Some local veterans have positive words about VA

Created: 06/09/2014 6:17 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

We’ve all heard a lot of stories now about phony wait time statistics and delayed care at VA hospitals – but a lot of New Mexico veterans have positive things to say about the Albuquerque VA Hospital and how they’re treated there.

Meet Marion Dees. He’s an 87-year-old World War Two veteran living in Albuquerque, and he’s been a VA patient here for a long time.

"I first went to the VA Hospital back in 1981 with a major heart attack and they thought I was going to die," Dees said Monday. "They said I had about four years."

The VA got that wrong, but Dees says they got everything else right for the last 33 years or so. He and his pal and caregiver Vincent Guillen show us the bewildering variety of medications Dees must take every day – at least 18 pills. All of it is paid for by the VA, just like his hearing aids, his high tech walker, his computer, his big screen projector for reading and his wheelchair. Dees is just about blind but he still sees his health care clearly.

"They have taken excellent care of me all the way through. Every time I go there I get to see the doctor within minutes of the time I get there and they give me all the medication that I need."

"They’re always there," Guillen said. "Never had a problem with schedules. The care is so professional. They take such great care of him. They treat him with dignity and kindness."

After the war Dees was a teacher and a preacher – and he’s still preaching the gospel about his VA health care.

"Of all the VA hospitals I think this one right here in Albuquerque is the best," Dees says. "It is the best!"

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