MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More developments in a controversy we’ve been hearing a lot about – the Memphis VA Hospital.
WREG has uncovered executives there are raking it in when it comes to bonuses, bonuses taxpayers paid for.
A whopping $108 million was paid to VA executives and employees across the country.
In Memphis, employees got almost $71,000 in bonuses in 2013.
Two employees received around $5,000, while ten others got a thousand bucks each.
Most bonuses were on top of six-figure salaries.
According to federal documents, at least ten VA Memphis employees are paid salaries of $300,000 or more.
Congress is working to stop those bonuses, next year.
Lost in the controversy about the VA hospitals are the special services the administration provides our vets, like a mobile center that travels around providing counseling services for those returning from combat.
But as we found out Friday, the VA controversy is very much on the minds of those who gave so much for our country.
In Southaven, Miss., Don Moore welcomed a veteran aboard the Vet Center’s mobile unit.
“From one combat veteran to another, thank you for your service.”
Moore is a counselor with the VA’s Vet Center, which provides “re-adjustment counseling” for combat veterans.
The Vet Center’s mobile unit was in Southaven at the Traveling Vietnam Wall display.
Moore said while some vets are expressing their concerns over problems at the Veterans Administration, he made it clear what the Vet Center does.
“The Vet Center is a different department from the VA medical facility. We don’t deal with medical issues, we deal with counseling services,” said Moore.
Friday, the mobile unit moved to Southern Thunder Harley Davidson, where disabled veterans were already lining up at the DAV’s mobile unit to check on their benefits.
But the topic of conversation was the ailing VA.
“The system needs fixing. And it needs overhauling, it looks like, from the top down,” said Levy Twillie, a disabled veteran from Memphis.
Hugh Joyner is a disabled Korean War veteran.
He’s hoping the DAV will help him resolve a three hundred-dollar bill from the VA for kidney stone treatment.
Joyner said it’s not necessarily the amount of the bill…it’s the principle of the thing.
“The VA refuses to pay it. And I don’t feel like I should pay it cause I’m a 100 percent disabled veteran,” said Joyner.
Men and women waiting to be assisted agreed that of it weren’t for non-profits like the DAV, they’d be fighting more battles for benefits they deserve.
Disabled veteran Paul Miller said there’s only so much a vet can do on the little money some of them have.
“Vet’s can handle so much, but a lot of it’s out of the vet’s ability to handle. So, you have to spend money out of your own pocket,” said Miller.
The Vet Center is located on Union Avenue in in Midtown Memphis, as well as other cities in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.