Showing posts with label Phoenix AZ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phoenix AZ. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Phoenix Vietnam Veteran had to turn to news station for help with PTSD from the VA

Veteran reached out to ABC15 after failing to get an appointment at the Phoenix VA

ABC 15 News
By: Sonu Wasu
Jan 11, 2020
“I don’t know what to do. You just feel lost. You’re alone,” said Ortman.
For Ortman, it’s been one disappointment after another since he got home from Vietnam. First he had to deal with the pain of seeing friends who didn’t make it home, then a homecoming he did not expect.

PHOENIX — Valley veteran, William Ortman, said he feels helpless and let down by the Phoenix VA healthcare system.

Ortman reached out to ABC15 to say that he has been trying to get an appointment with a mental healthcare counselor since November and all he got was the run around.

First, he was told his paperwork was lost and he would be outsourced to an outside healthcare facility due to a shortage of available counselors.

He was then told that a doctor forgot to sign off on his paperwork just to get him to go in for an assessment before they could sign off on any paperwork.

Ortman is one of the several veterans or veteran’s family members who reached out to ABC15 over the last few months, saying they feel let down by the VA healthcare system. Some of those veterans have since died by suicide. read it here

Friday, July 26, 2019

Disabled veteran had to reach out to news for help with PTSD

Valley veteran reaches out to ABC15 after feeling let down by Phoenix VA

ABC 15 News
By: Sonu Wasu
Jul 22, 2019

She explained that the Phoenix VA had been offering telehealth in the PTSD clinic since 2010, and the program worked really well for those veterans who lived in rural areas, so they did not have to drive 2-3 hours just for an appointment with a counselor.

PHOENIX — When it comes to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs consider themselves among the best. Those involved in the program here in Phoenix tell us, the Valley is nationally renowned for the PTSD care they offer veterans.

At the Phoenix VA, the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical team works with veterans and service members who have experienced traumatic events in their lives.

According to statistics ABC15 has obtained from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs, the veteran suicide rate in Arizona was significantly higher than the overall national suicide rates. The mental health call center at the Phoenix VA healthcare system reports handling 40,000 calls in 2018. Staff credit their team for helping save dozens of lives.
"I realized I was out of control. I couldn't control myself anymore. I couldn't control the anger, the flashbacks, and the nightmares were becoming more severe and more numerous," said Phillips.

He said the hardest part about opening up about his experiences initially was talking about them with someone who had never been deployed. He didn't know if he would be judged.

Phillips said he started and stopped treatment a few times, and each time there was a new counselor, he had to open up to all over again.
read it here

This is from the same article
VA officials said the average wait time for a veteran who is seeking help for PTSD is about two weeks right now. Those in crisis can use same day services in mental health during regular business hours in person, via phone, or through MyHealthVet secure messaging

And this is from a different article
As he has in the past, Wilkie countered the charges by referencing a Journal of American Medical Association report from earlier this year which found VA wait times are better than the private sector in primary care, and a Dartmouth College study which found VA hospitals outperform private hospitals in most health care it here
Maybe now you get the idea that sending veterans into private-for-profit healthcare is a bad idea? Fix the VA for all our disable veterans.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Austin Veteran Affairs Clinic shut down after suicide on Tuesday

update Veteran who killed self at Austin clinic was referred from local VA

McLennan County Veteran’s Service Officer Steve Hernandez said the veteran was a patient who had been enrolled in the Phoenix program at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple and was discharged, but somehow his case was transferred to the Austin facility.

“When he found out he couldn’t get the help he needed there, he chose to take his own life,” Hernandez said.

Suicide inside Austin Veterans Affairs Clinic shuts down building

Tom Miller
Posted: Apr 09, 2019

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin's Veteran Affairs Clinic shut down Tuesday as detectives investigated a suicide in the first-floor waiting room.

Witnesses reported hundreds of people were inside the room when a man shot and killed himself shortly after noon.

Ken Walker, who's been going to the VA Clinic on Metropolis for more than two years, said he continued with his group therapy class for nearly an hour after the shooting before he learned what happened.

"All of a sudden, over the intercom, they have this statement about everyone must clear the building including staff, so it was a little surprising," Walker said.

Despite signs prohibiting weapons, the VA does not have metal detectors in the building. Instead, VA police do random bag searches.
read more here

They gave up for themselves but when they do something like this, they do it for all the other veterans.

Have we heard enough of them to know we have to change what we are doing? 

To our veterans: #BreakTheSilence with words...not a gun! #TakeBackYourLife and fight to heal...not to leave!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Veteran shot himself at Phoenix VA hospital Chapel

Man in critical condition after shooting himself at Phoenix VA
Associated Press
July 13, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) - Authorities say a man has been critically injured after shooting himself on the grounds of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs complex.
Phoenix police Sgt. Armando Carbajal says the shooting occurred just after 11 a.m. at the central Phoenix facility.
read more here

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Suicidal Veterans — Fatal Problems in Arizona

The Phoenix VA Still Has Problems With Suicidal Veterans — Fatal Problems
Phoenix News Times

Shanna Hogan
JULY 26, 2016

"Nor did doctors clue in Lisa about the extent of her husband’s inner turmoil — or, for that matter, anything at all about his condition. This, despite the fact that Luis signed a consent form explicitly naming her and authorizing VA officials to inform her if the 'patient may do harm to him/herself.'"
Luis Mariscal Munoz called the Phoenix VA Health Care System to say he wouldn’t be coming in to work. He drove to a shooting range at the Table Mesa Recreation Area off Interstate 17 and parked. At about 6:30 p.m., having walked about 70 feet from the car, he put a borrowed nine-millimeter handgun to his head and pulled the trigger.

An hour later, Luis’ wife, Lisa Mariscal, arrived at the West Phoenix home the couple shared with their two dogs. Luis had texted her: something about how he was sorry and to read the note he’d left for her. She’d tried to call and text him back, but there was no reply.

Lisa knew that for the past month, her husband had been attending weekly therapy appointments at the VA on Indian School Road, where he worked as a medical laboratory technologist. She was aware that a psychiatrist there had prescribed an antidepressant. But Luis had told her he was just suffering from anxiety.

Then she read the note.

“Please do not feel guilt about my decision,” he had written. “I would like you to feel happy or relieved that I am no longer suffering. You never did anything wrong. No one could have changed my mind.”

• On June 10, 2013, U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Somers took a handgun from his Phoenix home, walked several blocks away, and fatally shot himself in the head. He was 30 years old. In 2007, Somers had returned from his second deployment in Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, a traumatic brain injury suffered in combat, and a slew of other medical issues. Frustrated in his efforts to get mental-health and medical care, he wrote to the VA describing his symptoms as worsening and stating that his health “drives me to consider suicide very seriously on a daily basis.”
• On May 10, 2015, U.S. Army veteran Thomas Michael Murphy killed himself in the parking lot outside the VA’s Phoenix Regional Benefit Office. At the age of 53, he was homeless. Before shooting himself, he e-mailed a suicide note to New Times, in which he blamed the VA for his death. “Thanks for nothing VA,” he wrote.
• On July 23, 2015, former U.S. Army Ranger Antouine Castaneda shot and killed himself. He was 32. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Castaneda had sought help at the Phoenix VA, where psychiatrists noted that he was at high risk for committing suicide. VA whistleblowers would later allege that he had not been provided with proper mental-health care.
read more here
Also there are more online and you can find them.
2013 KJZZ reported veterans in Arizona were committing suicide double that of civilians
December 27, 2015
PHOENIX - A veteran who was reported missing weeks ago was found dead at the Banner University Medical Center on Sunday.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, 34-year-old Guido Feruglio was found on hospital property dead.

"Indications are he took his life," Officer James Holmes with Phoenix police said.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Call to Save Veteran Almost Cost Him His Life

Veteran suffering from PTSD to sue Gilbert Police for alleged excessive use of force 
KTAR News 
Cooper Rummell 
March 28, 2016
Attorney’s also claim in the document that Cardenas was Tased later on in the evening while he was strapped to a gurney at a local hospital. His heart stopped but doctors were able to revive him.
PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder plans to sue the Gilbert Police Department for alleged excessive use of force.

Attorneys for Kyle Cardenas filed a $20 million notice of claim against the Town of Gilbert regarding an incident that took place on Sept. 12, 2015.

According to the document, Cardenas was suffering from PTSD-induced delusions while staying at his parent’s house. His mother called the VA Crisis Hotline and requested a crisis team be sent to the home. Gilbert Police officers were sent instead.
read more here

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Phoenix Police Department "Should Have Done Better" Just Words on PTSD Officers

It seems the Phoenix Police Department does not acknowledge the law, PTSD or even their officers.

"Phoenix officials need to fix what’s broken with its wounded PD" editorial by Ret. Master Police Officer Bill Richardson states the deplorable reality of what they say not meeting what they actually do.

This is what they had to say after Officer Craig Tiger committed suicide in 2014
In a statement from Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner regarding the current situation involving Sefranka, Yahner told KPHO News’ Donna Rossi in an email, “The Phoenix Police Department is committed to the well-being of its employees. The department has been working closely with city personnel and legal to find an appropriate resolution to the situation. I plan to meet with Detective Sefranka in the near future in an attempt to address his concerns.”
And this is what they said regarding that suicide.
Ex-Phoenix officer with PTSD dies in apparent suicide, CBS 5 News Phoenix November 20, 2014

A former Phoenix police officer who recently revealed his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder to CBS 5 News has apparently taken his own life.

The death of Craig Tiger is being investigated as a suicide by Coconino County Sheriff's deputies. Tiger was found unresponsive in his vehicle over the weekend at his family's cabin in northern Arizona.

Tiger's death has sparked a debate about whether police departments do enough to care for officers after critical on-duty incidents.

The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Joe Clure, said he believes Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia and the Phoenix Police Department played a part in Tiger's death.

"We should have done a lot more for Officer Tiger than what we did," said Clure.
And this is what they ended up doing just a year later according to the letter by Richardson.
I can only imagine what it was like for Phoenix Police Officer Scott Sefranka when he realized he was about to die at the hands of an armed robber on New Year’s Eve 2013.

Sefranka was engaged in a life and death struggle when he lost his duty weapon and was shot twice in the torso. Two bullets from his pistol ripped through his body and left him near death. It was a miracle that he survived and has been able to return to work.

Sefranka was able to return to work as a missing persons detective that allowed him to use his police skills and still make a contribution. He could’ve easily taken a disability pension, but good cops don’t want to give up the fight.
After returning to work Sefranka was accompanied by Bigby, the support dog that helps him with the day-to-day stresses of recovering from the physical and mental wounds of near death experience. Bigby is a trained to be there for him at work at home.

But not anymore!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No Shame, Fired VA Director Sues

Former Phoenix VA director Helman suing to overturn firing 
By Phil Benson
By Jonathan Lowe
Updated: May 11, 2015

Sharon Helman, shown May 1, 2014, was fired soon after the passage last

year of the VA Accountability Act. She is now suing to get her job back.

(Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Despite being the most vilified person during the Phoenix VA scandal, former director Sharon Helman is suing the federal government. She wants her firing reversed.

Helman was fired soon after the passage last year of the VA Accountability Act. It allowed the VA Secretary to remove under-performing senior executives.

Those executives weren't given the right to an appeal, either. But an appeal is exactly what Helman said in her court filing that she deserves.

Helman's firing actually had nothing at all to do with the appointment and wait time scandal.

It was for, "accepting gifts and I think the term was 'conflict of interest,'" said David Lucier, president of the Arizona Veterans and Military Leadership Alliance.

Whatever the reason, paperwork obtained from the U.S. Court of Appeals reveals Helman is aiming to have her firing overturned.

"The first word that comes to mind is reprehensible," Lucier said. His organization has worked to improve veterans' medical care since Helman's exit. "The best, most immediate thing is that veterans are getting service faster."

Jeff Miller, chairman of the U.S. House Veteran Affairs Committee, has been an outspoken voice on accountability at the VA. In a statement, he said, "I think Sharon Helman's arguments will be about as successful in a court of law as they were in the court of public opinion."
read more here

Friday, December 26, 2014

Judge Rules Phoenix Veterans Affairs' Health Care Director Firing Was Right

Judge Upholds Firing of Phoenix VA Boss
Courthouse News
December 26, 2014

DENVER (CN) - The director of the Phoenix Veterans Administration was properly fired for taking gifts from a lobbyist - not because of allegations of delays in healthcare for veterans, a federal judge ruled.

Merit Systems Protection Board Chief Administrative Judge Stephen Mish upheld the firing of Sharon Helman, who was director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs' Health Care System until she was removed on Nov. 24.

Mish upheld that VA's findings that Helman had accepted an $11,000 weeklong vacation to Disneyland, multiple airline tickets, tickets (and parking fees) for a Beyoncé concert, entry fees for foot races and other gifts from a lobbyist.

Helman claimed that she was singled out, and her privacy invaded, after long delays for medical services in the VA hospital system made national news.

Mish found that though the medical delays may well have cause the VA to turn its attention to her, that's not why she was fired.
The gifts ranged from an $11,000 trip to Disneyland for six of her family members, $729.50 for five tickets and parking to a Beyoncé concert, and a number of roundtrip airline tickets for Helman to travel to Vancouver, Portland, and El Paso.
read more here

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Phoenix VA delays "not enough evidence to prove it" caused deaths

IG: Phoenix deaths, delays link expected but not found
Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: September 9, 2014

WASHINGTON — A top auditor in the Department of Veterans Affairs told Senate lawmakers Tuesday that he had expected to find delays in care at a Phoenix hospital had caused patient deaths.

But in the end there just was not enough evidence to prove it, and auditors can only “report the news that we find,” John Daigh, assistant inspector general for VA health care inspections, testified before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

The Inspector General, an independent agency watchdog, released a comprehensive audit last month on the VA Phoenix hospital system that found 20 patient deaths linked to poor care or delays in treatment but it stopped short of saying the department was responsible. The audit finding has been underscored by new VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who mentioned it in his own opening remarks to the committee.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., asked Daigh whether a reasonable person could conclude that the VA patients died due to the poor care or delays reported in the IG audit.
read more here

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sucicial veteran turned away from VA because he didn't have an appointment?

Suicidal veteran: Phoenix VA denied me care because I had no appointment
Originally published: Aug 13, 2014

PHOENIX -- A suicidal veteran claimed he was denied care at a Phoenix Veterans Affairs facility Wednesday because he did not have an appointment.

The veteran, an acquaintance of Rob and Karie co-host Rob Hunter who wishes to remain anonymous, said he told a nurse at the VA he "was not feeling well" and "did not trust himself" when asking for care. The nurse allegedly informed him that appointments were required and a mental health professional would contact him.

Dr. Sam Foote, one of the whistle blowers who gave life to the VA scandal investigation, said the veteran's status with the VA could have played a small part.

"If you have an established provider, they can usually grease the wheels for you," he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Rob and Karie.

However, his status aside, Foote said the administration is prepared to handle suicidal veterans at all times.

"I don't know who turned him away or said we'd call him back later," he said. "That's not normally we like to handle something like that. Normally you want them to have them triaged by somebody who's a professional in mental health and those people are certainly available at the downtown medical center."

The veteran also claimed he contacted the VA earlier this week to request an appointment. He informed them he had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Iraq, but was told he must be diagnosed at a Phoenix VA facility. Given no other option, he walked into the VA where he was turned away, a potentially dangerous scenario.
read more here

Monday, July 21, 2014

SWAT Team responds to Phoenix Arizona VA Chief's home

SWAT confronts VA executive in Mesa
FOX 10 News
By Nicole Garcia
Posted: Jul 21, 2014

MESA, Ariz. - We are learning new information about an incident involving the Mesa SWAT Team and a Phoenix VA Hospital executive.

Brad Curry is the Chief of Health Administration Services at the Phoenix VA Hospital.

He was put on administrative leave in May after reports that BA administrators created and hid secret waiting lists to cover up long wait times for sick veterans.

Curry was at the center of police activity earlier this month after a family member called 911 saying he was suicidal.

911 Caller: "My father is going through a difficult time. He's threatening suicide."

911 Operator: "Does he have any weapons?"

911 Caller: "He has multiple weapons, rifles and a gun."

911 Operator: "What does he have with him?"

911 Caller: "I have no idea. My mom came to my house. We live right across the street."

This 911 call by Curry's daughter sparked a SWAT Team response at his home on July 10.

According to the police report, Curry became upset while discussing finances with his wife, grabbed a pistol and then slammed his hand against the wall.
read more here

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Soldier's suicide note goes viral, then CNN notices?

"I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This": A Soldier's Last Words came in June 10, 2012 and Gawker published the story on June 22. Wounded Times posted it on June 23. Daniel Somers had carried all that pain within himself but it seems the only time the media takes an interest is when it is too late to do any good for them.

Most of the over 1,000 military suicide stories are about families left behind. There are more stories on what this country fails to do than what it succeeds with. That is very sad but what is worse, what makes all of this more heartbreaking, is the fact no one seems to be asking the right questions.

Where are the military suicide reports for May? This is July. Where is the Suicide Event Report from the Department of Defense from last year? Any clue? Any reporters covering this? No, they wait until one more family is struggling to find answers. One more heartbreaking story they knew would get a lot of attention. Looks like it happened again when CNN decided since the story had gone viral, it was worth telling almost a month afterwards.
Soldier's suicide note goes viral; family demands better for veterans
By Chelsea C. Cook
Sat July 6, 2013

Daniel Somers, an Iraq War veteran, took his life last month
He left behind a powerful suicide note that went viral on the Internet
Somers' family feels the military failed to help him
They are pushing ideas to break down the bureaucracy and its communication obstacles

(CNN) -- "Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war."

These are the words of post-traumatic stress disorder.

They are the words of Daniel Somers, an Iraq War veteran who took his life last month. He left behind a powerful suicide note that went viral on the Internet after his family shared it with media in Phoenix, where he was from.

His note gives readers a clear understanding of what it's like to suffer from crippling depression and war-related psychosis. It also slams the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which he characterized as careless.

"My body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems. The illness I have has caused me pain that not even the strongest medicines could dull, and there is no cure," Somers wrote in his note.

"All day, every day a screaming agony in every nerve ending in my body. It is nothing short of torture. My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety."

Somers was a sergeant in an intelligence unit, where he ran 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee. According to his parents, Howard and Jean Somers, their son was diagnosed with PTSD, a brain injury, Gulf War syndrome, fibromyalgia and a host of other medical problems in 2008, one year after the end of his second deployment.
read more here

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cancer stricken Marine faces eviction because people care too much?

Robert Lorentz risked his life in Iraq. He lived on the streets. The only people he had in his life were other homeless veterans. He found a place to live the last of his days suffering from cancer. Again, it was his "street family" coming to take care of him. Now a heartless landlord can't wait until the dies to get rid of his caregivers?
Cancer-stricken Iraq war veteran faces eviction over 'street family'
Published June 10, 2013

A former Marine whose doctor reportedly says he only has four months to live in a fight against bone cancer is now taking on another challenger: his landlord, who is looking to evict him from his Arizona apartment.

Robert Lorentz, a 37-year-old Iraq war veteran, was homeless until last year, when he moved into an apartment complex in Phoenix, reports.

A variety of people visit Lorentz’s apartment each day. He calls them his “street family,” as they cook him meals and help him change his clothes and use the bathroom.

But apartment owner Emanuel Dobos believes the caregivers are squatters, saying they have trashed the apartment complex and are causing disturbances for other residents, reports.
read more here

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Double-amputee Marine humiliated by TSA in Phoenix

UPDATE TSA releases video of how Marine was treated
Double-amputee Marine humiliated by TSA
Published time: March 19, 2013

It’s bad enough that a US Marine lost both his legs in combat. But after TSA agents forced the wheelchair-bound man to stand up, walk and remove his prosthetic legs at an airport in Phoenix, he was publicly humiliated for his disability.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) sent a letter to the Transportation Security Administration this week, condemning TSA officers for mistreating the wounded soldier on March 13. The Marine, who is still on active duty, had lost both of his legs in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast while deployed. The man is now confined to a wheelchair. He showed up at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with an escort that helped him get around.

In his complaint addressed to TSA Administrator John Pistole, Hunter said that the agency made the Marine feel “humiliated.”

“The individual escorting this Marine asked the TSA officer which of the two checkpoints to enter and received the response, ‘either one,’ only to be told moments later they should have entered a different way,” Hunter explained in his letter.

Moments later, TSA officers ordered the wounded Marine to get out of his wheelchair and subsequently remove his prosthetic legs, subjecting him to immense pain while he struggled to get out of his wheelchair.

“A TSA officer asked the Marine to stand and walk to an alternate area, despite the fact that he physically could not stand or walk on his own,” Hunter wrote. “With numerous TSA officers sitting and unwilling to assist, an officer then made him remove his legs, then put them back on, only to advance to a secondary screening location where he was asked again to stand, with extraordinary difficult, while his wheelchair was examined for explosives.”
read more here

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

At least 5 hurt in Phoenix office complex shooting

At least 5 hurt in Phoenix office complex shooting
By Jane Lednovich
The Arizona Republic-12
News Breaking News Team
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:03 PM

Five people are injured, three of them shot, in a shooting at an office complex in north-central Phoenix Wednesday morning, officials said.

The shooting occurred inside a building in the 7310 block of 16th Street, near Glendale Avenue, officials said. It is unknown if the shooter is in custody. People inside the building told that the incident appeared to be over but officers were sweeping the building.
read more here

Friday, September 28, 2012

Phoenix Suspect Shoots Self In Head On Live Fox

Video is available at the link below. Not posting it. Too graphic even though Huffington Post blocked the actual suicide.

Car Chase Suicide: Phoenix Suspect Shoots Self In Head On Live Fox
News Feed After 100 MPH Pursuit
The Huffington Post
By Andy Campbell
Posted: 09/28/2012

The vehicle that the suspect allegedly stole before shooting himself in the head. A long car chase with a Dodge Caliber in Phoenix, Ariz., ended with the suspect shooting himself in the head on live TV, appearing to commit suicide.

The driver, recorded live news helicopters, led law enforcement on a dangerous chase, traveling at speeds of nearly 100 mph.

Around 3:30 p.m. ET, at the end of the hour-long pursuit, he drove off the road, got out of his car and ran down a dirt path for a short period. He then appeared to shoot himself in the head and collapsed.

Fox News quickly cut away from the shot and went to commercial after the gruesome incident. Host Shepard Smith immediately apologized for airing what looked like a suicide.
read more here

Monday, August 13, 2012

Audit finds Phoenix VA bungled 47% disability claims

Phoenix benefits mishap vexes veterans
Audit finds claims incorrectly processed in 3 disability areas, noted VA agency backlog
by Ken Alltucker
The Republic
Aug. 12, 2012

The federal agency that handles veterans benefits in Phoenix bungled nearly half the temporary-disability, traumatic-brain-injury and herbicide-exposure claims that were examined during a recent audit.

The Veterans Benefits Administration office in Phoenix mishandled 47 percent of the claims in those three areas, according to a limited audit by the agency's inspector general issued last month.

The mishandled claims frustrate veterans who must wait an average of nearly one year before the Phoenix office decides whether they are eligible for compensation. The Phoenix office has a backlog of more than 22,700 claims, with an average wait of 360 days before the cases are decided.

"While the (inspector general) may have found a high error rate in the intentionally limited selection of claims they reviewed, the overall picture of claims processing at the Phoenix (office) is much more positive," the agency's Phoenix office said in a statement.

The highest error rate -- blamed on a computer glitch that has since been fixed -- came from the agency's handling of "100 percent" temporary-disability claims, with 87 percent of those cases incorrectly processed. The local office did not coordinate timely medical evaluations of those veterans.

Read more

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Motorcycle Reportedly Stolen From Disabled Veteran in Phoenix

Motorcycle Reportedly Stolen From Disabled Veteran in Phoenix
Published August 22, 2011
A motorcycle belonging to a disabled veteran who recently returned to the United States after tours in the Middle East has reportedly been stolen.

Ben Davidson, a disabled veteran now living in Arizona, completed three combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. But Davidson's only mode of transportation was nowhere to be found when he returned to his north Phoenix apartment, reports.

“We both have to work and take his daughter to school, and somehow we’ve got to get everybody to where they need to be, and it's hard,” Davidson's wife, Wendy, told the website.

"I think it's cowardly, you know, that they would take a bike like that," Davidson said. "It hurts."
read more here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Phoenix police officer fatally shot

Phoenix police officer fatally shot
By BOB CHRISTIE (AP) – 6 hours ago

PHOENIX — A Phoenix police officer shot and killed early Wednesday while investigating a suspicious vehicle was a 29-year-old married father of two young children, authorities said.

Officer Travis Murphy's wife had given birth just two weeks ago to the couple's second child, police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said.

Murphy and his partner were first on the scene of a call where neighbors reported someone hit a parked car and was trying to hide a Ford Mustang in the carport of a vacant home. The officers got out of their patrol vehicle and split up in search of a suspect.

Moments later, shots were fired and Murphy's partner found him mortally wounded. Fellow officers put him in a police vehicle and sped him to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead.
go here for more
Phoenix police officer fatally shot