AUSTIN - A veteran waiting for two years for help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may soon get aid, thanks to you.
Marco Martinez needed a ramp, among many other things.
He is disabled, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, fibromyalgia and PTSD, as well as other ailments. His disability is 100 percent service connected.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs promised to make Martinez’s home safe two years ago. Martinez was placed on an “independent living program.”
Delays mounted. He reached out to KVUE Defenders for help.
Minutes after our broadcast, viewers started offering ways to cover the gaps in funding.
“It’s been very humbling that people would take time to call, email their support. A couple of businesses have in the process of banding together. They plant to rectify some of the problems that the VA has been neglecting for two years,” said Martinez.
Three contractors have offered to pay out of pocket for work not funded by the VA.
“It’s interesting. A couple of VA employees have seen the newscast. They have pushed themselves to get me help, which is pretty incredible,” said Martinez. “You don’t have to explain to VA workers that their agency has problems. They’re more aware of the problems than any of us are because they live there every day. There is a lot of very well intentioned, very loving people at the VA. Unfortunately, they’re in a culture that has a lot of problems.”
Martinez tried to get lawmakers to help months ago. Some tried and failed. Now, there is a new hope.
“Senator (Ted) Cruz’s office has reached out to me and their pushing me so they can help me. I’m hopeful that Senator Cruz will be able to push the VA harder than previous attempts,” said Martinez.
Even if the work is completed by contractors, Martinez still needs to receive other items approved by the VA.
It’s not over. Martinez has heard promises before. This time, Martinez’s hope is stronger because people like you are involved.
“To have strangers come to your rescue, it's pretty amazing,” said Martinez.
While the focus may be about Martinez, the struggles from the VA is echoed in many other veterans.
KVUE Defenders will still continue to hold the VA accountable.
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