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OFFE Veterans' Newsletter
January 18, 2017
One needn’t search too far or wide to find the dark side of the Department of Veterans Affairs, DVA, formally Veterans Administration, VA, formally Veterans Hospital, formally Old Soldiers Home, formally Veterans Asylum.
Contrary to the mellifluously written language, praising the human element, that went into changing the original institution from an “Asylum” into a “Home”, advocates can point to incidents and events over the last one hundred and fifty years that demonstrate damage caused by abusive self-interests, neglectful managerial decisions and the influence of special interests. Today, the worst example of special interests run amok in the DVA is at the “biggest and the busiest” facility, the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Healthcare Center located in West Los Angeles, CA.
We will never be able to determine exactly how many wrongful deaths have been caused by this National Home’s exclusionary land-use policy because the misinterpretation and misrepresentation by carpet bag bureaucrats of what the “Promise of Sacred Trust” has left too many stakeholders, disabled and mentally disturbed Veterans, on the streets to die from exposure.
Fast forward from the Civil War (time of the “permanent” deeds), World War I, World War II and the Korea Conflict to the most troubled generation of Veterans in America’s history, the Vietnam Veteran. For the most part, this generation was son and daughter to those who America considered the “real war” Veterans of I and II. The, then, older Veterans who proudly spoke of being debriefed, or, treated for “shell shock” and “battle fatigue” by being given a “cup of coffee and a donut” by the ladies at the USO and sent home.
Vietnam Veterans, not welcomed home by America, are the PTSD generation and fathers and mothers to the Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan and War on Terror Veterans. The claim that they established, that war is not natural to the human psyche, is directly related to the higher-per-ratio amount of PTSD claims of the new generations of Veterans and its increasing number of women Veterans who, justifiably, claim PTSD from sexual harassment.
The true cost of war far surpasses the celebrations of victory and the lament of defeat, ask the Veteran spouse and family. To be clear, the majority of PTSD claims are not being made for the money as many would have you believe. They are made to end the pain. Unfortunately, the lip service and double talk about caring for those who have borne the battles only serve to exacerbate the Veteran mental condition. Regrettably, DVA has not improved its treatment for PTSD in the 50 years after Vietnam. Its move toward more “public-private-partnerships”, without genuine concern for the many symptoms of PTSD, must not be handed off to student psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors or psychoanalysts. That has been a problem up to now and the blanket of care has become unraveled.
The rate of Veterans who have committed suicide at VA facilities attests to the severity of the problem. It is not a myth created by “real-time” social media. Younger Veterans, it appears, suffering the same ravages of PTSD from what they saw in the Wars on Terror are, on average, being rated less than the older Veterans who are living longer. DVA is waiting to pay Peter after Paul dies. It refuses to see the folly in bonuses for poor performance, the practice of moving poor performers instead of terminating and the influence of outside special interests, especially in the medical field.
Younger Veterans are being denied equally comfortable quarters and treatment for their psychological wounds because they are labeled as “too young” in the game of qualifying for shelter in the few federal and state “Homes” that house the older population. Instead, they are being relegated to live in older less efficient buildings without medical or mental care where drug dealing and overdose are common.
To be continued………………
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