Veterans Crisis Line

Suicidal Veteran Arrested For Veterans Crisis Line Threats

A suicidal veteran was arrested recently for threatening statements he made during a call with a Veterans Crisis Line operator.

Veteran Mark W. Sweeny appeared in US District Court in Syracuse, New York, after his arrest for threatening to murder VA employees at the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Court documents allege Sweeny, 60 years old, called the Veterans Crisis Line. During the call, Sweeny allegedly made numerous threatening statements toward VA employees at the hospital. He also said he intended to murder multiple individuals and said he had the means to do so.

Sweeny faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and supervised release for up to 3 years. The VA police department is investigating the allegations against Sweeny.

Veterans Crisis Line

The emergency call center system has been around for years fielding calls all day every day. The agency boasts about the number of times it has sent “rescuers” to assist callers in need:

The Crisis Line has sent over 45,000 rescues to assist callers with emergency services. That means that when our trained responders know the caller is in a serious crisis and they can’t calm them down or convince them to go to a VA hospital and see a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, they call the closest local emergency personnel to go to that Veteran’s home and help them.

How many of those rescuers were Swat Team members or police?

The Veterans Crisis Line gets a lot of positive press from news media favorably aligned with the agency. And why shouldn’t it? The system has sent trained responders, whatever that means, to the homes of veterans for “rescues” 45,000 times.

But that is not the full story.

Many veterans complain about those types of responders who come to their home that sometimes include members of the local Swat Team or the sheriff.

Veterans In Crisis

Sweeny is not the only veteran threatening murder.

About a month ago, one veteran opened fire at the West Palm Beach VA and shot an emergency room doctor before being restrained. Another veteran at the same facility hung himself after psych ward personnel refused to release him back to his family.

If the agency is not careful about how it proceeds when veterans react in acute distress, it risks losing credibility with the same veterans it is supposed to serve.

Presently, the agency spends millions to advertise and counter negative stories but spending taxpayer dollars to counter true stories of how veterans are being treated when they call in desperation.

Do Not Threaten, Folks

I want to conclude by at least letting you know I do not condone threatening murder against VA employees. I also wish we could come up with a more flexible way to assess a veteran in acute distress.

Sweeny no doubt was suffering from suicidal ideations when he called VA for help and went off the rails. Does it make sense to throw the book at a guy who was likely not in his right mind?

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  1. Call senator gillbrand office 518 431-0120 see if they can help this guy he don’t belong in court he needs help

  2. So… in essence, if your CRAZY! Don’t act CRAZY ? Hmmmm, I’m CURED!!!!
    And, the VA didn’t even have to call SWAT to kill me or arrest me for being CRAZY ?

    Note to self :
    Never ever threaten the VA if your insanely delusional or if and when your PTSD IS TRIGGERED by the incompetence of VA Staff memebers!
    By all rights, the VA has a right to infringe upon a Patients rights and insanely behavior, with RETALIATION & PREJUDICE!!
    I never considered the SWAT TEAM as a form of behavior modification and therapy ?
    Good Job VA!!! You truly know how to handle a Veteran with Kid Gloves ???
    I wonder when the VA will install a Diving board on top of the 5th floor for rehabilitation purposes ???

    1. Do not threat. That’s just a heads up for them . There are ways to circumcise these dicks. Circle round to their 6. Game over.

  3. I retired from the U.S Navy in 1988, and have been fighting the VA ever since. My DD214 notes evening sleeping disorders while on active duty, backed up with medical records on several ships and stations that besides all my other disabilities that are incurred over a 20 year period. I was told by a VA Psychiatrist in Tampa that I was probably suffering from PTSD back in 2010, after serving in-Country Vietnam with a 13 Man Seabee detachment near the Cambodian border in 1970, I just didn’t believe I had this inside of me after 40 years. He was admonished for providing me with that diagnosis and gave me a prescription to correct the problem? Because you needed to take a questionnaire of 300 items, I didn’t fake it and told the truth. I was bounced around and a Psychiatrist at the New Port Richey clinic entered that I was not inflicted with PTSD, I was then seen by a Shrink by the name of “Thompson” at the Syracuse VA Hospital and this A-Hole never really addressed this PTSD problem but looked over my records from the individual in Florida and the fact I was all for Trump, he told me I should be glad I didn’t have PTSD and good luck with my Mr. Trump! I submitted a NOD and his diagnosis was overturned with a PTSD disability rating of 30%, two more Psychiatrists have also now agreed with that finding. In 2018, two weeks before that kid killed 17 here in Florida I was attacked by over 80 dingbat democrats more senior than me at 70, after telling these A-Holes that I was a retired Disabled Combat Veteran. I simply tried to explain that placing your hand over your heart to the pledge of allegiance, they were in fact pledging allegiance to President Trump, they didn’t like that and started yelling at me tried to pull me off the podium and I finally found myself experiencing a full blown PTSD attack, they even embarrassed me by calling the police, I was a perfect 4.0 sailor and never even stopped for a parking or traffic ticket. It was captured on the cops body cam, but when he entered I was already out of it. I wrote to both Sen Rubio and Gov Scott they stood there at the school like too dummies questioning the mass shooting. SO FOR ANYBODY THAT WAS REJECTED FOR PTSD AT THE SYRACUSE VA BY THOMPSON, THEY SHOULD ALL HAVE THIER CASES REOPENED, BECAUSE NOBODY REALLY KNOWS WHAT GOES ON IN A PERSONS MIND NOT EVEN A PSYCHIATRIST!
    In 1987, I was ordered to take part in the NEW- Navy’s PT Program. Prior to deploying to NAM, I had ARMY/MCORPS training and PT, for the next 18 years never had to do any PT along with all of us in the entire NAVY. The Army and Marine Corps drill everyday, just what I went through prior to NAM, sailor we just drown at sea. I new that the program was idiotic and refused to sign the accompanying documentation, thus negating my advancement to E9. I was perhaps the most outspoken Senior Chief on the base in Newfoundland about the program but the CO had his way. I ran, made it and all hell must have broken out across the entire NAVY, when I dropped with a heart attack at the finish line. We were used as guinea pigs by SECNAV on the day of the run 1.5 miles in 15:30 seconds an impossible task for a 38 year old without any required PT. They rushed me in a Canadian ambulance a two hour drive to St. Johns (all documented) stabilized me an flew me to Bethesda to rush me out of the NAVY with 20 years service. There were many fellow shipmates across the world who died dozens who dropped with heart attacks and over 2,300 who were given ADMIN discharges for non-compliance. I wrote to Comey at the FBI, he changed the date online to 1990 and not 1987 (Yes, this is all recorded on line) The program run was eventually changed to be accomplished in over 17 minutes from 15:30, it should have been terminated after the second death but SECNAV would have looked like a failure> My recent request for Attorney General Barr, seeks a 2nd degree, murder indictment on Several SECNAV’ for the programs institution and for allowing this ridiculous folly for changing a NAVY that lasted for over 150 years into murdering sailors, even though unintentionally but by not using their brains but the gold on their sleeves and lapels. I further went on to ask him, who the hell is this Justice, Campbell, is she under his command or was she one of the dingbat lawyers at the VA who was promoted to that position, I wanted her to answer my correspondence, since she calls herself a judge? The people at the top of the VA are no different than those involved with OBAMAGATE and must be rooted out! Starting with a David McLanachen at the most senior level, Robert Wilkie may have been the worst pick President Trump could have made to replace Shulkin, because he doesn’t know how to fire him after provining Wilkie everything, but was forced by another Democratic Senator who lost his seat. I forwarded my entire package to Admiral Ronny Jackson as soon as the President nominated him, he has everything. The VA owes me over $200,000 It probably would be the largest award ever. I tried to take on the VA by myself living in Canada, over 30-35 letters, Sen McCain and Nelson both got the run around by these higher paid fools, who are going to be exposed, If you are a VETERAN no Congressman or Senator can ever help you, I sent letters to 15 of those who served in the military, to no avail, they only care about themselves, you see it on the news everyday. I turned over my file to a VSO last year, who turned it over to the AMERICAN LEGION and they don’t know what they are doing!!! IF YOU ARE A VETERAN HAVING TO FIGHT FOR ANY BENIFIT LISTEN OR READ MY LIPS: Seek out an attorney, I should have done that years ago and it wont cost you a dime, they charge 30% at least you get something more than any promise for fighting for your Country, than all the BS!!! Once the press gets wind of President Trumps real failure at the VA having for Veterans to seek out attorney’s awarding 30% of taxpayer dollars, to fight the incompetence of second rate attorney’s the VA hires, its no different than some of those Shrinks they hire, the VA must get rid of those Demorats! Good Luck, we shouldn’t have to fight the incompetence of civilians opening and closing records to cover their civilian behinds at a plush Government job at the VA, while we served in the jungles MORTARED practically every night.

  4. I’m not going to the VA ever again. After 42 years of their bullshit I’ve had it after a millennial student thought I was a lawn mower and yanked a catheter out of me. My innards haven’t been the same since. These assholes are slowly killing me. I’ll die in my own bed thank you.

  5. Dont threaten them . go to the news. They hate bad coverage. 1st ammendment but caution on retaliation

  6. I am sorry, but you just CANT go around making threats against people no matter what your problem or mental state is. The Judges and the courts sort of frown on that. He could have got the same result by threatening himself and the people would have sent help to his home and he would not be in as much trouble as he is now.

    Just remember fellow Vets, no matter how mad you get at the VA, they are still considered federal employees and its a federal felony to threaten a federal worker. Not to mention that if you are convicted of this your VA benefits are taken from you and then what do you do? So go beat a punching bag, go scream into a pillow or punch a hole in a wall but DO NOT threaten a federal VA worker. You wont like the results.

  7. They are about worthless and should be a administrative funtion at that. Vet killed himself in Indiana nothing done same shit I’m surprised we don’t have more issues at these facilities with all the pissed off people in this country. I’m glad we don’t but something needs to change . I was at the facility when the vet died saw all the police tape noone said anything like they were all just numb by it and went about there bussiness I was at home crying why does this happen in America. Please read above article posted. I’ve beaten my head against wall for 5 years nothing changes alot of va employees have criminal records or there misdeads covered up and not reported to the medical board

  8. I don’t go on the Reservation anymore. It is UNSAFE. I don’t talk to VSO’s either -they play the game with the VARO’s to their own benefit, not the Veteran. I told Ameirican Legion I will not talk to them again (period).

    I live in a Red State becoming progressively more socialist and I’ve only been here 5 months. Already I want to get out of this place to a more rural setting where there is fresh air, cows and and good people like us.

    Its not a good idea to threaten anyone. I think my motto is don’t verbalize it ahead of time, (Nike said it differently). Even in jest, verbalization may get you into trouble as the Left is trying to take away the First Amendment . We are no longer at Liberty to speak our minds and it looks like Detention Camps ahead. This Veteran serves the Left’s purpose of wanting to lock us all up. I think catch and release in this case is appropriate when its compared to Smollet or others. The guy needs help.

    Clinically: this guy fits the Rat Swim Test model where the Rats in a Tank are allowed a little island to sit on until the population reaches a point where there is no real estate left the Rats dive to the bottom of the tank killing themselves (Rat Suicide is real, Folks). Don’t you see it ? That’s what the VA is doing to all of us , a little bit at a time. Using Cops is like taking away a little more of the real estate in the tank, this time the Veteran tried to climb out and now they really have him in dangerous waters. We need Representation for this Veteran and for every Veteran no matter what the circumstances. Come on America! Start treating us right.
    Thanks for the Heads Up, Ben.

  9. The pile of bile is growing. Pretty soon the VA is going to have to take a shit. I’m 30 miles from the nearest VA. Before that shit happens I’m heading to Reno on the other side of the Cascades. I live at 4000 ft. That’s not high enough. The REDDING, CALIFORNIA VA use to be a good place now they got nothing but dicks running the place. Disrespectful sonzabitches. Every time I have an appt. I have to see this sonofabitch to weigh me and do my vitals. HE always has a smart ass remark about something every time I see him. The first time I seen this guy he noticed I had a 82nd pin on my cap and asked me how many jumps I had. I said none because I was a crew chief. Then he called me some kind of name that sounded stupid. Two years ago I was attacked by a homeless asshole on my way to the VA. I got a cut on my forehead and when I showed up to my appt. I was a little shook up. He told me if I didn’t pay attention to him I’m going to have more problems than I have now. I should have said something to somebody but it probably would have fallen on deaf ears. I am now after this sonofabitch. The next time will be different. I hope your reading this pork boy.

  10. They kill our veterans everyday and nothing done. A veteran makes a threat locked up next day. They hide there dysfuntional employees. I use be patriotic till i entered the machine and seen the genocide by this goverment

  11. Google our government does nothing while lives are destroyed. You only have a first amendment right till they want to use it against you. Never thought I say this but social security disability 10 worse. They use fake judges one came out said there employer telling them to deny claims

    1. the funny thing about that is I got SSDI in 6 months after I had appealed the initial denial from the phone interview. Didn’t have to go in front of a judge or nothing. So in effect I have the government speaking two different things at me out of the same mouth. How’s that for hypocrisy?

      1. I got SSDI 19 years before my start date of TDIU and 30 years after my application that is in remand.

  12. The two times I’ve been to see a VA “Psychiatrist” was for both my C&P exams. Both times I was fucked over, the second time marginally less so than the first. I can understand the hopelessness, the despair, the anger and the rage and I further understand the overwhelming nature of trying to hold onto the beast as it tries to lunge out of your control. Add in some of the other things that affect veterans such as homelessness and lack of medical care and what you have is a person who is swirling the bowl a hell of a lot closer than most of us. It is that picture which allows me to retain some sense of perspective, well that, and a metric fuck ton of weed and concentrates. My point is. The VA knows full well what it is doing. It can’t not know in this day and age where we have metrics and statistics for every damned thing on this planet. The VA understands the nature of cause and effect every bit as much as you and I. So I have to conclude that if 22 a day go in the ground and that number remains static over a period of time then that must be by design. I reach the further conclusion that the government has declared a silent war on the veteran which has been raging for decades. One only has to look at the statistics for delays, denials, remands and CUE’s to see that the VA has jettisoned it’s mission statement years ago and that nowadays “To care for he…” is simply lipstick on the pig. Their new motto is “STFU and take it in the ass or we’ll send the fucking brown shirts after you.” Didn’t we already fight a war against tyranny and oppression? Sucks that in 2019 we’re fighting another one on our own fucking soil. I was thinking of calling somebody in Washington about my case being 5 years old, then I remembered, nobody gives a fuck anyways so why waste the air? If we’re swirling the bowl you have to ask yourself. Who’s hand is working the handle? and, more importantly if we’re viewed as pieces of shit by the government, undeserving of what we where promised for our injuries. Why aren’t more of us returning the favor ala Albert Wong?

  13. The EXACT same response by V.A. “counselors,” “psychologists,” and “psychiatrists” engage in, even though their hateful, defiant, and disrespectful attitudes towards veterans, as well as the ridiculous mental labeling of totally sane veterans who refuse to agree with them on every issue, and insist (as they should) on having a role in their own treatment, and in being part of the narrative of their case! That should get a vet admired and respected, NEVER beaten or jailed, and even murdered and hauled away in a body bag! WTF! Then, they have the never to wonder why SOOO many vets view EVERYONE in V.A. mental health as lazy bastards and treasonous scum who no vet should ever talk to or trust! Remember that your Second Amendment rights, your BENEFITS, your freedom, and your very LIVES are in the hands of these fools who often behave like professional assassins assigned to elicit a response with cruel treatment and disrespect, then send out the ASSASSINS! What vets need is understanding, mercy, compassion, patience, and a good listener!

  14. Don’t use VAMC’s, if I can’t get Choice I don’t go. Someone would have to be mental to want to use VA mental health.

  15. “Hi, this is the Veteran Crisis Call Center. Do you think you might harm yourself or others?”
    Pushes the blue police button.
    Aaaaand OFF to the court system with ya!
    “Hi, this is the Veteran Crisis Call Center. Do you think you might harm yourself or others?”

  16. How draconian can you get! The VA is like a tribe where if you say to the chief, “You Suck!” you get thrown into the volcano. But the VA does suck! They avoid change and that is why they are stuck in the 90’s. They have three responses to veterans who call, Make an appointment with your doctor, go to the ER, or they can send a swat team. If I ran the VA the first thing I would do is fire all of the painters and stop the reconstruction and construction that sucks the coffers dry. I would force the centers to concentrate on veteran care and not on putting $3000 pieces of art every twenty feet in the hallways and waiting rooms. I tell my wife, the only thing good about the VA is the artwork. I would also remove the metal detectors and fire the security that glare at you at the door then treats you like a criminal. However, the VA hospitals are wide open to anyone who wants to walk in and access all 6 stories with no impediments what so ever. I would also prevent everyone in the VA from being able to read an email I send to my doctor when they claim to be protecting my privacy. The VA is a complete joke and travesty.

  17. Don’t get a appointment in Montgomery Alabama they will give you a appointment and when you get there they will cancel on you and take another three months to get another one

  18. Maybe if the VA would recognize start by acknowledging that the veterans claim is real instead of taking years to recognize and award the veteran his real benefit then it wouldn’t cause all of the excess stress on the veteran after he gets out of the military. The VA forces the veteran to live in poverty for years. Make the process of receiving the benifits more easy. It’s simpke either you severed and have the service connected medical condition or not.

  19. I was recently prescribed a BP medication by the VA that had profound side effects. They included piercing headaches, nausea, insomnia and thoughts of suicide. I had to stop taking it and within 2 days i was back to normal. I had to then call the VA to tell them what happened and i needed a replacement medication. What do they do? Fling me into the triage nurse who insists i call the crisis line and mental health. Even after explaining i was no longer on the med and needed a replacement, i then was facing being institutionalized. So don’t ever report a med they gave you caused you to feel suicidal. You’ll end up with being a criminal or getting a stay in their ward.

  20. I personally called the hotline three years ago. The person that answered the call actually laughed at me. Sounds unbelievable right, but it happened. I luckily had a strong family support system. I feel for those that do not. PW

  21. OMG – For some time on this website we have been talking about this horrible situation regarding VA Mental Health services providing their one-treatment fits all therapy – in regards to their refusal to refer veterans to a non-VAMH provider instead keep you trapped in their hamster wheel – and once again, the incompetence of the VAMH Hotline as well as the VA Complaint line – All just another way to keep the veteran running around in circles – is it any wonder that the veteran is confused, disoriented and tired of the run around?

    I want to thank Mr. Clement for the diagnosis of CVAIFD (Chronic Veterans Administration Incompetence Frustration Disorder) I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it and now I see the light. Keep on Keeping on.

    Peace out

  22. If I’m a cop, and I get a call to go to the home of a veteran in crisis who is not responding to phone support which is intended to de-escalate the crisis, I ain’t showing up with bagels and coffee. Look at the stats. Vet suicides are predominantly by firearm. I have to assume the coppers know that. SWAT worthy? I do not know. Keep in mind, most cops are commonly gunned down on “domestic calls”. It’s pretty simple. Crisis line means some form of mental instability. Instability and threats of death by self inflicted violence triggers intervention. Mental instability, plus threats of violence towards others is likely going to be taken very seriously. Sure, vets are singled out because they’ve been trained to kill, and likely have “been there”. We should not be surprised the cops show up prepared for the worst. But how often does this situation really result in violence towards others compared to the despondent and depressed vet tired of failed treatment, including rejection? Those are the guys we need to stay focused on. Those are the guys who quietly take themselves out at home, or at the VA parking lot.

    I certainly don’t have the answers. The nature of the condition – PTSD leading to suicides – is very complex. Should we really expect a solution? Always with the questions – no answers.

    1. Hey Windguy…

      Your statement about domestic incidents is not factually correct.

      Most peace officers killed in the line-of-duty are killed at a traffic stop. This specially includes gun deaths—which is what I presume you mean by “gunned down”.

      Your general push was cool—it was the hyperbole that got you. Domestic disputes are a major source of line-of-duty injuries, and DO result in fatalities. The true risk in those situations is that the situation is so volatile that the “victim” often becomes an “aggressor” when the Peace Officer takes action.

      One the other hand, a “potential suicide” is NOT a domestic dispute. Here the responders are treating the Veteran just as We the People would want them to treat someone who called a school and or their workplace and said those things. With due caution and preparedness. Which is the wrong approach.

      As Lauren Price pointed out, Peace Officer response has a lot to do with the call coming in. If the VA “Hotline” calls the local Peace Officer with a worry that a Veteran is going to “come down here and start killing people”, the prudent thing to do from the PO standpoint is to execute a hostage recovery mission where the Vet is both the taker and the hostage.

      Here the issue is with civilian methodologies. Peace Officers—any Law Enforcement officer—are really lousy at de-escalation. They tend to escalate already-hostile situations. It’s a part of what makes them POs—as it is part of what makes soldiers. So two entities bad at de-escalation seems like a really bad mix, at least to me.

      To me the issue lies with the VA Hot Line—or whatever it is officially called. They do not seem to have any tools beyond a telephone to call local Law Enforcement. Where are the Therapists? Where is the Vet’s therapist? Are there any peer-counselors available? Anyone who has been-there, done-that, who can be brought into the call?

      A two-step process—a semi-trained call-taker and then Law Enforcement—is laughable, but tragic to the point of criminality. I’ll guess there is at least on IG report on this very problem that Krause has already posted somewhere, and which Congresses and Presidents have done absolutely nothing.

      Ultimately, I have to agree that “doing something” about Suicide (big picture) is extremely difficult. Acting on suicide (individually) is probably the best approach we have.

      War is just a really fucked up thing to do. It feels really, really awesome. And then it doesn’t. And then it does. And then all of a sudden, you’re not supposed to do that ever again. How do you even start to fix that?

      Granted, that’s the Bad Case. But for people who see turning out the light as an answer, no matter what the Monster under their bed may be, a FaceBook ad isn’t going to do anything but make it worse. How about some of the billions to be spent on a pointless records update being spent on Hot Line upgrades, personnel levels, and access to assets and tools (beyond a notebook)?

      I dunno. Sucks.

      1. Steven,

        Thanks for the correction and nudge to a more factual and learned overview. Lumping suicide into “domestic” was lazy. The concept of hostage and hostage taker is an important nuance I never considered.

        It’s clear that “hot line” to LE intervention is a crude tool and has proven to be of little benefit in saving lives and may well be counterproductive. Perhaps a more ideal approach would be hot line to local LE who also summon local VSO support where LE is accompanied by a veteran peer. But, that has a lot of moving parts, and implementation likely crosses too many institutional and procedural, if not legal boundaries.


  23. VA police are incompetent thuggish morons. Not even real police. I would normally never comment on anything on the internet. I speak from experience and will likely have a lawsuit against them. My experience with them has been disgraceful. They do more to torture employees over insignificant parking issues than anything else. Get a federal citation and think it’s like a parking ticket you will be in for a big surprise. It’s at least a federal misdemeanor that will give you a criminal record. Ben if you ever wanted a story on VA scandal let me know.

  24. Went to ER in pain and was making a lot of noise and tapped on door window 3 times to let back in. They called VA police and 4 guys come running in and gave me a $300 ticket for disorderly conduct. I told them what a great place, a lot of people with mental health problems and no one here knows how to talk or treat vets with problems. If was not well and making excessive noise then should have brought to the mental health ER because need help and you idiots give a ticket.

  25. Excellent article Ben!

    Such a shame all the way around.

    Such a shame that the VA Crisis Line Counselors are not trained to the standards of professionalism such a position requires. Were they, they would not be fazed by a veteran having an obvious psychotic break, therefore unable to intelligently converse in a rational manner about his intentions.

    Such a shame that when ‘emergency response personnel’ arrived on scene, their presence would have initially exacerbated an already fraught situation.

    Such a shame that at the end of Mr. Sweeney’s story, the ‘good veteran outcome’ will most likely be that in addition to the obvious PTSD/Suicidal Ideation/CVAIFD (Chronic Veterans Administration Incompetence Frustration Disorder) he suffers from – – – he now will more than likely have some legal fines and or jail time.

    It is abundantly clear to me that Mr. Sweeney really did not intend to hurt anyone, apart from himself. If he really had the intent, means, and resolve, we would be reading about the mass multiple murders of VA employees vice a suicidal veterans arrest for threatening statements.

    Just another reason to NEVER call a VA Crisis Line. Ever.

  26. What if the scenario was something along the line of the caller saying he’d like to kill every person at the VA who refused to treat his pain because they’re killing him?

    In fact, how many veterans are going to keep accepting alternate therapies that don’t reduce pain?

    The threats, shootings of VA employees, suicidal thinking, veterans sitting on their health records and committing suicide and many other scenarios might be vastly rising in the future. Private providers cannot comprehend how the VA can just refuse to treat with pain medication as is the current policy. I wouldn’t be surprised if veterans started lashing out with frequency for lack of needed relief. Arresting them for being frustrated (if this is pain related) might wind up in serious issues to come should the veteran settle upon revenge.

  27. If the veteran is in jail then the veteran doesn’t receive benefits from the VA. Just another fine day for denials. Of course if the VA actually did it’s job there would be no need for this behavior in the first place. Personally, I think I more threats and more action are in order, not less. It’s a shame we can’t figure out a way to organize us crazy folk into shock troops. Seems unfair going up against a highly organized enemy…Well for the next guy or gal who decides to take a useless cuntfuck VA employee with them? My hats off to you.

  28. Perhaps this guy found the only way to get any lock up help. Threaten someone at your local VA. You certainly can’t get admitted calling the crisis line. So they have gone to “county jail” lock up instead. Wonder how many commit suicide in jail? At least the VA doesn’t have those charted on the VAMC campus.

  29. This article displays the sole purpose of the VA Crisis line. They have no authority except to call the police if someone at the VA is threatened. They are useless when you really need help. Speaking from experience. I don’t know why I keep the number on my table.

  30. There needs to be some kind of “buffered” action applied between the Crisis line and any kind of law enforcement. What that should be, I don’t know, but something should be added before the situation goes full retard. I think something is missing in the Crisis line training. Most likely their preset assumptive attitude towards the Veteran. We’re not all the same. We were trained to protect regardless of the situation. With most of us it’s a reflex. Why would you want to poke a guard dog. When your sitting on the edge all common sense goes out the window and any type of threat will make us go off. Common sense to me. Not the VA.

  31. As you pointed out, the VA Crisis line’s response to a veteran threatening self-harm is typically to call law enforcement. While I don’t necessarily disagree with this process; the breakdown comes because law enforcement (with the exception of a few PD’s who are actively training to deal with a veteran in crisis); is to respond with force. There is an org out of S. Florida who has built a robust training program for LEO’s, for just this purpose and has already seen profoundly positive results with the agencies that have embraced the training.
    Holding a veteran accountable for comments / threats or other actions, while they are having a psychotic break; is counterproductive, and truly “overkill”. I agree that it is unacceptable to threaten or harm VA employees (or anyone for that matter); but the civilian judicial system already addresses a person’s mental state when they commit a crime of this nature. (I reference a case happening right now – of a father who threw his 5 yr old off a bridge – In the case I noted, the accused behaved irrationally and has been repeatedly evaluated to determine his capacity to understand his actions. This is not the process that is used when a veteran is involved in an issue with the VA. It is high time that the VA look outside its own warped culture and take heed to the way the rest of our society handles such events. I know with 100% certainty, that the founder of the S. Florida org I previously mentioned, would be thrilled to train VA police on the response tactics she has taught Davie, FL LEO’s.

    1. excellent article, but to the powers to be way to rational. It just does not fit into their process and thus would be discredited

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