is being abused and nothing to lose have at it.

lolz, the last time I visited was my last psychiatric exam. When I walked into the office the doctor was followed by two (not just one) extra VA employees. They said a “new program” was in place to offer me the very best care. I told each one in turn that neither had my consent and this is documented, but both said they did not need consent. When the newspaper reported that extra person(s) were in the exam room without… Read more »

Dennis, every time you describe what is happening to you it just thoroughly reinforces the fact that the VA has no accountability at any level.

That Chief of Staff is as much a thug as any AFGE goon.


Chicago NBC news just reported on this case and said the va “Thanked the couple for informing them of this matter? WTF? That sure is a funny way of thanking them.

Sad but true, my brother was a Viet Nam vet in a VA hospital in Atlanta some 25 yrs ago. The day before he passed away he was in the hospital. They told him he could go home and no one would make a phone call to me to come and pick him up (before cell phones). I didn’t know he would be released that day. He asked all day for one of the nurses to please make a phone… Read more »
I believe it to be totally true as I worked as a RN in the Detroit VAMC when I first became a nurse almost 20yrs ago. I saw things that made me sick. Grown men crying because the soiled themselves waiting for call lights to be answered. Men begging for pain meds. I could only stand it a few months before leaving. While I saw there were many GREAT staff that worked hard caring for our nations finest. There were… Read more »
Anyone else take specific notice that in that photo of that NC VA ER Waiting area and intake area where the wooden chair is just sitting in front of counter, there’s absolutely NO PRIVACY or ATTEMPT to provide HIPPA Medical Private by at least a privacy booth or curtain? Perhaps I’m reading too much into this but if the VA is screaming PRIVACY VIOLATION OF VETS perhaps the VA should think about the PRIVACY at the ER Desk…you think? Hippocratic… Read more »

The only attempt at privacy at the ER Desk/Intake is actually only for the benefit of the ER Hack that’s sitting at the desk as you can see what looks like white foam core covering lover windows and more than likely to block the public’s view of the VA hack playing video games or watching porn while ignoring Veterans in pain on floors in lobby.


“lower” windows….bad hands day.


Every intake desk at my VA is the same.

Except ortho. It has a window, but they do intake questions in the waiting room. A chair is moved a few inches from others and a free standing curtain is around the chair.

I had one appointment recently where the doctor did her entire exam in a room with the door open, within 6 feet of the vets sitting in the waiting room.

Well, there lies the “rub” in that the VA always claims “World Class Medical, setting the pace for the civilian medical world”, or very similarly heavily whipped happy horseshit with rotten cherries on top…YET…it’s in the civilian/private medical where you see REAL HIPPA being adhered to, at least in all the private medical settings I have spent much time in since leaving the VA medical, where that kind of privacy in an intake or ER setting is NOTHING like the… Read more »

Been there and done that. DC 1999 (Lay on the floor to relieve pain in the ER because being made to wait for PC clinic to open)


Lip service floods from The White House, flows through Congress, and eddies around local VA facilities. Only the finest for our heroes. Right? It’s the only “Trickle Down” policy from Washington that seems to work. Bend over boys, there’s no shortage of flag poles.

Donald D. Creamer
Right on, Veterans. Keep the heat on the VA, and go after DeAnne Sekins for her ignorant response. She is the only VA employee that CAN be fired, because she is a political appointee. All the rest (including that anti-nurse) have iron clad job security as “Federal Employees” and that’s where the REAL problem lies, and it is Nation and Government wide. Your situation is a perfect opportunity to address a much bigger problem all across America. So go after… Read more »
Thank you for your support Donald. You should also realize and be upset about your taxes having to pay for this kind of BS. As for Seekins being fired, it is more difficult than that, but it can be done. She is not a political appointee, but a career employee at the Senior Executive Service (SES) level. That means she is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and cannot be a part of the union, but it is still… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

Thank you for your support, Mr. Creamer. My father is an 89 y/o veteran, and I am a 62 y/o veteran who served nearly twenty years of active duty. When I see civilians reading Ben’s articles (and our comments) it helps to give me just a wee bit more hope, in order to keep fighting.

Thank you for posting the link to the WNCN story Ben. This story went viral for ONE reason. The picture of that veteran lying on the floor. Without the picture, it would have been a Facebook post with maybe a hundred comments and nothing more. You are spot on Ben about recording and documenting these incidents. Think back over the past year of your postings here. How many would have gone viral causing public outrage if there were pictures of… Read more »

As I commented here when this picture was first posted, I fully expect that Marine to have all kinds of things happen to his records now, among other pleasant VA experiences.

He would do well to request a record in one month of how many various Durham VA employees accessed his medical record to see what they can find to further smear him.

Charles bourg
As a member of inland empire veterans united I can tell these people that they have are support. We have problems like this to often. The problems start with the administration, both local and at the regional administration. Dr Shulkin has an opportunity to correct these problems or go public about the problems. The director and his administrative staff here in Spokane need to be fired, not moved to other facilities. Musical chairs in the va system,is not the way… Read more »
You got it right on. Musical chairs. And Seekins has been playing for a long time. Ben has a post here from May 2014 about her being involved with the wait time scandal. She managed to keep her chair when the music stopped. There is an article I found about her at the Hampton, Virginia VA as director. Its at the link below. Seems the IG investigated after a doctor whistle blower said administration was pressuring doctors to over prescribe… Read more »
BTDT at James Haley ER a few years ago. My wife got so fed up after 3+ hours of ignoring us in the otherwise empty waiting room that she rolled me in the wheelchair right on back to the car at 1 in the morning and had me seen at a non-VA ER. That behavior wouldn’t fly in the private sector, why in the **** is it acceptable at VA facilities? When my wife filed a complaint via the patient… Read more »
Scott mcgowan

I took my father to the Durham VA many many times and each time it was many hours past his appt. Time before he was seen. I remember about 6 months before my father pasted away he had a 8am appt and was not seen until around 5pm this happens daily at the Durham VA

Ex va
The public does not know the truth behind waiting times in scheduling and c & P exams and times for waiting for services in any clinic in any va medical center. The doctors/providers, scheduling supervisors and administrators are in it together to delay care. Why? Because it benefits them. They do not have to do their jobs when they make Veterans wait. Wait times are not an issue if you can manipulate the system. This problem angers me to no… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
“These people hope a Veteran will be disruptive while waiting, then they can deny a Veteran services.” I have had that feeling only about a million times – – – since I began using the VA back in late 94 – early 95. And all this time, I would tell myself there is probably more going on than I am aware of behind those doors. Yet when called from the waiting room – – – it became abundantly clear that… Read more »
Crazy elf

Here’s two articles of concern;
“Patriots of America”
via: “The Associated Press”
Feb. 28, 2017
“Facebook Post On VA Treatment of Veteran Causes UPROAR!”

“The Daily Caller
1 Mar. 2017
“Spineless Liberals Attack Widow of Slain Navy Seal!”

Both show me the “healthcare treatment” at VHA’s will only happen if many people take action!