Indy vet had to wait 1.5 years for surgery at VA

Says he still waits weeks for treatment

INDIANAPOLIS - Veteran Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned on Friday amid a scandal in the VA healthcare system that had more than 100 congressmen calling for his ouster.

In Indianapolis, U.S. Army veteran David Lawson is one of the many reasons why Shinseki resigned on Friday. The Gulf War veteran described the weeks it took him to see a doctor at the VA's Roudebush Hospital, and the pain medications he had to rely on for treatment until a surgeon final removed part of his colon.

"It took almost a year and a half to get the surgery I needed, and it was a trying situation," Lawson said.

In his resignation, Shinseki took responsibility for the scandal in the VA over excessive wait times and cover-ups, in what he called "systemic problems."

"I apologize as the senior leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs," Shinseki said. "I extend an apology to the people whom I care most deeply about, and that's the veterans of this great country."

Senior leadership at the American Legion called for Shinseki's resignation early this month, citing an epidemic of VA mismanagement in its healthcare system that resulted in as many as 40 patient deaths due to delays in care.

"We just want to make sure that there's a reform-minded individual who's going to change that structure, create greater accountability and accessibility to veterans," said the American Legion's John Raughter.

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