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Old January 4, 2013, 07:30 PM   #26
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by ClydeFrog
I'd add that if you are a veteran & get VA treatment, if you have a complaint or dispute, go to the Veteran's rep office.
If you are referring to what my VA hospital calls the "Patient Advocate Office," you'd be wasting your time. I had a complaint a couple or three years ago. I stopped by the PA office and made a verbal report. Nothing happened. Six months later I wrote a letter. They claimed they never received it. So I hand-carried a copy of the letter and ensured that it WAS delivered. Another six months went by. On my next visit I stopped and asked. I was told that, "due to the nature of [my] issue" it had been referred to a higher level.

Four months later, still nothing. I stopped in again and asked, and got the same story about "referred to a higher level." I finally gave up and called my U.S. Representative's office. That got action -- but not "results." I was invited to sit down with the assistant head of the hospital, who informed me that the doctor I was complaining about was highly qualified and that the VA only gets the best doctors available. The fact that this doctor had prescribed a medication which he personally knew I was allergic to was, apparently, not important.

Bottom line -- the Patient "Advocate" office is NOT there to advocate for the patients. They are there to bury and delay complaints until the patient dies or gives up.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:10 PM   #27
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Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System; recent event(s)....

I 100% disagree.
You may have a bad incident but other VAMCs or clinics may have different outcomes.
In the system where I worked; Pittsburgh PA, there was a break-out of Legionaires disease. Several older veterans at the UD(University Drive) location died. It was bad. Several OIG investigations & elected officials really cracked down on that scandal.
As I said, if you have major problems, go to the media or the VA's OIG.

PS: A 083/police officer co-worker I had also worked as a sales clerk part-time for a gun shop. He was a USMC(military police) veteran & later left federal service to take a law enforcement LT position. He could shoot 300/300 with a 10mm Glock 20 pistol, too.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:18 PM   #28
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I was in the army for a long time. I've had tri-care and I've seen the VA hospitals.

There is no way the VA system can come close to civilian medicine, I'm sorry to those guys who love it but ill keep my civilian doctors and private insurance. I can see a specialist on Monday if I want. Government healthcare is for the birds. This isn't really the place to discuss this, but if any doctors ever ask about firearm ownership, I'll post it.
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Old January 5, 2013, 01:40 PM   #29
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So far my experience has been VA medical where I live is generally ok. I have however encountered administrative people not related to medical who couldn't hold a job at a fast food restaurant... Reading news papers, magazines and looking at me like I was a disease for walking in without an appointment... If it was up to me Id send people to pretend to be customers and see what kind of professionalism they get... Lots of these people need to be fired and barred from ever working for the government again.

No, no ones ever asked me about my firearms and if they do they wont like the answer...
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Old January 5, 2013, 03:13 PM   #30
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I have doubts about this post & the details. I'm not calling the forum member a liar, I just think there are 2 sides to the story & there may be more to it.

I worked as a VA employee in the late 1990s(NTE position, GS-04). I worked in the VA police & security service. I saw firsthand how veterans with firearms & concealed weapons were treated.
I also get VA medical services & use a local VA medical center where I now live.
The Dept of Veterans Affairs is not perfect. There are a lot of clock-watchers & slackers there. Many of the medical doctors are sub-standard or looking to hold a public service job until they move into a higher paying slot. A few are just bottom of the barrel scumbags filling VA positions that no one wants.
I made a formal complaint to a program manager about a "psychologist" I was mandated to see. This pant-load nitwit was so off track I said he should get a psych eval! That VA doctor was removed from my treatment team.
My state passed new laws that prevent medical doctors from prying into firearms ownership or weapons unless they are not allowed to own-use firearms by law. That's fair & prudent. I'm not sure if it applys to the US Dept of Veterans Affairs. That's federal property.

I'd add that if you are a veteran & get VA treatment, if you have a complaint or dispute, go to the Veteran's rep office. They act as a advocate for the veteran & insure SOPs or standards are met. If the problem is serious, go to the OIG; office of the inspector general or the local media.
VA managers & SES(senior executives) grade do not like bad PR or problems.
The VA isn't perfect but there are resources available to resolve complaints.

I have to agree with ClydeFrog. I too am not calling anyone a liar in the least as I think very highly of the members of this board.

I've had my experiences with the VA too and I've never been in a position where firearms were discussed. I sort of handle the affairs of my cousin who lost a leg in Iraq and is suffering from extreme PTSD.

No doubt there is red tape and extremely frustrating hoops to jump through not to mention several incompetent Shrinks. It took us some time to finally get one that actually had some clue as to what he was doing and talking about.

All that aside, and I'm trying to think back as well as I can, and I can't remember that form of "Gun ownership interrogation" ever taking place. So I too would be interested in both sides of this argument also.
I didn't know you could bend it like that?
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Old January 5, 2013, 05:04 PM   #31
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Inside The Delta Force, CSM Eric Haney....

A former US Army Ranger & member of the elite Delta Force(SFOD-1), Command Sgt Major Eric Haney, wrote a non fiction book about his military service after he retired. Haney later became a military advisor on the CBS action series; The Unit.
In his book, CSM Haney wrote that a US Army psychitrist was so slanted & unstable he was later cut from the special operations command due to several complaints about his conduct.
The medical officer's function was to screen applicants for the Delta Force selection.

Not all govt agencies are perfect or are run smoothly. I saw a lot of fraud/waste/abuse when I was on active duty.
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Old January 5, 2013, 07:19 PM   #32
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I have doubts about this post & the details
+1. Smells like very bad swiss cheese (holes all over) to me.

I retired several years ago and no question about guns (or ownership of guns) through a multitude of different VA health appointments. I'll raise the "brown stuff" flag on this thread unless it comes directly from the VA member with more details.

Last edited by twins; January 5, 2013 at 07:31 PM.
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Old January 5, 2013, 07:44 PM   #33
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I used to work for the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs; I determined the disabled percentage, thus deciding how much money Veteran's received in benefits. I only made it 8 months; The VA is a massive joke, our veterans deserve better.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:46 PM   #34
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Does the vet have a history of depression or PTSD? Suicide is much higher for vets than the average population. Maybe the Doc was just concerned and told a little white lie about "why" he was asking
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Old January 6, 2013, 12:41 AM   #35
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To clarify one issue, and a question Mike Irwin asked: a VA physician or administrator CANNOT disqualify your eligibility for care if you refuse to answer a question. You have no legal obligation to answer a question on firearms ownership during a medical history inside the VA or out of it. A VA patient's eligibility for care is assessed on several criteria which together assign a priority level. The criteria do not include answering questions such as those identified. OTOH, financial status can be related to priority, so you may have to reveal fiscal status - but not gun ownership.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:58 AM   #36
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Like TennJed said, if a patient complains about depression he/she should expect those questions from any doctor, VA or not. That is why I am always careful what I say around medical providers. Even if the questions are not asked, who knows what they write in their notes.

Having said that, I was at the VA just this past Friday and there were no questions about firearms. I have always been satisfied with the treatment I have received from any VA clinic/hospital I have been to.

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Old January 6, 2013, 12:55 PM   #37
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I just had one dealing with VA here in Colorado Springs and since we have Ft Carson plus Peterson AF and some other bases and returning combat vet's have lot to deal with. I think the VA trying to understand more on the mental problems from PTSD.

I've met thru the archery shop few vet's on the WW program are being treated for PTSD got their disability % for that. Only complain I ever heard from those guys is how long it took. I'm sure they may of been asked some question that may be questionable to some who hasn't been thru that.
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