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I am a 20 year 100% disabled veteran. I have been dealing with the Washington VA for over 20 years. My medical record is now over 600 pages and climbing. I have severe Degenerative Disc Disease, nerve damage, and constant chronic pain. For most of the 20 years the VA has only sent me for chiropractic, different types of therapy, cortisone shots, and a bilateral nerve ablation with no relief in pain. They keep denying me the back surgery that could lessen my pain. It took me four years to even get an MRI scheduled. My worst experience was after a surgery, when complications arose from their procedure, and I needed a respirator to breathe for me after their mistake caused a collapsed lung. I have had respiratory problems ever since.

Many times I have sat in clinics at my VA and watched vets stand in line while the employees ignored them and visited and gossiped — or the phone was ringing off the hook and no one could be bothered to answer it. I wish VA staff could be held accountable up to the highest management level.