Veteran seeks help, can't get VA clinic on the phone - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Veteran seeks help, can't get VA clinic on the phone

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Problems with VA clinics across the country have caused veterans in Wilmington to reach out about issues they've experienced, one of them being the phone lines.

Some say they call up to 30 times a day and never get anyone on the phone.

Harold Dickey is one of those veterans. He says he's called so many times, he knows the number by heart.

"I remember three phone numbers, my mothers, ours and the VA," Dickey said. "One day I called 23 times to get through, another day I called 12 times, another day I called 10 times."

Dickey is just 61-years-old, but strokes and diabetes have landed him in the hospital.

He says he's frustrated because he can't get the help he needs when the VA clinic won't answer its phones.

"When I'm done with the VA for the day, I'm shaking because I'm that pissed off that it took that long," Dickey said.

He says it could be days before he ever hears back, something he's complained about many times.

"I've talked to different levels from a nurse to a doctor to, I talked to the advocate one time about it…nothing's happening."

He believes he's not the only one experiencing this problem.

"They're not taking care of what they should take care of, and now they've got a million guys coming home. What's going to happen to them?" Dickey said.

He's known the perils of war, seeing his friends brought home in body bags; and he doesn't want others to feel the frustration he feels every day.

"They have to pick up the phone and if they can't pick up the phone then what are they doing."

WECT has reached out to representatives with the VA clinic in Wilmington. We have not heard back at this time.

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