Allison Blood (@AllisonBlood)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The American Legion has sent a team of specialists to St. Louis to help veterans get better care from the VA health care system.

At a Monday night meeting, veterans were asked to share some of the problems they’ve been having at the John Cochran Center and others in the area.

Army Veteran Douglas Anderson says the quality of care has deteriorated in the last 10 years.

“The treatment that we’re getting when we get home…just a couple of weeks ago I spent over four and a half hours in the emergency room waiting to be seen and still wasn’t seen, and I just had to leave because I couldn’t stay,” Anderson told the crowd.

Veterans like Michael Saffold say the VA doctors often told them their pain was nothing serious, and they should go home and take a pill.

“I went to the emergency room, the doctor looked at me, and he told me, ‘All I can give you is Ibuprofen,'” Saffold said at the meeting. “I said, ‘Sir, I have Ibuprofen at home, I need my foot looked at.’ He said, ‘We can’t do anything for you.'”

He says later another doctor found a blood clot in that leg, and Saffold had to be rushed to surgery.

The legion will be holding a crisis clinic at the St. Louis University Jaw building for the rest of the week, trying to help veterans schedule appointments and get their claims resolved.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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