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Veterans with critical injuries, illnesses wait months to see doctor

Veteran fights to see doctor

Colorado Springs, Colo - Veterans in Colorado Springs say they're grateful a change at the top is coming to the Veterans Administration. But it doesn't change the months of waiting and hoping for medical care.

"I don't think they ever fought for me," Gulf War veteran Park Major said.

Major holds onto his cane, fighting to walk around his apartment.  major served four years in the gulf war. He suffers from chronic leg pain and PTSD. For the last three years he's needed glasses and can't get them.

He and his wife moved to Southern Colorado in February.  Nearly four months later Major continues to wait for that precious appointment at the VA.

"You get so frustrated at times and you feel like you can't go on or you don't want to go on," Major said.

Kristina Wright got so frustrated, the retired Iraq War veteran who retired from the Army in 2008 says she's given up trying to get care from the VA because she's sick of feeling treated like a number.

"During the entire process it was virtually impossible to see my surgeon or my doctor on a consistent basis," Wright said. "My appointment times were spread from four to six months. Whatever my doctor had going on, I wasn't able to see them but for a couple of minutes at a time."

Wright and Major are let down. Another veteran says he's gotten excellent care from the VA for almost a decade since coming home from Iraq.

It needs to be kinks worked out," James Miller, a marine veteran, said. "But overall it is a good system for our veterans no matter what branch, no matter what age."

According to Daniel Warvi, the Public Affairs Officer for the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care system, the average wait time for an appointment at the Colorado Springs clinics is 35 days. Warvi says that's comparable to other states.

Park Major stands on his stoop admiring the America Flag that waves as a symbol of unity and country from the balcony of his apartment. In the last four months he's felt nothing but alone.

"I feel like after all I've done for my country, I'm being left in the wind," Major said in despair. "No one seems to care."

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