22. The Monster the VA Built and Cannot Kill

The following excerpt comes from The Department of Veterans Affairs
“Almost all homeless veterans are male (about three percent are women), the vast majority are single, and most come from poor, disadvantaged backgrounds. Homeless veterans tend to be older and more educated than homeless non-veterans. But similar to the general population of homeless adult males, about 45% of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness and (with considerable overlap) slightly more than 70% suffer from alcohol or other drug abuse problems. Roughly 56% are African American or Hispanic.”

Something does not seem right to me in that statement and so let me pick it apart a little bit:
The Vast (meaning the majority? or as far as the eye can see?) majority:
1. Single– is that divorced? never married? What a surprise! I guess ones wife or girlfriend did not want to go on that particular Carnival Cruise.
2. Poor, Disadvantaged Background– Funny thing happened on the way to the VA, Department of Social Services said I was not poor or disadvantaged when they turned me down for food stamps, but all the illegal immigrants in the waiting room were….sorry. Oh yeah, my VA counselor said I looked pretty good for a homeless dude and offered me a crack house for the night.
3. Older– Imagine what its like being laid off after 15 years at the mill when congress, senate and a president approved a bill that let your company send your job to Mexico or China. They say the average age is 45 but they keep talking about Viet Nam vets in other reports. The average V N vets are in their mid 60’s now. Of course there is no age discrimination for a job.
4. More Educated: Now there is a rub isn’t there? What is better? A college degree from 1985 or 2005? We now have a bunch of swinging single, above educated, middle aged bachelors, hanging out on our streets at all hours. Your Crack House or Mine Babe (wink…wink)
5. 45% Suffer From Mental Illness: After being turned down for aid by social services because I am an overly educated, childless, older, male, and considered not poor or disadvantaged and after having the door slammed and offered my choice of crack houses to sleep at in the finest neighborhoods by the Veterans Administration, I might be a little depressed or damn near suicidal by then too. Now this is PTSD heaven here. The VA has torn the wings off of a veteran and it says it is not service related (after upping my meds that day to 200mg for my service related problem). I think they are right. It could very well be VA related!

6. Slightly more than 70% suffer from alcohol or other drug abuse problems. Now if you read this far you might see why. Having gotten this far the homeless vet is so mentally rocked, he needs something to calm himself down and is looking for the closest bar to the VA hospital!
7. Roughly 56% are African American or Hispanic. Does it really matter what color you are since all you are is seeing RED at this point? All the homeless are doing the same homeless shuffle. Ok I guess the other 44% of us are white for those that cannot subtract. Had to use the education the statistics said I had.

The VA also fails to state the majority of the homeless vets were active patients of the VA. Most were long term patients with severe medical conditions that were service related. The VA also fails to mention that the difference between VA care and its civilian counterparts is over 4 times greater in wait times and delays. The average time for a veterans disability claim is over 3 years. In the meantime the average veteran loses almost everything he has if he is very ill since there is nothing available to him at all for support other than family(and remember they are poor and disadvantaged). If a veteran goes homeless often time it is near impossible for his disability or pension to be completed and maybe that is what the VA and U.S. Government intends. The VA fails in the regard of recognizing the hardship that they have placed on former service members that have counted on them. When you look at the staff members in the hospitals, some are so riddled with compassion it strikes grief to the patients where you feel like consoling some of the care givers because they know the system is broken. Some of the Social working staff are completely untrained though, and need to be schooled in what they have available.

Well Doctor Frankenstein, now quit running around screaming its a monster! You built the damn thing! Now what are you going to do to fix it. According to other pages of your statistics you have built between 500,000 to 800,000 of them! You have continually, brushed these homeless vets aside. The thing is everyone knows you did it. The VFW, DAV, American Legion, all asked you to fix your mess. Now if someone not so nice asks you and does something, especially if they do not have a tax exempt status to get leaned on, what are you going to do? You have done everything in your power to make a dog and pony show of that you are doing things. You have tried to get religious groups to accept grants to foist the monster on them now. Do you think praying over it is going to help? The VA does not want anyone to know they built the monster. They make up stats that say “oh the monster was going to be there anyway” to cover lousy health care of the 60’s. Its time to have a good old fashioned come to Jesus, or at least go ahead and touch the Tar baby and get dirty while shoddy VA health care is in the news. You can take this bullet too while the other bullet wounds are still seeping and you will survive.

Your Correspondent

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2 Responses to “22. The Monster the VA Built and Cannot Kill”

  1. 1 Timothy Kendrick
    October 3, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    God, did you every nail this one on the head. If it was not for Amvets I would probably be dead. The VA “higher echelon” is a dissapointment

    -Timothy Kendrick
    PTSD:Pathways Through the Secret Door
    ISBN 1430313196

  2. 2 Sandra Walker
    January 8, 2010 at 12:31 am

    WIFE OF VETERAN:It is worse than a monster. Someone who feels like he must still protect our property at night and is on guard all the time. I am sure you know what I mean. These vet’s are on a roller coaster and can’t seem to be able to get off, before it crashese. Sure they get medication, but the doctors do not understand, you can take all the medications they give you, but it will never take away what these vet’s went through during war. I know, I live with one going on 18 years and for me there has never been a feeling of safety. I never know from one day to the next what I will have to face the next day. Will it be a day of rock bottom depression, a day of verbal abuse, a day of feeling someone coming to get him and he sees them with guns,(Vietnam), or will it be a day that I have to console him trying to keep him safe from sucide. Vet’s will never feel secure like most people, or have a normal trust likemost people. I can not amagine how it would feel not to have trust in your life, not to have your family or friends. I know my life is ruined, because I have no friends, and my family will not come around. I have done research on vietnam and PTSD and it is a cancerous disease, a spreading disease that attacks your whole body. I do not understand for the life of me, why they give these veterans such a hard time turning down claims. The government owes this to the veterans. It was a promise, when they sent to war. Do you think they will ever
    understand, PTSD effects the whole body. It’s like my husband. He never had any kidney disease,until two years ago. It’s all the medication that the VA is giving him. He is considered to be in the 1% percentile of veterans still walking around on all this medicine. I know alot of people say they like taking all this medication, but if he did not, he woulod not be here now. He has been placed on the VA safety plan twice this year. I am afraid how many more times before I can not get hhim help in time. This is not fair, the VA has placed this responsibility on me. It will destroy me if I do not get to him in time and he dies. I have to watch him every minute. His daily living is 0. The VA is playing games with him
    about an increase. We are struggling, because I am disable also. Any suggestions? Should I write to the new Secretary of Veteran Affairs?
    I think the wifes go thru alot in taking care of these veterans. Just think these vet’s have and still are protecting all our backs, don’t so I think its our turn to try and protect their backs while they are down. I appreciate all the Veterans. “Thanks Forever”
    in return.

    your whole body. I see it everyday.

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