Veterans Voice Frustration over VA Benefits


veteransBy Vicky Jacobsen, Times Staff Writer


TEMPLE TERRACE — Forget about scheduling a doctor’s appointment through the Veterans Affairs system. At this point, Sanford Brookins said, he can’t even get the St. Petersburg Regional Benefit Office to reply to a letter.

Brookins, 53, said an appeals board in Washington, D.C., decided back in March that he was entitled to coverage for some of his medical conditions. More than 100 days later, Brookins has written and even driven to the local office in person and is still waiting for a response.

“My dilemma right now is that they’re not doing anything about it,” said Brookins, a Navy veteran.

His story was a familiar one for many of those who attended a Veterans Intake Day organized by U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, at Temple Terrace City Hall on Wednesday. Some came to find people to help them with claims, and some mentioned positive experiences with their doctors and specific VA-run programs. But most were frustrated with a system that often takes months or years to work through.

Brent South of New Tampa said it seems as if veterans need “special powers” to know how to get what they need from their veterans benefits. South said he was severely injured when his helicopter went down in Iraq in 2004, but he remained in the Army and retired after 20 years in 2010. Once he began seeking full compensation for a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, he said, he was told he should have been given a medical retirement because of his injury.




  1. I finally got a dental appointment. Jan/2015. Sweet. I might as well buy my own dental tools at this point.

  2. Another day of hell. That’s how I think now days. The VA! I have to wake to more dismay and heartache. Me and my wife were tying to buy a house and it was a VA back loan. At the last minute the VA said no to the loan. I was tying to make things better for my wife and we spent a lot of money to do this that we didn’t have. My wife looked at me like never did before. It was not a good look at all. I guess she will be gone soon too. She had worked 30 years for us and the VA got to her this time. Why does the VA think this is so funny about hurting us? People wonder why I hate the VA so much. 8 Years that’s why! She did nothing to the VA and why does the VA have to destroy her too? All her hopes and dreams gone, she doesn’t even want to buy a home anymore. All I had was a good loving home and that all gone. I have nothing anymore, nothing. Thank You VA! THIS TIME! Just keep pushing! VA Motto JUST DIE!

    • Many readers here at VT submit articles complaining, name-calling, pointing fingers, cussing, spewing hatred, and what we’d love to do to someone for the condition of the country, and its citizens-me included. This is one time everyone could and should support one another and write letters to everyone and anyone who has any big or small authority, make phones calls to any one who will listen with leverage at a higher level than VA, and begin protesting, chanting, making a display of this injustice you are suffering. VT should be able to step forward and apply pressure on the specific VA hospital you are speaking about. The problem is how to we find out that information unless VT contacts you and has permission to specifically name names and locations, doctors and administrators who are resisting an American patriot efforts to obtain what is rightfully his. ,

    • I am not sure if this is permissible, or even appropriate, but, since i have no reason not to believe what you are stating and asking (seems it is basic logical and reasonable,) I can see the little foreign doctors in their starch white coats over their scrubs, with stethoscope around the neck pompously hovering above you talking down to you gleefully enjoying their dictatorial control they have over you.
      Even in the private sector, I have witnessed this many times. Obstinate, defiant and resistant physicians with nose in the air, defying logic and common sense without any semblance of human empathy, determined to avoid doing what is right for ones they just don’t like. Write your state’s (what ever it is,) legisltors, local and federal, give names and locality, and state dates and times from your diary of ongoing BS they’ve inflicted. I am positive many here at VT would support and attempot to help you if we only knew the who, what, and where. If anyone can attract some attention it is VT nationally. Locally make an issue with your local media both print and airwaves-radio and TV. Hell, write the president. Let him know how you are being denied….good luck. I shall not forget your situation. Check back.

    • I know that game to with all of the local media and all. I’m trying to tell everyone what we go through everyday of our lives. It’s is a horror story. I have nothing, just my wife that I love very much. She’s sick of all of this. She deserves better that this from the VA. Many other people are effected by all of this sick games they call the VA. Family members get hurt just as much as the Veteran. All she knows is work, she comes home and eats and go to bed. She makes less than the men doing the same job. They think she a women so she can’t be the bread winner, but she is. We don’t have money to do anything but pay the bills. So, not much to lose! How sad the VA is. VA Motto JUST DIE!

  3. johnph–I am so sorry for your pain, discomfort and imposition as well as your financial burden. This nation, the great and mighty United States of America, has enough money to take care of you until your dying day. We give billions to pathetic foreign nations and their piteous leeching people yet cannot take care of people as you and many others. Whatever ill-health you persevere, many Americans out here truly do care but have no way to change this self-serving callous foreigner-led government.
    I wish I could help you in some way. The insult you are experiencing is exactly what our soldiers today will receive in the future. I get angry too when I thing about all their healthcare we provide for this weak, feeble and incompetent president, congress, and the sucking minions has been, is and will be free for the remainder of their lives. Top-notch healthcare, at the finest facilities forever. And there you are suffering miserably when it does not have to be that way. You , johnph, are in my prayers. Some day we will change this insulting government’s treatment of their citizens like you. I am truly sorry!

    • Thank You so, so much. It’s really hard when you know that the VA likes what they do to you. I’m just one of many Veteran that needs help, the only thing different is that I’m yelling at the top of my lungs to get something done. It’s a shame what we read and hear about the VA. It makes me sick. I’m angry that the VA knows what is going on and can live with themselves. My doctor had to give me more drugs to deal with this disaster. That’s how angry I am! My heart go out to all the Veterans and the families that have been dealing and dealt with the worst unfeeling performance that the VA hands out. I know what the VA can do to you. Very Sad! How can The VA do This ???

  4. I’m going on 8 years of the VA bullshit. I have 2 of the VA doctors that agree with my claim. It’s about how to make the Veterans suffer. The VA really hates the Veterans. I can see that in their faces when I talk to them. I even know other Veterans that are going through the same shit. The VA has FAIL the Veterans in so many ways. I want to know who are doing the claims in the first place. What educations do they have? I think it’s someone who is looking at the medical books for the answer than they need. I’m really sick of the bullshit that the VA is giving me. I’m starting to really hate the people that is doing my claim. I can see them laughing at me. The VA has push me over the edge. I hate the VA. VA Motto Deny, Deny, Delay, Delay until we die or is it JUST DIE!

    • The more I think about this story the hotter I get. Now that all of this disturbing lying, corrupt and scrupulous information that has surface, maybe something will be done. I suffer every day because of the people at the VA and it’s is there all the time. I think of the VA and I get upset. The VA has no right to keep someone hanging on like this. The VA can push someone to much. I have to pay for my own drugs outside of the VA, because one of the doctors is a dick. That’s a lot of money for me to spend on drugs while I can get them free. Just keep pushing. Now, my depression is worst because of all of this bullshit. I have to listen to this shit and the VA just laugh at us. IT’s JUST DIE! now days.

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