Nightmare after nightmare has been documented when it comes to scandals at the Department of Veterans Affairs. But this incident is truly horrific.
Todd Nicely led a squad of 12 infantry Marines on a security foot patrol in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device, leaving him a quadruple amputee. It got worse when he came home – and attempted suicide after a frustrating round of calls with the VA Crisis Hotline over the weekend.
According to a Facebook post from fellow wounded veteran Bobby Henline, friends spoke with Nicely over the weekend and found out he was upset that nobody from the VA was there to help him.
Nicely then called the Crisis Hotline and was told to “call back when he becomes less irate.”
Henline wrote in part:
“Wounded Warrior Todd Nicely, retired USMC, quad amputee, shot himself two nights ago. My friend Greg spoke with him at 6pm and Todd was mad at the VA and USMC for not being there to help him. Todd tried calling a Crisis Hotline all weekend but he kept getting the runaround from them and they told him to call back when he becomes less irate.”
Fortunately, the gunshots were not fatal.
Via Liberty Unyielding:
Corporal Todd Nicely, USMC, doesn’t take life lying down. He doesn’t come off to anyone as a morose guy who feels sorry for himself. That’s a good thing, since he lost most of all four limbs in an encounter with a land mine in Afghanistan in 2010. He’s one of only five veterans (as of 2016) to survive the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a quadruple amputee.
It’s essential to know this about Todd Nicely, before taking in the update that he shot himself this week after reportedly getting the run-around from the Veterans Administration crisis hotline. He’s recovering, according to the latest news from Friday, 3 June; he didn’t succeed in killing himself. But in frustration at a situation whose particulars we don’t fully know*, he did try.
Todd’s mother took to Facebook to post an update:
This is Todd’s Mom and we are trying to answer everyone’s posts and messages and voice messages as we can and they’re coming in faster than we can answer. Todd is doing fine he’s going to be OK, thank you for your prayers and comments and for being good friend to him.
In May of last year, Sen. Bill Nelson requested that the VA investigate the Crisis Hotline to ensure it is meeting veterans’ needs, citing reports that some were being stranded during high-volume call periods.
Nicely’s case doesn’t involve him being stranded, but rather he was actually told to call back because he was too angry. That’s incompetence that could have cost him his life.
Not very long ago, Hillary Clinton downplayed scandals at the VA that involved 30% of veterans dying as they waited for healthcare.
Now it appears they can’t even rely on a hotline designed specifically to aid them during times of crisis.
Watch Todd Nicely’s story below …
Cross-posted at The Political Insider