A veteran's reaction to VA Secretary's remarks
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:09:10 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH) - John Moock has served 13 years in the Army Reserves.
His service includes two tours in Iraq.
"We did convoy security all over Iraq. We provided the beans, bullets, and ammo to make the war run." says Moock.
What Moock didn't know was one of his toughest battles would happen right here at home.
He was discharged from the Army in 2012 and has been in the VA system since then, seeking help for issues like post traumatic stress disorder and various injuries he sustained overseas.
Moock says he submitted a claims packet to the VA to get help and did not get an answer for four years.
That experience has made Moock wary of remarks from Veterans Affairs boss Sloan Gibson, who toured Columbia's Dorn VA hospital on Wednesday
"When Secretary Gibson talks about how they're upping the response times...yes and no. If you have an absolutely pristine, perfect packet and they are able to get all of your records from the Army and are able to scan through every single piece of information quickly and find exactly what they're looking for, yeah you'll be seen in the...what is it...200 and some odd days he's talking about." Moock says.
Moock is also skeptical of how he believes Gibson portrayed Dorn as a streamlined health care stop for veterans.
"Secretary Gibson talked about how there was a lot of what he called a 'one stop shop' for OIFand OEF veterans. That makes it sound a lot more conclusive and a lot more holistic than it actually is." states Moock.
"The first thing I would say is I'm sorry. We let you down. The second thing I would say is have faith because we're going to deliver on our promise. That's my committment." said Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson in a press conference Wednesday.
Moock says his experience has been that while many at Dorn do the best they can with limited resources, there are simply far too many veterans and not enough case workers and staff to help them all.
That is also something Secretary Gibson says Dorn is working on by recently adding more doctors and staffers
While Moock hopes the VA medical system will eventually smooth itself out, he doesn't think that day will come any time soon.
"Secretary gibson said that he wants veterans to believe in a place where they would be seen in a timely and compassionate manner. I'm not taking anything away from him or his vision by saying that I don't believe that we are anywhere near that point now." says Moock.
A point veterans like Moock hope will be reached in time to help those who need it most.