To The Herald-Whig:
The shameful conduct of the Veteran's Affairs hospital system has dominated the news recently -- vets dying on waiting lists, vets receiving less than professional care, often the wrong treatment for what ailed them.
This country speaks of heroes and how we must make sure they receive the best care available. In reality, vets are suffering and dying in death camps known as VA hospitals.
Those of us who stepped up and served this country often returned home without legs or arms or burned nearly beyond recognition or with irreversible head trauma, or mentally and emotionally damaged, only to be treated like worthless trash. I think back to the return of my brothers and sisters in arms from Vietnam. God forgive me, but I was and remain angry at my country for this. But it is nothing compared with how the people who are supposed to be curing our vets and restoring them to health are instead treating them like numbers, putting them on waiting lists and letting them die.
But my question is where is the outrage of the American people? Where is the outcry against this barbaric treatment of our vets and a demand for change? Is all this talk about heroes just lip service to make you feel good about yourselves?
I have been designated 100 percent disabled and unable to work by the VA. It took me three years to get the VA to understand what my private doctors had understood many years before and who were struggling to provide me the best treatment available for a plethora of illnesses caused by continued exposure to Agent Orange. I talked with a Vietnam veteran today who told me, with tears in his eyes, that he had to fight the VA for 10 years to get his disability approved, even though he had boxes of documentation to support his claims.
When is this country going to wake up and put a stop to this abuse of those brave and patriotic Americans who stepped up and went to war for that beautiful red, white and blue flag flying from a pole in your yards? Or will those of us who thought this country was worth fighting for continue to slowly and painfully die from a lack of care?