MORTAL COMBAT AT THE VA

THE DOCTOR OF LAST RESORT FOR POOR, INJURED VETS IS STRUGGLING TO DO ITS DUTY

CYRIL WINSICK WAS SERVING AS A forward spotter for a mortar crew when he was captured by German troops near the town of Aachen in October 1944. He spent much of the following winter being force-marched across Germany before he was liberated in April 1945. A half-century later, Winsick still can't speak of his ordeal without crying, but at least it did earn him one benefit: as a former pow, he was entitled to lifelong free medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Or so he thought.

Winsick's doctors at the Long Beach, California, VA hospital discovered a benign tumor...

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