Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find out that veterans are mishandled and not cared for regarding their healthcare and their benefits—something that should not be happening to those that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

While it is known that veterans are often mistreated by #veteran Administration (#va) staff, the general populous may not know that VA employees face their own trials and tribulations in their day-to-day dealings with veterans: violent verbal and physical attacks, threats, sexist remarks, racist remarks, and inappropriate demands.

VA Doctor gets attacked

Jacksonville, North Carolina is home to military installation Camp Lejeune—a Marine Corps base.

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Jacksonville is also home to several veteran centers such as the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). The CBOC was recently moved to a new location with a better building and more services for vets.

Many veterans in the area still complain about difficulty getting appointments and about staff that lack knowledge about their medical conditions. Dr. Fayez Mikhail is one of the main providers at the CBOC. There are not many veterans in Jacksonville that do not know Dr. Mikhail. He is a kind man with a passion for helping veterans—also a veteran himself.

The attack reportedly happened on April 13, 2017. Kelly Graham was charged with a felony assault for causing physical injury of emergency personnel. Graham showed up more than 15 minutes late to his appointment and had to wait, like most patients do that show up late.

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Veterans showing up late, or being “no-shows” perpetually screws over other veterans that are also in need.

Graham became upset when Dr. Mikhail offered alternate suggestions for his request for Oxycodone—quite possibly needed for pain management. Graham reportedly verbally assaulted Dr. Mikhail and then physically berated him, blocking his exit from the office. The doctor suffered what was reported to be a minor concussion.

When veterans attack

Graham is not the only veteran that happens to be struggling with narcotics like Oxycodone. Instead of helping veterans holistically, they are often handed narcotics—in fact, it is given out like candy. Many veterans acquire a narcotic dependency which further compounds and complicates their pre-existing injuries.

Some veterans have reported having warnings on their record that they should not be given narcotics due to previous addiction issues and mismanagement; yet, veterans in Jacksonville have reported that Dr. Mikhail failed to heed the information in their medical records.

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The neurobiological effects of narcotics compounded with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), chronic pain, and mental health issues is a disaster waiting to happen; yet the VA relies heavily on prescribing heavy narcotics. Often, the veteran crisis lines that are advertised are not even functional, often veterans are left alone to struggle with no one to return phone calls from these crisis lines.

There is no direct evidence that some of the attacks on VA employees are carried out by vets that are using narcotics; but, the emotional and physical pain that veterans are in, met with hostile employees, cancelled appointments, poor communication, and a spider-web of bureaucracy may be the last straw for some that are already teetering on the edge of internal combustion. #Jacksonville North Carolina