VA Stabs our Heroes in the Back!


America’s military heroes are being failed by the disgraceful Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to a bombshell government report exclusively obtained by The National ENQUIRER!

From shocking incidents of bribery and fraud to disturbing lapses in medical protocol, a dossier from the department’s internal watchdog — the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) — identified mismanagement, errors and outright criminality plaguing the nation’s nearly 1,300 VA facilities!

In one shameful incident, a pharmacy technician stole $8.2 million in HIV medication from the East Orange VA Medical Center in New Jersey, and at VA Harbor Healthcare System in New York, a vet choked to death after a nurse fed him too large a piece of chicken!

“It’s an outrage,” veterans advocate Derrick Iozzio tells The ENQUIRER. “In my opinion, the VA has been doing a good job only of putting up a whitewash over the generally poor care they are providing veterans.”

Iozzio insists “we owe them better than what the VA has been giving them” because these brave men and women were willing to sacrifice their lives for our country.

Jeremy Parkins, who runs the Ohio-based veterans outreach organization Dress Right Dress, says the OIG’s report shows a “systematic breakdown” in the quality of care.

The stunned Air Force veteran says, “We served and then come home, and we have to worry about the level of medical care we receive?”

The OIG consists of an 1,100-plus group of inspectors, investigators and auditors who are tasked with rooting out corruption inside the VA and improving its operation. The office is mandated to provide a system-wide report twice a year to Congress.

The latest, reflecting April 
to September 2021, noted 
98 percent of facilities had one or more “severe” staffing shortages. Disturbingly, psychiatrists were particularly in short supply!

The eye-opening report comes as the Army continues to grapple with a mental health emergency in Alaska among active-duty personnel. Seventeen soldiers died by suicide at installations in the state in 2021, double the total for the prior two years combined. Meanwhile, service members have complained of long wait times for mental and behavioral health appointments, as well as poor service when they are finally seen by professionals.

The OIG report also described dozens of troubling incidents, which ended in deaths!

Among them were:

■ A twisted nurse’s assistant at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, W.Va., went undetected for 11 months as she murdered seven elderly vets — and nearly killed an eighth — with massive doses of insulin, a crime previously reported in The ENQUIRER. Officials later determined the hospital had “serious clinical and administrative failures” that prevented the serial killer from being stopped sooner!

■ A vet fatally gunned down a relative shortly after calling a veterans crisis hotline at the Fort Harrison VA center in Montana. The OIG found a coordinator failed to properly assess the situation, neglected to complete a required safety plan and didn’t take action “to prevent a family member’s death.”

■ A vet at the Marion VA Medical Center in Illinois died of accidental acute multidrug intoxication after a psychiatrist prescribed long-term benzodiazepine use for post-traumatic stress disorder — but failed to educate him on the dangers of mixing the pills with other drugs.

■ A vet who’d been committed to Ohio’s Chillicothe VA Medical Center was fatally run over by a car after fleeing the hospital. The OIG determined the facility’s staff was poorly trained and on the day of the man’s death, employees didn’t notice he was missing for three hours!

■ A vet killed himself one day after leaving an inpatient mental health unit at a Las Vegas VA hospital. The OIG later found the staff failed to flag him as high risk for suicide and didn’t take into account changes in his demeanor or his history with drugs.

In addition to these incredible lapses, the OIG report also detailed shocking instances of fraud committed by some of the VA’s 426,000 employees, as well as its armies of contractors and business partners.

For instance, a contracting officer at the Anchorage VA Medical Center in Alaska steered more than $5 million in snow-removal and housekeeping contracts to a company in return for $30,000 in bribes! And a sticky-fingered worker at the Biloxi VA Medical Center in Mississippi swiped 3 million N95 masks and resold them for nearly $20 apiece during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic!

“At the VA, there is so much corruption going on that such stories don’t surprise me in the least,” says Iozzio, who runs Catch 22 Peer Support 
in Texas.

A Veterans Affairs spokesperson assures The ENQUIRER the department is “strengthening our commitment to improving veterans’ timely access to care” and working to improve — but did not comment on specific examples.

But Iozzio stresses, “America needs to do better. Much, much better.”