I enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1993 in hopes of serving my country, to receive money for college and for the promise of free health care. It wasn’t until I got out in 1997, though, that my problems began.
From 1997 to 2018 I was bounced around from doctor to doctor, but spent the majority of that time without any consistent care.
In 2018 I had a heart attack and was rushed to the local hospital on the coast. Surprise, surprise. Even though the VA Roseburg Representative had assured me the year before that I was “fully covered” for non-VA hospital emergencies, the VA, after my hospital stay, refused to pay, stating I hadn’t seen a VA doctor in two years. Well, of course I hadn’t. The VA would never provide me with one.
That was the beginning of what has turned into a financial and emotional nightmare. I’m now stuck in the hell that is the VA appeals process, with creditors hounding me to get paid while the Roseburg VA continues their incessant denials and shameful tactics at every turn, all in an attempt to discourage me from putting up a fight in the first place.
I’m left to wonder, is this really what soldiers should expect after they serve their country?
Word of advice if you’re considering an enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces. Beware. You’re definitely going to serve your time while you’re in, and you might get some money for college. But, don’t expect the free health care they’re promising you, because, it simply doesn’t exist.
I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way, and, believe me, I now know what the VA and our representatives in Washington think of us.
Not too awful much.