Fighter Login

May 22, 2016 | 10:50 AM EDT

By John Burk

Ask yourself how much pain you could endure in a limb before you would voluntarily beg to have it amputated. The answer would have to be a lot, right? Well David Cross has been dealing with this kind of pain for six years with no help from the VA, besides medication being thrown at him and repetitive tests being ran.


In 2009, David Cross was hit with a 1000lb IED in Afghanistan, which resulted in over six years of asking the VA to do something about it the injury sustained to his leg and foot.

“I was injured back in 2009. Injuries forced me to retire in 2012. I have tried multiple tests and without any help from them (Buffalo VA). I ASKED for amputation knowing it could help me, and they refused to do it. Instead, they wanted me to use opiates, which I refused to take. Then they wanted to try more tests and after six years of tests, I said no. They still didn’t want to do the surgery.”

What did he do about it? Mexico. With the help of the LT Dennis Zilinksi foundation, he managed to travel from NY, all the way down to Mexico in order to have the procedure performed.

“The surgery itself was seven thousand dollars, and then there were flights, hotel, and food after the hospital. It would have been out of pocket but lucky enough, another foundation (LT Dennis Zilinksi) gave me the money which covered it. Without them, I would have never been able to have this done.”

When I asked him if he felt better since the surgery was done, he said:

“I’m definitely happy that it’s done and can’t wait to get into my prosthetic.”

I then asked if the hospital in Mexico he went to would be supplying the prosthetic, he said no.

“No, that’s the strange part. The VA won’t do the surgery, but they are doing all the after care.”

They KNEW David was going to Mexico to have the surgery done, and yet nothing was done on their part besides the after care, which still hasn’t happened yet being he is still in recovery.

When I contacted the Buffalo VA, they were not able to give me any information on the issue due to patient confidentiality.

Is this how our country treats its combat wounded veterans? Forcing them to travel to another country in order to receive the critical care they need to help them not only improve their health, but also their quality of life?


Soldier of Steel