McCain to hold open forum to address Phoenix VA allegations

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by Natalie Brand

azfamily.com

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Updated Friday, May 9 at 10:34 AM

PHOENIX -- Tiffany Galloway, medically discharged from the Air Force, showed us the pile of proof of her battle with the Phoenix VA.

“It makes me sick,” Galloway said of the allegations of delayed care currently under investigation.

Galloway showed 3TV piles of paperwork detailing denied claims and appointment cancellations.

She says she waited more than four years for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, waited months to be seen for other injuries, and she even believes she may have been one of the veterans on the "secret waiting list" alleged by a former VA doctor turn whistleblower, Sam Foote.

“They wrote my name down on this piece of paper and put it in this separate pile. I thought maybe that that was for the clerk,” explained Galloway. “Come to find out ... this guy says that’s what they do to put you on this second list.”

Galloway is just thankful her injuries were not life-threatening. Whistleblowers blame delayed care for dozens of veterans’ deaths. VA officials have denied the allegations, and an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General is currently underway.

“I would not be surprised if it came out that more than 40 veterans died at the Phoenix VA," she said.

Dan Caldwell works for Concerned Veterans for America, which is calling for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

“We need to get rid of a lot of bad apples at the VA before we can move forward and engage in real reform,” Caldwell said. “We think there’s been a long pattern of failure.”

Top lawmakers including Sen. John McCain have said they want the Inspector General’s investigation to conclude before calling for Shinseki to step down.

“This is a life and death issue,” Caldwell said. “The VA needs to be fixed.”

Galloway, who comes from a multi-generational military family, says it’s what veterans deserve.

“You survive war and combat. All these things that people survive to come home and be failed by the administration that’s supposed to take care of you? I don’t understand how people can live with themselves," Galloway said.

McCain is holding an open forum with KFYI on Friday to field the concerns of veterans. It will be held at noon at the Burton Barr Central Library at 1221 N. Central Ave.

McCain's staff will also be on hand to answer questions about care, claims, etc., as well as field concerns.

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