My father died  a couple of weeks ago, just short of his 92nd birthday. He was a proud Veteran of the Invasion of Normandy and recipient of a Purple Heart. He endured firestorms many times, sacrificing, to help make America safe for all of us. That was over 70 years ago. He never forgot one detail about it and talked about it all the time. Sometimes too much, as far as I was concerned. But as I watched time go by I realized I could never understand the effect those two years, and each individual moment during those years, could have on someone. War is definitely hell and the transition back to civilian life has to be dealt with. May he now rest in peace.
Every day 22 American Veterans commit suicide. That is almost one every hour. The cause is understandable, and, at the same time, unacceptable. Some Veterans wait for weeks to get an appointment and the shortage of Doctors and Nurses in the V.A. system is at an all time low. Treatment programs usually start with a prescription, leaving the VA to be described by many as a “candy store.” A soldier and Veteran suffering from PTSD deserves more than “take two and call me in the morning.” The last and worst thing that can happen is to create a dependency on drugs to mask and further confuse a situation that requires care and nurturing. Mass diagnosis can never work with something so fragile. It should be handled on an individual basis. I pray for those suffering and believe the promise of some changes ahead.
Revamping the V.A. has been one of Donald Trump’s promises this election cycle, and, if he follows through, it is way past it’s time. V.A. infrastructure is “deplorable” and understaffed, and should be seen to be really believed. The V.A. hospital in Manchester, NH doesn’t have a working operating room and walking down the halls of the facility will make you wonder if you have slipped back to “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” It’s dirty, crowded and depressing, although my hat goes off to the staff. They are always friendly and caring, despite the odds they are up against. They too, hope.
In my opinion Veterans who qualify should go to any doctor, anywhere, anytime and be covered. The V.A. should be scrapped and the buildings that are not condemned should be sold and leased to private practice doctors and clinics that can co-op and share the existing medical supplies and machines. Cut the bureaucracy and use the money wisely. Employees will not suffer. The demand will not go down,  just change the supply.
So thank a Vet today, Veterans Day, and every day. To learn more about Veterans Healthcare go here:
Words and stories from real Veterans and their plight with healthcare. Let’s hope for the change President “The Donald” has promised.


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