VA apologizes for 'ill-advised' ban on veterans' cellphones

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) apologized on Wednesday for temporarily implementing what it called an "ill-advised" policy at some medical centers that banned veterans from bringing cellphones to appointments, according to a statement provided by the VA to the Washington Free Beacon.

Photographs emerged earlier this week showing official signs at VA medical facilities stating that a veteran would have his or her appointment cancelled if they bring with them a cellphone.

The photos, first published on the blog Disabled Veterans, depict of a list of "prohibited items." Included within that list, along with guns, knives, and backpacks, is a photo of an iPhone.

"If brought to your appointment [these items] will result in the cancelation of your exam(s)," reads the flyer, which bears the VA's official logo and slogan, "Defining Excellence in the 21st Century."

These flyers were included in appointment packages to veterans, according to a VA official who spoke to the Free Beacon and disclosed that the flyers would be "immediately discontinued."

"The flyer included in Veterans' Compensation and Pension (C&P) appointment letters at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System's (ECHCS) Golden community based outpatient clinic were ill-advised," The VA official said in a statement.

Exams will not be cancelled if a phone is brought to a C&P appointment, the official made clear.

The VA did not explain why it issued the initial phone ban.

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