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Veterans air frustrations over service at VA clinic

Veterans air frustrations over service at VA clinic

PUEBLO, Colo. - The Department of Veterans Affairs is facing widespread criticism amidst allegations that 40 veterans died while waiting for an appointment for nearly two years. 

Veterans in Pueblo told KRDO NewsChannel 13 they have their own share of frustrations with the VA.

Last September, the VA opened an outpatient clinic at Eagleridge Circle in Pueblo. Several veterans are upset the clinic doesn't have a full-service pharmacy. 

"I take about 15 or 20 medications a day," said Larry Alvarado, a Vietnam War veteran in Pueblo.

Alvarado said he's had to wait more than a month, in some cases, to get his medication.

Daniel Warvi, a spokesperson for the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, said the clinic contracts with several pharmacies in Pueblo where veterans can get their pills. But Warvi added that the VA needs to be better about referring veterans to those services.

Butch Chavez is also a Vietnam War veteran. He goes to the clinic to deal with his PTSD but said the service he gets there doesn't measure up for the Home of Heroes.

"When you visit with the therapist at the clinic, you only get maybe 20 minutes to a half hour if you're lucky and that's just enough time to get somebody to open up- somebody that would open their heart and soul and then all of a sudden they have to go home," Chavez said.

Warvi said if veterans aren't happy with the service they are getting, they need to tell someone. He added that if they're aren't getting help from that person, they need to go up the chain of command.

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