SEATTLE -- Veterans and their supporters say they're encouraged by their face to face meeting in Seattle Monday with the director of the huge Puget Sound Veterans Health Care System. But veterans say there's a lot of work still to be done to fix serious problems that go back years.

We had a very frank open discussion. Everybody was heard, said Army veteran and advocate Cyril Miller, president of the non-profit organization Veterans + Friends of Puget Sound. Miller said he was among 18 veterans and advocates who met with Michael Murphy.

He (Murphy) admitted there are some things the VA needs to work on. We hope that we can work on those together because we work with the veterans every day, Miller said.

Staffing shortages and treatment delays have plagued VA hospitals. And recently released internal documents reveal employees report they were instructed to falsify wait times nationally and in Seattle

Veterans and their advocates say they've been trying for nearly a decade to sound the alarm about the bureaucratic mess at the VA Puget Sound, including long wait times and inconsistent treatment. But it wasn't until the scandal broke nationally that they really got anyone's attention.

It was just last Thursday that the VA's Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson was in Seattle announcing an infusion of $9.5 million in funding to help clear up scheduling backlogs. But veterans say the problems go much deeper.

Wait time is just one of the problems; staffing throughout the whole VA system in the hospital is a problem, Miller said.

The Deputy Secretary has promised the VA Puget Sound will hold a town hall meeting before the end of September to hear concerns directly from veterans and community groups.

KING 5 was unable to reach anyone for comment at the Puget Sound Veterans Health Care System. Numerous calls to the Public Affairs Office were not returned.

Read or Share this story: http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/seattle/2014/08/18/14043354/