[Podcast] #107: Jason & Emily McCarthy – Army Veteran & MilSpouse, GORUCK CEO & Chief of Staff


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A couple weeks ago, GORUCK hosted an event in Washington D.C. called the Star Course 50-Miler. More than 700 participants wondered around Washington visiting way-points in attempt to walk 50 miles in 20 hours. The idea originates from an executive order handed down by Teddy Roosevelt to his military. Hours before the event, Jason and Emily McCarthy, CEO and Chief of Staff of GORUCK, swung by VA’s central office to record a podcast with me.

GORUCK is a company that makes rucksacks and hosts events for community rucking led by a cadre of special forces experts. Rucking is the activity of walking with weight on your back. In this week’s podcast, the married couple share Jason’s experience as Army special forces, Emily’s experience as a military spouse, their separation, their re-connection, and how all of that led to the creation of GORUCK.

The #VApodcast is now available in iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and Spotify. Search “Borne the Battle” in your podcast app of choice to subscribe.

Author

Timothy Lawson

Timothy Lawson has been a member of VA’s Digital Media Engagement team since April 2016. He graduated from American University’s School of Communications in 2016 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tim is a Marine Corps Veteran having served as a Marine Security Guard posted at embassies in Algeria, Russia, and Peru.

Comments

  1. Gerald Dixon    

    This is a message I have written several times with no results and no answers to my question. The VA like to print all of their success stories and those stories that make Veterans feel better, But they forget about all of those that still suffer. Maybe you will have better luck than me getting someone to read my message. Thanks Jerry

    My name is Gerald Dixon, (Personal contact information redacted) My VA is clinic is at, Lake Baldwin, Orlando, Florida

    I now know why my complaint was never addressed by the Inspector General, I just went through 158 pages of an Inspector Generals investigation into the VA in DC, I also went through 90 pages about the Inspector Generals
    mission after two hundred and forty pages I found an E-Mail address for the IG Hot Line on the very last page.

    Some time ago I contacted the inspector Generals Office, That was after I contacted Balzac Fiol Isabel in the VA Patient Advocate Office, Requesting a change of provider . I also contacted Secretary McDonald and Assistant Secretary Shulkin, Senators, Congressmen with no replies except from Senator McCain.He informed me if my concerns ever came up for a vote on the Senate Floor he would consider what I told him. I was not aware that my health care would require a Senate Vote. I am not going to bore you with the laundry list of people I requested help from all I was asking is why it took over nine months to get a new doctor to this day I have not received an answer from anyone. I called the IG’s office several times and I was told if the IG’s office choose to investigate my complaint it could take months to get started. I faxed to the IG’s office thirty two documents to support my complaint and a person by the name of Rich could not verify if they were received.

    For years now I have been looking for answers to my questions with no results. I feel the VA is no longer working in my best interest. There have been many occasions my Medications have been used as retaliation to my complaints even to this day the latest time was last month. I was not sent any test strips for my blood sugar my cost was one Hundred and Five Dollars. Then I ran out of Insulin my cost one hundred and sixty five dollars one of the nurses assured me I would get my insulin , The Nurse told my wife it would be put in over night mail. She called my wife the next morning it was going out in the mail. On both occasions she blamed the Doctor for the confusion, Needless to say this all occurred close to the weekend , After six days I received the insulin. During this over nine months i was forced to buy a supplemental insurance to cover my health care. I have gone through a heart attack, syncope problems , stroke, brain bleed, stents placed in my legs and neck and to top it all off I got a staph infection at the Hospital that required surgery leaving me with a whole in my chest
    4 in X 3 in x a quarter inch deep. all of this in a few months.

    My currant problem is I am on five liters saturation of oxygen. My last appointment I had with the Doctor at the VA, I informed him about all the things I have been through over the months, The Doctor didn’t seem to care he didn’t even get out of his chair to check my blood pressure or the opened wound on my chest. I would like it understood that the VA was not charged a penny for all the care I received. Back to my oxygen my last visit to the Doctor one of the Nurses on the teal team, there are two that I have been dealing with one of them made a point of it I canceled appointments. Then the discussion started about my appointment with the Doctor . I informed the Nurse of the situation with my oxygen and that the portable machine only went as high as 3 liters of saturation and I had already run out of oxygen on another visit to the VA and it isn’t a pleasant experience. The nurse told me they have other people on oxygen and they can use the oxygen at the facility. I informed her I would try to be there. Well she didn’t consider the time in the waiting room or the time waiting to be examined by the nurse When she finally got to me she realized that my oxygen was very low. So she went and got a bottle of oxygen and hooked it up, She then ask me what setting I was at I told her 5 liters she then said she was going to try 3 liters. When I did get to see the Doctor I was struggling for air. Needless to say I finished with the Doctor all he realty did was check my Medication and the new ones I receive from the Doctors in the Hospital and in Rehab Center. Some of them he said the VA doesn’t have. I also had to pick up a walker and a shower stool. If it wasn’t for one of the Volunteers that saw me having problems breathing. He went and got a bottle of oxygen. Needless to say it was not very comfortable trip on the way home.

    I don’t know how this new program is going to work, My Doctor outside the VA increased my insulin , He also directed me to test my sugar before each meal and before bed. The Nurses or the Pharmacist said that the VA only allowed testing twice a day. I know before many years ago that if the VA didn’t have a medication they would have a consult and approve the medicine , Then the medicine was acquired. I don’t know what I am going to do about the appointment the Nurse{s} scheduled for June 19th, Nothing has changed with my oxygen and I sure don’t want a recurrence of my last visit to the VA. I am sorry this is so long as you can tell I am not a typist. You need to understand I have been typing with one finger after the stroke I have weakness on my left side. Thank you I hope you can get some answers. One more thing I am sorry, My HealteVet account seems to be getting some extra attention most of my comments and messages are gone, Each time I go into my account for some reason it says they are updating my account and the same day I go into any of the sites that is the date my account was up dated. Thank You Gerald

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