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I have a service related illness from a deployment overseas. Despite my military medical records and VA disability rating, doctors at the VA said there was “nothing wrong” with me. I waited months to get in to see a specialist, who then referred me to another specialist, which was another couple months wait. I absolutely could not wait for treatment and I was forced to go to civilian doctors to get care/medication. I racked up $29,874 dollars in medical bills–out of pocket costs. I drained my savings and charged up my Visa. I submitted claims for reimbursement and they were “lost” SIX times. By the time my Congressman got involved and helped me submit the claims for the seventh time, the “statute of limitations had run out,” my claims were denied because apparently it was too late to submit for reimbursement (even after the VA acknowledged losing them 6 times). My Congressman wasn’t interested in fighting for me and I never heard from him again. It will take me years to pay off these medical bills. Through the civilian care, I was able to recover enough so I’m almost having a normal life again. Left to the VA, I have no doubt I’d either be in a wheelchair right now or even dead.