Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DAV pulls a Grinch at Xmas for Indiana Vets

For more about the DAV, use the VA Watchdog search here...
Be sure to watch the video of this story at the link below.
Story here...
Story below:
Veterans Worried About Traveling to VA Hospitals

Michiana veterans travel hours to receive care at VA hospitals in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Chicago.For years, those vets have relied on one man to get them there.That means one man is out of a job, and that means your fathers and grandfathers might have to rely on you for transportation.One small box, a disconnected phone and folders full of papers is all that's left of Roy Archer's career as a Disabled American Veterans van dispatcher.Archer says, "The main reason I did it is I wanted to help someone out."

That’s particularly true for veterans. For the past eight years Archer has been responsible for making sure local vets get rides to and from the Veterans Hospitals in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.It's a big job. He says he gets about 50 calls a day from Veterans needing rides to a hospital.After calling drivers, that translates to about 10 hours a day on the phone.And many times, Roy's work day never ends.Archer says, "I've had phone calls clear up to 2:30 in the morning from people wondering how they're going to get to the Veteran's Hospital."Archer has always given vets an answer. But now, his position has been changed from a paid job to a volunteer job by the state DAV commander.We tried to contact him, but he didn't return our calls. Disabled Veterans, like Robert Massing, are concerned.Massing says, "I can't drive. I don't have a car."He relies on Roy and the DAV van drivers to get to and from the Veterans Hospital is concerned.And worries what it will be like without them.Massing says, "Worst case scenario is I'll have to get on a bus and take a bus down to Indianapolis. It's seven blocks away. I've never done it, but if I have to, I have to. But we shouldn't have to do that."Elkhart County Veterans Service Officer, Gary Whitehead agrees.Whitehead says, "I don't like crisis management, but that's what this has turned into."A crisis that's leaving many vets concerned about their health care and one without the job he loves.Again, Roy's phone is disconnected, so at least, for now, local Veterans will have to find a way to the Veterans Hospitals on their own.
------------------------- Larry Scott --

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