Veteran Suicide John Cochran VA Hospital

Veteran Suicide In Waiting Room At John Cochran VA Medical Center

St. Louis police reported Monday that a veteran suicide occurred in the waiting room of John Cochran VA Medical Center.

Authorities in VA informed the public that a veteran killed himself in the waiting room at 4:19 AM Monday. He was 62 years old.

“We are grieved to confirm that a Veteran was found deceased in our medical center early this morning,” spokeswoman Marcena C. Gunter said in an email. “Our deepest sympathies are with the Veteran’s family and loved ones, our medical center staff and the members of the community affected by this tragic incident.”

The Suicide Prevention Team at John Cochran does not report to work until 8:00 AM Monday. Perhaps the veteran grew tired of waiting.

Noteworthy in the report from VA was the failure to reference the suicide as a suicide but instead to simply reference the death as merely being “found deceased” in the waiting room. VA maintains a public relations stance that it will not comment about suicides using the term or referencing what truly occurred to avoid copycat suicides.

In this instance, knowing what we know about VA generally, it seems likely the veteran waited for emergency health care from the facility for a long time and ultimately ended his own life using a firearm.

A veteran reader on known as Seymore Klearly first reported the unfortunate news to our community yesterday.

RELATED: Bay Pines VA Loses 547 ROI Request From Veterans

About John Cochran VA Medical Center

The John Cochran VA Medical Center is part of the VA St. Louis Health Care System. It provides inpatient and ambulatory care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, neurology, and rehabilitation, and many other subspecialty areas.

John Cochran VA Medical Center is located in midtown St. Louis and has all of the medical center’s operative surgical capabilities, the ambulatory care unit, intensive care units, outpatient psychiatry clinics, and expanded laboratory.

RELATED: AFGE Union Protests Staff Shortages

Contractor Fraud Scheme

The facility was most recently in the news involving a government contractor kickback scheme where the contractor would pay a VA employee $1,500 for every two contracts he won. All in, the contractor allegedly kicked back $125,000 to the VA employees involved in the scheme.

As for the suicide, I plan to submit a FOIA request of the incident though it seems likely VA will not release any records. Secretary Shulkin promised to address the scourge of veteran suicide last summer, but not apparently fast enough to save this veteran.

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  1. The Message the VA Hospital is a typical pre written comment I have seen Many times,I went to the the ST. Louis VA Hospital for years,it was like going to hell every visit,the employees there are paid a good wage but are often very lazy,My father in Law died there after being beaten by two employees Years ago with no apologies.

    I personally waited for my appointment one Morning with a Female Doctor with a Ruby in her Forehead,she was late by one hour(Not due to an emergency)and when I walked into her exam room she looked at me and said,”OK what is wrong with you,I only have 10 minutes so hurry up”This is the GOD’S Truth!!
    I am Thankful to GOD and Possibly still alive because shortly after that I got a Job with good medical and the first thing my new GP asked was,”Who was your previous DR. and why did they prescribe these medications”She was appalled when I told her about my experience at VA ST. Louis.
    There are some Good VA Hospitals and good people working in them,but this one is not one of them!!!

  2. The VA creates more stress in my life than any ex-wife ever did. Most of it is needless red tape and nonsense. It creates a sense of hopeless frustration in many veterans. RIP.

    1. Henry, I agree with you. It makes you stop using the VA too to prevent further harm.

  3. Yes, Shulkin got fired today. Over and out for him and his dermatologist wife Merle Bari “Roman baths in [Bath]” and “high tea.”. Goodbye. Fuck off. Shame Shame. Go to Denmark and shit.
    Goodbye to Ben Carson, HUD Sec., & wife “Candy” also. I have never seen such an ugly wife. He does it with her? Fuck off. Leave the dining set. Not yours. I’ll buy it for $100. Go fuck yourself. You are UGLY

    1. Did you see where Carson threw his wifey-poo-beast under the bus and blamed her for that dining set that cost $$$$$$ for “entertaining in his office”…and this man was HUD Sec.?
      …and yes, she could break Hubble’s lens mirror from Andromeda. 😀

      1. Carson dude IS a board-certified neurosurgeon!

        Scary, ain’t it?

        Because looking at a photo of his Old Lady – – – he has to be blind.

        What could be scarier than a blind neurosurgeon operating on you?

  4. His suicide is symbolic to what happened and what he was feeling – hopeless, helpless, alone and no one cared (VA). I don’t know if he went to the ER for assistance or he went to his doctor’s office waiting room or just a VA waiting room to end his life. He felt like his situation, he’s life didn’t matter because no one cared (VA) enough to help him with his particular situation. Sec. Shulkin please don’t say this Veteran committed suicide at this VA because he didn’t want his family to find him. He did it to slap you in the face to show you the results/consequences of your VA employees lack of treatment and caring for him. He felt no one cared in the VA about him and his life didn’t matter.

    How do I know? My own struggles with suicidal ideation. It doesn’t matter you have loving supportive family and friends. It doesn’t matter if you have $$$ or not. We don’t seek treatment or solutions involving the VA, SSA, or other agencies from family, friends, $$$ or other things. We go to these organizations/agencies for help, help us with treament, applying for benefits, etc. We go to them to fix us or help us make our lives better. No one goes to their family or friends to fix a broken leg, mental health issues or to approve them for benefits, etc. We expect our family and friends to provide support but their support and love isn’t the issue and isn’t what causes or can prevent us from committing suicide.

    We expect to go to those individuals responsible to fix the issues we are having whether it’s medical/mental, compensation, benefits, housing, drug/alcohol addiction, etc. When we don’t get it, when we are mistreated, when we don’t matter, when we don’t get support or assistance from these people/places, etc it makes us feel hopeless, helpless and that no one cares. Our life doesn’t matter. Can you imagine how this makes a person feel? Then you have these people tell you to get over it or to move on or to just go ahead and kill yourself. Yes, people in the VA and other places say these things.

    I’ll share a very condensed version of my personal story. I went through 8 years of things in the military and I knew I better keep my mouth shut or I’ll suffer worse and I’ll be blamed for what happened to me. No one cared so I had a mental breakdown, hospitalized twice then medically retired for these things. I attempted to get treatment at a VA hospital but got the total opposite. I still attempted as an outpatient but nope couldn’t get it. I even discussed this with my psychologist over the summer and she cried telling me she cared and I reassured her she didn’t. See I had been asking for 5 months to get into a residential program. I had filed for one when I was inpatient (Feb) and in August I was still discussing this with my psychologist as I was waiting to find out if I was accepted. (I found out through reading my medical records I was told to reapply once I finished ECT treatment which no one told me). In August I asked her to please find me residential programs but before this meeting a VA employee accessed my medical records and psychotherapy notes (not my provider or providing me treatment). I filed complaints – no violation. I stopped treatment and learned 7 other VA employees did the same and discussed them. I filed complaints – no violations. Over 40+ VA employees have accessed (Oct – Mar). I’ve spoken to multiple people in and out of the VA. It’s been 8 months since I’ve been in treatment and all the people I’ve spoken to have done nothing to these employees and the VA refuse to protect them. NO one cares how this has affected me and my inability to get treatment for medical and mental health from VA or civilian doctors. These VA employees have destroyed my trust in the ability of anyone protecting my records and psychotherapy notes and taking action against wrongdoers. Yes, I’ve filed numerous complaints with the HHS. The HHS isn’t going to do anything as the VA is the largest HIPAA and Privacy violators annually and have never been fined. I received one complaint resolution back which had 21 VA employees on it stating their informally discussed it with VA. None of these employees are my provider, provided me treatment, bill for services, etc and were all after I stopped my treatment in August. ‘

    Getting back to my psychologist who cried and told me she cared. I went to her office in Nov to tell her what happened and asked for her help. No, she couldn’t or didn’t want to help me even though she was shocked these employees were able to access her psychotherapy notes on me.

    My husband has prevented me from becoming a 22 thus far but I know the day is coming. It doesn’t matter I have loving family and friends. It’s something you cannot just let go and move on and for those who can – that’s great. Every person wants their privacy protected and many rather die or go into hiding than have it exposed. Every person wants someone to care about them and to take action against those who mistreat us.

    It doesn’t matter how many suicide prevention programs, organizations or agencies are stood up. If you don’t care and care enough to help a person with their issues/problems then it doesn’t matter. The 22 a day will continue (this number could be higher but not being disclosed). It’s a very painful existence living with suicidal ideation.

    My heart goes out to every American and Veteran who ends their life. My condolences to his family and friends.

    1. Every single word you wrote was 100% accurate with respect to the Who, When, Where, and How. Thank you for sharing your story.

      I struggle with suicidal ideation myself on a daily basis. The VA has proven pretty much useless thus far. When my time (as it will) comes, I will damn sure send them a message they will be unable to ignore or keep out of the media.

      I will do it as a last final act of service to my Brothers and Sisters in arms who have been spat upon by the nation they so loved – – – one too many times.

      1. James,

        I’m so sorry to hear. I am here for you if you every need to talk. People who never experienced this on a daily basis has no idea. When my eyes open I breakdown because I wished my sleep had taken my life. People go about their day wondering what they will have for lunch or what they will do on the weekend. Me, I fight every day with suicidal ideation. I try to find ways to distract my thoughts of suicide and the raging thoughts that never want to shut up. I sit around in my pajamas for days or weeks before my spouse can gentle suggest to take a bath and he’ll brush my hair. I cannot feel what I use to feel – love, connection, future, goals, etc. I’ve pleaded with my spouse lately to please let me go. He doesn’t understand the pain and torment I endure every waking minute of my life.

        Yes, the VA will know they were the ones who caused me to end my life. I don’t know when the day will come but it will and it will because of them. It’s because of them I’ve can no longer seek treatment for medical and mental health. I also found out my psychologist was sending my psychotherapy notes to the suicide prevention coordinator and the coordinator was accessing my records. WTF! If I wanted this person to access my records I would’ve provided her a written authorization Oh, wait, the VA doesn’t care as they feel it’s in my best interest. Yes, we have no voice while they break numerous laws in the face of providing us the best possible care.

        VA, you aren’t providing the best possible care and when did you take my voice from me to decide what’s best for me?

        We have normal people trying to treat mental health people who don’t bother to ask us and every person is different of what they need to help them. I’ve had doctors tell me to pull up my big girl panties because I couldn’t make an appt. I’ve had them tell me I shouldn’t feel this way. I’ve had them ignore me for 5 weeks about my inability to sleep. Every place I’ve been to (in and out patient) have done more damage to me.

        VA you have to care to save lives!!!!

      2. @thebrownmoose – – – “mental health people who don’t bother to ask us and every person is different of what they need to help them. ”

        That is the crux of WHY the VA will NEVER be able to help those such as us. They prescribe all sorts of pills, talk therapy, meditation, yoga, etc. – – – but they NEVER ASK ME what it is that I need.

        So I have just learned to avoid those worthless A S S H A T S like the plague. Had a “therapist” who wanted to hear my story in pain-staking detail. Began to tell her, and before I had talked for 2 minutes – – – she was scolding me for language she did not like. Never finished. Just got u[and walked out.

        Funny that! When I tell MY story, I tell it MY way without regard for the listener. I do not glorify it, spin it, or modify it in any way. I served in the Marine Corps (’73 – ’76) and the Navy (’78 – ’93) when we were not only allowed, but encouraged to speak like Marines and Sailors. Straight forward, Loud enough to hear at ten paces, and without regard for what the listener wanted to hear. You were honest, said what you had to say, then shut your pie hole.

        Someone didn’t like what they overheard – – – they either kept their mouth shut, or they could take it up with you privately later behind the barracks.

        So to go into a room where “the VA cares about me” and have the additional weight of being concerned about the therapists feelings just tends to internally enrage me. Sometimes my suicidal thoughts are replaced with homicidal ones, when in their offices.

        My sum total experience with VA therapists leads me to conclude that they do not know whether they have been shot, fucked, powder-burned or snake-bit.

        I am sleeping better now that I am reunited with my dogs, but still get less than twenty hours weekly.

        Keep fighting your demons best you can. Reciprocal offer back at you.

        “disgruntled dot veteran at G mail

      3. Wow. She rather you leave instead of allowing you to get help because she got offended by your use of words. And I bet she blamed you and said you were being resistant or difficult when it’s actually her and her inability to understand mental health. Her feelings were more important. They also don’t understand it only takes one or two like her for you to lose hope of your ability to get help and to understand ‘no one cares’.

        I agree on the homicidal ideation too. We need to get it out our way and freely express ourselves. How else can we work through it. Don’t say your homicidal to the VA employee or they will have the VA police in her office. Another issues with getting help. If I can’t be 100% honest of what I’m going through and feeling how can she help me work through it? The mental health field is really messed up. A murderer can tell his attorney he committed the murder but it’s protected under client-attorney privilege but I cannot tell my counselor I have homicidal ideation.

        I was inpatient at my first psychiatric hospital in 2009. My first meeting with my assigned counselor, LCSW, argued with me the first 30 minutes of my 45 minute session about where we should start. She wanted me to start with my childhood and I told her I wasn’t here for my childhood and it was a normal one so can I please talk about why I’m here but she couldn’t let it go for 30 minutes. Finally, I told her to let me tell her why I’m here and then we can discuss my childhood if she felt it was relevant to go back that far which she finally gave in. The second meeting I could tell she wasn’t getting it and it was hard for me to explain feelings I’ve never felt before so I collaged a book of different pictures and words depicting what I was feeling and what happened to me. I gave it to her and asked if she would look at it as it can tell her everything. The next session she handed it back and without blinking an eye wanted to discuss my childhood and other things. I asked her if she looked at my book and she told me she had looked at it but she didn’t want to discuss it. REALLY. Some other things happened at this facility so I asked to leave which they allowed me. I went to a nearby city and checked into a hotel where I was going to end my life. Of course I didn’t and went home instead.

        Anyone with mental health can instantly tell if a counselor is interested or cares about you and why you are there.

        The best thing the VA can do is to have walk in group sessions from 8 am – 10 pm daily at the VA to allow Veterans to come in as needed. The group sessions should be run by Veterans with mental health providers available as needed. Veterans understand other Veterans and are more willing to open up and be honest about their experiences, struggles and issues than to a mental health provider who cannot relate. The VA can have someone in the room to monitor to ensure things don’t get out of hand and the mental health providers are in their offices on standby for those who need to come in for one on one counseling. It works for AA and other types of support groups.

        You would think after all these years the mental health professionals would ask us mental health patients/Veterans about what we need and try to understand us and have solutions and treatment programs to help us. It’s sad they are still clueless which is costing thousands to lose their lives.

        I’m glad you have your dogs and you sound like my father on the amount of sleep. He’s a Vietnam Veteran who has been struggling with sleep issues for many years.

      4. @ thebrownmoose – – -“I bet she blamed you and said you were being resistant or difficult when it’s actually her and her inability to understand mental health. Her feelings were more important.”

        Bullseye On Target.

        Every therapist I used to see from 1997 to 2012 was a Freudian. Without exception, they always wanted to examine my childhood in great detail. Useless. Not my childhood that keeps me awake at night. Not my childhood that keeps me hyper alert in public. Not my childhood that wakens me shaking and sweating from violent dreams when I do sleep.

        Useless dolts. All of them. Over-educated in formal schooling. Under-educated in life experience.

        Your idea about veteran groups has sound merit. And yes, it does work for AA. “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path . . . ” I first heard those words in 1982, and having had the formal live-in training at Naval Hospital Corpus Christi, have been able to not imbibe. This caused more than one therapist to miss the signs of my increasing PTSD and suicidal ideation. ETOH and drug abuse/addiction seem to be the two main criteria they fixate on when evaluating such cases.

        When primarily fixated on those two items, how many other signs are they missing?

        My two “little ladies” that sleep curled around my head, and about seven to ten hours of exercise weekly are what keep me going today. That, and some of the commenters on this blog.

      5. James,

        Exactly. I never had a problem with alcohol or drugs but every time they asked me and I tell them no they looked at me funny or cross making me feel like they don’t believe me or I don’t have mental health issues. They cannot think outside what the examples or the common symptoms listed in their mental health books.

        Yes, people have other symptoms outside the listed common symptoms and like it states ‘common’ not exclusive. Everyone is affected differently based on their situation and their belief system. I couldn’t understand why I was having homicidal ideation, rage, anger, etc. My insides shook all the time like an alarm clock jumping around the table. They also want you to meet all or most of the symptoms listed even though most state these are some of the symptoms a patient can experience. Frustrating.

        Awe, pets are wonderful. I have a dog and 3 cats and they are my life saver. I’m glad you have them and us on this blog. Hang in there.


    Shulkin is out. The sycophant that gave the President a clean bill of health from Bethesda (now Tripler) is in. Do you really expect this suck up to make any changes? He couldn’t even fix the old Tripler. LOL

      1. “”

        Lem, you know Ben has other commitments too. Take-er easy dude. I feel some tension in the air. Come on, fill us in. Lolz, just razzing you.

      2. Yup! Ben’s on it. But you really need to give him more than 60 seconds between posting the news here – – – then inquiring if he “is on it”.

        Rest assured, Ben will be writing an informed article about this.

        How could he not?

    1. @Lem – – – Just received the article in my newsfeed. Yay! Although we all had pretty much become comfortable referring to him as “Shithead Shulkin, SucVA” – – – we’ll have to give this new guy some time to see what he does.

      Although for many of us – – – Time is not on our side.

  6. In other news and likely celebrated at all VHA facilities today: It’s National Manatee Appreciation Day today.

    1. Appropriately, on Nat’l Manatee Appreciation Day: Another one bites the dust in the moving trainwreck:

      “WASHINGTON — After weeks of uncertainty atop the Department of Veterans Affairs, President Trump on Wednesday said he plans to replace its secretary, David J. Shulkin, with the president’s personal physician, Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy…]”

    2. Seems somehow sad not to see CorpsmanUp! posting on National Manatee Appreciation Day. Seem to recall he had expressive vernacular concerning the VA’s Tuna Beasts and the AFGE’s Manatees . . .

      1. Yeah, that was kind of my semi-cloaked way of calling-out to see if CorpsmanUp! wants to come out and play while the circus music is so much louder now while the revolving doors oscillate down at the swamp where manatees are basking in the cool mud under the cherry blossoms.

      2. Don’t know why CorpsmanUp! hasn’t posted for a while. I know that he may be working with a Representative, and I hope that he’s making some progress. Me, don’t know who to trust anymore. Way too much bullshit.

  7. I’m not surprised at all about how VA labeled the suicide.

    At Puget Sound VA, the more lethal my attempts, the more VA made fun of me and labeled it “suicidal gesture” in my records (to include when I was in ICU almost a week). I was also progressively treated more like a violent criminal for being suicidal.

    VA’s PR thing about reducing suicide is a sick joke from what I have experienced at Puget Sound VA the past decade.

    1. It’s more about reducing Veteran Suicide from reaching the mainstream news and keeping it all local, if it must get out. The VA has it backasswards, thinking if they sweep it under the rug it will just disappear like Legionella in VHA water pipes and ventilation systems at Marion, Ill., Veteran Retirement Home…but the Vets keep dropping like flies nonetheless but the PR keeps things scrubbed and tidy…and fresh astroturf on the burn patches where Vets set themselves on fire. Tidy and out-a-sighty!

  8. @Benjamin Krause – I’d think Ben, that with some having issues with ads popping up, and then causing others to re-adjust their systems, that if it were me, I wouldn’t take the change of losing a few percent of my visitors. Especially top contributors to your site. We sometimes don’t see eye to eye, but I personally believe, due to his contributions to your site, that Seymore Klearly is a positive asset to your blog. Why?

    For one, I re-post most of Seymore’s articles that he posts on your blog Ben. So, if Seymore decides to stop adding value, then this means that I will have to reduce my value on what I’m doing with Social Media to bring attention to the corrupt VA. Plus, when newbies stop by, and I always refer others to your site Ben, that without Seymore, you’ve lost a major researcher that has decided to anchor on your site. I wish that I had knowledgeable or seasoned Veterans available.

    It’s up to you Ben, but this leaves me to only use Foxfire when visiting your blog, and your site is the only one that I have to have another Browser open for. Just sharing Brother the experience of inconvenience from my end.

    1. And I’m not playing favoritism here, I do share you site most all times. But, I wouldn’t want to have to look for another site to refer other Vets to with questions. Even with the change over of those that have contributed in the past, and no longer do so, only but a few times here and there, I’d say that if Seymore Klearly decides to leave, and not post future articles, that this will then force me to possibly look elsewhere to tell other Vets where to go. Plus, I look forward in reading additional information about the VA, other than the weekday articles that you regularly post. If we lose Seymore, the dull factor could encroach. Just saying, and it’s IMO.

  9. When using Windows 10 platform, browsing with Foxfire, I get no pop-ups whatsoever when using these blockers (and you can turn pages on or off);

    – AdBlocker Ultimate
    – AdBlock Plus
    – AdGuard AdBlocker
    – uBlock Origin
    – Ghostery

    Could be a little top heavy or redundant I don’t know, haven’t correlated to see what is duplicated or runs short. Just know that this set works for me.

    When browsing with Internet Explorer (IE) pop-ups come up. Don’t know about browsing with Windows Edge.

    Decisions, decisions, oh how I know so well. Gotta decide what you’re going to do, when way or the other. Choices to make, sometimes rattles your fucking nerves.

    1. Hope you are not using all of those at once! If you are, some of them will tend to step on each other – – – much as a system that has Norton AV and Bitdefender BOTH installed on it . . .

      Curious. Have you noticed any unusual increases in boot time?

      1. Haven’t really noticed, running 3 browsers too. Need to take the time to determine if any of the Ad Blockers are overlapping each other (double, or triple working).

        Plus, VA playing their cute little circle jerking, and then blaming the Vet for the problems that they’ve caused. You know the drill oh so well.

  10. “VA maintains a public relations stance that it will not comment about suicides using the term or referencing what truly occurred to avoid copycat suicides”.

    Absolutely! Twenty plus (No one really knows how many, as the figure 20 is four-year-old data at this point) veteran suicides daily, and the good VA keeps their mouth shut.

    THAT is exactly how you save veterans lives, Mr. SecVA! Have the entire (dis)organization not call these tragic deaths what they are. Have the entire (dis)organization LIE about what really occurs, instead of using their media platforms to highlight the issue to the public at large.

    I’ll just bet this veteran was “found deceased” in your precious St. Louis waiting room. Particularly after he blew his brains out with a firearm in the middle of that waiting room at zero dark thirty.

    The suicide rate in the military used to be lower than the population at large. But in the years following the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, service members began taking their own lives in increasing numbers. The suicide rate for the Army, the branch most affected, peaked in 2012 at 29.9 suicides per 100,000 people, more than twice the national population’s 12.6 suicides per 100,000. The service saw 165 suicides that year, about one death every 2.2 days. Since then, the Army’s rate seems to have stabilized at about 120 suicides per year — still much higher than before the numbers started rising.

    Major General Dana Pittard, now retired, took command at Fort Bliss in July 2010, shortly after the Fourth Brigade returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. Pittard upended traditional military protocol for how best to prevent suicides, making resources available around the clock for all soldiers who might be experiencing depression, and greatly expanding mental health counseling on the base. Suicides on the base declined, and Pittard won attention from top Army brass.

    Despite those results, the Army has not sought to replicate Pittard’s reforms, for reasons that appear to have much to do with a divide over how best to find and treat soldiers who might be most at risk.

    The Army has favored programs that seek to identify high-risk individuals and either keep them from enlisting in the first place or give those already in the service specialized treatment. It is an approach that many, including Pittard, believe helps maintain a false perception that suicidal ideation is extremely abnormal, instead of something that can afflict many people, depending on their circumstances.

    The Army also doesn’t yet understand what caused the post-wars surge in suicides in the first place, despite millions of research dollars spent in an effort to find the answer. Several theories for the uptick in deaths — that the Army was accepting soldiers with more serious mental health issues than it had before, or that multiple deployments in long-running wars led to more trauma and suicide — have been disproved.

    In an especially surprising result for many people looking at this phenomenon, a comprehensive study released in May 2016 found that soldiers who have never deployed account for most of the suicides.

    Figuring out why people take their own lives is a problem that extends far beyond the military. The reasons for suicide are complex, typically multifactorial, and only loosely understood. People can be at high risk because of demographics, because of genetic variations that affect how they respond to emotional trauma, because of a wide range of stressors, life circumstances, and mental illnesses, or because of access to firearms, which are by far the most lethal means. In the military, many of these factors combine.

    With all we know regarding suicide, it is a shame incidents such as what occurred at John Cochran this past Monday morning are aided and abetted by the Veterans Administration failing to speak openly and honestly about the problem.

    But then, when has the Veterans Administration, or War Risk Insurance Bureau – – – EVER spoken openly or honestly about any subject?

    Delay, Deny, Wait for Veterans to die . . .

    1. The suicide rate has always been high among veterans with combat ribbons. The difference is that veterans who served support had lower than white collar worker (6 per 100,000) and out numbered combat veterans 10 to 1 in wars before 1988.

    1. Seymore,
      Please, think about what you’re doing. You’ve become a great asset to this site!
      Talk to Ben about correcting this error first!

      1. The adware is really aggressively disruptive and pretty sure there’s bot attacks as well.

    2. Firefox with 2 extensions privacy badger and http everywhere, forces websites to use encription, works well for me at this site, anyway hope it gets corrected

    3. I am not seeing any adware. Don’t exactly know what that is all about but all I get is Ben’s Voc Rehab getting screwed graphic, top graphics and one to the right about email sign up. No pop ups, no banners, nothing else. I”ve also got ad blockers enabled and tracker blocks… but the blocks on tracking don’t seem to work well or they put them in a box in my pc to sit until cleaned. I dunno. I just do what I am suggested to do by others.

      I can use multiple browsers too in case one is totally crashed or hacked or is blocking certain sites or info. Try Lightbeam for FF and see if that shows where some satellite issues are coming from.

      Through PRO CC Cleaner and others, I can pick up and clean up to six thousand tracking cookies and tracking files per day, per day.

      Odd thing. This morn I stopped by a pc shop, while MD shopping, and they were discussing ‘Intel” chips I think it was. All made from our …. allies and coming in with back doors. They said there is no way around spying and using common or pushed items like those chips. Must be like the old ZoneAlarm thing firewall that came with spy shit and back door stuff on it for spying on all “mericans.”

      I also know a guy who is top dog of a Tech and security position for an out of state utility. Like others he claimed there is no such thing as totally secure. Said he or his team can sway votes in electronic machines without needing the net connections. Name it they can or could do it. Open any garage door to listening in on baby monitors, cell phones, turn on pc cams, most computers, whatever. He went on talking about stuff I know nothing about or some Lynix business and such that can help with security issues. Patches, barriers, firewalls. When he lived here his whole house was wired, multiple pcs, large servers, T somethings, and all kinds of crap that flew over my head. While looking at countless certifications and diplomas on his garage walls. But he’s big time money now and doesn’t waste time on us around here in his old stomping grounds with no country club associations or secret club affiliations.

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

      Seymore, it must be a windows thing, I am using linux and am not getting any of what you guys are reporting. Try the Brave, browser, it has adblocker built in. along with private browsing. I don’t know if it will solve your problem or not, but it can’t hurt.

    5. Seymore – – – Your call, of course. I among many others will miss you. You have been a highly valuable asset to me.

      Yesterday, you stated that you had installed an ad-blocker and things seemed to be working well. What changed? As an extension for Firefox, Ad-Aware works fairly well – – – when combined with the secure hypertext protocol.

      If using Microsoft Edge – – – the AdGuard extension seems to give good results. I also use CCleaner Pro, and Malwarebytes Premium.

      To ALL: Yes, I will confirm that there are many trackers of this site. Many of them seek to infest Ben’s site with malicious code. The fact that this site is targeted speaks volumes to me of the stellar job young Benjamin is doing.

      Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up. Never give in. We are on the righteous path!

    6. Seymore. I enjoy all your posts and info. It’s kind of a daily treat and added part of my daily checks for news. However, don’t get pissed… you obviously are doing tons of research for us all then to post the info and links here for us to see and use. I can’t keep up with much at all anymore let alone all the research, digging, reading, etc. Very very much appreciated but don’t let yourself get burnt out or stressed too much doing so. Shit happens. We or I, have had to deal with this stuff constantly with FFaux joining up Soros and their changes, email programs now blocking things, about every browser out there, Googley, the social media, the intentional attacks, censoring, blocking, trying to put kiddie porn on a pc or in emails, all kinds of stuff. It’s endless. What is it they say.. adapt and over-come. Something like that since my brain is about toast for one day of activities. Get the frustration levels down about normal, suck down some green tea – whatever, do a yard pee, fresh air, or a smoke, wack a tree with a ball-bat…then back up to full speed or your speeds. Guess I got up to say… don’t let the swamp monsters win by burning us out or frustrating the living hell out of us all. Especially those who are doing more than others or speading info some out there would love to see stopped. No offense or ills meant.

    7. Seymore, I would certainly miss your posts if you go. I noticed ads and pop-ups starting here around a couple weeks ago. I can understand what Ben is trying to do. Add ads to his site to try raise funds to keep it going. It takes a lot of effort and time to do what he does, and money. Ads are one way to try keep the bills paid without having to resort to begging for money constantly.

      I know lots of sites are ad supported, or have ads on them to generate revenue. What is highly irritating is when a company owns a site that only cares about ad revenue. They load up the page with so damn many ads that the content cannot be read.

      I use Chrome with Adblocker and don’t see any pop-ups here. I use Chrome with Android, and saw popups and other ads, so I switched to Brave on Android. Brave has an Adblocker, but it doesn’t block everything here. It allows some ads which I just ignore because I know Ben is trying to keep the lights on, and because they are not so intrusive that the content cannot be read.

      Not sure what to suggest as an alternative.

  11. The people that work for the VA get to come and at the end of the day in the meantime Veterans don’t have that luxury many have pain and needs, the VA should operate like a general hospital or at least have staff available to assist a Veteran in their time of need, not coming in till 8 in the morning is bull crap the VA should equipped the staff and services, when soldiers put their life on the in harm’s way they don’t get to clock in and clock out after 8 hours the VA shouldn’t either

  12. Wasn’t there a suicide on the front lawn of Phoenix last year? I seem to recall an article where the poor VA staff were getting psych services from outside the VA. They had the budget/willingness/authority to contract outside shrinks for staffers with 24 hours after their trauma, when troubled men have to wait for psych help decades after theirs.

    Great system.

    1. Windguy, I don’t recall where that was, but I do recall the VA offering “help” to their employees immediately after.

    2. Maybe one of these articles is what you are thinking of:



    3. And mighty right, Windguy and 91. The VA IMMEDIATELY offered help to their employees in dealing with that situation. Too damn bad they could not have offered the help he sought in the first place – – – which might have had the effect of preventing the tragic situation from occurring.

      Willing to bet the family of the deceased veteran received stellar support from the VA. NOT!

  13. I thought Trump was going to have a direct line for vets to call the White House, did this ever happen? And if so, does anyone have the ##??

    1. The VA Press Release on the hotline, which includes the phone number.



  14. The VA refuses to refer to it as suicide so as to prevent copycat suicides.

    Well, at 20-22 per day, they are doing a piss poor job at it.

    What they WANT to avoid is more veterans doing exactly like what this vet did. Kill himself anywhere on VA grounds.

    A.couple things I wonder about. He was “found deceased” at 4:19am. That suggests they had no idea he was there, or have no idea how he committed suicide.

    Did they not hear a gunshot?

    Its clear enough that he committed suicide for that to be reported quickly, regardless of whether the VA wants to use a certain word, so the method must have been obvious enough to be clear it was suicide. If it were overdose, the VA would have claimed his death was unknown, or that he even may have died of natural causes.

    I wonder what their security video shows for a time he entered the facility. Sure paperwork may show a different time, but a timestamp on video would show how long he waited until he got to the point of filling out paperwork.

    Why would he be waiting so long at that hour of the night? Was the ER busy? Did the triage nurse decide the guy could wait several hours hoping he would go away? Did he even get to the point of seeing a triage nurse?

    I have commented before about being involved in a VA project of looking at VA ER use, and why so many vets use it. I have commented about the bureaucratic rules and policies that all deal with process with nothing indicating the veteran should be seen in a timely manner.

    What I have found is that if the veteran goes to a specific person to check in to the ER, the VA is mandated to see the veteran regardless of the problem. What I have also found is the VA will triage for 3 specific things…1. Shortness of breath, 2. chest pain which may be a heart attack, and a 3rd thing that I did not catch. If it is not clear to the triage nurse that one of those 3 things are being reported, the veteran is essentially seen as if they need routine medical care…which means they will wait long after any other patient is seen.

    Ben. You should look up EMTALA law, and then look at VA policy on ER triage.

    EMTALA requires an ER to give an initial medical screening. Does the VA do this by having the vet fill out a form and then claim they followed the law even though the vet never saw an ER doctor?

    Did the vet ever get to the point of being triaged?

    From what I have seen, VA policies and attitude are such that they are happy to shuffle a veteran around to different people like a rat in a maze. Likely designed to make the vet go away.

    I also found some VAs use their own form to triage a vet, and if the vet does not report one of the big three conditions mentioned above, the vets triage form would likely be shuffled off to a primary care nurse. Not to the nurse themselves, but to a collection box where the vet might be lucky if that box is checked twice a day.

    I also found the VA is heavily using Skype messaging, and that a number of VA employees refuse to use it, or refuse to check any messages in a timely manner.

    Was this guy waiting for some other nurse to finally check her inbox? When the nurse came in at 8am? Was some Skype message sent and is still waiting to be seen by some nurse who refuses to check their messages?

  15. Thanks for this one, Ben. It is timely for my SF-95 to recover $2,800.00 I will have to pay for PTSD therapy next month. The non payment of Choice bills has lead to cancellation of my therapy but it was with a referral to a VA clinic Therapist. Initially I was assigned to Choice because after 60 days from the referral by the Social Worker at the mental health intake in Cheyenne they were unable to deliver a therapist even by tele video. Suspect this suicide victim was put in a similar wait by John Cochran VA.

    I’ll send you a copy of my filing by email as soon as I finish it. I’m Pro Se and could use an attorney. See this PTSD case: 918 Supp.2nd 301 (2013) Laskowski V. Department of Veterans Affairs

  16. Yesterday I received an interesting phone call from the VA VISN21 whereas I was told I had an expired referral to see a local doctor & would I like it to be reinstated as “they” have been unable to get in touch with me to make the appointment. Really!! How odd it is I post to Bens blog about being denied choice & suddenly the referral was there all along. Just makes me wonder wtf.

    1. @niteWish – – – With as many folks as are now starting to monitor Ben’s Blog on a daily basis, dowsn’t surprise me at all. Bound to be a few VA folks there who will begin to search for and rectify mistakes in veterans files and scheduling when at work.

      Make no mistake, the VA over the next few years is going to find themselves on o hot seat they do not want to be on. And no amount of SPIN will explain or make it go away!

      My advice? Take the appointments if you need them. Retain copies/screenshots of all correspondence regarding same for future reference.

      1. Sorry for misspellings. Under a time-crunch today. Not a lot of time for proofreading.

  17. You have pain for years and jump through the hoops the VA sets in youre path and still nothing gets done. There is no question that if you you complain you will suffer consequences which will make things even worse. I have been dealing with a dental implant for 2 years to this date

  18. Yep, this and many more suicides are on Shulkin’s head! That said;
    From; “”
    Dated: 27 Mar 2018
    By: Richard Sisk
    “Once Again, White House Backs Shulkin Amid Firing Tuners!”

    This occurred on Monday!
    In my opinion, President Trump can’t find someone with balls, or the willpower, to take on one of the most corrupt government agencies in our Republic!
    That’s exactly what it’s going to take!
    Until that happens, expect more of the same crap from the VA!

    1. Elf, they’d have to have the balls to take on every corrupt industry, lobbyist, group, gov agency, cliques and corporation in America and the networks. There is no JUST fixing, or trying to fix the VA alone.

      1. “”

        Plenty of excuses and wastes of time too. Oh it’s just so difficult to get things done with the Fed gov and myriad of agencies. Many of those agencies and departments are totally useless and unneeded.

      2. “T”,
        That’s exactly why I used the plural form of “government agencies”!

  19. On Benjamin’s ‘Bad VA Art’ today depicting another monolithic VA structure:

    I’m thinking Albert Speer, a renown Nazi Germany Engineer/Architect was the master architect for ALL VA facilities in order to keep the only thing that’s consistent with the VA’s failures: That haunted insane asylum industrial complex…anything BUT a place of healing and health. Instead, it screams “bring me your nonhuman test subjects…oh, and thank you for your service”.

    Matter-in-fact, if bricks could be made into a battleship and if bricks could float, I would think these were V.A. Titanic Fleet Vessels.

    1. That haunted insane asylum architecture, does wonders for my anxiety, always brings out the best in a test subject, not.

  20. Veterans who reads this please hopefully you don’t only talk your Shit on here called your Senators and Representative contract Veteran Affairs Committee in Washington, DC and Spread the word. .Don’t be Chicken Shit.

    1. Arnold. I did, I have, certified snail mail, emails, phone, DC to local VSOs, all. Have again in this life at a much older age publically exposed myself for ridicule and various forms of attack, threats, etc. I am NOT hiding or that anonymous. What did I learn? Not one gives a shit. Same old excuses, song and dance, pony and dog show, passing the buck. In fact, when dealing with some all they want is a total release of information, med files info with no ending dates, or more personal details. Or, either them or their staff making things worse once they have our private unlisted phone numbers or email addresses. Examples… signing you up for porn, lefty sites and bombardment with their lefty crap or other commie activism or various groups for support. All just out of nowhere. Then to have strange things happen like no home trash removal – have to take it down the block, street turned into a easement I have to take care of. Harassing phone calls from public utilities offices after researching the calls or calling them back, then them claiming no calls came from them. Or to have two crews come out, which was denied by Duke Energy, to crank up charges on my Smart Meter. ‘Oh no crews were at your house.” To harassing and threatening phone calls from a local major hospital and new clinic I went to after leaving the VA only to find out the ‘shit’ found me in less than a week with all the ‘file sharing’ … and on and on and on it goes. This is daily and my being a non-conformist or not on certain band-wagons or support the local cliques and herds…precedes me, strangely. No use going to town meetings, trying to get what was once easy like a chain of property deeds and such… no more. Or, being told up-front by the idiots about having phone calls about me from city or county offices. Private investigators, VSOs, attorneys, do-gooder groups, et al, not wanting involved in matters or issues, the VA, due to ‘conflict of interests,’ “hands are tied,” or not wanting involved, to politics or other’s messes, local corruption that ruins people, careers, or possible employment, or runs for some office or position. To encounters in public or cocky remarks by passers by that seem to know things in my medical files and more. Like encounters in city council meetings being blocked exiting or while having a medical emergency by some young punk attorney or his son, or exchange of threats and words in the parking lot or followed home by some activist for merely disagreeing with some local piece of lying filth, or some court jester or official. Not much more a person can do but watch the chicken shits and fearful stand by and watch. So the total lack of change or progress, or not being heard is on others, not me. Especially when people, vets, are so damned afraid in this country, town, state, to be seen with you or afraid to form local citizen groups for some protection or back-up. Then have to deal with severe censoring, state/activist/2 party sponsored and approved retaliation, more censoring continues and deepens. Oh and being totally ignored by media like Faux news and the rest who claim to be one thing or the other but are nothing more than liars and sock puppets.

      Then people say to move. Local politicians, media heads, others have told me to move if I didn’t like the lefty Marxist college ruled corrupt scene. Why? How? Then to probably be moving into another strange area full of the same crap but different location. Ha. Then the city wanting you out but then will not allow you to sell your property to do so…cause “they don’t’ want dirty kind of jobs to move in here.” They want white collar, high tech, college approved companies here only. “Nothing dirty.” They want to total community of lefties and sheep only. Compete with smiles, laughter, told you ‘won’t win any appeals…don’t rock the boat.” To now not being able to get good health care at all because of the retribution, gossip, networking, and cliques? I think I am doing my fair share. And really don’t mind or afraid to do it.

      Odd thing rather than do the right things people will remark about not wanting to go through what some whistle blower or person like me contends with when dealing with wrong doing, the VA, or all the corruption or censoring. Nope, they run and hide and let the systems/establishments and industries, politics, do as they wish to people for the great “examples” of what NOT to do. Then claim people like us are merely “ants on an elephants ass.” To be destroyed by any means necessary. By all those oath takers too.

      Think of me as that T-shirt back in the day about “the last act of defiance.” The little mouse looking up at an Eagle coming in for the kill, giving the Eagle the middle finger with an out stretched arm. Piss ant? I’m a pissed off mouse.

      Have a great day out there.

      1. T not be nosing who is Representative and Senators because as Concerned Veteran I don’t Surrender I have Veterans Friends all over our United States …Semper Fi ?.

      2. Forgot to use quote marks. Time for bed, again.


        Useless total opposites like oil and water.

        Not even going to try, again.


        Representative Larry Bucshon

        Senator Todd Young

        Never again….
        Senator Joe Donnelly

        Was a total joke…

        Is a joke….
        “” Eric J. Holcomb Gov.

        Side note.
        I brought up phone calls about physical harm and death threats to local police. Nothing can be done about it until something happens. Errrr, okay, fine with me.

        What would happen to me if I called harassing daily, or, and threatened or death threatened a cop, some activist, some hospital staff threatening me and threaten them, etc.? Or if I called up and threatened King Obummer, Trumpster, Hillary, corrupt city council member, Gov. Holcomb, corrupt local attorney or judge, some DHS, ACLU, SPJL trash, an MD that ruined me, or VA scum bag? Oh I see…. again.

  21. “[…VA maintains a public relations stance that it will not comment about suicides using the term or referencing what truly occurred to avoid copycat suicides….]”

    So, the VA is SO satisfied with a solid # of 20-22 Veteran Suicides *every* day, a pesky ‘copycat suicide’ may cause the VA to have to reprint Suicide Prevention Guidelines to adjust for higher #s? HOW ABOUT THE TRUTH, YOU INDIFFERENT ASSHOLES?!!!!!! YOU **SUCK** AT THIS!!!!…(suicide prevention)

    *MAYBE* this Veteran actually got tired of waiting for the Suicide Prevention office to open, where he possibly was turned-away time and time again previously and he came back to make peppered paperweights out of the indifferent assholes manning the phones?

    Intuition and the smell, make me believe there’s a lot more to this story and how do we know it was not assisted suicide by the Barney Patrol and the time of early morning makes this suspicious at best.

    1. Let me add: It’s that early morning hour INSIDE a VA patient waiting area…not out in the parking lot but inside, that just does not jive right with the situation and unless the VA had a 24/7 shelter or medical ER waiting area without the…emergency *medical* part, just a waiting area until…**DING**…it’s 08:00 and the suicide prevention hotline will be with you and with mouthfuls of McGriddles while they talk you through assisted suicide….have it *your way* at the VA….

      1. Nam, when I went to my VA yesterday, there were 2 county Sheriff department vehicles in the parking lot. Your comment makes me wonder if the VA called them to sweep the parking lot for any copycats.

        I looked around, but did not see any deputies. I also didn’t see any VA cops, so I am not sure what was going on. I did see another guy that looked like a contractor doing survey work, but what he was using didn’t look like surveying tools. It looked like some round device on a long stick that he took to different places in the parking lot.
        I am now wondering if someone killed themselves in our parking lot, and they were doing final investigative work on the scene.

      2. @91Veteran- Nah, that was likely the VA having local sheriff utilize their LIDAR to locate a crackpipe an employee lost in the parking lot while they were “hiding” them for the annual Disruptive Behavior Committee Easter Paraphernalia Hunt that ends with a climax of the sound of Tasers in unison buzzing the unlucky winners of the hunt.

        (Hi-Voltage Hungry, Hungry Hippos)

  22. “”

    I hate that word “community.” Reminds me too much of ‘commies’ or communitarianism. Among others. That is what it means in Terror Haute, IN. You are part of the city wide, college led, far corrupt lefty hard socialist, Marx, community, enjoy the corruption to the censoring or you are NOT part of the community and they will show it…. very well. “Top down.” Especially if one is trying to speak some truth or expose some goings on…. or has been threatened by the VA to be fulfilled by some loving “community.” Oh, and no recording anything when we walk into the local Devil’s Dens to do any business or make complaints. Illegal here. They keep the ball in their hands/court at all times. Like the VA. Oh I digress. Since being told all this shit and more runs downhill and straight from “the top.” DC, DHS, DoD, DC-VA, VA admins, training sessions/conventions, Contractors, staff, etc., and more. So that non-reporting runs down and slimes us all in ignorance. Like we all don’t already know a millions and one ways to die or off our selves?? Feed us more sheep shit media, PR firms, DC, et al.

    “VA maintains a public relations stance that it will not comment about suicides using the term or referencing what truly occurred to avoid copycat suicides.” unGarble.

    Total BS. Is that like local news or area news here claiming they won’t report suicides at all or allow the public to know about the who, what, where, when, WHY and how? Oh more news/information the sheep, pawns or evil vets aren’t allowed to know. Like cutting state capitol news from our cable and sat services so we have to go online to flush some Hoosier news from. “We tell you what you need to know” they claim. Flush. F-em, next! Hurry please. Die off. Less to ignore or be bothered by. So much for “community.” Move along sheep, pawns, and serfs nothing to see or learn here. Now shut-up and enjoy our fascist lying global villages dripping in all is well fairy dust.

    I’ve personally had to show up super early or late evening for surgeries to testing. Supposed to be headed down for surgery at 7am …. didn’t happen until 2:30 pm. Or late evenings for scans at the VA or other medical centers in the big city in late evenings. It was late evening after daily business when I had our/my last very disrespectful, degrading, insane, threatening chronic pain clinic orientation. Guess it was so the place was nearly empty to avoid injuries or witnesses. In the basement. Oh and travel pay was shut down during that transition of payment procedures.

  23. This one is on the hands of Shulkin for sure. If he wasn’t busy running the VA 3 ring circus he might have been able to direct somebody to do something. But instead he’s too busy making sure he’s got armed guards posted outside his door. Or making sure his Wimbledon tickets are in order. I guess I have 2 questions here.

    If the veteran had a firearm in the VA waiting room at 4:18 in the morning. How come this wasn’t detected? Further why was the veteran in the waiting room at 4:18 in the morning anyways??? As far as I’m aware no doctor schedules appointments that early. Suicide prevention gets in at 8 am???? I bet this veteran is awfully sorry that his suicide didn’t coincide with normal business hours…

    My second question is this.

    How many more veterans have to die on Shulkins watch before he’s removed?

    A third question occured to me.

    How many more entirely preventable deaths will the VA allow before it gets serious about treating veterans?

    1. 22×365=8030per year, probably much higher than that, its an epidemic that’s being covered up by VA. How many more?

    2. Exactly, why wasn’t 911 called to pick up this veteran and do like a 72 hr psych eval until the useless VA suicide squad shows up (like 26 min late to their 8AM shift and after they have breakfast at their desk – which gives them like 9:13AM to be told they have a suicidal veteran there)?

      Didn’t we have a similar issue like a few months ago where the issue of what procedures should be in place (i.e. calling 911) for a suicidal veteran could not be attended by the VA? AND, didn’t the VA say it was gonna look over it’s procedures then?

      This isn’t fing brain science. Call 911 if you have ANYONE who is a potential harm to themself or others? Who the heck tells them to wait till 8AM?

      But no…VA staff is upset you interrupted their nap on government time and/or midnight online trolling on Facebook or, have a seat and be punished for ruining their shift.

      Yeah, I’m sure Shulkin is gonna blame the “distraction” of his ethics violations as to why his Spidey senses weren’t alerting him to this incident and/or the prevention of it. Ok, whatever. Lately, all Shulkin has been doing is going across the nation and giving speeches. Look, when I was in leadership in the Army, I was too busy making things happen to be running the streets making speeches. I was out in the field, and had to go home and use my personal computer to handle administrative issues. I had no life. I worked almost 24/7. My platoon needed a lot of work to bring it up to standard (thank my predecessor for leaving me the mess). So sorry Shulkin, you get paid too well to let this one slip by you. Stop being a lazy whoopie cushion and do your flippin’ job instead of photo ops.

      1. TaB, as I mention in another comment, I suspect this vet wanted to be seen in the ER. I suspect he was triaged as non urgent care, so they made him wait without telling him anything.

        Its shocking to hear VA employees express attitudes that unless a vet has an urgent care need as determined by them, the vet is a freeloading worthless POS too stupid to follow directions to make a primary care appointment, and just wants to be seen for some minor problem.

        The VA seeing all vets as having minor medical problems is what leads to 20 per day.

    3. thats because if the reporter would of said emergency room for walkings at the John Cochran VA Medical Center it would of been a breach of HIPA and the reporter would of been fired!!!!

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