McCaskill Talks to Vets

1 decade 11 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, May 31 2007 May 31, 2007 Thursday, May 31, 2007 6:11:34 PM CDT May 31, 2007 in News

One of Missouri's two U.S. senators is touring the state and talking to veterans about their health care experiences. Stops in Columbia and Mexico are part of a four-day, fifteen town tour of Missouri. Claire McCaskill wants to hear the personal stories of veterans throughout the state, and if Thursday's meeting is any indication, veterans are both candid and passionate about the state of their health care.

Military veterans of all ages came to share their experiences with the Veterans Administration, or VA, health care system.

Raymond Bassett, a navy veteran, said, "This is a way of exposing what we need to get out to the general public."

McCaskill says she wants to improve veteran health care in Missouri. And she was met with some mixed reactions.

"I could not be more satisfied with [the VA]. Generally, my experience with the VA has been positive," navy veteran Donald E. Waterman said.

"The times have changed, the types of injuries have changed. And I think, right now, the guys coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan are getting a pretty raw deal," navy veteran Truman Storvick said.

Even though they've long since left the service, older veterans are still concerned about the current situation.

"One of my concerns is that the federal government isn't as we ought to be," Bassett said.

Storvick wants the government to do whatever possible to provide the armed forces with any care they need.

"It ain't going to be cheap, but we're not going to worry about cheap because we don't seem to be worried about cheap with Iraq," said Storvick.

The veterans hope their stories will remind the government and the public they can make a difference.

"I think the American public is unaware of what's going on, and their involvement, that they can contribute in small ways," said Bassett.

McCaskill and her staff said most veterans were satisfied with their health care. Still, they are hoping to improve things like patient waiting time, space problems, and prescription drug cost.

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