CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Months to see a doctor, cancelled appointments, and uncertainty about the care being given. A local veteran is opening up to WINK News about his experience with the VA, following the news of Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation.
"There should be no veteran dying waiting for care."
Randolph Reyes served in the United States Marine Corps, injured in training, he's been forced to rely on the VA hospital to get the care he needs.
"These are issues that need to be addressed in a timely fashion, not 4 or 5 months from now, not 6 months from now and in my case cancelled and never rescheduled," said Reyes.
Reyes suffers from stomach problems and an infection in his eye, but he says he finds himself waiting months to see a doctor. He says his appointments get cancelled, but he's the last to find out.
"As a veteran I've been turned down, told that's how I'm not going to be treated, I've been shoved around," Reyes told WINK News.
Reyes says he fears more veterans will die if problems in the VA continue.
"What if I had a serious issue and I would have been delayed? Would I have been one of those veterans? Would I have joined the 40 veterans that died in Phoenix? Would I have been one of them?"
He says the system isn't working, and needs to be looked at.
"The system needs to be tweaked, it needs to be rectified and needs to be brought to par with what's being said--If I'm saying we are taking care of veterans, then you need to demonstrate that."
Reyes tells WINK News the VA's Secretary's resignation is only a band-aid to a bigger problem.
"It sad to say the secretary of the VA had to resign due to the incompetence of his senior leadership."
Reyes says he's speaking out about care at the VA to bring about change. He wants other veterans with problems at the VA to speak their mind.