The Fighting Marine Takes His Chronic Pain Case to Court

The Fighting Marine Takes His Chronic Pain Case to Court

By Ed Coghlan.

Here at the National Pain Report, we’ve known a former Marine who lives in Tennessee and suffers from chronic pain for about 18 months. His name is Robert Rose and he has been fighting what only can be called “the good fight”.

Robert Rose

He has suffered from chronic pain and when the VA essentially followed the CDC guidelines on opioid prescribing, Robert found that he couldn’t access his pain medication.

Essentially Robert said, “Oh hell no.”

Rose has been battling his local VA Hospital and doctors, his local Congressman from the 1st District on Tennessee Phil Roe (who by the way is the Chairman of the House Committee on the Veterans Affairs) and just about anyone else who gets in his way.

Robert takes his fight to Federal Court in Greeneville today (Tuesday) to ask a federal judge to stop the Department of Veterans Affairs from continuing its so-called Opioid Safety Initiative.

Rose, in a phone call with the National Pain Report last week, emphasized this is not a fight he is waging for himself.

“I’m fighting for every veteran who has served our country and is now being forgotten,” he said. “I just don’t think the federal government should come between a doctor and his patient.”

Rose, whose pugnacity has been chronicled by the National Pain Report for a while now, doesn’t have a lawyer. He is representing himself.

Here is a link to the articles that the National Pain Report has written on Robert Rose

The VA and Congressman Roe are Rose’s targets.

The VA claims that Rose is lacking evidence of constitutional violations - and Roe has been excused from the Tuesday hearing. It’s ironic because Roe has been avoiding Rose for, well, at least the 18 months we’ve been following this story.

What happens Tuesday?

The system is stacked against Robert Rose. I asked him about that.

He said, “I’m on the right side of this issue - the veterans, and for that matter, all chronic pain patients need to be heard. Tuesday, for an hour at least, they’ll hear us.”

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Jennifer Wellings

I am a veterans Advocate and a volunteer ambassador for the Long Beach VA Hospital under the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and this is tragic I’ve seen this too many times. I know too many veterans have had their medicine cut back add contemplated suicide because of it. I’ve talked many people out of it and others I failed to do because the thought of living in constant Agony and not being able to get your medication isn’t very appealing to many people including myself. I got to the point that I ask for pain management Interventional psychiatrist and got Andrew kolodny and told him that when I I do not have my opioid pain medication, I cannot function to the point where I literally can barely even get out of bed and as an Animal Welfare advocate and a rescuer as well as an activist I told him if I can’t so much as feed or take care of my animals and ask like to know that I would kill myself and because of dr. Andrew kolodny actions IE putting me in a rehab when I ask for a referral to a pain management doctor I did attempt suicide. This was 100%. Dr. Andrew kolodny as I told him I do not drink nor do I take drugs and I have been off my pain management medication for 2 months and by putting me in the rehab that he has stock in he effectively made it impossible for me to get my medication again dust destroying my life so I tried to kill myself as I refuse to spend my life in bed. If it was not for my son and my currently estranged significant other I would not have changed my mind and saved myself. I’m tired of the stigma that way chronic pain, a pain management patients have to deal with everyday being called Junkies because we have to take a medicine to help us literally function actually literally get off the sofa or out of bed and be able to walk to the kitchen or get dressed where is people heart heart conditions taking heart medicine don’t have the same stigma . I was diagnosed with Addison’s disease in 1991 in other words my body has so many pain issues that it can no longer produce enough adrenaline for simple functions as keeping my heart beating and the only reason I’m alive is because of the opioid medicine allowing my body to divert the adrenaline that have been using for pain two regular body functions as the opioid medication covers my pan issues and without it I would literally die period for a year-and-a-half now I have not had a pain management doctor do to dr. Andrew kolodny ,Dr thankachan the people who are gang stalking me


Dr. Sue,
Maybe others are also waiting for someone else to challenge it. I don’t mean to make you feel badly, but we desperately need people actively advocating. Can you reach out to professional organizations? Obviously you felt justified in providing care before you were disciplined, based on your knowledge, experience and education. Doctors are going to be knocked down one-by-one and patients who have less power an influence are going to suffer. I’m truly very sorry this happened to you. I’m very afraid, too. Is it going to be my doctor next? I’d be absolutely powerless to fight back. Can you talk to your colleagues and band together somehow? We’re in a place where politicians and the DEA are our doctors, now. We’re not going to get quality care, and we stand to lose so much… In my case, it is my employment… then it could be a downward slide to my independence, my self-respect, my ability to be social, my meaningful hobbies… and maybe ultimately, my life. I know, because I was there before. Depression is sometimes an outcome, not a cause.

I’m scared for my life. There’s a lump in my throat as I write this. I’m sorry to put pressure on you when you had such a difficult thing happen to you, but to fail to express the urgency of this is a disservice to other pain patients as well. God, I’m scared.



I knew the first Doctor in Tennessee licensed to prescriptive subutex or suboxon.. He was a man of great wealth power and intelligence. He is no longer with us but if he was he would be in Nashville fighting the ignorance of people who believe that they know how to practice medicine better than those who have dedicated their life’s to it. I feel sure he would of stood beside Robert Rose if he was appearing in any court in Tennessee. After his death another doctor, a friend and classmate decided he would follow in the foot steps of his friend who always attended any legislative event which might effect his practice. On that day in Nashville when he attempted to offer his option the Tennessee Attorney General told him that if the Doctor had ever written a script for Valium or a pain pill the he was a part of the problem not the solution. He was later forced to retire after they raided his office and one of his new female patients filed charges against him that were out of character for a doctor who always keep a Bible on his office desk. Its difficult to know these facts without drawing conclusions that may not fit the truth..
I come from a family with a medical background. My father was a Pharmacist and was ounce investigated by the T.B.I. because the scripts he filled didn’t fit their statistical analysis. That year he filled less pain medication than any other Pharmacist in Tennessee. I recall hearing Dad ask a man who was in the store drinking coffee with Dad what he thought was the most important drug he had used in his practice. The man was a retired Doctor. The elderly gentlemen reply was opiates. I want fill the page with all he said that day but he convened me. I would think anyone who forgot to take their pain medication after having a root canal would understand. Its been my observation and I could be wrong, people who abuse opiates have some other problem the drug allow them to avoid dealing with. America has one of the highest prison populations in the world and now they want put our Doctors in jail too.
God bless you Robert Rose. Its time more people stood up and fought for our rights. But people are scared.When you know what has happen to those that have I would say they have good reasons to be scarred. But their comes a time when its the only chose. I asking anyone reading this to write to the people making all these crazy laws. A letter is something the can’t ignore. And don’t forget everyone needs to vote.


I personally think it’s criminal to deprive people of a medication that will enable them to live a normal life. I think it could be classified as murder in many cases, those that can’t bear to live another day due to pain so severe that it just makes life not worth living. At the risk of sounding heartless, and I don’t much care at this point, I would like to see some of those individuals who are making the decisions to remove opioids as a legitimate pain reliever, suffer one week n the same way as some of these people do. With no workable alternative to alleviate the pain they are experiencing, what are their choices? It is true hat the system need to be closely monotored, but for heavens sake don’t deprive people of the one thing that can make their life worth lining.

I find it very hard to imaigine that people would be so heartless as to even think of doing such a thing. I pray that God opens their hearts and minds so they become aware on a deep level of the consequences such an action would bring. If this is passed, I can only say I no longer feel like a proud American,.but am terribly ashamed of the country I once loved.

Brian Dickerhoff

Thank-You for your service. I, and many others I’m sure, appreciate what you’re doing . I hope it will help. I just Emailed one US Congressman, 2 state Senators the Governor, with a short note about chronic pain patients not being the problem and the inhumanity of what they’re doing. I was inspired by your efforts and I suggest everyone who hasn’t already at least emailed their elected officials to do it.


Robert Rose I want to thank you on behalf of all veterans and pain sufferers. I was also let go from my pain management doctor of 6 years and now find it impossible to find another practice that accepts new patients. Most offices say they are overloaded with new patients due to so many closers and won’t accept any more patients. I have multiple vertebrae that were crushed and other issues that occurred while serving my country and suffer in chronic pain 24/7. After exhausting every other option I was prescribed pain meds and had somewhat of a normal life if you want to call it that. After being turned away by VA I went to a civilian doctor that did help me for 6 years but left his practice due to all the CDC issues. There’s nothing worse when you’re in so much pain one can’t enjoy their new baby boy or even pick him up. I sum it up in a few words when someone asks how I’m doing today. I’m a prisoner in my own body. I have lost faith in the country I loved and served. Having PTSD doesn’t help either and being in pain all the time makes for some really dark days. I can go on and on but will stop here.

Please spread the word about the survey so we can get the numbers we need.

Chuck McClellan
Army Disabled Veteran


It was a shame the way he was treated, I’m so glad he had the opportunity to speak and be heard. Hoping change comes soon, tired of suffering…


You can always count on a Marine to finish the job right! I’m a USAF retired disabled veteran, so I sir, applaud you!
Carpe diem!


Well, they must have listened to him for more than an hour, maybe more like 6 to 8? He is a hero in many, many ways. This is a ridiculously tough fight, and there he stands…in front of God and everybody fighting for the right for his health care to be between him and his doctor. By the way fighting for all of us Veterans and civilians alike.


I am a physician who used to treat chronic pain. I no longer treat patients with chronic pain. I was disciplined by the medical board in my state and could have lost my license to practice medicine. My heart goes out to patients who are being taken off the medications that were allowing them to be functional. I’ve been waiting for someone to challenge this issue. I will continue to pray for those who suffer from daily chronic pain.

Maureen Muck

Go, Robert Rose! Best of luck, there are so many who are grateful. 🇱🇷

Lottie Silva

I agree you are on the right side for this and thank you for thinking about others suffering from chronic pain. They eventually have to listen to us but im worried then we’ll be ignored. I’ve been taking opioid meds for 15 years with great results and a fairly normally life. After 28 surgeries i was doing good then this [edit]. They tried to get my off everything.over the years i had tried everything thing you can think of. The only thing that having me results was a fentynal patch and nucynta er and it. I went from fairly active tonow meds lowered and/or taken away. Between my Dr, my insurance company and my pharmacy i am finding it difficult to get thru each day.i am now in bed 22 hours a whole body hurts. I so want to sue the cdc and everyone one else that created the opioid crisis without thinking about the effect on no addicts. My life has essentially been taken from me. As my children. What can an individual like me do to help this issue and myself.
Again thank you Robert for having the courage to fight this.

William Dorn

What is this country coming to denying chronic pain patients proper medicines. When did we start killing our own people just because they are sick or injured. Anyone remember Nazi Germany. What kind of people are running this country.

Cindy Deim

Is there someone we can write to show our support?

Cindy Deim

Thank you, Mr. Rose.


Thank you Robert, may God bless your fight!

Walter Radziszewski

I’m a totally disabled Marine Corps Veteran with chronic pain and the VA cut back on my opiates that I have been taking for the past 15 years! I take my meds as prescribed by my Dr but still the VA thinks we are drug addictes! Of course my pain is now worse and they don’t seem to care!


I have commented on other stories as well as relating my own case of a veteran and former police officer who suffered injuries and have been impacted by this clear discrimination against chronic pain pts and the politically correct attack on the use of opiates to allow us to just get out of bed and have some enjoyment and “pursuit of happiness” in our lives. In Michigan with the new draconian opiate law engaged as of June 1 of this year the impact is a tragedy. Tomorrow I have a Dr appointment which will most likely end my pain medication not because the Dr wants too, but because he is terrified of the prosecution of physicians promised by the state of Michigan if the prescribe more then 7 days of meds. We as chronic pain pts have no champion politically because it is an election year and no one wants to be viewed as supporting opiate meds in any form it would appear to be political suicide. All I can say to this marine is the Corp will remember him if he loses his right with pain. We need help but I fear it will not happen good luck respectively Kurt Johnsto n



Kimberly Ballard

It is wonderful what you are doing. I am a widow and I left my late husband in the care if the VA in Memphis for psychiatric care. He went missing. For seven months we had no word on him. His dead and 7month decomposing body was located in a body dump in Memphis Tn. That was 12 years ago and I and our children never got any help and he was a Vietnam veteran. Thank you.




God bless you..someone needs to fight for us chronic pain patients…we struggle to find a new normal with our pain.
Now we are being denied pain meds even after we comply to drug tests..having to see a pain mgmt dr rather than our primary dr.. it’s sad we are being denied the meds that help us function better… All the while..those abusing these meds continue to get and abuse them..How is this even right in the United states of America.


God bless you today in court. And for bringing a voice of reason to this discussion, taking action on it and I’ll be praying for you that the court will have open ears to hear what you have to say. My chronic pain was a battle with the medical community that started 15 years ago in order to get treated. The past 10 years I’ve been able to salvage some of my life with the long acting opioid medications. I live in fear that any day my pain meds may be decreased or taken away. I’m so sorry this has happened to so many and I know with the progression of this battle, my turn is coming. It has wreaked havoc on my mind in turn causing more pain. None of it makes sense. I was finally doing better than I have in years and now I feel like the rug is coming out from under me. I can’t go back to a life of daily intense pain and want to live. It’s not fair that the chronic pain sufferer, who has already been to hell and back, needs this threat hanging over them each and every day. It’s cruel and unjust and no one should have to air their medical issues to the public as I am doing now. It’s between me and my doctor, not the government. Whatever happened to privacy and HIPAA? I’m willing to forego privacy to be able to be heard. And knowing that the whole hyped up opioid problem isn’t normally from legitimate users under a doctor’s care, but from illegal use of illegal drugs, makes me crazy! There’s no common sense anymore. And too many are suffering needlessly.


Excuse me-lacking in constitutional violations???? What about the constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Those of us who have found ourselves suddenly without the pain medications that have enable us to be productive members of society has sentence us to cruel and unusual punishment for the “crime” of having intractable pain. We did NOTHING to be put in the pain we experience day by day by day by day. NOTHING!
I find myself having to repent daily of the wish that those who not only do not, but will not listen to pain patients, would be put in the kind of pain we experience so that they would know first hand. I have often said that doctors need to be blessed/cursed (which is how they would see it) with the ability that just by touching a person they could feel the pain of that person, in exactly the intensity that person feels it and in exactly the place(s) that person feels pain.

I truly do not wish for anyone to be cursed with intractable pain that forces them to give up things in life. I just get so frustrated and angry when those who do not have a clue as to how it is to live with constant pain have the audacity to tell those of us who do that we cannot have relief.


Listen everyone commenting on here let’s get a petition to sue the FDA and CDC and Va for negligence inhumane treatment of documented pain paitents. And don’t feel sorry for the doctors that abandoned us I wish the same treatment for them !God bless everyone

Kitty H

Thank you Mr. Rose… are fighting for so many of us. And We stand with you!!!!

Kelli Davidson

We have inalienable rights of life liberty and pursuit of Happiness…these rights are violated when needed medicine is taken away and we can’t live life or pursue happiness . .


Thank you Robert Rose, you definitely are on the right side of the issue and I myself am grateful to you. You have not only fought for you country but you are continuing to fight for millions of Americans who are in chronic pain. You are a hero in more ways than you know. No matter what, as you stated, because of you… “Tuesday, for an hour at least, they’ll hear us.”

I would like to hear about the marines case. I too am disabled and suffer pain every day. I have considered taking my case to court. Something has to be done for those of us that despiratly need pain control.


Praying for Robert & for all of us fighting for access to medication that allows us the quality of life to pursue meaningful activities that bring us some joy that makes life worth living. Being denied health care is oppression. If the government truly is trying to reduce addiction, they should not be targeting people who have a LEGITIMATE MEDICAL NEED. We are not collateral damage. The Human Rights Watch is also investigating the denial of treatment as an international abuse of human rights.

Politicians are not doctors. They’ve harmed patients. They’ve prevented doctors from making judgments based on medical need and instead have withdrawn care from patients based on fear.

So many patients use the medications as directed and do not become addicted. The weight of this is all based on misinformation and moral judgment (discriminatory stigma!) instead of facts.

The outcome has been and will continue to be an increase in patient suicides. If there’s any doubt that this is oppression, then the suicides will speak the truth. People would rather give up their lives as a direct result of a denial of medical care, than to live. I can’t imagine that anything more clearly says that patients are being denied the pursuit of happiness than people who take their own lives because they’ve been denied medical care.

Let doctors be doctors. The DEA should not be used as a weapon and an instrument of fear and oppression.

Signe Topai

We will be with you Mr Rose in spirit! Thank you for fighting through your pain to be a voice for all chronic pain patients. I am not a veteran but have been turned away 3 times at Kaiser Permanente urgent care. All three times I had to go to hospital. Thankfully I was treated with respect there. If urgent care would of treated me as a patient and not a drug seeking addict, they would of seen my blood pressure, which is normally very low was over 180/98 due to the unbearable pain… I couldn’t stop crying!
Thank you for your service ! God Bless!


Thank you Robert Rose for Standing up to the VA !
You Fought for all of us in this country .Thank You for your service ! What is happening in America is awful and inhumane .I would like all of us who are in Chronic Pain to start a Class Action lawsuit ASAP I Ask Everyone that is able to join a Class Action do so . How do we find Attorneys to start this ?Money talks ! We can’t sit by and let our Government do this to us . We are dying out here . Someone needs to help all Veterans in Chronic pain and every Pain Paitent especially Veterns we need to be heard Now!!! What has happened to our human rights . It is a violation of all Americans Constitutional right to obtain good healthcare by a Doctor not let the Government be in our Doctors way of practicing Medicine….God Bless America . Thank You National Pain report for your several attempts to get rights back to pain paitents .We need to Sue the CDC VA ,FDA and DEA ,Jeff Sessions , Trump anyone else who is doing this . NOW !We can’t wait until September 10th for another meeting they won’t listen to .Did it help July 9th? NO This is Our lives ! We need our Medication to live a quality life we all deserve that !
Our Brave Men and Women fought for us and now what give them the best healthcare possible …….

Kathleen Kaiser

While I applaud him for his tenacity I am disappointed that he has no lawyer. Where are all the good lawyers?

Thank you so much Robert, again. I find it more than ironic that our governor will not be at court.. I live in Tennessee and wrote the man right after all of this started. Thirty days later I received a response from him stating that he was going full force with the opioid crisis, due to the alarming rates of suicides. I wonder how the man feels now. Probably like putting his head between his legs but then again since he’s not showing up to be brave and courageous as you are that says it all! How very pitiful that are own governor can’t be as brave as a chronic pain warrier. How pitiful the man can’t show his face or find the courage to even show up and fight for what he states he believes in. Just more of the same on his part. Though Robert when it comes to you I’ve said all along you’ve gone “above and beyond the call of duty” more times than you ever should have. You are truly an amazing person that I will indeed forever be grateful for. May God bless you, guide and lead you today giving you all the strength you need to accomplish miracles for the rest. You and your family are in my prayers as always.


My pain management was also stopped by the VA June 2017. They also took my benzos. They left me at home with no tapering and no monitoring during my withdrawals as I have been on them 10 years. Pissin in a cup is humiliating in itself but to sit day after day and suffer is inhumane. The Dr jumped up and told me on my last visit and I mean the last visit that he would not today, tomarrow, next week, next month or next year would he give me pain management. Since October of last year i have had ribs move out of place as I have EDS type 3 and there is 121 emails of conversation between me. Nurses, pharmacy, mental health and drs with me begging for help. I sleep 2 to 4 hours a day. STOP THIS MADNESS. I HOPE THAT THIS CASE IS WON. ITS OUR BODIES AND U HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE GO THROUGH.

Johnny Pannell

I support Robert Rose in his fight for himself, other veterans, and other chronic pain patients. There are so many patients that have been left without their necessary pain and other needed medicines. Many are without physicians who either stopped prescribing pain medications or whose practice has been put out of business by law enforcement or other agencies and/or refusal of insurance companies to cover their medications and refusal or inability to refill their medications due to actions or polices of the CDC and other agencies. I hope his efforts are successful and have a positive impact on the future availability of pain and other needed medications to Robert and other Veterans and other pain medications.


“The VA claims that Rose is lacking evidence of constitutional violations ”

That’s hilarious. Absolutely everything is not covered in the constitution (see the 9th amendment below) and besides, not being unconstitutional doesn’t mean it’s not wrong or immoral. Clearly it’s time for a specific constitutional amendment that keeps the government out of out doctor’s offices and allows for individual healthcare treatment to be solely dependant on the doctor and patient. The U.S. government has overreached on a number of issues and MUST be reeled in. NOW!
AND there may well be constitutional violations.
-The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”.

“The Ninth Amendment declares that there are additional fundamental rights that exist outside the Constitution. The rights enumerated in the Constitution are not an explicit and exhaustive list of individual rights.”


Thank You Sir Robert Rose. Marines lead the way in every fight. Thank You for your service now and then. Semper Fi.


Perhaps they’ll hear. Let’s hope they’ll listen.

Barbara Snow

Keep up the good fight. I pray you find relief soon. Everything about this pain war and it is a war is just straight up wrong.

Chronic pain sufferer

Today I will be praying for Robert Rose, US Marine, as he goes to Federal Court over the unfair withdrawal of his medicine for chronic pain. I am a former military wife, and military mom, and I’m in the same situation. I have chronic pain. I’m giving God the praise and glory, my doctor is able to still give me a lesser amount of the one pain medicine that helps me.