Jasper County veterans call for change in Veterans Affairs - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Jasper County veterans call for change in Veterans Affairs


Veterans in Jasper County are calling for change in their local Veterans Affairs Office.

This comes just a day after President Barack Obama held a news conference to address the scandal surrounding the VA Hospital in Phoenix.

Allegations surfaced that officials there covered up a secret waiting list for veterans, causing deadly delays.

Jasper County veterans said it's not just an issue in Phoenix, but one that is felt worldwide. Jasper County veterans rallied on Thursday, asking for change.

Sixteen men met outside of the Veterans Affairs Office demanding change, saying veterans are treated unfairly.

"I'd like to see things get a little better for the veterans because we've been having a lot of problems," said veteran Henry Graham, Jr. "Certain things we need, it seems like things go slow, even when it comes down to our medicine. A lot of times we gotta wait so long to get doctor's appointments and medications, and it's a problem for the veterans."

John Craps served in the Gulf War for four years before getting injured. He said he's been having a hard time with the local Veterans Affairs Office for years.

"Road blocks," he said. "Can't get medical records, can't get anybody that really wants to talk to you about anything. These folks here, they gave me a book and a piece of paper about the Gulf War Syndrome, said go home and read it, see if anything applies."

Craps is hoping now that this protest and the president's investigation can bring about change worldwide.

During his press conference on Wednesday, President Obama announced that he instructed VA Secretary Eric Shineski to conduct a nationwide review of patient access to care. The president is expected to get the preliminary results next week.

"Our theme this Memorial Day should probably be no veterans left behind," said Craps.

The Jasper County veterans have wrapped up their protest for the day, but they said they're not done. They won't be done until veterans get better treatment.

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