Another metro-Atlanta resident testified before Congress Thursday about problems with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In a three-hour hearing, Peggy Portwine of Roswell told the U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs her son killed himself after returning from active duty.
Peggy Portwine said her son Brian Portwine joined the U.S. Army at 17 years old. While on his first tour to Baghdad, he lost eleven comrades and experienced eight explosions, one which injured his brain. However, Peggy Portwine said her son received no care when he returned home.
"Isn't this enough to warrant a thorough evaluation and further testing? The powers-to-be thought of sending Brian to Walter Reed Hospital but didn't," she testified.
Peggy Portwine said the Army sent Brian Portwine back to Baghdad again in 2010, and that's when she noticed a big change. "During the second deployment, Brian didn't email or call home to any family or friends."
When he returned, the V.A. diagnosed Brian Portwine with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety and labeled him at-risk for suicide. However, despite this, Peggy Portwine said no follow-up care was given.
Five months later, Brian Portwine took his own life.
Peggy Portwine's testimony came the same week Scott Davis testified. Davis works at the V.A. National Health Eligibility Center in DeKalb County. He outlined a slew of problems with the V.A., including lost applications from returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan.
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