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Boston Globe: Told to wait, a Marine dies

The Boston Globe had a remarkable story in Sunday's edition:

Told to wait, a Marine dies [BG, 2.11.2007]
VA care in spotlight after Iraq war veteran's suicide


This is an excerpt from Poynter's Al Tompkins:

Take a look at The Boston Globe's story about a Marine who took his own life after Veterans Affairs told him to wait for a bed in the government hospital's ward for post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers. He was 26th on a waiting list for 12 beds. The piece includes a chat with the reporter and a moving audio slideshow.

The story states:

The apparent failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer him timely and necessary care has electrified the debate on the blogs and Web sites that connect an increasingly networked and angry veterans community. It has triggered an internal investigation by the VA into how a serviceman with such obvious symptoms faced a wait for hospital care.

And it is being cited by veterans' advocates and their allies in Congress as a searing symbol of a system that they say is vastly unprepared and underfunded to handle the onslaught of 1.5 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are returning home, an estimated one in five of them with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. One in three Iraq war veterans is seeking mental health services, according to a report by an Army panel of experts last year.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Feb 14, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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