The following is a letter from my father regarding Senator John McCain's lack of care, concern and assistance for an Air Force Veteran dealing with America's Veterans' Administration. I don't know about the rest of the Veteran's in this country, but John McCain is not this Veteran's candidate.
I am a United States Air Force Viet Nam Vet that suffered a service connected back injury due to a fall while servicing an airplane in July of 1966. This injury damaged, nerve roots and permanently crushed the left gluteal muscle. After hospitalization and extensive physical therapy I was able to continue my service to my country and served in Viet Nam in 1967. I continued to suffer from chronic lower back pain, but the warm SE Asia climate helped diminish the pain. In early 1968 I left the Air Force and entered the private sector.
One month after discharge I was at a Veterans Hospital suffering from sever back pain. The environment toward returning Viet Nam military by the people at the VA was spiteful to say the least. I was x-rayed and then with no examination asked by a doctor if I could touch my toes. Since after a few painful minutes of bending down I was able to accomplish this he informed me that if I could do that I could not have a bad back, then he summarily sent packing as he walked away. I was so infuriated I walked out of the hospital
Without pulling up or reviewing any military medical records the VA due to this visit claimed that my injury was not service connected. This started a 40 year battle that still goes on to this day.
In January of 1984 the pain in my lower back was different and my right leg went dead. No movement and I suffered drop foot. The VA in Seattle tried to diagnose the condition and at first recommended surgery, but after six months the leg recovered 85% and the prognosis was that the siadic nerve coming from the lumbar section was compressed. Also at this time the condition was determined to be service connected and a new VA ID Card was issued reflecting this change.
However no compensation was provided. The lower back has remained a chronic problem from 1966 to this date.
In late 2004 the pain in my lower back changed again with sharp shooting pains radiating down through my thighs buckling my legs and causing me to fall. I went back to the VA in Seattle where they did an immediate MRI and then prescribed Physical Therapy. The condition continued to deteriorate causing both legs to weaken with pain and limit my ability to walk or function. I did not and to this day have not been seen by a VA doctor with the exception of a doctor at the VA in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2006 when the pain got so bad I could barely walk and I required an injection into my right hip. This relieved the pain in the hip only.
During these several months we moved from Washington state to Gilbert, AZ, while remaining in communication with the VA and trying to receive treatment. This has remained to no avail.
With total frustration I contacted the office of Senator John Mc Cain in the Phoenix office and talked to a Mr. Tom Mc Camma. Tom after reading the history of this condition and the years of failing to get any medical help from the VA committed his office to assist me in any way they could. I was asked to come to the office where I talked to Tom on this matter and we established a strategy.
However last Fall I had another letter and several more documents that I was sending to the VA and wanted to send Tom copies. I called Tom to inform him that this was my intention and that he didn't have to do anything with them except to file them if he wanted. However Tom informed me that he didn't want them at all and I needed to be aware that they were in the middle of an election campaign and were to busy to assist me. When I reminded him he only needed to file them he sharply stated that I needed to be aware of the fact that the VA has a 400,000 back log of Vet's needing one thing or another and I shouldn't expect them to be able to help me.
I was sharply taken back by this statement and replied that a backlog of that magnitude was disgraceful and didn't happen over night and maybe the Senator should have been on top of this problem as he claimed to be one of us. Point blank I informed Tom Mc Camma that If John Mc Cain had been doing his job in the Senate and spending more time fixing the VA to insure proper and expedient receipt of medical treatment and education assistance that the veterans wouldn't be part of a 400,000 back log and being denied their benefits. I further informed Mr. Mc Camma that it could not be a funding issue as Senator Mc Cain like many others voted billions of dollars to criminals invading our country, so they can have free unearned medical and education benefits.
How ironic that those that served, suffered and died are denied earned benefits while those breaking the laws and costing our economy billions of dollars get a free ride. Like Hillary Clinton, John Mc Cain hasn't done the job we have been paying him for over the past several years and now he wants us to elect him to a higher post. Not on my watch! John Mc Cain is not one of US!
My back condition deteriorated to the point where it required major surgery and I could no longer put it off so in October of 2007 my L-4 and L-5 vertebrae were fused bringing L-4 back into place and the nerve canal was opened as well to relieve the nerve compression. This has provided some relief and allowed me to function better than before the surgery, however I will have major life long restrictions that affect my life and that of my family.