Local veterans lash out at Atlanta VA Medical Center director - CBS46 News

Local veterans lash out at Atlanta VA Medical Center director

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A local veterans group said in recent months, it has sent two letters outlining its concerns to the director the Atlanta VA Medical but has received no response.

Leslie Wiggins took over the facility in May of 2013 and has promised to make improvements.

"She said she's interested in all these things, and she's shown no respect to the veterans who have reached out to her," said William Wright, a Vietnam veteran. "It's ridiculous. I'm insulted by it."

Williams is a member of African American Veterans with Disabilities /Support Group in Stone Mountain. However, he and other veterans said the problems with the VA cross all racial lines.

"Everybody as a veteran has these same issues because as a system, it's broke," said Ray Wilson, a Vietnam veteran.

President Barack Obama has launched an investigation, after an investigation found 40 patients may have died at the VA hospital in Phoenix, AZ because they never received medical treatment. Three patients committed suicide at the Atlanta VA recently.

"It's a fact that veterans will die," said Harry Tracey, a Vietnam veteran. "There's a saying out there, they're just waiting for us to die, because they don't want to deal with us."

The veterans who talked to CBS46 News said they often wait years for claims to be processed and then find out they were denied. Like other veterans, the group said there are long waits for appointments, mixed up medical records and poor patient care.

Wright said the letters of concern were mailed to the director in November 2013 and again in March of this year, but to date has heard nothing from the hospital director.

"Let the shoe fall where it may," said Wright. "I don't care who goes. We need to fix this problem."

The VA Medical Center provided the following response to inquiries for comment by CBS46 News: 

"We respect all of our community partners. We have no records of receiving a letter from this organization. We are happy to work with them and encourage them to send us the letter for Ms. Wiggins' review."

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