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Budget problems in Washington causing more pain to former military
A local veteran battling crippling pain is fighting to find a way to continue his medical treatments here at home.
Now, thanks to budget problems in Washington getting treatment for that pain could be more difficult.
Carley Sartalamacchia comes from a military family.
He spent more than 20 years in the US Army making stops in Korea, Germany and the Gulf.
His time in the 92nd Airborne along with other duties gave him scars and stripes.
But it was his service in the Gulf War that left him with the condition that plagues his every moment now.
Carley Sartalamacchia: "Bone pain. Bone, enormous, joints hurt constantly like I got a flu."
Janet Sartalamacchia: "You're too sick to move, but if you move you get sicker and so it becomes a circle."
Carley suffers from Gulf War Syndrome.
The cause of which is still unknown.
Sartalamacchia has tried to research what he may have been exposed to but so much information is still classified.
Carley Sartalamacchia: "I do remember the exact moment I threw up there, just like I was looking at you today. I dove underneath a deuce and a half truck when a scud missIle came in, because we didn't have enough bunker space at that time. When it exploded, I remember the burning. And then of course the chemical alarms went off."
Doctors are treating him for severe Rheumatoid Arthritis using cancer medication to help alleviate his pain.
Carley Sartalamacchia: "The drug does wonders. You take it once a month, and the cost is the issue."
Those treatments are expensive costing upwards of 13,000 dollars each time.
And Carley's doctors constantly have to provide justification for those treatments.
With big cuts to military budgets, Tricare says they can no longer pay for them.
Sartalamacchia got this letter saying he will have to seek treatment at a military facility. His wife Janet has family living near a base in San Antonio where the treatment is available but the monthly regimen makes traveling tough.
Janet Sartalamacchia: "If it was every four months, we could just go down there and stay with them until it was over and he felt better and drive back. But an every month thing. It's really hard."
Carley reached out to Congressman Jeff Miller's office.
Miller serves on the Armed Services Committee.
His office is working with Sartalamacchia to seek a solution for Carley and other Vets going through the same thing.
Carley Sartalamacchia: "Once our service is done we became on the burden side of America and not the asset side any longer. Everything like that that somebody does is always to me very humbling that they didn't forget."
We were with Carley when he went for treatment on Wednesday but he was not able to get his medication.
He's awaiting approval from Tricare.
Sartalamacchia is also planning to reach out to the company that produces the two drugs he is currently taking to see if they can help.