My first experience with the VA

| May 20, 2013

So, for three months now, I’ve been trying to get leg braces, you know, so I could walk. Calling civilian medical supply stores, I got zero call backs, which is pretty frustrating you know, when you’ve left 20 messages on voice mail and get no call backs. So, I figured, I’d try the VA – the same thing. I’d leave messages at the prosthetic department in Martinsburg’s VA Medical Center because for some stupid reason, no one answers their phones anymore, and apparently they don’t return your call.

So last week after weeks of calling everyday and leaving my number, I found an email address where I could leave a complaint. So I did, explaining that I was calling the prosthetic department everyday and couldn’t get them to even call me back.

So, after sending my email, I got a call from the dentist at Martinsburg saying they had a cancellation that they could get me in. I said “Sure, why not”. I’ve been going to a local dentist and paying out of my pocket for the last several years, so I thought this would be a way to check up on my dentist.

So I went to Martinsburg today and they examined my teeth. While I was there, the hygienist asked how I got the appointment, because she couldn’t find any information on me in the system. I told her someone called and asked me if I wanted to fill the cancellation, and I agreed. It was all a big mystery to everyone how I got a dental appointment with virtually no patient information. Well, I got this email from the email complaint line, just this minute;

They can set you up an appointment but the VA does NOT do braces. Your inquiry has been forwarded to the Chief of Dental.

I guess it was my mistake, even though I said I was trying to get braces from the prosthetic department, I didn’t mention that the braces were for my legs and not my teeth. Sorry, VA, I’m so stupid. Or something. But, I still need braces, so, you know, I can walk.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (58)

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  1. Detn8r says:

    Hondo, I hope so, I really don’t want to think someone would wish any amputating of limbs.

    If so, I appologize very much!

    If not, offer still stands for that discussion.

  2. GunzRunner says:

    Ahhh the anonymity of the internet……

  3. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    This is beyond ridiculous, the level of stupid required to forward a request for braces from the prosthetic department to the Chief of Dental operations without even contacting the veteran is virtually unimaginable to me.

    Couple this story with the “Discharges of combat troops” story from a day or so ago and for what reason would someone want to serve their nation?

    It’s a noble thing to want to serve, but if you are going to be sh1t on at every turn after your service and discharged for trifling horsesh1t while you serve it doesn’t make for a very attractive environment for someone of character. Serving with honor should require that those whom you serve are required to return that honor in their respect for your service, and in their administration of their duties to our veterans who have promised to give all to this nation during their service. Many of those veterans have given the best years of their lives, and left limbs and other parts behind in the execution of their honorable service.

    To be treated with this level of apathetic imbecility is an insulting, disgraceful statement about the true nature of respect being held for veterans.

    I have never requested anything from the government, no education reimbursement, no VA loans, no health care, nothing. Because my service was so limited that I don’t feel I deserve those benefits. I have also been extremely fortunate in my civilian employment that health care and housing loans were readily available.

    It was my thinking by not bogging the system with the mundane those who truly need and deserve those benefits would have one less person in the way who had alternate means to obtain care.

    That people who work in the VA and are tasked with the honor of serving the needs of those who have given so much to the nation seem to care so little about doing the right thing by these veterans, appalls me on every level.

  4. obsidian says:

    @17: I once went to an audiology appointment and DID get a prostate check before the appointment by some creepy old man with a limp. I had gone in to discuss the depression of dealing with my hearing loss and he sticks his finger up my ass. Watch you ass in Decatur VAMC!
    We had a vet commit suicide in our VAMC in Decatur Ga. There are stories of vets finding dead veterans in their wheel chairs whose body rode the elevator for hours before a visitor discovered the Vets were dead and called someone.
    I have my new hearing aids but the cable to the remote doesn’t work so the remote won’t charge and that means I cannot adjust the sound levels from where they are stuck on high. I keep asking for the cable but the VA keeps sending me the adapter plug instead. They apparently are unable to adjust the sound in audiology.
    The first thing the attendent did was check my hearing “in case I’m faking it” in her words. After the test one of many I’ve had since RELACDU in ’74 I looked at the graph and sweetly asked if the hearing was getting worse or the same.
    She said it’s the same but I read graphs and it’s worse than last time but in the same fashion as before.
    Don’t get discouraged but your first visit was most likely a harbinger to come of frustration and anger. DO NOT GET ANGRY while at the VA their Cops are rough and will toss you out on your ear or have you arrested.
    There is an old book most libraries have a copy called “The Vietnam Veterans survival guide”, in it there is this advice, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”, so squeak Veteran until they do their Danged job.
    Insults, indifference and sexual perverts the VA is full of these types, incompetent to a degree that is criminal.
    I personally do not know any veterans or their families who like the VA but I know many who hate the entire sham of a Hospital.
    Good Luck Buddy!
    P/S Go through a service Org. such as the VFW, DAV and such to grease your way in.

  5. Joe Williams says:

    By the way the VA has changed the way you get your travel pay. Old way=finish your appointments and be in cash before you leave the VA.. Now the VA will pay by mailing the Vet a check. @55,can you trade for in ear aids? I went with the in- ear buds that each bud has its own volume co9ntrol(manual).Battery supply has not been a problem. Joe

  6. MrBill says:

    I put in my VA claim 20 months ago and finally have my physical exam scheduled for the near future. I don’t really need the money, so I have just been kind of going along passively without complaint; I figure if I became a “squeaky wheel” I might get moved up in front of someone who really does need the help, and I don’t want to do that. I’m just going with the flow and figure they’ll finish with me one of these days.

  7. Anon says:

    Prosthetics can’t decide to issue braces on their own- the prosthetics department is basically an intermediary that fills “orders” placed by medical providers (kind of like going to supply to have a requisition filled). They need a consult entered specifying what type of brace, etc., you need. At some clinics the primary care providers do this but most likely your PCP will either make a referral to podiatry or directly to an orthotist so you can be assessed to determine what type of brace you need. Also, in some cases veterans are referred out to have custom braces or orthotics made.