INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 14, 2015) - A strong message is being sent from veterans who are fed up with the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may have seen the two billboards in Indy blasting the VA and urging the public to help.
It’s a message that’s hard to miss. The billboards read, “VA is lying, veterans are dying.”
“I think there are a lot of veterans who go through what I go through and worse than what I go through at the hands of the VA,” said one Indianapolis veteran who chose to remain anonymous in speaking with us.
“Somebody’s got to listen to us. We’re sitting here going hey, you’re killing us,” he said.
The three-year Air Force vet has had 30 years of trouble with the VA. He has shuffled through multiple doctors and received various surgeries for a knee ailment. But each time he says, he leaves with more issues than when he arrived.
That’s why he supports an online campaign that has gained national traction. The Facebook group “VA is lying” has almost 20,000 members, many of them veterans. The group is funding these billboards across the country.
“They’re here and they’re on busy streets and people are seeing them,” said the veteran.
Two electronic billboards are now up in Indianapolis: one at 38th Street and Fall Creek Parkway near the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the other at I-465 near Michigan Road.
The VA has had its fair share of controversies, and Indiana is no exception. A 2014 study done for the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs revealed Indiana ranks among the worst states in funding for veterans.
“Congress won’t do anything, nothing will get done, so public, it’s up to you,” said the veteran.
The VA Roudebush Medical Center in Indianapolis issued the following statement:
"The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center works tirelessly to provide the very best, most appropriate healthcare for our Veterans. While we respect the freedom of speech rights of those who may not agree with laws and regulations which govern our health care system, we do regret the negative atmosphere they have created.
Each year the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center provides service to over 62,000 Veterans. The vast majority of the Veterans we serve are proud to receive their health care in our Medical Center.
VA employees are servants of our nation's heroes. We are not perfect but we truly respect and honor our Veterans. We appreciate the help, FOX 59 and their colleagues in the Indianapolis media provide to communicate with Veterans and ensure they know we are here to provide service they have earned and deserve."