Veteran Upset About VA Clinic Care

LUBBOCK, TX - Michael McWilliams served in the U.S. Army for 13 years, and fought in the Vietnam War. He said he is now fighting to get proper care and respect from the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Lubbock as he ages.

"They forget that they would not have a job here if it wasn't for veterans,” McWilliams said. “The veterans need for the people to work with us, but they do not work with us."

McWilliams claims he is getting the “runaround” when it comes to getting help with health issues.

"All we want is our due health care that we are promised," he said.

He says the VA sent him to a doctor who said he needed knee surgery, but when he went back to the VA, they told him he didn't need the surgery. Now, he wonders if it will ever happen, as he feels like he does need it.

Aside from struggling to get appointment times, his main concern is the lack of respect he feels from the staff, or what he calls “sass.”

"They don’t want to answer questions or anything," McWilliams said. "The VA has got it now that if you argue with them, or raise your voice with them, trying to get some help done, or get your situation taken care of, they call the police on you."

He claims at his most recent visit, they threatened to call police on him, saying he was raising his voice.

McWilliams said he has trouble regulating the volume of his voice, as he has lost 80% of his hearing.

"Sometimes I talk to low, sometimes I talk to loud. I can't tell the difference,” McWilliams said. “I had a 120 millimeter rocket go off behind me.”

He said it has only gotten worse as he gets older. reached out to the VA Clinic in Lubbock and the offices in Amarillo, and is waiting on a response.

McWilliams thinks it is an issue with “lack of respect,” for older veterans.

"World War II veterans, Korea veterans, Vietnam veterans… we are left out in the open."

He said they deserve better.

"I come back from Vietnam, and people spit on me...cussed me,” McWilliams said, adding he knows that he was protecting his country. "I am proud of what I did, but I would like to have a little bit of respect."

He said he is excited about the prospect of the new clinic here in Lubbock, but isn't sure he can wait years for better care. 

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