NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — More than a dozen Hampton Roads veterans and their families are taking on the government in federal court. They recently filed a $500 million lawsuit claiming the Department of Veterans Affairs is denying benefits.
“It is disgusting how they are doing us,” said veteran Roy Perry-Bey.
“They want us to give up, and we are not going to give up,” veteran Daniel Deloach added.
Last week, the vets held a protest in front of the Norfolk Federal Courthouse. They held signs and chanted their displeasure with the system.
“We’ve been knocked down over and over again,” Perry-Bey said.
“It’s not an accident that all these veterans are out here,” Ronald Green added.
The veterans say medical claims are continually denied, and in many cases there is an unreasonable delay in processing claims.
“It’s painful,” Deloach said.
Deloach spent four years in the Air Force and suffers for sleep apnea and PTSD.
“They are not covering it,” Deloach added. “In some cases, it is too slow and it’s lagging and people are dying.”
“I was sexually assaulted by my commanding officer,” veteran Tony Harold said.
Harold spent time in the Navy. His experience ended with a lifetime of hurt.
“They keep denying me,” he added. “They claim they lost my medical records.”
“My whole life I’ve been walking around for many years broken,” Perry-Bey said.
Perry-Bey wasn’t in the Army very long, but has spent years dealing with the effects.
“I’ve been in the eyes of the Veterans Administration for 40 years,” Perry-Bey added. “They give me health care. They just have never treated my post traumatic stress and won’t give me my compensation for my service connected injury.”
“I’m angry,” Green said. “I’m very angry about this.”
Green didn’t serve in the military. He’s joined the lawsuit for his brother Wendell Willis.
“He loved the military and the Air Force,” Green added. “That’s why he joined the Air Force.”
Green says a spider bite that went untreated caused a lifetime of pain for Willis’ family.
“He incurred hospitalization and medical treatment that was inadequate, and that was insufficient, in fact down right deficient,” Green said. “Over the years, after all that treatment that I would consider experimentation with a guinea pig, he’s dead.”
10 On Your Side contacted both the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. We never heard back from the DOD, and the Department of Veterans Affairs says it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
“I don’t understand why we are treated with such low priorities,” Harold asked.
They say its a slap in the face. Even though they’ve been out of the military for years, they are once again preparing for a battle.
“We are human beings,” Perry-Bey said. “Our families are human beings. We deserve better. We simply deserve better.”