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Retired U.S. Army captain struggles to receive VA health care

Retired Army captain struggles to receive VA health care

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs native, retired Army Capt. Don Martinez says he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, flashbacks, sleep apnea and numerous physical injuries.

The Iraq War vet argues he hasn't received proper care from the Veterans Administration clinic. Martinez claims only two weeks ago that administrators at the clinic on Fontanero Street didn't have his name down for a scheduled appointment.

Back in 2012, Martinez claims he called Congressman Doug Lamborn's office with concerns about the VA.

"Nothing," Martinez said. "No return phone call, no confirmation email that he received my message, it was like he wasn't even there."

We contacted Lamborn for an on camera interview Monday. We were told he was unavailable.

KRDO Newschannel 13 received this statement from the congressman: "The comprehensive records kept by my office show that we received no contact from this gentlemen, either in 2012 or in the two years since. However, I would be happy to offer any possible assistance and I encourage him to contact my office."

In a heavy GOP district, Lamborn is in a race to keep his job. Democratic challenger, Irv Halter, contends the four-term incumbent doesn't make veterans a top priority.

"Congressman Lamborn continues to fail this district," Halter said. "Especially the veterans that have served us so well, almost 100,000 of them. It seems to me unconscionable that he is not stepping up these efforts trying to take care of these folks."

Don Martinez knows it's time for him to move on from the VA system and seek private health care.

"Everybody says don't trust the VA," Martinez said. "Well, I give them the benefit of the doubt thinking maybe things will change? Maybe post 9/11 vets will be different? But, it's not. So I rely on going out of the VA. I'm done."

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