American Legion demands probe into conditions at Louisiana VA hospital

The American Legion says it’s “angered” to read a Watchdog report that the Shreveport, Louisiana Veterans Affairs hospital goes without linens and toiletries while spending millions on non-essentials.

The organization will provide $5,000 worth of emergency supplies within a few days.

“If more is needed, more will be provided,” the Legion’s national commander, Michael D. Helm, said in a statement. “While the American Legion family is more than happy to provide this assistance, it is very disturbing that such help is needed.”

A month-long Watchdog investigation revealed that patients at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center frequently have no sheets, blankets or pajamas while waiting for linen supplies to be trucked in from 125 miles away.

Employees also say toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and other toiletries are provided by volunteers, and the supply often runs out. Frequently linen is tattered or missing buttons and snaps and arrives in an unsanitary condition — tape or electrodes still suck on it, employees said.

The VA did not offer to investigate but rather defended its facility by saying laundry is inspected. It did not dispute that supplies of toiletries or linens are scarce.

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