Last week, my beautiful wife and I were on the front page of The Frederick News-Post in an article about the impending closure of the Martinsburg VA’s inpatient mental health facility. If you read some of the local papers in this area, all of them were busy covering a first responder drill at the hospital, instead of the real story about lack of mental health care. Hats off to The News-Post for not falling for the distraction (drill) and reporting on the real issue (losing 11 out of 16 psychiatrists over the last two years and not hiring replacements).
Something funny happened to me today. I received a phone call from the VA. It was a benefits claim processor calling me to tell me that my claim had just been processed and would be finalized in the next week. What was the claim? Nothing special, I was just adding my child Zane as a dependent.
Zane, my 18-month-old child. I submitted the paperwork to add him in November 2014. You can decide if this was a coincidence of if there was some influence to finally get this claim processed.
I’m glad it was not an urgent and serious claim, like lymphoma after a career working on nuclear reactors, or prostate cancer from Agent Orange exposure.
If the VA cannot process the simplest of claims such as adding a dependent in less than 18 months, what does that mean for veterans with serious medical issues who require immediate intervention and treatment?