Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Forgotten Generation

I invite your comments on this particular post. Forward it to your veteran friends if you think it's worth it.

The Walter Reed Hospital is a prime example of how we really care about our men and women in uniform and the veterans who once served.
It all depends on who you ask. The call-in shows have logged all kinds of comments:
1- Everything's just great! They have excellent doctors and nurses and all the staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and courteous.
2- The only reason that my husband goes is because he can't afford anything else. After he risked his life for us, nobody really cares about him except his family.
3- From a congressman: The bureaucracy is the problem. It's all messed up. Too many incompetent people. Throwing more money at it won't help.
4- Some leaders in Washington: This is the first I've heard of it. It ought to be investigated if it's true.

From my viewpoint, it appears that some veterans are getting the best of care, and some of them are even getting disability compensation. Others can't get to first base in the system.
In the area of public information, the VA is a dismal failure. There is no publicized plan of how you accomplish anything in the VA. It's hard to find your way around a VA facility. Information desks are often unstaffed and direction signs are few.
In the Lewis Carroll children's book , one of the characters explained how to do something: You start at the beginning and go to the end and then stop.
Sounds simple, but finding the beginning at any VA installation is impossible. I've been to several and they are the same. I've seen excellent doctors, nurses, and staff, but I've seen sorry ones, too.

Don't tell me that throwing money at it won't help. More funding and more personnel are the very thing that is lacking in the VA. Every facility is overloaded with a backlog of patients, cases, and claims.

Please don't ask the president to cut taxes. How in the world does anybody expect to take care of those young troops coming back from Iraq without allotting enough money. We can bomb Baghdad at $2 million a shot, but we can't provide armament and personal protective gear. We can put them in harm's way, then abandon them when they come home.
We did the same thing in Vietnam. Now soldiers like me are getting older and sicker, and our "grateful nation" doesn't know how to say "thank you" or even "kiss it."

During the past two weeks I've seen two private doctors about my hearing. Me and Blue Cross are paying for the treatment. I asked my VA doctor about an appointment, and VA guidelines would not allow her to schedule me. I had to be at least 10 percent service-connected disabled or indigent.

Excuuuuse me! I should not have to be a pauper to get medical services from VA.

I know for a fact that all the ionizing radiation I was exposed to at the Nevada Test Site shot through me just as surely as if somebody had fired a bullet. My genetic make-up was damaged. I have more than one genetic disease in my body that does not exist in the body of any other blood relative. They're not in my immediate family or extended family.

I should not have to be spending one-third to one-half of my total income on medical insurance premiums, co-pays, and over-charges. VA even requires payments from Blue Cross/Blue Shield through my individual policy.
It ain't right for me or any other veteran to be treated this way.

Yeah, I understand what those troops are going through at Walter Reed. The troops of today are getting the same short shrift that the Vietnam veterans get. Join the team, young troopers. World War II may have been the Greatest Generation, but we are the Forgotten Generation.

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