veterans administration

Army veteran Randy Michaud had to make a 200-mile trip to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aroostook County, Maine, near the Canadian border, every time he had a medical appointment.

Michaud, who was medically retired after a jeep accident in Germany 25 years ago, moved home to Maine in 1991. He was eligible for VA medical care, but the long drive was a problem.

He's one of millions of veterans living in rural America who must travel hundreds of miles round-trip for care.

The United States Veterans Health Administration has recently been under national scrutiny, after reports that veterans were on waiting lists at some VA hospitals for more than 30 days… in some cases, dozens of people had died while still on waiting lists to receive care. Moreover, there’s been evidence of efforts at some hospitals to hide evidence of those long waiting lists. Congress is discussing the issue, and the Veterans Affairs Secretary resigned last month.

World War I Veterans
File Photo / KBIA

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is scheduled to be in St. Louis today to meet with officials at the VA hospital about concerns raised over mental health care. The visit comes amid calls from several Missouri politicians to address complaints about VA services. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, visited the University of Missouri campus Friday to announce the results of her survey of veterans' satisfaction with VA services in Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia.

A report says Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital failed to provide a safe environment for a 78-year-old man beaten to death last year at the Columbia facility.

The report for the Veterans Affairs Heartland Network was included in materials released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Columbia Daily Tribune.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill will visit Arlington National Cemetery on Friday to assess changes made there following the revelation that thousands of graves were mislabeled or unmarked.