A US Marine veteran who lost his arms and legs to an explosion in Afghanistan is determined to survive anything- but dealing with the VA might be his biggest challenge yet.
Corporal Todd Nicely lost all four limbs in March of 2010, when he stepped onto a booby trapped bridge in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.
Since then, he has been adjusting to life with prosthetics, and gone through ups and downs- including a suicide attempt.
In June of 2016, an intoxicated Nicely had had enough, and planned to take his own life.
“I was drinking heavily at the time and things got bad and I tried calling the VA, and let’s just say they weren’t very helpful,” he told WCNC in 2017. “At that moment what I was thinking there was pretty selfish, but the pain was going to be over.”
Nicely shot himself- only to wake up in the hospital several days later, surrounded by angry family members and suddenly determined to live his life as best he can.
These days, Nicely would be more than happy to go out and live his life- if only the VA would give him his prosthetics.
Yesterday, Nicely released a live video on Facebook, complaining that the VA have left him without useable prosthetics for months- including the backup set, which have been gone for over a month.
“They have four of them,” he said in the video. “My backups and every one of them that I have left. My backups have been there for over a month, guaranteed.”
According to Nicely, the VA has all four prosthetics, and can’t figure out how to repair them in a timely matter, let alone get them to fit properly. Even worse, they resist his request to turn the task over to outside companies.
“They do not like the fact that I would like to go somewhere else to get my prosthetics made,” he said.
Nicely said that it took the VA from March to October to make him a set of legs that don’t fit properly.
“I deserve a good pair of shoes, too,” he said, using a tongue-in-cheek metaphor. “I don’t want a half-worn pair of shoes, I want the new Nikes, I want it to feel nice. But that’s a problem. I have to go through so much damn red tape to get any kind of fu**ing thing I need to make sure that my life is easy…From the VA.”
I’ve been doing this for eight years,” he said as he complained about constantly being told to go down to the VA for consultations. “I know what I need. Call me on the phone, I’ll tell ya. I don’t need to come spend an hour with you for you to explain to me what I may need in life. I know.”
Nicely complained that half of the VA’s staff are “just lazy,” and don’t want to do their jobs.
“They think that they’re getting paid, so they don’t have to,” he said.
The veteran noted that with over eight years of needing the same services, it shouldn’t be such a hassle to walk in and tell them what he needs.
“I’m at a loss for words,” he said.
Nicely lives in Missouri, near the Lake of the Ozarks.
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