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Topic : 12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

Number of Replies: 399
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, December 11, 2008, 02:55:31 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Military men and women are true American heroes who spill their blood fighting for our freedoms. But are we doing all we can as a nation to honor our contract with these warriors? When a soldier survives war, oftentimes he/she comes home and to face a different battle. Dr. Phil's guests are vets who say they've returned from the front lines only to fight a medical system bureaucracy that is failing them. Randy was severely injured during an ambush while deployed in Iraq. His mother, Tammy, says the military lied to him, and used him, and that Randy was eventually lost in the system. She says getting any help from Veterans Affairs is a struggle with minimal results. Dr. Phil introduces this wounded warrior to two special people who want to make his life better. Next, Jerry says he got a "raw deal" when he returned from Iraq, and he's struggling with what he believes to be Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His wife says Jerry is angry and violent, and she's afraid of him. You won't believe what they say Veterans Affairs advised Jerry to do to cope with his suicidal thoughts. Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran's Affairs, Congressman Bob Filner, and FOX News military analyst Colonel David Hunt passionately share their opinions about health care for veterans. Then, Kevin and Joyce say their son came home from Iraq a changed man. They say they tried to get him help for what they believed was severe PTSD, but it didn't come in time. And, Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs and Paul Rieckhoff, Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, weigh in on the cases. If you're an American, this is your call to arms to step up and help turn things around for the men and women in uniform. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 19, 2008, 1:09 pm CST

Military hospitals and VA

I know personally the VA hospitals are a joke.  I had a neighbor who fell and had to have his leg removed while he was in the VA hosp. because they allowed it to get infected...he died a week later!  I was in the Air Force in 1981....after all the immunizations I ended up in the hospitalextremely ill for over a week.  Not only was no one informed in my family but I have absolutely no memory of the stay except going into the hospital.  I don't have any idea what happened while I was in there.  It scares me that I don't know what they did to me.  I had another mishap where an emergency room Dr. told me my daughter had a rash and extremely high fever because she must have gotten into some weeds.  My neighbor took her and I to her doctor and she had scarlet fever.  I truly believe military doctors are rejects from the real doctors!!! You can not sue them for malpractice so they really don't care.  I had so many experiences with them, I wouldn't take my dog to them.  I would never go to a VA hospital.  I cannot believe they say they are the best in the country.... we must live with the dumbest, worse doctors in the world  if the VA hospitals are the best.  I could probably do a better job without any education.  I am also terrified because my nephew is now in the Army and will be going to Iraq next year.  I hope he never has to see VA hospitals.  We owe our military a hell of a lot more respect and care.  I am just outraged and needed to vent...I have seen them all!!!
December 19, 2008, 1:14 pm CST

It makes me sick!!

I just finished watching your show on beyond the front lines and I am embarrassed on how the US as treated the vets that have put their lives in harms way to keep us free!! I don't understand how our government can bail out banks and automakers but yet we can not get enough money to take care of our own. What can we do as americans to help these vet. Is there someone we can write?

Lets put the women and men who keep us free and safe FIRST!!!



December 19, 2008, 1:20 pm CST

Sadly, not suprising...

I watched my father, a Marine and Viet Nam Vet, be treated similarly my entire life.  The only thing that I was wondering while watching the show was, "What took so long?"  I'm shocked at how little this is discussed/exposed.  My father was declared 100% disabled by the government after being wounded, was supposed to never walk again, work again, have a life again.  While trying to commit suicide, he realized he had more movement in his legs than they said he ever would and decided to fight for his life.  He walked, with pain, for the rest of his life.  He refused to sit around wounded, went to school on the GI bill, and worked until his pain and subsequent illnesses from Viet Nam rendered him unable to.  He had certain shoes that he had to have made by the VA, and he was allowed one pair per year, which was plenty enough for him.  But there were many times there were cutbacks, problems, and he was shoeless.  The care he received from the VA hospitals was nothing short of horrendous, and he was not a complainer.  The PTSD he suffered was always considered inevitable and minor in comparison with his daily health problems and pain, so it wasn't really addressed.  He learned to live with it.  He passed away January 2, 2008.  While he was very sick and in the hospital, I asked him...  "Knowing what you know now - if you had to do it all over again, would you?"  His answer, "In a heartbeat."  These men, along with my father,  are true heroes and deserve to be treated accordingly.  Anything less is unacceptable.

December 19, 2008, 1:23 pm CST

Lets fix the VA

Lets require all politicians 1 year before they run for office to live a middle class life style with middle class pay, use middle class schools and VA hospitals. Maybe then we would see some real changes!
December 19, 2008, 1:25 pm CST


Dr Phill:  For the first time today due to the weather I watched your show in regards to lack of services the veterans receive.  I am a survivor of a vietnam veteran which went to the VA for mental health help and was originally told by one doctor he was depressed and a perscription was written.  Two weeks later when he was still not getting any relief he visitied the local VA office and was told that nothing was wrong with him.  We had lived together for 13 years.  He suffered from alchol abuse and was haunted by the events he participated in Vietnam.  We had seperated due to the alchol and I agreed that we would only resume living together if he stopped drinking. 


A few days after he was told he did not need help he called me to his newly accuired apartment to talk to me.  I sat before a man who eyes were like big black holes that allowed you to look deep into his  empty soul..  He announced to me that he was going to shoot himself that night and I was to send the police the next morning to remove his body.  When I told him I was going to call the police, that moment, he said he would be dead before I could dial and ran to the bedroom.  I ran out the door and called the police.  He took a gun and put it to his head and pulled the trigger. 


I blame the VA for turning him away.  I now suffer from post tramatic stress disorder daily from the events of that evening. 


The Veterans administration should be held accountable for our soldiers.  They turn them away when they are desperate and in return, the vets commit unimaginable acts to end their own pain.  When my Lou died, because I was not legally married to him, his family took his military flag from me. 


The flag of the country was the only thing this man had pride in, gave his soul to and in return the country let him down  The pride he had in that flag was the only relief I had for tyring to understand the events of that day.  Imagine loving your country so much you are willing to take your own life when you cannot live with what you have done or seen.  It is a dam disgrace that this happens, and rolling effect it has on family and friends.  The tragedy the people left behind have to live with is unbearable.  The guilt related to the events survivors have to deal with is mind boggling.  It has been almost two years and I can remember it like yesterday. 


I applaud your participation in this matter and only hope that one person could hear the seriousness of this subject matter and an evolving change will begin. 


thank you

Carol Schneider

December 19, 2008, 1:27 pm CST

Soon 2 b Army wife

I am disapointed in the way some veterans are being treated.

I am hurt that our veterans cant be taken care of. My fiance has suffered from PTSD, due to the mutitude of graphic things he has seen. He is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and has trouble sleeping as well. Since he is still on the battle grounds they will not perscribe him any medication to deal with this.

I think shorter deployments would also be of great help. My fiance is on a 15 month deployment, he didnt leave for R&R for 10 months..This also creates problems with soldiers returning home with no family, their wives have left..This also createshardships for returning home. I think more counseling for the soldiers and families would be very helpfull. I also think if soldiers had to meet with a counselor weekly while in their deployment would elimiate alot of cases of PTSD

December 19, 2008, 1:27 pm CST

Vietnam Vet's Wife

I have filed for my husband's Vietnam Vet VA benefits, as well as for my Dad for WW2 benefits.  I assisted in filing for another Vietnam Vet's benefits.  Always got the response, records lost in St. Louis fire.  There is a website from the VA stating the exact lost records.  Do they think we are stupid and can't read?  Proceeded to mail a copy of their own site stating lost records, would always get response "while we got your package, all this was missing.."  If you got my package, you had my certified copies of all required documents.  I wasn't stupid, so I had multiple certified copies.  Made them sign for next set.
Father never got doodley.  Husband got after 3 yrs.  Other Vietnam Vet was told he had to have notarized letters from guys he was in service with 40 yrs. ago.  Right, I keep them in my phone on autodial.  Luckily, had joined a National organization & lost comrades had been located.
This problem has been going on for years.  It is time to stop the negative treatment of our Veterans.
Many of our Vietnam Vets are just getting into the VA system.  They are having the major problems from Agent Orange.  The VA denies knowledge of many of the diseases the Vets are suffering.  Many are suffering neuro problems similar to Parkinson's disease, but the VA won't recognize this.  PTSD is just being treated in many of these Vietman Vets from the 1960's.  Families have lived for 40 yrs. with these problems.  My husband is on his 3rd marriage.  The VA's treatment is to give him drugs to numb his mind.  He is still trying to work & be a functional person.  The VA has no other treatment for his PTSD.
Now that we are trying to get medical care from the VA, they don't have the medicines that he has been using for years that we paid for out of pocket.  They try to substitute other drugs that don't work or they just don't have any drugs for certain problems.
What I am saying is, the newest Vets are getting the same treated as all Vets.  This isn't a new thing.
Something needs to be done about the entire VA system.  If you served your country, you need to be able to have the VA there for you.
December 19, 2008, 1:29 pm CST

the infantryman's prayer

once i fought with deadly i come with open arms.make my heart whole again.. before this hell that iv'e fought in...make me feal a differant thought ..break this faith  that we have earned.. we'll sleep no more of peace of war... a hell with in never leave.. so help this heart that fought so brave.. to make me whole before the grave................................. bryan f eaves sr a combat vietnam vet .............. 4th id  central highlands
December 19, 2008, 1:30 pm CST

12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

My husband was in the Air Force now that he needs help from the VA he was denied due to income.  It doesn't matter how you serve your country they are not willing to help you.  He has Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  We struggle to buy his med's each month and all he wanted was for them to help them do was help us with them.  His medicaide is in the gap in April and then it is on us to buy them.  So what good is VA?
December 19, 2008, 1:30 pm CST

Worried Mom

Thank you Thank you Dr. Phil


My son is over in Iraq, I'm worried enough about him, now your show  has me even more concerned.

I am appalled and disgusted to learn this is happening to our sons and daughters who served.

There have been a few shows about young men who come home and take their own lives after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I did not realize that it was from lack of care and concern at the VA Hospitals.

I am so angry I need to do something!  NOW!  I am ready to write letters or do whatever I can to help.

 My son has about 2 years left in the army, god willing he will come home with is body and spirit in tact.

I am so heart broken for what happened to Jeffrey, and others like him.  Lets not let this happen to one more beautiful brave young man or woman.  I have been out of work, looking to volunteer.............I FOUND MY CAUSE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!



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