12 OYS: Local vet's emotional letter to VA Secretary gets swift response

More Video...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "People talk bad about the VA, but they always treated me good up until now," said Dorris Blalock. He said he voluntarily signed up to fight for his country in Vietnam, but now has been made to wait more than a year for a signature from the Veterans' Administration for a piece of medical equipment.

"Every time you call, you get the same thing. We're working on it. It's in progress," said Blalock. He had a leg amputated in 2012 after some complications from diabetes and said he wants the Veterans' Administration to stop procrastinating. Blalock's wife, Debra has handled most of her husband's paperwork.

"He's everything. Everything. I would fight for him. I would die for him," said Blalock. She said she has worked tirelessly calling the VA, and even writing letters to lawmakers, hoping to speed up the delay in her husband's claim. She said it has been to no avail.

We're just asking for what they promised him," said Blalock. Frustrated, the Blalock's asked 12 On Your Side to personally deliver a message to VA Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson who was at Augusta's VA. We kept our promise to this veteran. We told Gibson that Blalock wrote us a letter to give to him. Gibson told News 12 he would make sure someone contacted Blalock.

"Somebody will be in touch with him before the sun sets today," said Gibson. This afternoon we went back to the Blalocks. "I got a phone call from a doctor. He said he was given the letter, and he was told to work on our situation," said Debra Blalock.

She said Gibson asked that same doctor to return the letter to him so he can follow the progress of the claims delay. "It shouldn't last that long for a claim of any kind," said Blalock. Now with a reason to be optimistic, this proud veteran is grateful.

"Thank you," said Blalock. He said he has not been able to leave his house in a year, except to go to doctors appointments and that is only by ambulance. The Blalocks told us as soon as they get the word, they will let us know, and of course we will let you know.

The acting VA Secretary was in Augusta Thursday meeting congressional members.


Secretary Sloan Gibson was at the Charlie Norwood VA hospital Thursday morning after last month's hospital audit.

The hospital was flagged in an audit for reported scheduling issues and more than a decade long wait for appointments for about 130 newly registered veterans. The hospital has also been on the radar after the death of three veterans due to inadequate care.


Congressman John Barrow was not able to attend due to commitments in DC.



Gibson visited the Dorn Center in Columbia on Wednesday.


Have information or an opinion about this story? Click here to contact the newsroom.


Copyright WRDW-TV News 12. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished without express written permission.


WRDW.com is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards.

powered by Disqus
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 266634291 - wrdw.com/a?a=266634291
Gray Television, Inc.