At least 100 veterans and their family members packed American Legion Post 41 Tuesday evening during an open forum to discuss problems they've had with healthcare at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital.
"Several times, if I had not made arrangements on my own one time or another, I would have been dead," said Richard French, a retired Lt. Colonel with the United States Air Force.
French was at the meeting with his wife, and had a prepared statement for the acting director. He was one of about three dozen veterans who spoke.
"My job is to help restore this medical center. (My job is) to bring faith back to healthcare that veterans have earned," said Steve Young, the interim acting director of the Phoenix VA system.
Young was appointed two-days ago, weeks after allegations surfaced that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care at the Phoenix VA.
He told reporters before the meeting he has not made any changes in staffing since he's only been on the job for less than a week. However, he says he will remain as interim director as long as he's told.
"My job is to understand and that's exactly what I'm doing right now. (I'm trying) to fully understand everything that's been alleged, what we're doing and how we're going to move forward," he said.