Tragic news from Georgia as the veteran who set himself on fire using fireworks in protest in front of the Georgia Capitol died.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the death of 58-year old John Michael Watts July 3. Authorities say the veteran strapped fireworks to his chest and lit them on fire after dousing himself with flammable liquid June 26.

Watts, who suffered burns over 85 percent of his body, died at Grady Memorial Hospital. The veteran apparently walked from his car to the Georgia Capitol in protest, though authorities are sparse as to the precise nature of his protest.

This veteran’s death comes after a flurry of news about veteran suicides not being reduced despite tens of millions in spending each year for pretty websites and fancy handouts. We first reported on Watts last week.

Watts suicide is similar to that of another veteran two years ago in New Jersey by Charles Ingram, which was later credited as a mental health care failure by VA at the time.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/air-force-veteran-who-set-himself-fire-protest-va-dies-n888746

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

49 COMMENTS

  1. When we look at the number of Veterans who have not only taken their own lives but consider those who have made a point of being at or near a VA facility when they did it. It is profoundly clear that the VA does not have an effective plan to help the Veterans who need it the most.

    While it may be possible the VA’s actions in resent years may have helped some Veterans. The fact the number of Veterans suicides is not declining is very telling of the the fact that they are not working in the right direction.

    • If you look into the Veterans file, no doubt you will find that he / she was abused then just like NORTH KOREA in the VA, or they (PRF) RED-FLAGGED their file, just to gain control and to manipulate them into do what they want them to do!

  2. The money being spent is not about helping vets. Otherwise the call center would not have responsibility without authority.
    Ergo, it is about paying off campaign contributors by privatizing care that isn’t care.

    Make that call Ben. Check it out for yourself. I did and very nearly took that finale exit after the experience.

    • Even talked to the supervisor. At least supposedly so but doubt the call center is anything but a dollar machine for the contractor. No auditing like the Choice contractor, Health Net. Can you believe it. The can actually refuse an audit of their contract?

  3. In my opinion, the taxpayers dollars given to the VA is used as a “Slush Fund” for those at the top. Or, they’re using it for “personal gain”!
    Hundreds of Billions of taxpayers monies has gone to one of the most “corrupt government agencies” for decades! It’s about time for a complete overhaul. Not once has there been an objective and impartial investigation or audit of this agency!
    If there had been, then we might have seen dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of high ranking VA personnel sitting in prison for a multitude of crimes!
    These “suicides committed by veterans”, in my opinion, will become more frequent. Because, the VA IS A CESSPOOL OF CRIMINALS!

  4. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    Seymore, Lem, Crazy elf, I agree 100%! Nothing but a slush fund for Congressman, and Senators. The VA doesn’t, and never has, given a shit about Veterans. A day will come when the VA, is found to be the next House, post office scandal X 1000%.

    As so many commenters have said time and again…… Follow the money!

    So sorry for this families loss.

  5. VA mental healthcare is a joke. At 22 veteran suicides a day won’t be long before we run out of veterans and I’m sure the VA will take credit for the subsequent drop in the suicide rate.

  6. “authorities are sparse as to the precise nature of his protest.”

    Of fucking course they are. They can’t be seen admitting on national TV that their a bunch of scumbags who, YET AGAIN, FAILED A FUCKING VETERAN.

    Maybe it’s time we start failing authority.

    “Sir, I need you to move.”
    “Get fucked.”

    “Sir could you cease and desist.”
    “Get fucked.”

    “Sir could you, I need you, would you.”
    “GET FUCKED!!”

    Dear Mr. Watts.

    I’m sorry the country you swore to defend, with your life, if needed, has let you down in the time of your most dire need. I’m sorry that the Agency tasked and charged with your care and compensation has failed you to the point that you couldn’t see any other way out of your despair and pain other than to take your own life. It is my sincerest wish that you have been able to lay your burdens down. It is my hope that you have finally been able to find the peace you searched for but did not find.

    Goddamn this country.

  7. I can see why he did what he did. No records to prove anything tha happened to him, maybe even that he couldn’t prove where he’d been when he was in the military and when he cried out to this Congressman and Senator they turned a blind eye. This issue of missing records is getting to be like a broken record happening way to often and the VA will refuse to grant claims because they want “more documentation.” If the documentation isn’t there the VA is supposed to believe the vet and grant the claim it says so in both their operations manual and federal law yet they don’t do it. I think it’s past time we forced the issue.

  8. Disclaimer: The information contained herein relates to suicide and some people may find the topic distressing. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself, please do not read the following. Instead, you may contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, press 1. You may also text 838255 if you prefer a textual conversation instead. As well, you may visit www[dot]veteranscrisisline[dot]net if you would like to engage in an online chat session with trained and qualified personnel. If you are in imminent danger to yourself or others, you may choose to instead call 9-1-1 for assistance.

    The contents of this response are intended to convey general information only and not to provide medical or legal advice or opinions. The contents of this response, and the posting and viewing of the information associated with it, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, medical or legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented herein may not reflect the most current medical, administrative, or legal policies. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained in this response or associated replies and I disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this response to the fullest extent permitted by law. A qualified mental health professional, physician, and/or attorney should be contacted for advice on specific medical or legal issues.

    Legal advisement out of the way, I’ll provide some insight as to how suicidal ideation, attempts, and completions were processed during the time I was employed by the VA. This information may provide a more enriched understanding in regards to how the Georgia veteran’s case may have been processed post-suicide. The verbatim quotes represented herein are from a Veterans Health Administration memo entitled, “SUICIDE PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR,” for the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) I worked in which is redacted by me.

    V. POLICY: C. “Any completed suicide will be analyzed by a multi-disciplinary team who will make recommendations for system change as identified. Aggregated suicide attempts will be similarly analyzed. The Suicide Prevention Coordinator [SPC] will be notified of all suicide attempts and all completed suicides for high-risk monitoring as appropriate.”

    The “multi-disciplinary team” (MDT) referenced here generally consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, various program coordinators (i.e., SPCs), administrative personnel, attorneys when necessary, and others. They typically conduct a teleconference meeting to discuss the after-actions information regarding a completed suicide. During this review, the MDT meticulously analyzes a veteran’s medical record to determine what happened. One may think this process is intended to reduce future suicides. My suspicion when participating with the MDT, however, was more of a cover-your-ass (CYA) response in preparation for legal action against the VA.

    VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES FOR PATIENTS AT RISK FOR SUICIDE (PATIENT IS PRESENT): B: “The Suicide Prevention Coordinators and Suicide Prevention Case Managers also have the responsibility of assisting the facility in identifying those patients who may be at high risk for suicide, and assuring that the care and monitoring of these patients is intensified.”

    I thought the aforementioned policy was curious, because a 2012 review of veteran suicides found that the highest risk period for suicide among veterans was within a 12-week period AFTER psychiatric hospitalization (Breener, L. A. & Barnes, S. M., 2012; Facilitating treatment engagement during high-risk transition periods: A potential suicide prevention strategy. American Journal of Public Health, 102[S1], S12-S14, p. S12). Another source also confirmed that nearly one-half of service members who died by suicide in 2011 received some form of treatment from a military treatment facility (Luxton, D. D., Osenbach, J. E., Reger, M. A., Smolenski, D. J., Skopp, N. A., Bush, N. E., & Gahm, G. A., 2012; Department of Defense suicide event report: Calendar year 2011 annual report).

    What does the literature indicate? AFTER receiving arguably the most intense evidence-based therapeutic modalities and psychopharmacological treatment, many military service members and veterans complete suicide. This means that the VA’s role regarding the intensification of “care and monitoring” by “[SPCs] and Suicide Prevention Case Managers” is grossly ineffective. When a kneejerk process is proven ineffective, one may question why the strategy continues to be utilized. Lack of an alternative method is no excuse when considering the substantial amount of resources available to the VA for determining more effective strategies.

    Under the same heading, F. Reporting Suicide Completions or Attempts: 1: “Notification of Suicide Incident to the [SPC] & Patient Safety Manager: Immediate notification of any suicide attempt or completion must be made to [redacted] Executive Leadership by communication through the appropriate supervisory chain of command. This notification includes after hours, weekends, and holidays. Executive Leadership is responsible for immediate notification of the Network Director.”

    This seemed like an odd requirement when considering the clinical nature of suicide. To me, the aforementioned measure appeared to relate more to CYA than “care and monitoring.”

    Under the same heading, 3: “The first clinical person aware of suicide behavior, or who learns of a completed suicide, whether in an inpatient or outpatient setting, will complete a CPRS [Computerized Patient Record System] note, utilizing the shared template titled Suicide Behavior Report. The Patient Safety Manager and/or the Suicide Prevention Coordinator will receive electronic alerts for all events.”

    Working with the MDT, I discovered that whoever last maintained contact with a veteran and entered a clinical note was thoroughly interviewed to determine pertinent information regarding a suicide completion. Essentially, the Agency wanted to have an individual to cast blame upon in case the matter resulted in legal action. The sacrificial employee would be identified as a potential reason the veteran completed suicide, not the Agency.

    Under the same heading, N. Procedures for Emergency Telephone Call With A Suicidal Patient: 1: “Never transfer the call or place the person on hold unless the patient has given their exact location. Transferring the call limits ability to trace the call.”

    According to one source, the VA uses backup call centers when crisis call overflow occurs, and “Some backup centers use a ‘queuing process’ for unanswered calls that could leaving veterans waiting to talk to someone, the audit said, offering an example of a 30-minute wait. Hotline staff told the inspector general that is not the same as placing a caller on hold after answering a call, but the inspector general said it didn’t care what term was used and concluded what you and I would — that the result is the same, a delay” (Veterans crisis hotline has a crisis of its own, Paul Muschick, The Morning Call, 3/22/2017).

    A separate source claimed, “At least 23 veterans, troops or family members who called the Veterans Crisis Line in fiscal 2014 were transferred to a voicemail system and their calls never returned, according to a Veterans Affairs Department Inspector General report” (Calls to veterans suicide hotline went to voicemail, report says, Patricia Kime, Military Times, 2/15/2016). From my experience when working with veterans who reported their experiences with the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), a number of them informed me that VCL staff were rude to them, invalidated their experiences, placed them on hold, or abruptly terminated calls.

    The VISN I worked in maintained procedures which coincided with VCL protocol that stated, “The SPC Response Application allows the ability to document the hotline referral in CPRS in the form of a Text Integration Utility (TIU) Progress Note” (VCL User Guide, 2014). If the VCL has faced criticism from the VA Office of the Inspector General for implementation deficiency, one may also concede the likelihood of error for lesser VA service networks could exist. Nonetheless, for informational purposes only, each time a veteran calls the VA or VCL and expresses suicidal ideation or intent, that information is typically entered into the veteran’s CPRS history. Again, the VA will need someone to blame in the event of a lawsuit.

    One may then ask why I began my response by offering the VCL as a resource. Without having done so, and in the unfortunate event someone reading my words attempts or completes suicide that is traced back to this forum, I wanted to offer as many resources as possible—even if the VCL has a questionable history of dealing with veteran’s cases. CYA, in other words.

    Under the same heading, P. The Suicide Behavior/Suicide Review Panel: 1: “VA regulations require that all suicides and suicide attempts be reviewed. The Suicide Review Panel is an interdisciplinary group charged with the following responsibilities: a. Conducting RCAs [root cause analyses] of suicide and suicide behavior events assigned by the Patient Safety Officer according to the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) guidelines. An aggregate root cause analysis on suicides and suicide behavior is also completed by this panel at least annually. b. Design, recommend, conduct, and promote educational programs to assist medical center staff to improve skills in preventing and managing suicidal behavior. c. Collect, trend, and report data regarding suicide behavior events. d. Recommend actions to improve the medical center’s ability to prevent and manage suicidal behavior. e. Track and report the status of actions taken in response of suicides and suicide behaviors.”

    Though verbose in scope, the “Suicide Behavior/Suicide Review Panel” information provided here may assist the reader with improved comprehension concerning VA policy addressing how reports of suicide are processed.

    Under the same heading, Q. Suicide Postvention Program: “The Suicide Prevention Coordinators are responsible for leading and maintaining a Suicide Postvention Team, charged with offering debriefing and support services for providers and surviving family members affected by the suicide of a Veteran (see Suicide Prevention Program Postvention Policy).”

    Again, my response is for informational purposes only. I believe it is important for veterans to understand the administrative and legal process relating to how suicides are handled by the VA. We can read about tragic tales such as the Georgia veteran’s while not knowing what occurs after the fact. Hopefully my contribution to the discussion is deemed useful by at least one person who cares to read it.

    • I guess the question I have to ask is. Why should we as veterans care what this fucked up agency does after a successful suicide? Especially after we already know. They go into CYA mode and circle the wagons. This isn’t new. What information are you trying to impart here?

      • “WyldeChylde”,
        Great response to “Just Passing Through”!
        We veterans DO know what VA upper management does after a successful suicide! They have shown that multiple/numerous times throughout their miserable fucking lives!

      • @WyldeChylde
        I’m sharing with those who suspect that which they already suspected, apparently, though perhaps didn’t already have to verify their suspicions.

  9. I think all of us veterans should storm the castles and put the fear of god into these pukes.. what else is there to lose?

    • We are a divided and isolated population by nature. I’m a recent target of a bogus PRF, in Long Beach, from a bully and thug employee masquerading and profiting as a clinician. In long Beach the culture has become anytime an issue arises between a vet and employee they automatically scapegoat the vet. And do it behind his back in his EHR and the vet doesn’t learn about it until sometime later. These are cowardly acts committed and abusers of the true purpose of the PRF. I can’t even access healthcare. They abuse their co-workers by unnecessarily alarming them and create a hostile environment. Unless they are someone who knows you. I had one P. A. that knew me for quite sometime. when I told her, she laughed and couldn’t believe it because she couldn’t see me doing something to justify it. She actually went into my records to see for herself if it was true.
      We all come from somewhere else. Separated from our families without established support networks, we’re easy targets. We need to establish groups and enlist members. When a veteran is experiencing abusive treatment from one of these losers, a call goes out and we respond immediately and descend in mass to defend the veteran and protest this abuse and expose and publicly humiliate the abuser. I’ve been all over the VA trying to get someone to listen, including the 11th floor directors and leadership staff offices. They take your name and info then you never hear anything. I called a couple of them out. I told them everything about it, now, if they see me coming they hide their face in shame for not doing anything about it. It’s a pitiful sight to see a grown man behave like that. I found out about the vet in Georgia on military .com a week after, it wasn’t even on the news. I don’t see any other way to protect ourselves. We’re all most of us got. It’s up to us. Establish local networks and when something happens, respond instantly. Non-violent but very vocal. They’re all in unions, consolidated groups. The only time they will call one of their own out is an occasional sacrifice of somebody they already don’t like. I don’t see any other way to get their attention. Nothing makes me madder than the thought of a veteran trying to fight these B***tards all alone. Most of them are unfit to even be in the presence of a veteran. I think about that vet in Georgia, he was 58, I’ll be 57 next week. Who knows when a man reaches a point and has had enough. We’ve endured so much already. Do we think because of that we can just keep on enduring? Maybe if a network of vets was available to respond, maybe he’d still be with us. (I’m pausing here to collect myself.) It hurts that it has gotten to the point that a vet feels he has to resort to doing this. If something were to be established in Long Beach, I would participate, for sure. Will this be a new trend, “Suicide by VA Bureaucrat?”

  10. So Sad, another Vet tormented by a system that is ineffective at providing beneficial healthcare services. I can understand how someone might become frustrated with the system and get to the point where they just had enough.

    There has to be a way to be more proactive about resolving the problems of this government agency than just venting and becoming vulgar, although that can be helpful when there appears to be no other outlet.

    I don’t have any solutions either, so I’m just saying, as a release of my anxiety due to this issue. I going to keep on keeping on and remain hopeful that with persistence and fortitude, together we will find a better way to solve the corruptions in this organization.

    My prayers go out to the family and friends of this veteran.

    Godspeed

  11. Well if we never report things like suicides or malpractice then it is swept under the rug and forgotten about. I understand all too well CYA mode because DoD has done that for decades with Vietnam Era Records but when do we get fed up and make then stop the CYA? I say it’s now not later. We have the power to force a change if we would unite. Each of you have 2 senators and a representative that have power to stop this and you and your vote at the ballot box can make sure that they are part of the solution not covering up the problem. If they need more staff then let’s appropriate more money for staffing and rescind the tax breaks for the top 1% if it’s getting management into place who will make sure that staff are doing their jobs then let’s do it Now not 6 months from now. If you sit on your hands and bitch you are part of the problem not part of the solution you make the choice. My choice is to be part of the solution

    • I’ve contacted Senators about vet issues in the past. Nothing, not a goddamned thing gets done. The problem is systemic from the top down. If you can breach the “intern wall” then you might have a snowball’s chance in hell of maybe getting a vague empty promise.

      To put it in a more realistic light. There is no Justice for us in the Just Us crowd.

  12. Ben,

    Can you find out if this guy is survived by family? And, if so, maybe you could set up something we all could scrounge a few bucks and donate to for them. I figure 10-20 bucks from those of us who have it could go at least a small ways towards helping the family out if there is one to help. Just a thought.

  13. Well if your senator or representative is unresponsive when you call him on vet issues then vote him out next election cycle and get someone in there who will work for vets it’s that simple. If my “Not political” husband Joe could sit on a phone bank and help get Gordon Smith out of office I think any of the rest of you can do the same thing.

    • So what do we do when we contact Senators and reps that don’t represent us and they do nothing? Last time I checked when you took a federal representative job you represented ALL citizens and not just those in your district. How do we vote those guys out? I’m glad your husband could man the phones. I guess my next question is. Which do nothing, gravy train riding, scumbag did you replace Gordon Smith with?

      I’ve got a better solution than “just vote them out” Pay special attention to the second paragraph.

      “http://americainclass.org/sources/makingrevolution/rebellion/text8/decindep.pdf”

    • Contacting/Contacted Rep. Bill Nelson (D-Fl)!
      Was a waste of time and breath! His offices only say veterans are lying when we call over veterans issues! Same as with “Little Havana” Marco Rubio (R[ino]-Fl)!
      Those two lying pieces of garbage need to be put somewhere other than in public service!
      Our other representatives of Florida aren’t much better!
      Seems like everyone who gets voted into office, forgets all the promises they made. Especially the ones they made to veterans.
      In my opinion, once these assholes get into office – they really see how fucked up the VA really is – and don’t want to upset the apple cart – because they don’t want to miss out on all the free money coming their way!

      Rant out for now!

    • I think that is unrealistic in some instances. Our Representative has been in office for decades, unlikely to be voted out EVER, so will sit there until he decides to retire from his cushy job. He has been a do-nothing even for the local community, but guess what? He STILL stays on and there has been very little opposition with very few to even run against him. There are, likely, many like him and that is part of the problem.

  14. I’ve been there, to see way too many Sailors, Marines and Veterans lost to suicide, whether by thoughts &/or actions.

    Frustrated with my personal care & treatment @ local VA CBOC’S mental health care, located in Mount Vernon, WA STATE, falling under Washington State’s SEATTLE VA System.

    I submitted a Complaint with the VA OIG’s Office back in May 2018.
    I received prompt response from VA OIG’s Office, letter dated May 21st, 2018, stating they opened Case# 2018-04437-HL-2052, based on the info I provided “regarding lack of ongoing mental health care” at/from the VA CBOC’s mental health clinic staff.

    Blip of VA accountability? Hopefully, but if not, I received a slew of other entities to contact, from WA STATE’S ATG’s office, upon my forwarded Complaint to VA OIG’s Office.
    GrrrRawrrr.

    Always,
    Gayle

  15. So they know he did it in protest but no idea what the protest was? Sounds like bs. With so many committing suicide its obvious to me theres a major lack of support systems. I struggle with chronic suicidality myself and the VA done fuckall but make me want to never ask them for help again. Damn shame shit gotta be this way. RIP 🥀⚰

    • It’s all about “controlling the veterans population!”
      That way there’s more taxpayer money in upper management’s pockets!

  16. Just Passing Through, in so very many words, made it clear: the VA is non-contributory.

    That said, this veteran who died of his wounds, is now a hero. He may have survived the battlefield, but another battle took his life, and that battle has now forced the VA to publicly admit that not only is it failing veterans, and killing them mentally and physically,now the VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HAS BLOOD ON ITS HANDS. Shamefully it appears veterans are gonna sit this out as well….

  17. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    How long before we see the first military casualty in Afghanistan, who was born after 9/11?
    Yeah, think about that one folks.

  18. 9/12/2018 an 18 year old plus one day old died for a cause before he was born. Wow! I’ve been thinking about it all day and realized I have grandchildren born after 9/11 and thinking about joining to get an “education”. If we outlawed banks, we would have no bank robberies. If we outlawed the military, we would have no military veterans, and thus no military veteran suicides, and bua-la! No Veterans Administration! If humans were outlawed, we would have no legal appendixes to go bad and burst causing an excruciating painful death by septic shock. So, the question begs to be asked: What good is the appendix? Answer: A hell of a lot better than the current VA! VA, I salute you with three fingers pointing up; read between the lines.

  19. And yet, one-term Trump demands presidential military parade show-off, while adamantly denying Our nation’s Veterans Mental Health’s Care fix.
    Trump SHALL not be reelected for 2nd term, notwithstanding the America’s massive untreated veterans population.
    GrrrRawrrr

    • I’m woman enough to admit that I voted for Trump, cuz I held issues with Hillary’s lackadaisical meandering protecting top secret info, which I held clearance for.

      With that said, I’ve never been more disappointed in any of my voting privilege’s. Not fooled twice.
      Enough said.

      • Hopefully, we’ll be provided with better options running for POTUS?
        So very disappointed!!!!

  20. We answered his call’s bogus fix responding to National VA’s Health’s Care/suicide painful numbers.
    Trump’s done, failure in each & every vetetans needs.

    Bye-bye Mr Donald Trump… and the horse you rode in on.

  21. I could not be more disappointed in a military- friendly republican presidential vote. Won’t fuckin happen a 2nd time.

    Not saying that some of Trump’s worldly efforts have gone unnoticed, but the mere fact he denies non-adfictive opiod treatment(s) for his fuckin front line, and intelligence lines of military personnel, tells me current POTUS is one incredibly inadequate in his ability lead, etc., Don’t get me started on study-supported additional inadequacies. Lol

  22. Do I sound like I’m pissed the fuck off..?
    Good, cuz I am!!!

    The VA OIG’S office has opened an investigation, due to my input, on local rural VA CBOC’s mental health care clinic.
    Additionally & Thankfully, Ben’s persistent outreach has included marijuana’s use benefits by veterans, to include detox off OPIODS and other meds overly prescribed by VA system.
    Read between the fuckin lines, VA/DEA/DOJ, etc…, Save, not only Veterans lives, but American’s lives overall.
    Get the fuck over your “unproducible” plant based medicine issues which big pharma paycheck reimbursement leads your paychecks.

  23. Spent weekend in hospital. These people are fools and are insane! Was told by doctor that I must stop using pain medication immediately, said life would be better. Told him he was insane, 11yrs on pain medication and said would take a week! Been on Fentanyl for 5 years and opioids for 11 and a week to get off. Even so how do you treat pain? My cervical spine has bone spurs, thoracic has pinched nerve at T5, L1-5 have collapsed on right and bulging on left, carpal tunnel both wrists, bilateral shoulder impingements torn rotator cuffs, bilateral bone spurs torn labrums and bursitis in hips that need replacing, ACL construction and almost all meniscus gone in left knee, bone on bone spurring on right knee with short walks inflammation that push spurs on nerves causing from knee down to short time paralysis and pain, both knees need replacement, left ankle fracture now both bones on lower leg are fused causing whatever and there’s more. How do you walk or live. The VA pain treatment plan calls for yoga, chiropractors, pool therapy, acupuncture, massage and acupuncture. Don’t know how they can recommend? The VAs that have chiropractors, the visits are too far apart to help, massage? Pool? Acupuncture? Where do they offer all this? What do you do when needing joint replacement and bone spurring? How do you live when widespread joint damage? Doctor said aspirin. Told him when this happens I’m checking out. You can’t correct 25yrs of damage and take medication away and say all fixed in a week. Stupidity is killing people in the system with healthcare under a umbrella, treating everyone one the same. The VA is proud of its drop in percentages, but suicides rise. Does anyone one believe what the VA say? They are cooking their books with the numbers they want and putting blame elsewhere. This week shall be grand.

  24. This whole situation stinks of trying to pin one on the VHA.
    If a guy or gal is gonna go off their rocker and off themselves in such a blatant and public way, how can the VHA prevent something like that ? No way possible to stop every suicidal vet from doing what they want to do, just not gonna happen. To continue to add fire to the flames is wreckless and counterproductive of all the recent improvements they have implemented.

    • Old Man, why should the VHA not get blamed? Too many of their providers, to include mental health providers, don’t act like they give a care…just a job, ma’am is what resounds, at least to me. That was in my face, so to speak, in my visit to that dept. and the doctor, today, who seemed barely listening since she was running behind. It may be the same through private care…just a job…but the VA adding insensitivity and/or disregard to one’s face should be a cause of concern and may be what is adding “fuel to that fire” for many, imo. I, certainly, am not going to applaud their supposed improvements when they don’t even take the time to “listen,” instead VHA through their “in charge” personnel implement what is not helpful to veterans, at least at my location. From the lowest paid employees, to PA”s, to providers, many will simply back each other even when they know things are amiss.

  25. To old man, the truth hurts. Some people can not handle the truth and just like the VA, blame the veteran’s for VA incompetence.

    Old man hope if your a veteran, yoir time here on earth will be over soon and I want the VA to make you one of their statics.

    Kiss off. Are you related to doctor korvikin. You are. Mentally deranged.

  26. Jerry now you know why I founded Missing Records-Broken Promises because so many Korea vets were trying to fight the battle alone. We must band together in this fight because a divided army will fall but if we unite we can win. I was told by a congressman’s office once years ago that because they couldn’t find the records for his unit they didn’t believe he was ever in the military/ I didn’t give up I got mad and I am still fighting.

  27. The VA system is MOST DEFINITELY CONTRIBUTING TO VETERANS DEPRESSION. Go in for an appointment because you are physically ill and in pain and all they want to do is talk about depression because “theres queues in the computer that providers have to ask these things” 15-20 minutes going over the same depression questions, answer carefully or they wont let you leave without making another psych appointment. 15-20 minutes talking about depression while you would prefer the attention on your physical ailmemts and the goddam computer is telling them to ignore that and rate your fuckin mood. If im sick and in pain, getting ignored because theres a problem with way the system is set up well my mood isn’t going to be so great, i doubt anyones would be. Mental health is a joke i dont know who they are doing their studies on but cognitive behavior therapy reminds me of mind over matter, just will yourself into being in a better mood. It doesn’t seem they understand ptsd at all! Its not just mental symptoms, its physical symptoms. I dont know if everyone with ptsd is like me (the va sure does like to clump us all into one category and recommend a one-size-fits-all kind of “treatment” for as long as I’ve gone to the VA – over 15 years now) but its the physical aspects that bug me most, its not all mental and these idiots act like they dont even know that. As far as medication goes, I agreed to be their guinea pig before and it didn’t help none, only medication that helped me was xanax but since they decided that it didnt work will with whatever veterans they picked for their studies then no one can have it anymore – there goes 10 years searching for the best medicine that worked for me, now they want me to try meds for another 10 years so i can find one that works just so they can take it away? No thanks. Another thing about mental health and suicide, you can barely talk about being suicidal to your doctors or there’s consequences to face, they will send cops to your house to check on your well-being if your s/o gets in an argument about medication and their psychotherapy exacerbating your symtoms which for me couldn’t be more triggering. At my last psychiatrist appointment that i felt pressure to go to because i didnt answer the depression queue questions correctly since i was in a massive amount of pain from infection and i just wanted to get my meds and go home and go to bed, I told the psych to put in my chart that the VA is contributing to my depression. I want it in there for them all to read. No idea if he ever did but i was adamant about it. Reason my infection was so bad to begin with is because the VA stresses me out so bad i think it would be better to just die at home instead of making another VA appointment for bullshit. They’ve given me wrong medicine for similar infections in the past, they don’t do the correct testing, they lie about sending medicine out, they kicked my husband out of the hospital when he became irate once finding out after waiting for weeks that the prescription order was never completed. They made me suffer for 6 months with infection. My daughter was 2 years old at that time and i couldn’t even take care of her. I tried everything to file a complaint and was ignored. Yes i contacted the womens program manager at the buffalo va several times. They just make promises and you never hear from them again like someone else stated. Its hard for me because i feel like i cant leave my house, my experiences proved to me that people are very malicious and dangerous, and stress has a way of overwhelming me so much that my mind tells me none of this is worth it. Im the avoidant type, im just going to continue avoiding as many stressors and triggers as possible because i just get too overwhelmed to deal with them. My body likes to shut down when under stress, i pass out at home, in cars, in public places, in the streets, i dont know why but for mst victims, waking up with ppl over you touching you, putting things inside of you, can be very triggering – of course im talking about paramedics but you can see the similarities. Im rambling but anyway my point is that the VA definitely contributes to veterans depression..

Comments are closed.