Vet With Chronic Pain Denied Access to his Congressman

Vet With Chronic Pain Denied Access to his Congressman

by Ed Coghlan

A veteran with chronic pain wants to talk to his Congressman—and another attempt to do that on Monday failed.

Robert Rose is a 51-year old Marine who believes the Mountain Home VA Center in Johnson City, Tennessee has been denying him care and has been quite vocal about it,

(Here are some previous National Pain Report stories)

Congressman Roe was scheduled to speak at the Mountain Home VA Center at 11 am—and Rose–well known to the VA authorities because of his protests about his care—arrived early, he said, to speak with other veterans.

Rose called me and told me that he had been told by the VA law enforcement people that he would be arrested if he said anything at the Congressional hearing and asked me what I should do.

“I told him I was a reporter not an advocate and it wasn’t my job to advise him about that–but let me know what happened.”

That call came at 9:41 EDT.

My phone rang again at 9:57 and again it was Rose who told me he was being escorted into the building by three officers–and I asked him to put me on speaker. We were on the phone for nearly 30 minutes to hear the exchange between Rose and VA law enforcement.

A VA policeman, later identified as Sergeant King, said to Rose,

“You are not being arrested,” but he was being urged to come with them to discuss the situation.

Sgt. King wanted to know who I was and said I could not record a conversation on federal grounds and wanted to end the phone call. I assured him I wasn’t and if I was recording anything I would have to let him know that and he agreed to let me continue to listen.

Essentially Sgt. King told Rose that he had received a complaint about him yelling and being disruptive at the Congressman’s entourage.

Rose, with some passion, explained that he was 30 feet from the roadway (a fact confirmed by a VA official) and wasn’t even on the sidewalk and that he had been talking with a fellow vet and his wife.

Rose asked twice (and I asked a third time) who had made the complaint and Sgt. King said he couldn’t say.

Later when I asked him, the Sergeant said that the “Congressman’s staff felt on edge,” but did not elaborate.

Rose, who is in a wheelchair, was told that they didn’t want to arrest him and was asked essentially to behave.

During the speech, he behaved but he silently protested.

During Congressman Roe’s speech, Rose, sitting in his wheelchair, turned his back on the Congressman–who by the way in an Army veteran himself and–importantly–Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran Affairs.

After the speech, Rose said his path to the Congressman was blocked by the VA Police and he wasn’t allowed to speak to him.

I asked Rose if he had any photos and he said that he was told he would have been arrested had he taken any, although local media did attend and took photos and video.

Rose, who said he’s lost count of how many times he’s tried to speak with Congressman Roe, believes the VA Police were trying intimidate him and illegally detained him before the meeting.

The National Pain Report called Roe’s office in Kingsport, but received a recording because they are on holiday today and tomorrow (July 4).

If they call back, we’ll let you know what they say.

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Authored by: Ed Coghlan

newest oldest
Notify of

Robert, Thank you for your update. As always, I think of and pray for you often. It is such an insane happening! I wish you the best. As I’ve said before… You are so incredibly BRAVE. Keep strong, continue to make noise and God bless you and your ongoing efforts. Maureen

Robert Dean Rose Jr.


I am so fed up with Congressman Roe (R-TN) and Mountain Home VAMC denying veterans’ access to quality healthcare and for some reason, news outlets are going right along with spreading the lies.

Their latest ploy to eliminate veterans is falsifying numbers to create fear & panic about an opioid epidemic. Yes we have a street drug problem, especially Crystal Meth, in this area whereby people die from illicit drugs. This does not mean you deny 90% of all veterans all pain MEDICINES as a solution. The Senate was informed in 2008 while the House was informed in 2012 that to deny anyone with Intractable Pain from injuries and/or disease was a DEATH Sentence.

PLEASE understand anyone, no matter how healthy, can join our ranks simply by one accident or disease. Even growing old is dangerous with these policies denying you the right to quality healthcare and lifesaving pain MEDICINES!

I have declared WAR on CONGRESS. As a kid, I joined the Marines to defend this great nation and our Constitution. Unfortunately like so many others my body was broken while in service. Now in our time of need, our own government is sponsoring genocidal policies ripping our Constitution to shreds. I will be filing a $350 million law suit on behalf of veterans and the American people in Greeneville Federal Court by November 10th, 2017. I am looking for veterans, civilians and even doctors willing to testify how these policies limiting or denying lifesaving pain MEDICINES have adversely affected their lives and livelihood. I can be found through our Facebook group: Vets & Civilians Fight Back is you would like to testify.

We defended your freedoms…
Will you support America in her time of need?

Thank you, take care and may God bless.



Robert D. Rose Jr.
Semper Fidelis

Mr Rose I am so proud of you! I, too, am a veteran who suffers from chronic pain and was denied further opioid meds just this past May as they “will no longer prescribe narcotic pain meds for anything but malagnancies.” I knew that the PNP was lying to me but didn’t argue with her. At a later appointment, I was told that pain meds were being denied to ONLY chronic pain sufferers. I haven’t had an opportunity to speak with ARs elected officials but am in the process of writing letters to them and President Trump. I’m not a piblic speaker and at this time, I know no one in Arkansas, who will speak for us Veterans. We Veterans definitely need more people like you who are not afraid to speak up for others. Thanks again, Mr Ross !

Robert, You know I and many others have your back and we’ll stand, sit, or crawl to be by your side whenever it’s needed with enough notice. Veterans and Civilians alike as NO ONE should be DENIED their right of freedom of speech. But our government wants to take this away now by arresting anyone who protest peacefully if it gets violent. I can’t comment on the Johnson City Press article, but rest assured I will find the email, address and/or phone number to the one who did the article. I will call so- called Dr. Phil Roe’s office and inform him as Mr. Coghlan did. I’m sure I’ll have to leave a message and won’t hold my breath for a return call. They need to know and learn the truth, but will they listen is the million dollar question? They shouldn’t be allowed to ignore truthful, factual data presented professionally, with courtesy. You or any VETERAN should EVER be detained or denied your right to SPEAK to any POLITICIAN and treated WORSE than a common criminal. I hope you had the American Flag in the Duress position to show them what they’ve done to all in the USA 🇺🇸. I’ll be sure our flag hangs in the Duress Position until the asinine policies STOP as soon as we get a new one. It was torn and hit the ground, but was given a proper ceremony. I’m going to look for the article where Mr. Roe (unworthy of title of Congressman or Dr.) admitted getting our medication. In his own words he is quoted as saying it and ask him to explain. Who thinks he should be made to eat them? Mr. Roe, my Rep Andy Harris and many other so – called Dr’s believe the CDC’s so – called ” Opioid Epidemic.” Look what so – called Dr. Scott Gottlieb did heading the FDA and asked Endo to remove their reformulated Opana ER off the market. Why do they only care about those who ABUSE it and not those such as myself and many others who take it as prescribed? When will ALL LIVES MATTER? We know they can and do get what’s needed to relieve their suffering. Why are they deciding whom and what one can get prescribed? We all deserve our right to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness, don’t we? We didn’t ask for our diseases, injuries, illnesses that cause us 24/7 intractable pain. I’ve written, emailed, called and met with all our congressional leaders here in Maryland to include CMS and Dept of Health and Mental Hygeine. They acted like they cared about the truth, but still implemented the CDC guidelines that were cherry picked, biased, unethical and illegally done. Don’t ever give up fighting for what’s right and I know you’ll NEVER stop. DEMAND what’s owed to you for the sacrifices you and your fellow veterans have done without question. You know that myself and many others support and are behind YOU 100%. If… Read more »


My Prayers are with you Robert….I will never understand why so many people in pain are denied
Opioids…its cruel…its
shameful!!!!! I live in
pain 24/7 and it hurts my
heart to know that so many people have to
suffer this horrible torture
called pain! The other
side of the torture of pain
is the people in government who set the
standards for who deserves pain medication! These
people are HEARTLESS!!!
Keep up your fight Robert
may God Bless you through your struggles.

Noel Ciancio

I contacted Phil Rowe many months ago about the CDC guidelines and what affect it was having on chronic pain patients. His reply was that women were having babies addicted to opioids so he must stand his opinion. I gave him my story , having Ra and other diseases at 49 and hr basically said sorry ….


Oh dear Robert, you have (and still are) gone through sooooo much!
I can only imagine all of the stress that this has brought in to your life. Let alone the pain you are in both physically and emotionally. You are so very brave.
Thank you very much for reporting back about that day of your meeting.
I had fervently prayed for you on that day. And I am continuing to pray for you, your family and your endeavors.
My brother is a Marine and I see what he goes through with his VA treatments in NY. Keep strong, one day at a time. God is watching. Many have your back.
JOB 17:6-9 Maureen


Should have brought an advocate and an attorney w him

Robert Dean Rose Jr.

Thank you everyone for your kind words of encouragement. I’ll try to answer a few comments quickly. I especially want to thank Ed Coghlan as an AWESOME reporter and friend. Without his being on the phone, I am certain I would be in jail this morning. As for sharing this information with the VA and members of Congress, including the dishonorable Phil Roe (R-TN), I have been doing so for months. I have been requesting a meeting not only for me but for more educated people such as Dr. Red Lawhern and Dr. Terri Lewis. I only see myself as an old Marine responsible for bashing the doors to the citadel open and allowing more knowledgeable people to do the presentations. Maureen, as for the Disruptive Behavior Clinic board, it was based on lies told by a Dr. Edwards and a Nurse Odom of Mountain Home VAMC. It was more of an interrogation and intimidation endeavor on the part of Mountain Home as it was held deep in the police department with the Chief of Police Shelton, complete with firearm and handcuffs as the officiating board member. I was fortunate in that I was able to convince them I was of no threat and provided repeated statements I intend to fight them with every LEGAL means available. In my records, there is a small entry clearing me but the huge “flag” remains. I did file a harassment, falsification of medical records and slander against Dr. Edwards and Nurse Odom on June 8th, 2017 with proof and sections of the VAs own policies which were violated. Within about 72 hours Chief Shelton “investigated,” “closed” and dismissed my complaint. I am not sure why since he was the lead interrogator at my hearing, he was also the investigator of my complaint. Additionally, it is MY BELIEF, the Assistant Police Chief Jamison and/or Sgt. King has recklessly endangered my family and my life because of a possible security threat I reported to them prior to Congressman Roe’s presentation ceremony. I was aware of a convicted drug addict who contacted me high on marijuana (his admission) advising he was planning to attend the ceremony. He has been convicted and fined by the Federal government for carrying a firearm onto the VAMC grounds. I was aware that on June 6, 2017 he did in fact have a firearm in his vehicle on the grounds of Mountain Home. As a former Marine responsible for the security of life and property as well as a former officer of the courts, I felt it to be responsible (and my civic duty) to inform them to prevent any possible harm to the children, families, veterans, law enforcement and even Congressman Roe in case he arrived in a drug induced state. While speaking to Sgt King, he admitted they knew of this individual and that he had been arrested previously for the firearm. Both Assistant Chief Jamison and Sgt. King indicated they appreciated the heads up and STATED my name… Read more »

Mark Ibsen

It’s July 4 still in Zanskar.
I am proud to be your brother-in-arms as we continue to bear witness to the terrorism of pain in America.
Keep on speaking your truth,
Heard from 12,000 miles away,high in the Himalayas


Outrageous! As always, I continue to pray for Mr. Rose and his forever brave endeavors! I’ve wondered whatever happened to his mediation hearing from a couple of weeks or so ago?? Any report on that? Keep strong Robert! You are an incredible person and I hope you are having support of fellow vets there.

Joe Newman

Every patient who is forced to commit suicide to escape the severe, crippling pain which they can no longer bear because of merciless law makers and health quacticioners should leave a note behind putting the blame where it belongs on the shoulders of heartless people who deny them the medicine that would have eased their pain enough to allow them to almost be normal and face another day.

These people who lied to the American people about life saving pain medicine would not last a week enduring the pain our veterans and civilians have to suffer.

When my Mother was dying from cancer a doctor told me he could not give her pain meds because she might become addicted. I told him in as polite a way as I could that only an idiot would deny a dying person relief because they might get addicted. I am sure Heaven has no need of drug rehab facilities.

Now my insurer is so concerned about my health that they want to deny me the medicine which allows me to get out of bed and exercise a few days a week. I wish I could give them the nerve damage that has made my body a prison of pain from which there is only one escape.

Hopefully there will be some pain sufferers who survive their life of excruciating pain until there are human beings in charge of our healthcare once again.

Sometime in the hopefully near future some doctors and politicians whose relative may be attempting to survive with unbearable, incurable pain each day will have a brilliant idea, and that idea will be why do we allow people to live such tortured lives when there are cheap and effective medicines that will get them out of bed and give them their lives back.

May that return to sanity occur while I am still here to benefit from it.


It’s completely moronic, unethical and immoral the way this man and others are treated.
Congressmen and women hide behind their rocks while American people suffer.
Disgusting that he can’t take a few minutes of his day to speak with someone who risked life and limb for the families of the very politicians who ignore him.
Pain takes so much from a person emotionally that I’m sure the cowardly politicians are counting on this marine and others to burn out and just give up.
I’m certainly grateful to this warrior for refusing to give up while fighting a battle he was sent to.


I am proud of you Robert! Shame on these corrupt scum lawmakers who so blatantly deny lifesaving pain medication to our Vets and civilians alike. The government acts as if they are saving us , from what idk, I do know every day more legitimate pain pts are taking their lives to end the pain. Why does the media not jump on those stories, smdfh, our government and their sidekicks are a disgrace !! The chronically ill are being FORCED BY THE CORRUPT GOVERNMENT TO ENDURE PAIN SO BAD THEY TAKE THEIR LIVES!! GENOCIDE AT THE HANDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, WHY DON’T THE MEDIA JUMP ON THESE STORIES!!! PEOPLE ARE EFFIN BEING TORTURED HERE IN THE USA!!

I am a 62 years old citizen with chronic pain all the time.I think this is a travesty to deny this Veteran a chanse to speak to his Congresman. Although he may have been upset he couldn’t have done much from his wheelchair!!

Kimberly Cornilsen

Don’t we have the right to peaceful protest? This very similar to watch Mitch Mc Connell did last week. I think msnbc maybe interested as they reported heavily on that. I have been following Me T’ s plight for a while now. Not any human deserves to be demoralized as he has been, little lone a Veteran. Please someone get through to Jared Kusher, he is responsible for veteran issues and opioid issue. We should have the right to choose how we treat our Pain, as adult have the right to drink alcohol. Stop the Suffering Now!- Kimberly Cornilsen

Stephanie Henson

How can a sitting member of Congress refuse to address S war veteran who is exercising his First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly?

Tammy Page

I agree 100% with Mr. Dorm and Steven. Our vets need medications sometimes. They fought for us and we must fight for them.

William Dorn

Every active and retired vet in America should stand as one to fight this injustice.All pain patient especially vets should be able to receive the pain medicines they need to live a life without being in misery.PLEASE all vets get on facebook call your state reps the white house and help everyone in pain.The public has been lied to about the opiute epidemic.Its not legal pain meds its illegal drugs. The american people love and respect our vets they will listen to you.Hurry people are dying.We need you to win this fight.


It’s okay for our hero’s, our US verterans, to go to war and fight the battles for corporate America’s greed but when the fortunate ones come home with lifelong and painful injuries, they are denied care. Why? Because they won their battles for corporate America and are no longer needed. That is disgusting but sadly very true. This senator is a vile, disgusting pig to treat a fellow veteran in such a horrific manner. This poor veteran is not lining the pocket of his elected official so he is left to feel like his service was of no value. It is our veterans who give their lives so these government crooks can live the good life at theirs and our expense. Remember this official when his term is up and make sure to vote this vile human being out of office. We must take great care in choosing who is put into office or the corruption, like what seems to be in this official, will never end. I hope this veteran can get all the medical care needed. He is a hero like all our veterans and should be treated as such.

Tammy Page

This had to humiliate Mr. Rose. Our Congressmen are suppose to be working for “We the people”. I am so fed up with our politicians and the way people get treated. Our veterans should be respected and treated with the best of care”. Shame on you Mr. Roe.