Tulsa - KJRH
KJRH and 2 News Investigates in Tulsa, Oklahoma, produced a number of investigative stories in 2014 regarding veterans and denial of benefit and care for them at the VA Hospital in Muscogee. Among the veterans was Monty, who served in the Korean War. Monty was suffering heart pains and couldn’t get anyone at the VA to call him back. He suffered a mild heart attack and while being prepped for surgery, the VA decided to fly him to its hospital in Houston, where he was prepped a second time. The surgery didn’t happen. Instead he had to get in an ambulance for the long ride back to Tulsa. During his five-day ordeal, he had no food or water. The head of the VA admitted to KJRH that cost was the driving factor of his suffering. He was moved all around because it would be cheaper to treat Monty in Houston.
Unable to take the pain, Monty committed suicide right before the story aired. Monty’s story and others culminated in a 30-minute special, 2 News Investigates the VA: System of Shame. The investigations and special sparked a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe pledging to work for continued reform. In addition, KJRH’s Problem Solver stories have resulted in vets and their families getting close to $200,000 back in benefits. When veterans reported to 2 News Investigates of their health problems and lack of benefits coverage by the VA, 2 News connected with the right people at the appropriate agencies to cut through a slow system and get solutions for the veterans who had waited years for proper benefits coverage.