Johnson City

Local veterans respond to controversy over care at VA hospitals

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Veterans are reacting to the investigation into care at VA hospitals nationwide after accusations of treatment delays and preventable death at those facilities.

The inspector general at the Veterans Affairs Department now says 26 VA facilities are under investigation, including the Phoenix hospital at the center of allegations about treatment delays and secret waiting lists intended to hide delays in care.

We talked to Air Force Veteran Joshua Shepard (Ret.), who is also the president of ETSU's chapter of Student Veterans of America, about how the University's veteran community feels about the allegations.

Shepard tells us they haven't discussed the issue in depth because the Mountain Home VA Medical Center, in Johnson City, is not under investigation.

"We don't talk about it that much," he says. "From what I'm hearing from other veterans, it just seems so small scale because like I say we've received such good care here in our local community."

Shepard did say he's hopeful the problem can be resolved soon.

"I think that there isn't a problem that can't be fixed," he said. "I'm sure it won't get fixed in the time people are wanting it to get fixed in but eventually it will be handled. It's a big deal so they're making it a big deal."

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