Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | VA Scandal | Ted Koran | Veterans affairs | suicide | hotline

Vet Who Called VA Suicide Hotline: I Was Put On Hold 3 Times

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 01:48 PM

An Air Force veteran who called the Department of Veterans Affairs' suicide hotline says he was put on hold three times before he was actually able to talk to someone.

"Like too many veterans, I didn't know the hotline number, so I called my local VA, James Haley down in Tampa, Florida, and got to the typical menu that most people would get," Ted Koran told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Monday.

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"Then you get to the spot where you have to write down the 1-800 number, give them a call, and then lo and behold, you're put on hold," he explained.

"In my case, I was put on hold three times before I finally got a human being," he said.

Koran called the Veterans Crisis Line while contemplating suicide April 11 because of depression after the death of his wife, Karen, who died from cancer about six months earlier.

The Air Force veteran said the longest he waited was about 10 minutes. He said that the system needs to be fixed, but that we need to look beyond the government.

"The only solution is the people themselves got to do something," he says.

"We can't depend on the government. Obviously, they aren't going to take care of us," he contends.

"They're only worried about themselves and the interests of big corporations, so the people need to get together," he added.

Health policy expert and former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey joined Koran on Newsmax TV and said it's another example that the VA is still broken and demonstrates the need for veterans to be able to go outside the VA system if they choose to do so.

"It was clear that this VA bill that was passed last summer was a sham," McCaughey explained.

"I actually went to Washington, D.C., and testified before Congress that it was a sham, and I showed them the specific provisions of it that made it a phony fix," she said.

"One of them is that this law said that you could go outside the VA system and see a doctor, a psychiatrist, or another kind of doctor and that the VA would pay for it, but the fine print erected so many hurdles that it made it literally impossible for people like Ted to see an outside doctor and have it paid for," she explained.

"Even if you finally got over all those hurdles and got to a doctor, after 60 days, you had to go back to the VA," she added. "What kind of a fix is that?"

McCaughey argues that the "[Obama] administration is running the VA for the unions, by the unions, and he doesn't care at all about the vets."

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An Air Force veteran who called the Department of Veterans Affairs' suicide hotline says he was put on hold three times before he was actually able to talk to someone.
Ted Koran, Veterans affairs, suicide, hotline, veteran
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2015-48-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 01:48 PM
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