Former Indianapolis VA patient feels ‘betrayed’ by controversial email

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 13, 2015) - Heartbroken and betrayed, one Indianapolis Army veteran says he has lost all faith in the staff that helped him when he returned from war. It was an internal email, sent by a manager at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, that changed his mind.

“Everything was kind of weighing down on me,” said Will Henry.

The battle for Henry continued even when returned from war, “Relationship problems, transitional problems, couldn’t find work.”

It was when he had returned from his second deployment, when the Army vet, husband, and father of three turned to the Roudebush VA Medical Center, in particular, the hospital’s Transition Clinic, to seek help.

“Initially they acted when I had voiced that I’d had ideas of possibly hurting myself and they reacted immediately on that,” said Henry.

Robin Paul he said was there every step of the way, “The help that she had given to me, it seemed genuine. But under the surface, after seeing the emails, it leads you to wonder, what was really underneath that surface?”

Paul is the author of a controversial internal VA email that mocked suicides and veterans’ rehabilitation services. She’s the same woman in charge of the Roudebush clinic, and the recovery of thousands of returning soldiers.

“Was I being laughed at behind my back? Were my issues really being taken into consideration?” asked Henry.

“It just really makes you wonder what they were really thinking when they’re treating you,” he said.

Today, Henry works for the American Legion of Indiana, hoping to help veterans he said, who are left fighting alone, without help from the group they needed the most.

“To me, a written apology crafted by a public affairs office isn’t really enough. For someone to be genuinely sorry for what they did, they would do the right thing and they would step down on their own,” he said.

The American Legion has called for the immediate removal of Robin Paul from her post however she is still employed on administrative leave, at the Roudebush Transition Clinic. The VA Medical Center launched a full investigation this week to determine if further discipline is needed.