VA hosts town hall meeting and veterans sound off

WICHITA, Kansas – The Wichita Regional VA office of Veterans Benefits held a town hall meeting on Friday. It was supposed to be a meeting for feedback. It quickly turned confrontational.

“You guys… you don’t know what you are doing,” said Veteran Mark Barofsky. “And I thing your biggest mistake, if I may, is that you are here. This is fine. I don’t know if it’s to feel good, or whatever. You tout your statistics. To people like myself, your statistics mean absolutely nothing.”

Barofsky says medical claims processing is a mess at the Wichita VA. He says they rely too much on claims being kicked out to Washington, D.C. and they need more autonomy to process here at home.

“Two different times I was told it would be months to a year to hear back from them,” explains Barofsky. “Then, they told me no. It took them a year to just tell me no.”

Other veterans talked about a lack of organization.

But, Mitzi Marsh, Director of the Wichita Regional Office of Veterans Benefits Administration says, they are getting better.

“Well, they are concerned,” said Marsh. “I am concerned also. I think this town hall meeting went well. This is why we are here, is to get better.”

There will be a meeting at the Wichita VA on September 26th from one to three in the afternoon at the VA auditorium in Building Number Four. That meeting will focus on hospital care in the Wichita VA, and veterans and the public is invited to come and ask questions.

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