Iowa Senators Asking for Answers After Veteran Suicide

DES MOINES, Iowa-- Two Iowa lawmakers want answers from the Veteran's Administration after an Iowa veteran's family said he was turned away from an Iowa hospital.

Sen. Joni Ernst and Sen. Chuck Grassley, along with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson sent this letter to Inspector General Michael Missal.

The letter is in response to the death of Davenport resident Brandon Ketchum. Ketchum's family said he was denied care when he showed up at the Iowa City VA last month. Ketchum posted about his experience on Facebook and took his own life hours later.

In the letter, it asks the department to review the case and determine what if any steps can be taken in the future to better protect veterans.

"My hope is that the VA wakes up and make sure they listen to whistle-blowers when they’re told something’s wrong then change it," says Sen. Grassley.

Sen. Ernst said in a statement:

"Brandon Ketchum selflessly sacrificed in defense of our freedoms with tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he, like all of our veterans, deserved quality and timely care from the VA.  It is an outrage that this care was not provided from the VA and resulted in the loss of his life.  At present, I do not believe that Mr. Ketchum’s case is systematic throughout the Iowa VAs, however it certainly raises a red flag and needs to be investigated fully so that if there are any issues, the VA can work to prevent it from becoming systemic.”

The letter asks for a response by August 16 on whether or not the VA will open up an inquiry into Ketchum's case.