The US Department of Veterans Affairs continues to face intense scrutiny over its failures to provide timely aid, as a congressional hearing revealed a veteran committed suicide after his call to the emergency hotline went unanswered and to voicemail.
The revelation came during a hearing a subcommittee hearing on Veterans Affairs (VA) appropriations. According to the Daily Caller, the incident dates back to July 2015, when Iraq War veteran Thomas Young of Illinois called the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) seeking help.
After returning from Iraq in 2004 and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the 30-year-old tried to seek help for his problems with alcohol abuse at a local VA hospital. However, he was denied since he wasn’t suicidal. He tried calling the Crisis Line on July 22 or 23, according to his brother, but only got voicemail. On July 23, Young laid down on train tracks near Chicago and was hit by a Metra train.
One day after Young was killed, the VA’s office returned his call and rang his phone.READ MORE
A few years ago I called the national suicide hot line.
First question they asked me was >> Have you thought of committing suicide lately.
I answered >> well yes, that is why I am calling you.
Second question was >> do you have insurance?
I hung up.