YUMA, Ariz. – Patrick Van Fleet served in the United States Marine Corps for 6 years and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. He says he received several injuries while over seas, “Been close enough to several explosions i got shot in the right leg to this day the VA has not treated it”. He is talking about the VA clinic in Yuma. He says the clinic shows a complete lack of respect and lack of treatment.
His concerns with the VA do not end there. Van Fleet, who now must use a cane to walk says because of carelessness by the VA he may soon not be able to walk at all. He suffers from several bulging discs in his spine and knee issues he says the VA failed to diagnose, “I had to go to a civilian doctor to learn my back is the cause of my knee problems they just tried to dope me up and send me on my merry way”
Patrick’s father Buddy Van Fleet is also a veteran serving several decades in the army. He says his son’s condition has been constantly getting worse, “I’ve watched the kid go from having a limp to using a cane to pretty much using a walker here lately”. Patrick’s father believes the VA has been failing many more veterans than just his son and says it has become a life or death situation for many of America’s heroes, “Thats why you have so many veteran suicides, they keep attacking these veterans moral and i’m seeing my son get to that point and it really disturbs me”
The Phoenix VA hospital was recently involved in a national scandal over delayed wait times and a cover up to hide them. Patrick says he would like to see many changes made in Arizona and across the country, “Listen to the veterans listen to what they have to say”
We tried to get answers from the VA clinic in Yuma, when one of our reporters entered the building and tried to get answers to some of our questions they were immediately kicked out of the facility. We contacted VA public affairs they told us “The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System provides high quality healthcare to our Veterans throughout Southern Arizona. We take all complaints seriously, and we are currently reviewing the situation.”
Even with all the issues Patrick says he will regrettably return to the VA, “All my documentation is through the military and through the Va i don’t know what to do anymore.”