I’ve never served in the United States Armed Forces, which is something that I’ve often thought about at length in the past. I don’t regret not having served and have more respect for those that do than words can convey. Through my entire life to present I’ve shown my admiration and unwavering support for our troops in as many ways as I could think regardless of whether it was accepted or not. I would never even attempt to imagine what they have witnessed, experienced, and are continuing to live with; that’s not what this piece is about. My only reference into this unfortunately tortured and ignored world of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mere glimpses more accurately, is from fragmented stories from friends and friends of friends. I realize media is a poor source, however television shows like Seal Team and The Code and movies like The Hurt Locker seem to come close. A few of my friends admitted they can’t watch these types of shows because while they’re not reality, they’re close enough to trigger traumatic memories.
The true topic here is focused on the Veterans Administration (VA) and the horrible care our veterans are receiving when they return home. History have proven that any service that is government run and government funded typically is a mismanaged political nightmare for the people receiving said services. The VA is no exception. The “patients” that use VA services were more than likely barely 18 years old when they were deployed, saw things 99% of the population never sees in a lifetime, and will never be the same person returning home they were when they left. These are men and women that have put the lives of their fellow country before their own. These are men and women that have made a sacrifice most of us will never need to make. These are men and women that should be given the respect, honor, and treatment they deserve without having to ask or fight for.
Instead of never having to worry about care the rest of their lives, like in other countries, the US government treats our veterans as second class citizens. A veteran that lives in Philadelphia, PA should not have to travel to Allentown, PA, which is 63 miles away, for their regular doctor visits. There are entire multi-floor facilities in major cities that are empty a majority of the year that cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year to keep open. I don’t have all the answers and I certainly am not an expert in government budgeting. What I’m suggesting, rather urging, is that those that are experts in this field can offer suggestions of improvement that we can stand behind and support. I would certainly support a VA Reform Bill that gets our veterans the care and support they need without the stupid red tape they’re having to cut through now.
How about it experts? Give me something to support!