Many VA facilities across the country are being swamped this Veterans Day by a rising tide of vets seeking help for medical, psychological and financial problems, AJC reporter Craig Schneider writes.
“We’ve got a terrible mess on our hands,” Wayne Hagan, state adjutant for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Georgia, told Schneider.
Georgia has about 770,000 veterans and 453,000 live in areas served by the Atlanta VA Medical Center. The center served about 77,000 patients in fiscal 2009, an increase of 8 percent above the prior year, said spokesman Gregory Kendall.
He expects similar yearly gains for the next decade as soldiers come home due to the draw-down of troops in Iraq and later Afghanistan, Schneider writes.
Nationally, of the 1.2 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, nearly half – 49 percent – have obtained VA health care since 2002, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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