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May 25th, 2014 10:10 PM

Dear Friends,

For the past week, I've been housesitting and taking care of two dogs for a friend that is traveling out of state on business. While driving to the property, I've noticed at an intersection in the Mid City area of Los Angeles, a panhandler with a sign requesting at least 25 cents for food. The sign also mentions he is a veteran. It seems as though this young man is at the crosswalk on most days and around the same time in the late afternoon.
For years I've witnessed men carrying similar signs, all over town, unable to find work, desperate for change to buy food or find a safe place to sleep. I have compassion for this man, as well as countless others, as they must have endured unending trauma in battle overseas, only to find similar circumstances here at home. In our society, both locations are battlefields.

The neglect and incompetence of a bureaucracy that professes to care for those that have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, has never ended. The ineptitude and the lack of sincerity of the most current scandal befalling the Veterans Administration, is unacceptable.
It is my understanding this newest scandal, revolves around VA Hospitals inability to meet the demands of patients seeking appointments with hospital practioners, to review the status of their health. 'Waiting lists' were devised so that anyone reviewing the appointments calendar will ascertain, in error, that patients were seeing their doctors in a timely manner. It is estimated that veterans lost their lives due to this senseless approach by 'cooking the books'. The excessive wait times for surgeries and mental health sessions were direct causes of death by physical complications and suicide.
This situation is deplorable, much more so now than years before. I dare not generalize, that all caregivers in the VA are unable or unwilling to help those in need. The current circumstances angers many, as politicians are covering their tracks blaming everyone but themselves for such abuse. We also need to remind ourselves that we, as Americans, must take responsibility for the treatment of our veterans. Once again, we need to recognize that our veterans remain a large part of our lives, as they have kept us safe from foreign entanglements and the rise in terrorism focused on Americans around the world. 
The health of those that have left the military is a cause for concern. A rise in PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has created torment and despair. The rise in depression, suicides, drug and alcohol addiction, the breakup of families, are all attributed to the scourge brought about by prolonged multiple deployments and the torment it brings from conflict on the battlefield.

The Best Years Of Our Lives

One of the most moving motion pictures which dwells on the aftermath of military service, was the 1946 film, 'The Best Years Of Our Lives'. Producer Samuel Goldwynn and Director William Wyler's masterpiece of 3 WW2 veterans learning to live again, is a deeply moving portrayal of the challenges encountered by the circumstances our characters must endure. Winning 7 Academy Awards and with outstanding performances by Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Virginia Mayo and special recognition of Harold Russell as Homer, this film widely distributed after the end of WW2, has the same profound effect, 68 years after its premiere. http://youtu.be/Ob4Hy-AAOUA  All 3 of our protagonists come home to face the realities of a much changed environment. Their presence among acquaintances, friends and loved ones becomes a perplexing account of sadness, no longer hidden, and the inability to change things as they once were. I mention this film as an example of the trials of our beleaguered veterans. Perhaps, we have become a society gradually changing its perception of reality, as the desire for entertainment to discover the truth in all manifestations of our lives, is a therapy with unforseen consequences.
Ironically, the Veterans Administration was viewed by powerful government officials, as the blueprint for the manner in which the Affordable Care Act was to be managed. As of today, there are no words to describe the nightmare and the destruction of a once viable health care industry. The testimonials of failure are in the millions.
In regards to the scandal, it was troublesome to hear a politician indirectly place responsibility for the current chaos at VA Hospitals. The logic centered on a previous administration's involvement in wars that began under the stewardship of the opposing political party. These actions created an overall increase in enlistment, raising the number of veterans in search of care after their service has ended. To place blame on others no longer in control of the situation is untenable. To be made aware of this particular mode of reasoning, highlights the main element in the preponderance of absurdity and incoherence of many representatives in Congress and in government.
The truth must be revealed. 'Cleaning house' is required and new administrators must be engaged to end the mess at the VA. While the source of compassion is rarely encountered in government, there is a need for personnel that view all lives as having profound value. The VA has set an example of death by neglect and incompetence. Many Americans wonder if a similar fate has arisen within their own health care coverage. For many, the response to this inquiry, is in the affirmative.

On this Memorial Day, let us come together to honor, respect and offer gratitude for those that have served and sacrificed their lives for all Americans.

Thanks Again

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Posted by Jesse Dorado on May 25th, 2014 10:10 PMPost a Comment

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