Kansas City vets battle VA for the care they deserve - KCTV5

Kansas City vets battle VA for the care they deserve

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KCTV5 News has been taking a closer look at the problems people are having when it comes to healthcare.  Our focus now is on veterans. (KCTV5) KCTV5 News has been taking a closer look at the problems people are having when it comes to healthcare. Our focus now is on veterans. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

KCTV5 News has been taking a closer look at the problems people are having when it comes to healthcare.

Our focus now is on veterans -- men who survived a war but now battle an administration for the healthcare they deserve.

KCTV5 got a phone call from a veterans group that meets at IHOP. We went there hoping to learn more about problems with the VA and quickly realized that breakfast group was newsworthy. It’s the reality of what veterans are doing to navigate a bureaucratic and frustrating system.

"I carry a bunch of IHOP cards in my pocket ... come to breakfast second and fourth Mondays, your breakfast is on me. See if I can change your mind about signing up with VA," Leonard Russell said. "I owe it to my fellow veterans. I owe it to them. We are a band. I owe it to them."

Veterans, like Russell, track down fellow vets and help them navigate the VA because it’s so difficult.

"It gets to the point where you feel like giving up. You know you want to give and that's what they are hoping up. That's what they are hoping for. That every one of us will give up," Russel said.

Russel has a persistent cough. He’s had lung surgery. Here’s what happened when he filed went to the VA to file for disability.

"They measured my scar and said unless you are in modeling business or sex trade that scar doesn't interfere with you working," Russel said.

Most of these men share similar war stories.

“I've got a knee that really hurts. It's so bad, I can hardly walk. Doctor told me to suck it up. Other than that, it's pretty good," Steve Marks said.

Victories are now hearing aids and disability benefits. The successes these men share stunned KCTV5 and touched our heart.

"We have to fight the compensation to get what we are entitled to," Nash said.

Phill Nash has cancer. He is still fighting for full disability, arguing it’s the direct result of agent orange. His appeal is in Washington.

"Backed up six years of claims. I'll probably be dead in a year and half because they've given me six months to a year," Nash said.

“We're trying to have a support group here that will keep these people from giving up we’ll be here for each other. We'll help each other get over that hump," Russel said.

The Veteran Support Group will meet next Monday, Feb. 12 at the IHOP in Lansing. The meeting will be from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 484 N. Main St. 

We want to hear from you. Tell us what you want us to cover next. We are looking at these crazy limited insurance plans that pretty much cover nothing. Are we are digging into your medical complaints we’ll show to complain. Email us at investigate@kctv5.com.

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