“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).
Unless you have been stuck without any access to an outside news source for the last couple of weeks or so, you have probably already seen at least some of the splatter from the “stuff” hitting the proverbial fan over how much time some veterans have been having to wait to receive medical care at some [VA medical facilities]. Having to wait 5-6 months to see a doctor is indeed outrageous, but how good is the care after they finally receive it? I sincerely doubt that it is really all that good.
All I have to go on is what happened to my dad years ago, and in all fairness, the quality of care at VA medical facilities may have greatly improved since. On the hand, my dad’s experiences display a pattern of conduct that the current scandal seems to be proving is still being maintained.
Since it was before the [VA] was officially established, my dad’s first experience with the agency may not count, but it sure is telling about what was to come. For it happened after Germany surrendered in 1945, and my dad was one of thousands of G.I.s in France, who desperately wanted to go home to their families. When my dad’s turn came up, he was asked to sign a waiver that released the United States government from any liabilities due to the wounds he received during the beginning of the [Battle of the Bulge] or face having to wait maybe another six months before being given a berth on a transport ship back to the States. What would you do if you were 25 years-old and already greatly concerned about your very young daughter after receiving a letter from her mother that said that she wanted a divorce on the grounds of your abandonment of them to go off to war? Oh yeah, my dad signed the release, but his first wife still got her divorce.
My dad’s next experience with the VA (at least for the purpose of this piece) happened 35 years later, in 1980. I think it was sometime in September when I took my dad down to the VA Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas after he started feeling extra poorly. The doctor he saw there told him that he was just getting older. When I took him to the VA Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri a couple of months later, the doctor he saw up there gave him around two months to live after diagnosing him with lung cancer. When asked, the Kansas City VA doctor confirmed that his cancer would have been quite easy to see to anyone who bothered to look when he went to the Fayetteville VA Hospital. He went on to also say that the kind of cancer my dad had was rapidly-moving, and that if it had of been detected in Fayetteville, much could have been done to stop its growth. Yeah, “stuff” happens—right?
By the way, when you see a movie depiction of an old, run-down medical facility, with patients wandering around with their [I.V. stand] in tow, you are seeing what I remember of the Fayetteville VA Hospital. The Kansas City facility was much better in appearance, but I only remember being up there once.
Alas, my dad raised me to be a hardcore political conservative, who believes that the federal government has no business doing anything but maintaining a strong defense of the country and good trading relations with “good” countries, but our Heavenly Father has shown me where all levels of government are meant to provide good service in all sorts of capacities to all citizens—especially to those in need. At least the hardcore conservatives are generally much more honest than their bleeding-heart liberal counterparts. For liberal politicians generally love to talk real big about using government programs to do all sorts of good, but they are loathed to make sure that those programs are really doing what they should and not just wasting an enormous amount of tax-payer dollars. The VA stands as a corroded example of such—regardless of which political philosophy may be in a position of greater power at a given time.
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