Steve Cooper waited nearly a year for a consultation with a urologist at his local Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix. He’d been examined by a nurse practitioner a year earlier, but he knew something wasn’t right.
When he finally saw the doctor, Steve was shocked by his diagnosis.
Steve shared this experience in a recent op-ed:
I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. Had I been seen by a doctor sooner, my cancer could have been detected before it had progressed so far. Now it was too late. My cancer was so advanced the VA wouldn’t even offer me a treatment option.
I had joined the U.S. Army in 1989 as a young, ambitious kid. I honorably served my country for 18 years in the infantry and military police. When I took off the uniform, I relied on the promise I would be cared for as one who “shall have borne the battle.” But that promise was broken.
I was let down by government, the country that I served and loved. That hurt worse than my diagnosis.
Steve is one of six veterans who share their stories in The Care They’ve Earned, Concerned Veterans for America Foundation’s documentary on vets who share their stories about the care they’ve received from the VA. Just like Steve, these veterans went to the VA expecting care equal to their sacrifices. They all left the VA disappointed.