Bernie Sanders was approached by a struggling vet during last Friday’s town hall event in Carson City, Nevada who silenced the room after telling Sanders he was going to kill himself.
The veteran, 58-year-old Navy veteran John Weigel, had been in the navy for about 2 decades before he was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and has been struggling with everyday tasks and cannot pay off his medical debts.
Bernie asks the veteran, “John, I’m looking at a bill and the account balance says $139,000.00 – what is that about?”
“It’s because somehow, after the fact they claimed that my private care – that I chose to end it, which I didn’t. It was coming out of my check you know, as part of my allotment that was set up in 2003 when I first retired from the military after nearly 20 years. So, now they’re saying I didn’t resign it or do something.”
Bernie then asks the veteran how he’s going to pay off the medical debts.
“I can’t. I can’t. I’m going to kill myself,” the veteran responds.
— Greg Krieg (@GregJKrieg) September 14, 2019
Bernie immediately reacts “No! John, stop it.” The veteran goes on to explain how he has trouble living a day to day life. Clearly this was not only about medical debt but getting the care he needs for the condition he’s in.
“I can’t do it. I have Huntington’s disease. Do you know how hard it is? You know, you probably don’t, do you? I can’t drive. I can barely take care of myself.”
Bernie then proceeds to tell John they’ll talk more about his situation after the town hall event so they can discuss his issues in depth.
— Cara Korte (@CaraKorte) September 13, 2019
Bernie’s History With Veterans
In a time when dark money wants to defund and privatize the Veterans Affairs system, send more troops to war, and neglect the care our wounded and traumatized veterans need – Bernie Sanders has stood up against these special interest groups throughout his whole career.
Sanders has shown true patriotism and respect towards our troops whether it’s through expanding the services provided by the VA, ending our wars, keeping veterans off the streets and by supporting a healthcare for all system to ensure every American has healthcare as a human right.
Bernie & Jane Speak With Veteran After Town Hall
After the town hall was over Bernie Sanders, joined by wife Jane O’Meara Sanders, kept their word and engaged with the veteran to discuss his situation more in depth.
In an interview the following day Bernie said to reporters “This should not be going on in America, not for a veteran, not for any person in this country, and it is beyond comprehension that under the current healthcare system, somewhere like a half a million people go bankrupt every year because of medical bills.”