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Macon veteran: Care is "excellent" at middle Georgia VA hospitals

A Macon Vietnam veteran says he's received excellent care at VA hospitals around middle Georgia.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Vietnam veteran Herbert Dennard swallows three pills a day as part of his daily routine, thanks to Agent Orange.

Agent Orange is a chemical the U.S. Military sprayed over Vietnam during the war to wipe out crops and forests. It left Dennard with some serious medical issues.

"It affects your kidneys, it affects your, diabetes," said Dennard.

It also affects his feet, but Dennard, who fought in the Marine Corps, says getting treatment hasn't been too bad.

"I can't speak for all the VA hospitals, but the ones I deal with, Augusta, Dublin and Macon. Excellent. They treat you well," said Dennard.

Dennard's experience is much different than what's been reported across the country.

In Phoenix, NBC reports a federal investigation showed delayed care and waits of more than 100 days. Dennard's never experienced those issues.

"They wait on me faster than my own doctor, my personal doctor," said Dennard.

While his office couldn't elaborate, a spokeswoman for Congressman Austin Scott says there have been a lot of calls in Georgia's 8th District about VA issues.

In an email sent to 41NBC, Scott said, “Constituents of Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District share the same outrage and frustrations that all Americans, including myself, are feeling. While I am glad President Obama accepted Secretary Shinseki’s resignation, the VA’s problems run much deeper. I look forward to working with all Members of Congress and the President on finding a solution to provide our veterans with the quality care they deserve.”

Dennard agrees. The cracks in the system need to be addressed.

"These people laid down their lives and a lot of them are carrying injuries that they received over there," said Dennard.

So is Dennard. He's reminded with every step he takes, but he feels lucky the people that care for him have eased that burden.

"I might have caught them on their good days, but every time I've been there, they've taken care of me, and I'm thankful," said Dennard.

41NBC also reached out to the Carl Vinson VA Hospital in Dublin for a comment.

The hospital sent a statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs which said in part, "Together with VSOs, Congress and all VA stakeholders we will act with the best interests of Veterans at heart... VA is taking concrete steps towards that end."

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