Veterans’ Health Records Lost in VA-Department of Defense Divide

When former Marine Sgt. Chris Morey went to the VA for excruciating back pain and migraines, doctors said they couldn’t do anything for him because they had not received his deployment medical history from the military.

Sgt. Morey, who separated from the Marine Corps in 2007 after serving four years, was told by the Department of Defense that the VA would be sent a copy of his deployment history that included things like a concussion he’d suffered in an improvised explosive device blast during his third tour in Iraq. But that never happened.

“I’m telling you I get headaches; I’m telling you my back is messed up,” he told The Washington Times of his visit to the VA. “You’re telling me it doesn’t matter because it’s not in this record.”

Veterans advocates are urging the Defense Department and VA to collaborate better so electronic health records can simply be clicked and dragged from one system to another when a service member transitions to civilian life, eliminating problems like the ones faced by Sgt. Morey.