Roby’s staff to heighten investigation of VA

Published 4:02am Sunday, June 15, 2014

Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) seemed to have her concerns of the falsifying of wait times for patients at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System in Montgomery put at ease following a conversation with its director James Talton.

In that conversation Talton assured Roby the people who were responsible for falsifying the wait list records at the Montgomery VA were terminated.

Not true.

Talton called it a “misunderstanding”

Roby believes she was misled.

“If a member of Congress can’t get a straight answer from the VA, just think what our veterans go through on a daily basis,” she said.

Once Roby learned of the “misunderstanding,” she announced she is having her chief of staff Stephen Boyd and Military Legislative Counsel Mac Tolar spend a few days in Montgomery to look into the Montgomery VA more closely.

“The purpose is to improve our understanding of what is happening so that I can conduct responsible oversight and take the necessary legislative steps to correct this problem,” Roby added.

The horror stories from area residents continue to flood in.

Chris Smith, an Army veteran, told the Herald when he got out in 2004 he was put on zero percent disability even though he had a knee injury.

“It took me eight years of fighting to get through the system and then get MRIs done,” Smith said. “The doctors at the VA – two different docs – just said I have a miniscule tear in my knee. I demanded an outside orthopedic look at my knee. He said ‘how are you standing?’ He showed me where it was completely severed in two. I had a reconstructive surgery two weeks later.”

The Herald did have one veteran respond with glowing reviews of the Montgomery VA.

“I have been using the Montgomery VA hospital since 2005, and I can honestly say that I have not had any problems with them,” said the U.S. Army veteran. “I mean sure some times your appointment might get changed. That happens at a regular doctor’s office, too.

“I have had two surgeries since returning from Iraq. The VA hospital has been good to me and my wife during these times.”

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