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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, 10:43 am CST

being paralize

it's no fun being paralize,the worst part is knowing that our country hasn't and won't ever help us vets out,especially the V.A.They treat u like u don't know anything.They didn't believe anything was wrong with me,Then within 4 months I was paralize,they closed thier doors after 10;00pm,then now they r open again only after the fact so many vets where going there.I get only 0% disability from the  service,been fighting the v.a for years,gave up only after hearing them say my doctor didn't know me before my prior service even though the service took me knowing I had flat feet which lead  t a injury whille I was in .I served for 6 years in the service.I have seen vets  turned away for lack out room,meanwhile the vet couldn't hold a cup of coffee.Ever year though the V.A builds and builds the hospital up,not for the vets ,but for the doctors and people working there making more room for thier personal,while pushing the vet out the door who served his country proudly until I tried t get help only disappointment and not belief ing in the goverment.I feel so sorry for the vets today fighting  and what they are about t learn how they r forgotten.I know I was and I know countless vets who won't even go t the v.a for help.My dad fought ww2,had  a purple heart,they didn't help him ,so he didn't go there.I had no choice too poor.need some help please,if not me the vets who r coming home with spinal chord injuries,so that they won't go through what I have been through and am still depressed on the treatment I get,fighting all the way.
December 19, 2008, 10:58 am CST

Left Behind

Hi I'm a 48 year old male who has spent over 24 years of his life in the Military, no matter if it was active duty or Army Reserves and National Guards.  Well I'm a Desert Storm Vet and also a Afghanistan Vet and I was watching your show Dr. Phil and I'm glad to see that someone is bringing up this subject about the VA and all the Benefits that we as Veterans are suppose to be getting that we are not.  I think it is a damn shame that we put our lives on the line for this country and the Government doesn't seem to care about us when we come home from combat  or overseas duties.  Well I don't know if I have any mental of physical problems from both of my tours of combat, but I do know that I can't sleep good, and I have arthritis in my neck, shoulders and both knees.  Also I had a nephew who just recently died to respiratory failure while he was state side after coming back from Iraqi he was a Marine and only 22.  I have also just renently lost my job and don't have any money coming in.  I would love to find out more information and see what I can do to help also. 




 MSG Riley Retired

December 19, 2008, 11:11 am CST

I am NOT a troll...

However I am an honorably retired USAF veteran with complex PTSD which makes even coming here to post my two cents like climbing an exhaustive mountain.  There's so much I want but will do my best to summarize.  Any help this show brings to the VA and therefore me will be welcomed, but lets stop 'the sky is falling' hype.

A.  I have never, in many years, experienced 'horrific' treatment from my state's VAMC, (VA Medical Center).  The recent issues there were with an appt. with my local civilian doctor was the same stuff you'll find anywhere.  Civilians don't have it made over veterans as the constant complaints re. hospitals, doctors and insurance companies prove.

B.  Yes, I had paperwork.  I had hoops to jump through.  I filled them out and I jumped.  I did not and do not expect someone to somehow 'find' me and come to my home to powder my butt.  Maybe that's a wonderful idea, but sooo not realistic, practical nor respectful to adult vets.  I am after several years, still bombarded with pamphlets, emails, letters advising me to contact so and so if I'm having any of that letters symptoms.  I choose not to call.

C.  The VA has given me--and I mean free--a four year college degree, a better than decent home loan, multiple surgeries, thousands in dental and eye care, highly reliable Rx refills sent to my home, and weekly PTSD counseling/therapy if I should wish.  I never felt entitled to so much when I enlisted as ever needing these things wasn't a thought.  But when I do and did, the VA was the place to call.

Those guys on todays show are simply new.  What was the primary bulk of the mother?  That an appt. had to be made or paperwork filled out?  I'm surprised no one said then do what's required.  Who provided the eye prostetic he was wearing?  Who saved his life by removing the necrotic leg?  There's an ER at every VA for 24/7 care as well as the suicide hotline constantly given us when we leave appts. for at least the past five years.  Bottom line, sometimes suicide can't be prevented.

It sounds like many folk want 'all this' taken away as if it never happened.  Accept it, that's simply the side effects some get from serving their country.  Utilize everything offered by the VA or MTF.  Raw deals do happen...everywhere and in every aspect of life.  There was outrage among vets when 'special' treatment or benefits were being enacted for these middle east vets as this has always been a huge no-no to discriminate where/when you served.  To the one who responded to those upset by the prejudice by saying, 'we are learning from our mistakes', is a bull filled reply.  You do for all with your new awakening, not just for select vets!

To the guy who freaks at even having to go to a trigger filled VAMC, Amen brother!  Lastly, God help us if dictating do-gooders start cracking an even bigger whip on VA staff who are mostly hard working providers trying to meet the medias idea of a perfect medical system.  To the ones offering to pay more taxes for veterans med/psy care, start writing your reps to DO SO.  It will surely be interesting to monitor the patriotism of all the VA critics whos taxes are doubled on their next checks.  
December 19, 2008, 11:32 am CST

This is NOT the whole system.

While parts of the system might be flawed, it is definately NOT the whole system.  I'm a Navy Veteran from the 1st Gulf War.  Although, the appointments should be made easier to get, I have been treated very well by all involved with the VA.  The neurologist I work with is awesome and he takes extra time to answer any of my questions and has even seen me on weekends to get studies done on my issue.


I have his cell phone and e-mail if I need anything, so it's NOT the whole system that is flawed.  You never hear about the AWESOME care people get.  You only hear about negligent care.

December 19, 2008, 11:50 am CST

Beyond the front lines

I am a spouse of a wounded solider, my husband  was injured Jan 29th 2008 . Our lives came to a stop and we have not been the same. My Husband came upon a ied attack @ the gate at camp liberty . I was called and notified that he had been injured and was told to have a (nice day) ! My husband new his job security was a less amount . He was blown at least 20 feet he has had many surgery to his leg. He was left with a broken jaw bone a broken leg and the emotional wounds run deeper. I had been lied to about his injuries they had told me minor, when he got back to Fort Carson he had a hole in his leg the size of balad.He has bee depressed reserved and the emotional and physical abuse started . The army had the nerve to say well u are provoking him . The fact of the matter is the military the white house etc they do not care nor do they know how to handle the matter . It angers me sadness's me and the military there idea is more medication.. We are working on our issues but are separated at this time. he would sleep walk go up and down the street yelling in Arabic the flash backs . He has tbi ptsd and all the therapy rehab and the truth of the matter is the army has let us down even though I do not wear the uniform nor do my children we still serve . When will the Military get it right? I hope Dr Phil can shed light on a ongoing problem that is getting worse!

December 19, 2008, 12:28 pm CST

Thank you

I just wanted to thank you for addressing the fact that our veterans are not getting the care they need when they come back. My boyfriend served in the air force in Iraq and Afghanistan and was severely injured when he fell off a helicopter and broke his back and shattered his wrist.  He can't even get health insurance from the VA and has been forced to leave his job because of his PTSD, and has been denied jobs because of it. Luckily he has a job now.  But he still suffers from what has happened to him and the only thing that the VA can tell him is that he has to go on meds. He went on the meds when he first got home but all they did was make him worse. Again I just want to thank you for addressing this subject, I think it will make a difference.
December 19, 2008, 12:28 pm CST

12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

It's about time that something like this has been brought up. Although the VA system as a whole isn't messed up there are some major parts that NEED to be taken care of and fixed. It's ridiculous to think that these men and women are fighting for us and they don't get the treatment they deserve. If someone tries to commit suicide ADMIT THEM TO THE HOSPITAL or at least the outpatient center. They don't get enough briefings for how to transition into civilain life after being in war. This infuriates me beyond belief. I've been through three deployments with my boyfriend and he's coming home soon and then getting out of the Army and I will raise hell if he doesn't get the treatment he deserves. F****** ridiculous is what this is.
December 19, 2008, 12:28 pm CST

12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

I am a viet nam vet and am still getting the run around from the Buffalo, NY va. You are not alone in your fight with these people. I have been prescribed medications and am having a hard time getting refills. I have even been accused of over medication.  I have had to volunteer urine tests to prove I wasn't overmedicating.  The blame goes from one person to the next in that place.  I ask for a director of the hospital and you are told there is none.  Therefore it becomes a big circle of excuses and blame and noone is accountable for what goes on there. I have even been accused of treatening people when I haven't. All I was asking for was answers to my questions and why I am being jerked around.

Sincerely to let you know that you are not alone in your fight with the va 


December 19, 2008, 12:32 pm CST


Congressman Bob Filner keeps throwing around the phrase, "a war we were not prepared for", as if to place blame solely on the current events in Iraq. But I have family members who have been inactive for 20+ years and every one of them are facing the very same beaurocracy and political red tape as the guests of today's show. Getting an appointment, getting mental health help, getitng questions answered or even reaching anyone who appears to CARE is a very rare occurance.

This treatment disgusts me. The US Miltary and Committee on Veterans' Affairs needs to get their heads out of the sand. Stop talking and start DOING!!
December 19, 2008, 12:36 pm CST

"you only hear about negligent care"

Quote From: wonderingb

While parts of the system might be flawed, it is definately NOT the whole system.  I'm a Navy Veteran from the 1st Gulf War.  Although, the appointments should be made easier to get, I have been treated very well by all involved with the VA.  The neurologist I work with is awesome and he takes extra time to answer any of my questions and has even seen me on weekends to get studies done on my issue.


I have his cell phone and e-mail if I need anything, so it's NOT the whole system that is flawed.  You never hear about the AWESOME care people get.  You only hear about negligent care.

Yes, you only "do" hear about the negligent care. Why do you think that? It is because the care in the VA system needs to be fixed. There is too much negligence. My son was in Iraq for the first invasion and was sent over there again. He was having serious problems and the local VA office told him to go 3 hours away to get treatment at the VA hospital! He finally got into the local office a few days later and when he waited for 3 hours to finally be seen, the doctor took his pulse, listened to his heart, tapped his knee and then spent the last 45 minutes trying to make him join the reserves! Then he was told there was nothing wrong. He has been to 2 local hospitals since, once by ambulance, once I took. The 3rd time I took him to UT Medical Center. They told him he has serious ptsd and needs to get to the VA and he told him what had happened before. The Dr. could not believe that he was told that! But there was not anymore he could do as my son does not have health insurance. So he was told to go back to VA.
The medical treatment is not the only veterans nightmare. My son also was accepted and all approved to go to university and he moved to the university town. When he arrived, the "person" at the VA's office did not have his paperwork(GI Bill), as he was told it was all taken care of through the VA. The VA system is a shambles.
Dogs are taken better care of. The Iraqis are taken better care of, with our money. Any third world person with a war injury, due to the US involvement, is better taken care of. Isn't this a sad realization? The politicians and US government should feel PROUD of this, they are giving our husband, fathers, wives, mothers, daughters, sons and any relative that has given their bodies, minds and souls the horrible and almost holocaustic treatment. THINK ABOUT IT
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