Phoenix VA

Another Veteran Has Taken his Life in Phoenix, AZ

Another young veteran has taken his own life in Phoenix, AZ. Luis Mariscal Munoz had been seeing a therapist at the VA hospital in the month prior to his suicide, but the medical professionals involved failed to flag him for possible in-patient admittance despite having noted that he was at serious risk of self-harm. Munoz left his wife a note telling her that it was not her fault and that she should feel no guilt. He hopped in his truck, drove to a local shooting range, put a 9 mm pistol to his head and he pulled the trigger. Luis was 29 years old.

The Phoenix VA has been front-and-center of the national scandals in the Veterans Administration. In the last few weeks a series of suicides have taken place in Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee and several other States. In most of these cases, VA staff failed to intercede though red flags had been raised.

 

The Phoenix VA Still Has Problems With Suicidal Veterans — Fatal Problems

Source: The Phoenix VA Still Has Problems With Suicidal Veterans — Fatal Problems

Luis Mariscal Munoz called the Phoenix VA Health Care System to say he wouldn’t be coming in to work. He drove to a shooting range at the Table Mesa Recreation Area off Interstate 17 and parked. At about 6:30 p.m., having walked about 70 feet from the car, he put a borrowed nine-millimeter handgun to his head and pulled the trigger.

An hour later, Luis’ wife, Lisa Mariscal, arrived at the West Phoenix home the couple shared with their two dogs. Luis had texted her: something about how he was sorry and to read the note he’d left for her. She’d tried to call and text him back, but there was no reply.

Lisa knew that for the past month, her husband had been attending weekly therapy appointments at the VA on Indian School Road, where he worked as a medical laboratory technologist. She was aware that a psychiatrist there had prescribed an antidepressant. But Luis had told her he was just suffering from anxiety.

Then she read the note.

“Please do not feel guilt about my decision,” he had written. “I would like you to feel happy or relieved that I am no longer suffering. You never did anything wrong. No one could have changed my mind.”

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2 Comments

  1. Robin Mitchell says:

    What a shame for this young man and his family. Robert McDonald and his transformation has been a complete failure. Claims have been reduced by throwing them into the appeals pile and denied but not counted as a claim. Veterans are still dying waiting for medical care as when the VA scandal became public in this very VA/Phoenix.

    Today in view of the Directors office a VA is Lying billboard goes up. I will continue to support them financially until there is real, meaningful change at the VA. Not a rearranging of the deck chairs of top VACO employees as happened a few weeks ago.

    Danny Pummill left 48 hours after Rep Lee Zeldin took on Beth McCoy in a hearing over my husband, John Mitchell. In his place Bob McDonald promoted Thomas Murphy. The very man who wrote the Fast Letters that covered and encouraged these VA workers to have secret lists and change dates hiding their criminal activity.

    Beth McCoy got a promotion as did David McLenachen. It used to be lying to a congressman had consequences. Now it will get you a promotion at the top of the Veterans Affairs.

    Veterans will continue to kill themselves at alarming rates until the evil and incompetence at the top of the VA is removed.

  2. Donald Zimmerly 1SG (ret) says:

    Doctors playing GOD. In my case a PA. He decides he is going to take me off Pain Medication, that which I have been on since I was Med-Evac’d out of Iraq in 2009 for Chronic daily headaches, Scaled 10/10, which are so severe I vomit and have blacked out. Proven a result of a TBI (by both US Army and another VA).caused by IED’s during my first combat tour in 05-06. I have had two surgeries to my C-Spine (disc removal and titanium spacers) as a result of that, and volunteering to go back 4 months POST OP. The Army spent nearly 5 years searching for a way to treat them other than Opiate medication, to no avail. Finally discharge in FEB 14. When I moved from Wisconsin to the Phoenix area, it took from Sept 15 until Feb 16 to be seen. At which time during my initial appointment he decided to take me off the only pain med we found effective. It was thge Army and the VA system who chose the medication and dosage. Within 5 months he took me completely off of Oxycontin 30 3X daily OXYCODONE 15, 3 X Daily as needed to cover breakthrough pain. With the first reduction being 65%. Then 25% followed by 30% and changed to Hydrocodone 5mg 2X Daily for 2 weeks and 1X Daily for 2 weeks, and no further pain relief since. I agreed I was on a high dose and had no problem tapering it to a more sensible dose, which was the plan until; he had my signature on a NARCO-ARGEEMENT, when has told me he planned to have me off all my pain medications w/in 6 months. No other pain relief and nothing for OPIATE WITHDRAWAL When I voiced my concerns he ended the office visit, (20 minutes in all) I left him with the statement that if he left me with NO PAIN RELIEF, he may end up with a well documented suicide, as STILL, my headaches are UNBEARABLE. Spending my days in bed, in tears is no way to live.. Especially with family and the fact I moved hear to enjoy retirement best I could, travel and enjoy the outdoors. That initial office visit was the FIRST AND :LAST time I saw this PA. One phone appointment a couple months ago in which he lost his cool and HUNG UP on my wife/caregiver and I. We have sent tons of Emails BEGGING for him not to ruin my (OUR) life like this, and his only replies have amounted to “congratulating on the great work eliminating your Opiate use”. No concerns for my pain or addiction whatsoever. This has now gone through the Patient Advocate to his Department Head, as if that will produce results. After 33 years in the US ARMY, I NEVER guessed my VA would treat me in such a manner. I do not want daily/weekly appointments chasing causes which have been pursued. ALL I WANT IS RELIEF FROM HEADACHES FROM MY COMBAT TOURS.

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