Did A Chronic Pain Marine Lose or Not?

Did A Chronic Pain Marine Lose or Not?

By Ed Coghlan.

Did the Fighting Marine Robert Rose win or lose Tuesday in U.S. Federal Court in Greeneville, Tennessee?

Depends on how you look at it?

From a legal point of view, he lost.

A Federal Judge rejected Rose’s attempt for an injunction that would have forced his Congressman (Phil Roe) and his Veterans Administration Hospital Mountain Home VA Center in Johnson City, to talk about Rose’s claim that treatment for his chronic pain was denied.

Rose, who took on his Quixotic adventure versus a huge federal bureaucracy without the benefit of a lawyer, lost but, in defeat, he may have won.

First of all, Congressman Roe, ironically (or maybe not ironically) is head of the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee.

Rose has challenged Roe for over a year, to simply talk with him.

It started July 4, 2017 when Rose showed up at an event at the VA Center…but was denied his opportunity to speak with his Congressional Representative. The National Pain Report was there, at least on the telephone.

Here is the National Pain Report coverage on Robert Rose’s battle.

What did Congressman Roe do?

As one long-time observer of Tennessee politics who wished to remain anonymous told the National Pain Report Tuesday, “Robert was marginalized and was made invisible and stigmatized by his own Congressman. It’s a tragedy.”

What did Robert do?

Thanks to his own expertise in developing a following on social media, and the National Pain Report’s interest in his case, Robert has built a narrative that has caught the attention of other veterans.

Here’s one of many examples the National Pain Report has received to Robert’s story:

“I was injured in the 1983 Beirut bombing conflict with neck and lower back injury that resulted in spinal stenosis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, PTSD /panic attacks, neuropathy of my feet because of lower back, said Walter Radziszweski, a Connecticut veteran who emailed the National Pain Report on Tuesday. I have been going to the VA mostly at the Newington CT campus which is an outpatient clinic. Specialty care at the West Haven campus and getting timely appointments are just about impossible and return phone calls take days. Care is good, when you can get it!“

For fellow Tennessee resident and nationally recognized chronic pain advocate, Terri Lewis, Ph.D., the Marine’s efforts are starting to pay off.

Dr. Lewis believes Robert’s case is a textbook opportunity for the VA to address its mission to give Rose and other vets the palliative care they deserve.

I’ve surveyed thousands of chronic pain patients and Robert’s case is typical… The question that Congressman Roe and others ought to be asking is ‘Why hasn’t’ the VA served people like Robert better?” she said.

She believes that Robert and other vets who has been denied care need to continue the fight within the VA to make sure our vets receive their care.

Robert, as he drove into his driveway plainly exhausted, told the National Pain Report, “I’m tired, but I will think about a new strategy about how we best address the issues facing our veterans and others who want to know that addressing their chronic pain is a priority.”

If you have experience about this topic, please share in our comments section..

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Maureen M.

Thank you for the update.
Marine Robert Rose…as a long time supporter of yours…I continue to feel for you and your fine efforts and keep you in my prayers. As a soldier you had many missions for my freedom. And now as a Vet you have your continued mission to ‘fight’ not only for yourselves but for your fellow Americans.
I know you are so very tired but I know you are also not a quitter.
Keep strong Warrior. We are all behind you giving you strength and power.


Our local VA doesn’t address pain at all, except to refer my husband to an outside doctor/clinic.

Of course, he too is dealing with continual decrease in pain medication, etc. As a result, his quality of life has also decreased to more than 50% of what it was last year this time.

Thank you so much Robert…. again. You sir have accomplished what many of us only dream to. You are one incredible human being that I’ve always said has gone above and beyond the Call of Duty more times than you should have. You are one incredible man, soldier and pain warrior. Congressman Roe graduated in Tennessee with a medical degree, then went on to serve two years in the United States medical corps. He then practiced as a physician for 30 years before becoming mayor in Johnson City Tennessee where our VA is located. Eighteen months and Robert Rose has been trying to get an appointment in any way, shape, form and fashion to meet with Congressman Roe. One would think a doctor of 30 years, especially one who served in the Marine Corps for two years would atleast give a FEW moments of his time to a veteran. It seems as though he’s ashamed, perhaps embarrassed. I know if I were him I would be too. If you believe in something so strongly as the opioid crisis for heavens sakes at least stand up for yourself and explain why. When I wrote the man years ago he wrote back explaining he was going full force with this crisis due to the many overdoses that opioids have caused. He conveniently left out the words illegal fentanyl and heroin. I’m ashamed to live in Tennessee and I’m embarrassed of the way our government officials have chosen to treat all of us. It’s like we’re seeing the Holocaust play out in front of our very own eyes. I can hear them now, “Let’s just torture the men and women who have fought so hard so that we do have a country, after all we are finished with them now. Let’s just turn our backs and torture further the people in our country who are sick and disabled with chronic pain. They’ll get over it or find a way to cope, even if that means suicide, it’s their choice. We will attempt once again to clean up our drug addicts on the streets and if good and decent hard working folks get caught in our ploy to do so; that’s their problem, not ours!” This is exactly what it’s come to and no one but no one can tell me differently…..


Thank you Robert Rose for continuing the Fight. May God bless you for all your doing for our country. Your still a soldier fighting a different war for our Freedom, ONLY this time, it’s a war for the Human Right to Proper Pain Relief. Thank you again.

As for senator Roe, he’s a dirt bag Politician and should be voted out. He’s clearly trying to silence his constituents. In fact all Politicians are trying to silence all the pain patients. Let’s not allow them to get away with it!
This side of the crisis is the side being Tortured by our own Gov. Patients should get louder then ever before.
I’d like to see our cause make it to the Supreme Court! Proper Pain Relief should be a Fundamental, Basic Human Right! Without limits of any kind!
Keep up FIGHT Folks.

Gail Gray

Thank you Robert Rose, for fighting for us in the past and present time. I’m a 52 yr old female that has taken opiate pain medication for several yrs for back pain caused by DDD, and all the issues it causes, I’ve had 3 back surgeries and trying to prepare myself for my 4th back operation. I have been treated for pain by my primary care dr for at least 7 yrs. After the CDC set their guidelines my dr started cutting my pain meds every month, with no concern for the pain I am in, about 4 months ago my dr told me I needed to go to a pain clinic to be evaluated to see if they felt the dose of pain meds was appropriate for my pain, his office made the appt, and my husband took me to the appt, they raised my dose, when I went back to my dr he told me he didn’t want to treat me for my pain anymore to keep going to the pain clinic, I reminded him that he said I only had to be evaluated by the pain clinic and he said he was not treating me for my pain, that the high dose would have the DEA looking through his records and he was not risking his license for anyone, I asked if he felt I didn’t need the medication, he said he knows that I need it but it’s to risky since the CDCs guidelines came out drs are under a microscope and again he said he was not risking his license for anyone. Now instead of driving 20 min to my dr, my husband has to drive me 1 hr 15 min, I have to pay $175 to the pain clinic because they don’t take any in., which my primary appt were covered by our ins through my husbands work, I have to pay over $200 for my meds because now my Ins only covers so much. I now worry every month that I’ll go to the clinic and they’ll be shut down, then what? I am an intractable pain patient, I am not a drug seeker

Molly Canfield

Although I am NOT a veteran, I do have family members and friends who bravely served our country without asking anything in return. Could someone please tell me how to contact this particular congressman and write him on Roberts behalf and behalf of all the other servicemen and women who are being denied appropriate, critical medical care…precribed by physicians not govt beaurocrats. I want to join in the fight.I want to help and bang down the door with letters and calls. So I need an address and a phone number (if someone can provide it for me).
It’s shameful and tragic what our elected officials have become. And it makes me furious!

Shirley Stokes

I write from several positions; a chronic pain patient (as with most of us, through the causation of others) secondary to a spinal cord injury, registered nurse of many years (ER and ICU), and “losing” litigant in an American court. I wish to address a different aspect- the legalities. My experience has taught me, that being right doesn’t matter. Nor do facts/ Truth. The side with the most corrupt attorney wins. As in so many arenas of our society, morality and Truth, along with wisdom, are in very short supply in our judicial system. NEVER attend a hearing of any kind without legal representation. Period. No matter the reason.
I am NOT in any way, even hinting at giving up the fight! Rather, we must unify, persist, and be the absolute most prepared possible.

Matthew J. Smith

Those of you all reading this, who wish to do something to help, need to appeal to your govt representatives, the AMA, AARP, & ACLU, as well as advocate.on Social Media (especially Twitter) by following other Chronic Pain Patients and policy influencers, and networking with others to do the same….Let’s not just lay down and die, like they want us to…..

Ed, some of us in the pain community took it as a partial victory – according to the linked article “While the judge denied the injunction, the lawsuit is still set to go to trial in July, 2019′ – we see this as a positive, even if it’s to generate more news to the plight of suffering pain patients, both military AND civilian and to encourage other Veterans to file suit. Are we being naive, as none of us our lawyers, so this has all been very confusing!! Thank you for your tireless dedication to publishing on behalf of pain patients. Valorie Hawk, C-50, Director – Coalition of 50 State Pain Advocacy Groups

. .thttps://wcyb.com/news/tennessee-news/judge-denies-veteran-injunction-in-case-against-dept-of-veterans-affairs

William Dorn

How do men like Roe get elected. Vote him out.


Hi my name is Anne n I have had fibromyalgia for over thirty years, have had surgery for aneurism over three years ago and have not recovered..( its debatable by the way whether I needed surgery or not one neurosurgeon recommended it the other diden’t the former liked VHI patients ). Its like I’m humpty dumpty that wasen’t put back together properly, severe muscular pain from head to toe unbearable at times and constant… I do feel like taking my life as this pain has destroyed my family connections, not being able to communicate properly because I’m not on same wave length.. I’m so sad at where my life is, and its great sorrow, at times, getting older most bridges collapsed and haven’t got the energy to rebuild them, its frightening where am I GOING TO END UP? I feel this should be my choice when I feel the time is right,,(when my brother have passed I have two n their late sixties..and they are not in
good shape) there will be nothing to live for n severe cronic pain, I feel it should be my decision to to move on..and I do trust myself with this decision but would be very scared of it, would need support. Life is just too difficult for me too much pain.

Rich Reifsnyder

Hello Again, Denise I would certainly like to join a Class Action along with you.There is a Rally across the United States called (Dont Punish Pain Rally)on September 18,2018 in all the state capitals.Denise you can find it and sign up on Facebook,under (Dont Punish Pain Rally) I signed up and hope to go.God Bless


When thousands of chronic pain patients are denied their medication, which is their right, to receive adequate medical care, by law, it is absolutely obscene and should be a crime, and I’m not actually certain that it isn’t a crime, but when it happens to our service men and women it IS criminal, if our soldiers have been wounded protecting our freedom and our way of life, then it becomes a lot worse than just criminal. Our so called government that is supposedly of the people, by the people and for the people should hang their heads in shame and disgrace. Yeah my medication has been slashed dramatically and quickly to the point of withdrawals, and that is absolutely horrible and wrong, keeping our soldiers from medical treatment should be a hanging offense!!! Right now I hate our government and I’m embarrassed by their policies, Trump makes my feelings 100 times worse. We need to continue to hammer our representatives and senators until they finally start to listen to us. We need to organize, picket the white house, march on Washington!!! We should put together a million person march right up to the steps of Congress until we get our RIGHT reinstated so we can once again be active members of society and get our lives back. I’m not much of an organizer but if someone could get the ball rolling for a march to bring attention to our cause to the entire nation, I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO SUPPORT THEM!!! We can start the conversation by bringing the attention to the forefront to help our soldiers who put their lives on the line for our freedom. I wish I had the power to change the laws or guidelines so we could get our much needed medication back to where it should be. God bless my chronic pain brothers and sisters and especially those in the military who put their lives on the line for us. God bless you all.

Rich Reifsnyder

Hello,I want to Thank Marine Robert Rose for his service to our country,and also Roberts commitment to help fellow veterans and us CPP,S Inhumane treatment from our government over the fictitious 2016 Opiod Guidelines.I write this heartbroken over veterans and CPP,S Inhumane treatment.On a personal level,my great-Grandmother had to escape Vilnius,Lithuania because of the war.She told me that her family had to hide their bible in the cellar,if found they would be killed.The Nazis killed over 300,000 Disabled and handicapped people across Europe.Hitler called these disabled people (useless eaters),and wartime was the best time to eliminate the disabled because they were a useless strain on society.I realize that millions died,Jewish,Catholics,Priests,Doctors In gas chambers.I write this post with a very heavy heart ❤️ to all people whose families suffered from this genicide.It saddens me greatly what that occurred in Europe during the war is happening right in front of our eyes in our country.All our veterans and chronic pain patients want is a decent quality of life worth living,not suffering tortureus Inhumane pain to a point where some commit suicide because of Severe Pain.It was hard to write this,and I don’t write this in a discriminating manner whatsoever.I watched my great-grandmother cry from the treatment they received in Lithuania.There has to be a change and let doctors treat our veterans and chronic pain patients correctly and humanly.Our veterans fought for our freedom and our citizens that are suffering chronic pain from diseases or hurt in war do not deserve to be treated so inhumanly any longer.My God how can this country treat millions of us like this,we have documentation and pain contracts about our conditions and still we are are called Addicts,harassed,and thrown in the trash just like the Nazis did.God Bless our Veterans and CPP,S🙏❤️

Alice Carroll

Excuse me but the hearing was about Congressman Roe and the VA Hospital in Johnson City having to speak/acknowledge Mr. Rose and his complaint? And he LOST! In other words this means that legally the Congressman and the VA do not have to listen to their constituents and their concerns. I thought the job of a Congressman was to be the voice of his constituents and the VA’s job to treat veterans. How can they treat them if they won’t listen to them?

I need to read the ruling to understand how the judge came to his conclusion. This country is clearly got its priorities wrong. They are trying so hard to protect addicts from themselves that they are literally killing chronic pain patients who through no fault of their own find themselves being denied pain medication that has helped them for years. Now we find that our elected representatives don’t have to listen to our complaints. What’s next? Making us pay for our medication because Medicare/Medicaid won’t cover opioids. How about a story on that NPR?

John w Nato

I am a 65yr old veteran and diabetic for 28yrs and have severe diabetic open wounds and neuropathy i also have artheritis so bad that my toes became so deformed and in such pain that 2 were removed i had been on narcotic pain meds for 5 yrs and was doing well enough to go on with my daily life until may 1st where i had to change DR.do to no fault of my own and now finding a DR has been a nightmare and not being able to drive has made getting around very hard ,if i can get a appt.i can use the citys Cleveland paratransit i have not been able to do things that i had been doing but thank god with the help of my x wife she helps with things like my dog

Troy Arch

I just had a Discsectomy, and open shoulder surgery. I have been completely taken off of my pain medicine against my own wishes. I am in so much pain I can’t even function . I am a 51 year old man with spinal stenosis. Ostioe Arthritis, and degenerative disc diseases. I am at the end of my rope the only thing I can do is keep making trips to the emergency room when the pain is intolerable. Please somebody has to do something we are suffering.


I am from Scotland ,and unfortunately a fellow chronic pain sufferer. The reason I have joined your American group is to see how the specialists in your country deal with chronic pain sufferers.
As here in Scotland ,we too are starting to treat patients similar to your country…And we seem to follow how Americans are treated .And in my opinion ,its appalling . Fiona.

I am not a Vet but my father was a Marine. I have always felt the VA did very little for our vets in handeling thief medical needs. As a retired RN I experienced first hand. I too am a chronic pain patient. I have also had a liver transplant that complicated my pain treatment. They have taken away my pain medecine that worked best for me and my liver health. I now have to wait long hours in pain management and argue my case each visit for a less effective pain medecine. My cost for visits is 4 times that of my previous cost for my PCP. I’m suffering from depression now and wonder if my quality of life will ever be good again and I’m only 54. I want to do something to fight back but not sure how I should start. I guess I have been waiting to hear of others doing something to spark a change for the many of us caught in this web. I would like to start a class action suit somehow. I’m open to any suggestions that could help all of us suffering. Thank You and don’t give up fighting.


How can someone who has never experienced chronic pain and poor quality of life with no medical degree not help those who are suffering. This is like we are illegal immigrants getting kicked to the curb. SHAME ON THIS COUNTRY FOR TREATING VETS OR ANYBODY WHO SUFFERS DAILY LIKE THIS.

Barbara Snow

I hate what is going on in the medical community, and especially the VA. My other half is having horrible headaches, and an aspirin doesn’t even touch his pain. They always tell him ” with your history ” Many years ago he had an issue of abuse of pain meds. He busted himself out when he went to them for help. He always says, How many year’s ago was that. I need help now. I can’t tell you how much he regrets that move. Now he really needs them. We are in FL. taking care of his Father so he can stay in his own home. I’ve always said if they take away my pain meds, I’ll be left with only one option, that will be leaving this planet. I pray you are strong enough to remain in the fight. 🙏

David Gray

I was kicked off my pain meds 3-17-18 from the Kansas city VA, both my knees need replaced, and left hip. Because of recurring cellulitis this is NOT possible. I have a non working spinal cord stimulator. Getting the spinal cord stimulator fixed is my long term goal. Short term would be some type of pain med.