Veterans Thankful for Recent, Positive Healthcare Changes - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Veterans Thankful for Recent, Positive Healthcare Changes

Joplin, MO -

The observance of Veterans Day includes talks about veteran healthcare.  It's been more than nine months since Donald Trump became President.  One veteran believes the VA health system is getting better in one unique way.

32-year-old Justin Wallace says he has had his fair share of disappointments with the VA health system.

"It's next to impossible to relay to a doctor just how bad you are," says Justin.

Justin was in the Marines, discharged in 2010 after two and a half years of service.  It's not uncommon for civilians to thank him for defending our country.  His wife, Angela, says more people should also ask any veteran about their health.

"Not a lot of veterans are getting the healthcare they need," says Angela.

Consider how Justin says his VA clinic experiences were more than a year ago.  He has chronic pain from a training exercise accident that he says has since also caused depression.  Justin and his wife felt a disconnect between them and VA doctors.

"One doctor had tried to blow off my pain and my issue due to my weight," says Justin.

"His doctor didn't seem to really care, because he's younger therefore he should be able to get over it," says Angela.

Justin now has an independent primary care doctor not in a VA clinic.  

"You're seeing a lot better doctors," says Justin.  "You're seeing friendlier doctors.  You're seeing doctors who don't have a patient list a mile long."

Justin says the VA health system is also looking at covering massages for chronic pain, instead of current opioid doses.

"I've been on pain killers nine, almost ten years," says Justin.

But Justin says he has already experienced therapeutic massages, and they do help cut down on his pain level.

Angela says many veterans may not be getting the healthcare they deserve now, but the VA is facilitating ways to get care elsewhere.

Much deserved care.

"They've seen and done a lot more than most civilians could even imagine," says Angela.

A new VA clinic in Joplin is set to open towards the end of next year.  Many veterans right now go to the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville.  

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