Family, Senator Waiting Months For Answers in Veteran’s Death

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DES MOINES, Iowa-- On Wednesday, Governor Branstad signed a proclamation to raise awareness about the causes, symptoms and treatment of PTSD.

“I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby proclaim the month of June, 2015 as Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month,” he said a signing ceremony at the state capitol.

The Governor says Iowans who are suffering in silence after defending our freedom deserve our respect.

Iowans like Richard Miles.

“I think it's awesome that there's more attention being paid to this right now and I hope and it stops other tragedies from happening because I know how I feel, how my family feels. It's been really, really hard,” said father Richard Miles.

His son, a decorated veteran of the Iraq war, served two tours of duty. But after returning home, a part of him never left the battlefield.

Miles was found frozen to death in Water Works Park in February just days after his family says he went to the VA for help for post-traumatic stress.

After his death, Senator Joni Ernst requested a review of Miles mental health care with the VA. While it's too late to help him, she wants to make sure that other veterans don't receive inadequate care, if that’s what happened. Ernst says the Veterans Affairs Inspector General's Office has yet to provide her with any answers.

“My staff reached out again this week and as of this morning, I still have no results from that investigation. It is frustrating, disappointing and unacceptable that this have taken so long,” said Ernst.

The Senator and veteran says the report should be a simple process and expected the results by April. The VA IG pushed it back to May. At this time, Ernst says doesn't have a good answer about what's causing the delay.

Miles family is waiting for the same answers about what lead up to his death.

“It seems like it was yesterday. It's still hard to talk about,” said Miles.

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