AMES, Iowa -- Senator Joni Ernst is still awaiting answers from the Veterans Affairs regarding her requested evaluation of veteran Richard Miles' mental care. Last Friday, Miles was found partially frozen in Water Works Park.
Ernst requested the evaluation report last week and despite the Friday deadline, she told reporters she had yet to hear from the VA.
"As someone who was deployed in the Iraq War, it’s one of my top priorities to ensure our veterans are receiving the care they deserve after they have selflessly sacrificed for our nation," she says. " I'm not pointing the finger at an individual. I just want to know if there are systemic problems that exist and if there are we need to correct those."
While Ernst awaits answers, the family of Mile's is grateful someone is taking notice to address mental health care for veterans.
"It makes me feel good that someone is looking into it make sure the soldiers that come back get proper care they need someone needs to pay a lot more attention to them," says Mile's father, Richard Miles.
Miles says his son began to emotionally change and distance himself from family and friends after returning home for several military tours in the Middle East.
"I just figured he’s having problems, we all have problems. We all go through our tough times but I thought he was really strong."
Miles said he didn't talk with his son often during this time but when he did, his son mentioned he was struggling and needed more help. The 41- year - old veteran was prescribed medication by the VA hospital even though according to family and friends, he wanted long term hospitalization and evaluation.
"I know that you cant keep giving somebody drugs for their emotional problems. You just cant do it it doesn’t work that work that way."
Miles hopes along with Ernst's findings in the VA evaluation comes increased resources, like psychologists at VA hospitals.
A celebration memorial will be held for Miles at the Science Center of Iowa on Sunday. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is open to the public.