When veterans return home from war they can suffer from physical injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and one of the biggest fights can be getting the help they need.
Vietnam Veteran Doug Douglas served nearly two years overseas.
Now, back home, he’s dealing with leg braces, a bad lung and cancer.
He explained, “It will flare up again and there’s nothing to stop it from coming back. It is associated with Agent Orange.”
For 30 years, he and his wife, Bev, have been trying to get his military benefits to help the medical costs.
“They say they’ve lost my records at times, so they have not been able to treat me,” Doug said. “This is something I’ve been fighting for a number of years.”
Bev added, “When I need antibiotics, I go through our civilian doctors because trying to get through the VA for an emergency, something keeps hanging up somewhere.”
Monday, Radford University hosted Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the U.S. Veteran’s Outreach Center of Roanoke and representatives of the Virginia Department of Veteran’s Affairs to help vets like Doug get that help.
Bill Kennan, the Director of the Military Resource Center at Radford said, “There are about 7,000 veterans in Southwest Virginia of all ages and this provides an opportunity to bring everybody together so that they can all get the services that they need.”
If veterans missed this chance to get help with their benefits, Radford University said there are always other ways that they can help these men and women who served in the military.
“We can certainly connect them at the Military Resource Center here on campus because we generally know who the services are and we know the names of people and so we’d be happy to connect them,” Kennan said.
The Douglas family said every veteran should fight to get the help they deserve from the military.
“Hang in there, don’t give up, keep going back and back and back until you find somebody that listens,” Doug said.
Bev added from her point of view, “To all the mates of a veteran, stand up for your mate because they can’t do this by themselves. It’s very important that you stand up for them and with them.”