Local Vietnam veteran fights for his health


A local Vietnam veteran is facing a new battle tonight – for his health. 

Floyd Fleeman of Atlanta, Texas, fought for his country, now he’s fighting for his life. 

“I went to Germany first and it was cold. And I didn’t like it,” Fleeman said. “So, they sent me to Vietnam. I’d do it again, if I had to. If I was able.”

The 67-year-old proudly served in the army, volunteering for the Vietnam War. 

“When I got out, the promises that were made to me – any medical issue, anything that I needed, they would take care of it,” he said. “No questions asked.”

Medical issues he says stem from his time in the service. 

“I found out I got into that Agent Orange,” Fleeman said. “I got clots and stuff in my legs. I had clots and stuff in my heart where I had to have open heart surgery. And now I can’t hardly walk.”

Fleeman said those clots in his leg were discovered in tests administered in 2015. Now, three years later, the clots remain. Fleeman has trouble walking, but he does have an appointment next month. 

“What happens when my toes finally turn completely black instead of dark purple? Because there’s no circulation,” he said. 
Fleeman’s wife said they’ve contacted everyone they can think of, from their congressman to patient advocates, for help getting her husband treatment by the VA.
“He’s sitting here waiting. For what? We don’t know,” said Mary Ann Fleeman. “To die?”
“I’m not asking for any special treatment, but you made me a promise,” said Floyd Fleeman. “Fulfill that promise. You used me as a guinea pig in Vietnam. Quit using me as a guinea pig over here in your hospital. I’m a human being.”
We reached out to Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport for comment. In a statement, they said they “cannot discuss details of a veteran’s treatment due to privacy concerns.”  They said the average wait times at the medical center are four days for primary care, nine days for specialty care and four days for mental health care, and “our staff monitors the care our veterans receive in the community.”

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