Sister of veteran who died from overdose warns about drugs prescribed by VA

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-11 20:33:44-05

She showed up at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, one of the many paying tribute to their fallen loved ones.

“To come here today and have to look down on the ground and see her name, it’s hard,” said Darla Grese. “It’s hard because Kelli doesn’t have to be here.”

For the families of those who served, Veterans Day is always emotional—but for Darla Grese, it's also the anniversary of her twin sister Kelli's death.

“I miss her, I miss her so much,” said Grese.

Kelli didn't die overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Darla says her sister's death...came at the hands of those back home.

“Still, three years later, when I review the records, I’m stunned,” said Grese. “I saw the bottles, but even I had no idea how many pills they were giving her.”

Kelli committed suicide on November 12th, 2010, ingesting a lethal dose of drugs given to her by doctors at the Hampton VA Medical Center.

“They failed her, they gave up on her,” said Grese.

Two years later, Darla sued on her sister's behalf, settling with the government for a six figure sum.

“It wasn’t an official admission of guilt, but it spoke volumes,” said Grese.

Still, money can't fill the void left by the loss of her twin.

“You lose half your heart,” said Grese. “I just want someone to say, ‘You know what, maybe we could have done things differently.’”

On this Veteran's Day, Darla and her son Brady came to Kelli's grave to remember the good times…but also to make sure the world knows Kelli's story.

“At the end of the day, that's what I’m left with, Kelli's story in hopes that there are no more that die like Kelli.”