ONLY ON 3: Veteran says VA water problem is the last straw

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington veteran is speaking out against the VA as the clinic is on its fourth month without water.

The clinic has been advised by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority not to use the facility’s water  since late March. Veteran Jim Hammond has been in and out of VA clinics in North Carolina for various reasons over the past few years. He said the wait times and the problems have always been there, but now, it’s worse. 

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Hammond said at first he was given the run around with his choice card when he needed new glasses. When he tried to call about it, he said he got a voice mail that was not set up.

Then, he said he was already waiting ten months for a dental appointment for a partial when an issue with a cavity came up in the last week. Hammond said the be VA told him they could not do the fill in, because of the water contamination at their facility. He says they told him to go to Fayetteville, but he has no way of getting there. He said this may be a minor problem, but he has an even bigger concern.

“Not just what’s happening to me, but all of the other veterans,” Hammond said. “Veterans that are being put through even worse at the VA clinic here in Wilmington. It’s a darn shame. I personally think the VA should be eliminated.”

Hammond said there are so many issues with the management of the VA, that veterans should just be able to use private health care.

“They’d probably have a better chance of surviving, living a little bit longer, and suffering less,” Hammond said. “To go through this aggravation after serving my country, I extended a year in the Marine Corps to go to Vietnam to serve my country and I have never regretted it. The only thing I regret is putting up with the VA.”

The VA has not gotten back to us yet with a response to Hammond’s issues. There is not an update on the most recent water tests from the clinic or when those issues will be resolved.