Officials investigating claims of mistreatment at Oklahoma veterans center
The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating allegations that veterans at the Lawton-Fort Sill Veterans Center were mistreated.
Some family members of veterans at the facility recently posted on social media alleging their loved ones had been neglected, and there was inadequate staffing levels for residents to receive adequate care.
“On Monday, several images were posted on social media purporting to depict mistreatment of veterans in the Lawton/Fort Sill Veterans Center," according to a statement from the agency. "Likewise, allegations were made in the same social media post claiming that the Lawton/Fort Sill Veterans Center is inadequately staffed. The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs is unwavering in our commitment to our heroes in the Lawton/Fort Sill Veterans Center, and we take all such claims very seriously."
The claims are under investigation, the agency said. The Department of Veterans Affairs did not elaborate on staffing levels at the facility, but said there are some open positions they are actively working to fill.
A group of Oklahoma legislators from the Lawton area called on family members with concerns about mistreatment to come forward.
"We appreciate the leadership of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs taking action to investigate and remedy the situation," they said in a joint statement. "We urge families to come forward with concerns of mistreatment as they are able."
Sens. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton; Chris Kidd, R-Waurika; and Reps. Trey Caldwell, R-Lawton; Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin; Daniel Pae, R-Lawton; and Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, also asked that in future executive orders pertaining to long-term care facilities, Gov. Kevin Stitt include a mechanism for families to check on the treatment of their loved ones.
Visitations at the Lawton-Fort Sill Veterans Center are currently on hold due to concerns about COVID-19.