Charles Slappe of Fort Pierce says his appointment at the VA clinic was 'miserable'

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is under fire nationwide. Allegations include long delays for appointments and substandard treatment. A local man calls his appointment at a VA clinic in Fort Pierce "miserable".

Charles Slappe takes 14 pills twice a day which includes medicine for his heart, blood pressure and anti-depressants. He has been taking medicine for years.

"You gotta do what you gotta do to stay healthy," says Slappe.

This week he went to a VA clinic in Fort Pierce for refills but it didn't it go smoothly.

"Nothing but bad," says Slappe.

Slappe says he had to wait over a month for an appointment. He complained and the appointment was moved up. When he saw the nurse practitioner, Slappe, a Vietnam veteran, claims he was told he shouldn't have PTSD 40 years after the war.

"When you know you've actually taken lives and it was your finger that pulled the trigger you don't get over that," says Slappe, "she said 'well you should be over it'. She said we're not gonna medicate you any more."

Slappe spent one year in Vietnam from January 1969 to December 1969.

"They call you women and baby killers," says Slappe, "You have to live with that and it's something you get depressed over."

Slappe is confined to a wheelchair. It's a struggle to get around sometimes. 

During his next appointment at the Fort Pierce VA Clinic, Slappe told us he met a psychiatrist but it wasn't in person. He says it was a closed circuit feed similar to Skype.

"I don't know how they can evaluate you when you're not being seen in person," says Slappe.

We called and emailed the Department of Veterans Affairs but haven't received a response.

Slappe says veterans should be treated with respect at every clinic.

"I think they ought to be treated top of the line," says Slappe, "We served our country. We sacrificed."

Slappe had an appointment at a VA clinic in West Palm Beach on Thursday. He says he was treated better and will be allowed to stay on his medicine. 

Print this article Back to Top