Local Veterans React To Veterans Affairs Scandal

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- President Obama Wednesday promised a nationwide investigation into allegations of poor care at the country's veterans' hospitals.

One Purple Heart veteran and a Marine Corp veteran say they experienced it firsthand.

A veteran of the World War II, Korea and Vietnam eras and Purple Heart recipient Phillip Davenport says he is deaf in one ear.

He and his wife Dolores say their frustration with the Topeka V.A. hospital began when he went to get a hearing aid in the early 60's.

"I had so much trouble in Topeka, I could never get in. I tried to get a hearing aid and never did get it! My hearing is real bad that's why I look at mouths and lip read," said Phillip.

"I was so ticked and he said 'I'm never going to go back,'" said Dolores.

Marine Corps veteran Rev. Franciso Figeruroa Jr. "Preacher" says he has had trouble with the V.A. healthcare system as well.

"It's supposed to be something that is an award for service. I did my time, I served honorably and it's pretty aggravating. My dental has been cancelled, my hearing has been cancelled, my vision has been cancelled," said Preacher.

In a news conference Wednesday, President Obama said he has heard many veterans stories like theris. He's ordered a nationwide investigation into the V.A. system, including allegations of fraudulent record keeping and deliberately hiding information about long wait times at facilities across the nation.

"It is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it. Period," said Obama.

"It just upsets me so much because those guys who were in the service and are retired they deserve respect and everything they were promised," Dolores cries.

The Davenports say President Obama should fire V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki. Preacher says its time for a change.

"They should do something about it! Fire the bum and get somebody else in who really takes care of things," said Dolores.

"To me, they don't treat everybody right," said Phillip.

"It just seems like they are not that considerate of what they are there for and who they are there for," said Preacher.

Representative Lynn Jenkins said, "while the President took little action, the house will act Wednesday. The legislation will provide the V.A. tools needed to hold senior executives accountable who are putting veterans' healthcare at risk."

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran also said action needs to take place so veterans get the health care they need in a timely fashion that they earned and deserved.

On the other side, 13 News has received calls from veterans who told us they have had excellent care at Topeka's V.A. hospital.


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