Colorado veteran hopes resignation of Eric Shinseki signals bigger changes for VA system

DENVER - Colorado Vietnam Veteran Don Hall hopes the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki signals bigger changes.

"It's a start.  It's a start.  And hope that they really take this seriously and help out our vets,” said Hall.

President Barack Obama said Friday that he accepted the retired four-star general's resignation "with considerable regret" during an Oval Office meeting. Shinseki had been facing mounting calls to step down from lawmakers in both parties since a scathing internal report out Wednesday found broad and deep-seated problems in the sprawling health care system, which provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.

An inspector general's report found that about 1,700 veterans in need of care were "at risk of being lost or forgotten" after being kept off an official waiting list.

The report confirmed earlier allegations of excessive waiting times for care in Phoenix, with an average 115-day wait for a first appointment for those on the waiting list -- nearly five times as long as the 24-day average the hospital had reported.

For months, Hall says he’s been living in limbo about a possible cancer diagnosis.

"I can't get through. They said look at my chart, you've got 60-90 days to see the results. I said, 'It's a possibility I may have cancer,' and it fell on deaf ears."

Hall is trying to be hopeful, as he navigates a complicated health care system.

"When they pull those other troops out of there, I don't know how they're going to handle it. I really don't. Because they're falling short, big time right now."

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