Iraq War Veteran Says He is Having Trouble Receiving VA Medical Care

ABC 24

November 12, 2007 – A soldier with the Army National Guard says his convoy was hit by a bomb in Iraq. He says he is now battling the VA for help with medical care.

Specialist John Colley says shrapnel from the explosion left him with a traumatic brain injury.

“I knew I was very lucky, especially after I saw the vehicle,” said Colley. “There was a very large piece of shrapnel that ripped right underneath my seat and was stuck in the frame of the vehicle.”

Colley says he luck ran out when he returned home. He says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has yet to perform several standard evaluations to determine the treatment he needs. Colley says he constantly fills out forms and makes calls to figure out what to do to get help, but no one will tell him anything.

“There’s really nobody that I have found yet that has all of the answers,” Colley said. “There’s no one place you can go to that says ‘look, I need to evaluate your situation.”

Eyewitness News Everywhere tried to contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs several times Monday. No one at the Washington, D.C. Public Affairs office returned our calls.

Colley says dealing with his injury and government bureaucracy has put a strain on John’s marriage and his daughters. He says wanting to get better for them keeps him fighting for the benefits he is supposed to receive.

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