Veteran patients missing appointments, Cape VA clinic lacking resources

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in Cape Coral says it is unable to provide transportation services to doctor appointments from its clinic due to lack of volunteers and donations that help provide necessary resources.

Vietnam Bubba Schneider is someone who depends on these services for his health. He reflected on his time in the war overseas when we spoke to him.

“We did what had to do,” Schneider said.

Schneider was on the front lines as a machine gun operator when he was 19 years old. Now, he suffers from several medical conditions, stemming from his experience on active duty. He worries he won’t make it to his appointments without help from the local VA clinic.

“I have problems getting dizzy, blacking out and falling,” Schneider said. “So now I have the chance to go to someone that can help me, but I can’t get there.”

The clinic said it only has one van that goes to Labelle, where Schneider lives, which picks up about half a dozen vets. Meanwhile, veterans like Schneider have waited months to see a doctor. He has an appointment Wednesday, but he doesn’t know if he will make it there.

“It has several of us in a turmoil that don’t drive trying to figure out how are we going to get to our appointments,” Schneider said.

Because of its lack of resources, the VA clinic said it can’t take veteran patients to appointments the clinic itself scheduled for them, something the clinic said it has always worked with veterans on.

To volunteer or donate to the local clinic, visit U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

“It would be an extremely sad thing for us not being cared for after what we did for our country,” Schneider said. “And we get pushed on the side of the road.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.