UPDATE: Walz, VA seek out mother of veteran with PTSD after stor - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Walz, VA seek out mother of veteran with PTSD after story airs on KTTC

Posted: Updated:
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- DFL Congressman Tim Walz met with veterans Thursday to discuss ways to reform the Veterans Administration, but there is one area family's story that Walz did not hear.

It's after one man's deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. It's from a woman who is so frustrated with the VA that she's afraid of what will happen in the days ahead.

We have protected the identities of the people involved in this story and did not use their real names for the safety of everyone involved.

"I just want my son back," said a woman we're calling "Judy". "I just want my son back. He didn't go over there like this. Not at all."

Life has become an unending nightmare for Judy's family.

"He's tried to kill himself, you know," she said. "It is so scary. I live on pins and needles everyday wondering if that is going to happen. Or wondering if something else is going to happen to somebody else."

A few years ago, Judy's son served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, but when he came back, everything changed. "And he's not the same person," Judy said. "He came back totally different. He's all messed up."

A diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder shattered any semblance of everyday life for Judy's family.

"The kid just started sleeping in a bed three months ago," she said. "Otherwise he slept on the floor because he was being thrown out of bed with his nightmares."

Since he has returned, Judy's son has seen VA doctors, even entered a treatment program in Minnesota but was allowed to leave treatment in the middle of that program.

"These guys aren't getting the help that they need," Judy claims. "It's just wrong. They get back and then they are treated like this. It's just not right."

Judy said there are three claims into the VA for her son but so far no real help. So to get her son through the day-to-day, Judy said she does the grocery shopping, the cooking, the laundry, even relying on her parents for help.

"It's a battle for us just as much as it is for the soldier," she said with her parents at her side. "It's a battle. A constant battle."

As they follow the news, Judy and her family know they aren't the only ones in this battle, but somehow knowing that isn't a comfort. It's a fear. Even for Judy's father, a veteran himself...

"There's just all these boys coming home, and it's going to get worse," Judy's father told us. "It's overwhelming. They don't have time to take care of people properly."

And that fear is so much heavier when it's not on the TV set or the newspaper. Instead it's in your home.

"I'm afraid my son is not going to be around," Judy said. "He's probably not going to be around because something bad is going to happen."

Why didn't Congressman Walz hear this story? Judy told us she went to tell her story to Congressman Walz Thursday morning. She said the VA officials asked her to come not at 11:30 when the event was to start, but at 10:30. At that point, she said they brought her in a side room in the Government Center in Rochester. Later, when she tried to go into the event, she said they would not let her, and instead made her get in the elevator.

Judy told us she believes VA knew about this case, to all appearances, these officials knew about her frequent complaints about her son's care and they instead made an appointment for him for later this month and promised her they would make sure he got to the medical appointment.

After this story aired, Judy tells us members of Walz's team were able to track her down.

Judy says she was able to speak with  Walz's Chief of Staff and the head of the VA in Minnesota, and she will be able to be an advocate for veterans who suffer from PTSD.

Judy also tells us that officials were able to provide her with contacts to help her son get help quickly, and she says Walz officials told her they will be working with the VA directly to get her son's claims through.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2001 - 2014 WorldNow and KTTC, a Quincy station.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Jodi Neyens at (507) 280-5104. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.