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Bryan Disabled Vietnam Veteran Weighs In On Veterans Affairs Scandal


BRYAN - Brazos Valley Veterans and lawmakers are reacting to sweeping changes in Washington as a result of the scandal involving care delays at VA hospitals.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday and more changes are likely coming.

News 3 spoke with a disabled Vietnam Veteran who is hoping the changes will mean faster treatment for vets.

Bryan resident Gary Banta fought for his country in the Vietnam War.

He never thought he would have to fight his country.

"I don't know what's going to have to change but the whole concept of VA healthcare I feel has to change," said Banta.

Banta says he's always received good treatment from the VA Hospital in Temple.

The problem is how long it can take to get an appointment.

"We have to stop having to go get a see a doctor to get a consult, go to a consult to get an appointment then go to the appointment. And then if there's some treatment that has to happen then, there's gonna be that, can't be that day, it's gonna be some other time," he explained.

The Commander for American Legion Post 159 says VA Secretary Eric Shinseki needed to resign as an investigation continues into VA facilities across the country.

A preliminary audit shows schedulers were instructed to enter false data to hide actual wait times.

As many as 40 veterans at the Phoenix VA Facility may have died waiting for care.

"We're gonna do right by our veterans across the board as long as it takes. We're not gonna stop working to make sure that they get the care, the benefit and the opportunities that they've earned and they deserve," said President Barack Obama during a press conference Friday, which Banta was watching on his TV.

"The proof's in the pudding. Do we get rid of them or do we just talk about getting rid of them and the only way that I'm going to know if they've gotten rid of them then is if heads start rolling," said Banta.

A common complaint is a lack of rapport between patients and doctors. For example Gary Banta says he knows his doctor by name and they know him here at the College Station clinic but he's never seen by the same doctor on his countless trips to Temple.

"it's not a new problem it's been that way with the VA forever," said Banta.

Grateful for the care but frustrated with having to travel long distances and deal with long waits to receive that care.

So far there have been no indication of problems at the College Station VA Clinic.

But The VA Inspector General has confirmed they are investigating allegations of patient waiting list fraud in Austin, San Antonio and Temple.


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