Town Hall held for SWFL veterans

Sgt. Theodore Ritchie/ USMC/ MGN

St. Petersburg, Fla —

Only on WINK News, a follow up to a story we first told you last month.
Our investigators have spent months trying to help Southwest Florida vets receive the proper care when it comes to the VA.
Monday night, they met with officials at the regional VA office to get some of your questions answered.

We heard from roughly a dozen veterans from the Bay Pines area.
Their number one complaint was that when they need help, they say it’s impossible to get through to anyone at the VA office.

The Town Hall held Monday night, was a chance to give veterans in the area an opportunity to express their concerns and have them addressed by a panel of senior Bay Pines officials.
Two veterans applauded their medical care, but most complained the office isn’t accessible enough to them.
We asked director Kerrie Witty why many said they couldn’t schedule meetings with her.

“They don’t always ask for the director, or I might not be available at that time. Happy to call my secretary and schedule an appointment,” said Witty.

You may also remember our story on Charles Walsh, a veteran who was denied his disability claim after the VA lost his paperwork.
During that report, we told you the St. Petersburg office had a history of lost and misfiled records.
So we asked Director Witty what had been done to fix the problem?

Witty said, “We did hire over the last six months, “I would say we hired an additional 30 employees. They will be working veterans claims.”
Again, Witty says any veteran who wishes, can call her office and schedule a meeting.
Trust WINK News to make sure that will happen.

The St. Petersburg VA office is located at 9500 Bay Pines Blvd. in St. Petersburg.
The number is (727) 319-5995.

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