Hawaii Veterans | Hawaii VA Loans | Don't Forget Hawaii Vets!

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Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

 Spark Matsunaga (former Senator of Hawaii) Department of Veterans Affairs is located at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. With The VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) Honolulu serving approximately 127,600 veterans in Hawaii AND the Pacific Islands I commend the work they have done to help the Veterans of the Armed Forces. 

My son served in the Armed Forces and he was on the USS Kitty Hawk in the Persian Gulf when the war broke out on March 19, 2003. It was his 23rd Birthday.

When he came home the summer of 2006 he started the process for VA Benefits so he could go back to school. With all the military red tape he finally is able to go to school in this Fall Semester. He had a job but they closed and he lost his medical benefits.

But wait!  He has VA Medical Benefits!  "GOOD THING" because he got so sick yesterday morning that he called MOM. He WAS really sick to call me and say, "Mom, I'm really sick and I'm scared". We immediately picked him up and rushed him to Tripler Army Medical Center Emergency Room.

FOUR HOURS LATER!!: And watching everyone walk in the door with children with coughs and go ahead of my son. My son mumbled something about Active Duty first, Active Duty Dependents second.....and Veterans  ....LAST!  What kind of protocol is that?  The lady at the front desk said that there is no such thing as first come first serve and said the severity of the case goes first.

 HOW DO THEY DETERMINE who goes first WITHOUT seeing a doctor to determine the severity? My son could hardly talk....he was in a fetal position in the back of our car from severe stomach cramping. So bad that his teeth chattered so hard from chills his jaw hurt. So bad I was afraid he would go through a seizure (he has a history of periodic grand mal seizures). So bad I had to talk to register him.

My son's cramping got a little better during those FOUR hours.....but the lady at the front said the "NORMAL" waiting period is up to six hours. For who? Vets? WE LEFT with the intention of just going to our civilian hospital and paying for my son. My son declined.

This is the ONLY facility Veterans can go to for "emergency" care and I was very disappointed in the care for Veterans. My son wasn't the only one.....I watched closely as two other older gentleman who were retirees were going through the same thing.

I have been a military dependent for the majority of my life and never knew of  this protocol. I have heard "war stories" about how the Veterans of the Armed Forces do NOT get that attention they need. I heard of the men coming back from war who don't get the care they need from the mental health issues they receive after going through traumatic situations they encountered in war zones.

I just got off the phone with my son. He's a little better. But what about the rest of the VETERAN'S?  What about ....next time?  Maybe he'll be lucky and be able to make an appointment for a regular office visit in the VA section of the hospital.

Following is informtation that may help a vet or even a honorably discharged war vet get a step ahead of the game to VA Benefits.

VA Pacific Islands Health Care System  (phone: 433-0600)

Health Care Patient Advocates :  The Patient Advocate is located at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center and serves as a liaison between patients and staff when a Service issue cannot be resolved. The Patient Advocate is Barbara Morgan and she may be reached by calling (808) 433-0126. Her office is located at: 459 Patterson Road, Ambulatory Care Center, Room 1B08

National Headquarters Info for  Hawaii Office of Veterans Services:

459 Patterson Road
E-Wing, Room 1-A103
Honolulu, HI 96819-1522
(808) 433-0420
(808) 433-0385 fax
Mark.Moses@va.gov

Other Helpful Links:

Homelessness is also very high on the list for aide for Veterans in Hawaii and after reading many stories on this subject I will do many follow up stories as well.  One important factor you Veterans should know about....if you are a Disabled Veteran and have a service related disability ...you are exempt from the VA Loan Funding Fee. Did you know that? First time use of the VA Guaranteed Loan the funding fee is 2.15% and second time use is 3.35 and of course it is lower is putting money down. The Hawaii VA Loan amount is currently capped at $625,500 (including the funding fee)

Yes, Active Duty Personnel are to be commended. My son was Active Duty and served and I am proud of him. And...yes, the Veterans of the Armed Forced are to be commended and NEED to be remembered as well.

My son is a Veteran and I am proud of him still.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com

  

 

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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

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Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Ambassador
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Missy; Tripler Army Medical Center serves ALL military and vets in Hawaii (all islands) and the Pacific Islands. Can you imagine? On top of that....active duty and dependents go to the ER for colds and other VETS have to wait. What I don't get is.... the front desk plops the check in paperwork in the box. Then a nurse comes out and "decides" which one to take vitals first. I watched here shuffle them around throughout the whole time. They have this huge hospital....and an ER too small to accomodate Active Duty and VETS.

 

Apr 07, 2008 10:57 AM #14
Ambassador
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
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Neal: At check in ....the woman asked if we had other health insurance besides VA. Uh, ... my son only had VA. The company he worked for went out of biz....and he lost his medical a month ago. Wasn't VA sufficient? I mean...it is government right?
Apr 07, 2008 10:59 AM #15
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Sandra: Now that is messed up!  I really believe they leave the 'determination for severity' to the vital sign taking person ....wrong!!!!  Tripler Hospital has been in the news more often than not....I was worrying about my son having a seizure. Crap. Maui VA needs a big makeover too. It was just in the news.
Apr 07, 2008 11:02 AM #16
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Cynthia: I agree!  Someone start a VA group!  WooHoo!  I for one am going to speak up.
Apr 07, 2008 11:05 AM #17
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Carole: THAT is exactly my point.....HOW DOES ONE DETERMINE WITHOUT SEEING A DOCTOR????? Look, now I'm all excited again :)
Apr 07, 2008 11:06 AM #18
Anonymous
Anonymous
Sally, I know we are lucky here in the West Palm Beach area. Not that many year ago we had a state of the art facility built for the veterans. 
Apr 07, 2008 02:56 PM #19
Rainmaker
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Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
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Sally,

I'm sorry to hear that your son is sick, hope he gets better soon. It's sad to hear about the way our veterans are being treated.

Apr 07, 2008 03:39 PM #20
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George Souto
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Sally, yes veterans don't get the care that they need sometimes, and they deserve better than that.  Did they determin what the problem was with your son???

Apr 07, 2008 04:09 PM #21
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Matthew: Their own hospital and ER too?  I really believe they need to have one set apart....because Active Duty will always go ahead.

Suzanne: He's better...it really upset me....I just get excited now....stay tuned. I have more stories!

George: Hey George! Did you have a good weekend?  No....we left....we were going to take him to a civilian hospital but he said no.... He's gotten better over the last couple of days...In fact, I better call him...thanks!

Apr 07, 2008 04:46 PM #22
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JO SOSS
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Sally, I am sorry that you had such a horrible experience and I am shocked that there isn't a VA Hospital there! My Dad was cared for several times at the VA Hospital in Spokane Washington and it was a very nice place. I loved what that Hospital did for my Dad. I am a dependent and so I do use military medicine. My husband is a corpsman in the Navy. I know there are huge strides that need to take place. My husband had to spend some time training at a VA hospital and said it was really tough.  I have always received good care by my military doctors. I however, feel that the military has let too many civilians in and in my eyes that is where some of the problem lies. I know there is no way another soldier, sailor, airman or Marine would allow their fellow Vets to be treated this way. We all have to keep telling our stories.
Apr 07, 2008 10:16 PM #23
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Jeff Belonger
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Sally... military or not, that is one of the worst things that I have ever heard. How about those dying first... those with a sore throat last....  Seriously, someone's head should role over there. I hope your son goes up the chain of command, complaining and writing letters. Someone needs to stand up and mention this kind of care. Whoops... lack of care and lack of common sense.

jeff belonger
Apr 07, 2008 11:32 PM #24
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Jeff Belonger
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PS... sorry, I forgot to say that I am glad that your son is okay...  just that the system gets to me sometimes... 
Apr 07, 2008 11:34 PM #25
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Thanks Jeff...leave it to you to watch our backs :)  I agree...but my son is so mellow ...it'd be mom doing it...I have gotten all those links together for a reason though....stay tuned. :)

Thanks Jeff.....he is way better today....getting a lot of rest. We kind of wish we found out what was wrong...that stomach pain was too severe ....  yeah....system gets to me too....

Apr 08, 2008 12:21 AM #26
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Randy Prothero
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I also happens in the civilian world. I was sitting in a wheel chair in the waiting for several hours.  I let my wife know I was about to lose consciousness from blood lose.  They finally checked me in after my wife complained several times.  I spent the next 24 hours in emergency getting transfusions.
Apr 08, 2008 02:20 AM #27
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Randy: I got to the ER and I don't wait. I have an appointment and I wait at the most 15 minutes. What's going on?  I was complaining but it didn't do any good...AT ALL,
Apr 08, 2008 12:27 PM #28
Rainer
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Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Sally, I have nothing good to say about Trippler. I had surgery there, and we won't even go there on how they treated my grandfather, a WWII Vet when he passed. I'm just glad our friend Bruce was at Queens.
Apr 09, 2008 12:39 PM #29
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
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Lysa: That's for sure! Believe me, I had surgery there when I was a teen. My dad was in Washington and had a heck of a time during his chemo and stuff before he died. He stayed at home and definitely didn't want to die there! These vets are too forgotten ...too quick. I don't understand that. Retirees who spent their whole lives are treated worse than Active Duty of a couple years. Sad.
Apr 09, 2008 04:26 PM #30
Rainer
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Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Here in our area of FL our vets have to go to Gainsville for certian things :( Orlando can't even help them. It's not just Hawaii's Vets my friend...  thats the worst part!

Apr 10, 2008 01:00 PM #31
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
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Lysa: That's why I mentioned my dad....he was in Tacoma, WA and treated the same way...crappy.
Apr 10, 2008 03:09 PM #32
Rainer
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Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
:(
Apr 11, 2008 09:48 AM #33
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