23 July, 2010
To The V.A.... "We Won't Get Fooled Again"
Today I would like to write about the V.A. and their decision to add a subsection to the Gulf War registry for environmental issues such as Sodium Dichromate. Now, That is all good and everything, but what about our brother veterans from Vietnam who got Agent Orange and other crap dumped on them. When I joined The service in 1982, they were still giving out this bug repellent that they had used in Vietnam, and anything plastic it came in contact with...it literally melted. Yeah, those guys literally had to use it or get eaten by some big ass bugs, not much of a choice huh.
Now, I know alot of Vietnam Vets have a dislike for current vets, even saying, they "Chose to fight" and "They knew what they were getting into" so they got what they deserved. And the reason they give these type of opinions is because we were not drafted. I am sorry guys, I was born during the very early part of your war and had nothing to do with you being drafted. I am truly sorry for that, but what has been done cannot be undone and we need to work together.
I know what alot of you people are thinking, this guy is a whiner. I had no problem doing my job as an infantryman. And yes, while bullets and bombs will kill you, at least it happens pretty quick and you are not left to suffer. Then you do not come home and procreate and your offspring look like their DNA was strained through a tube sock. This all happens because some cheap Contractor S.O.B. uses the cheapest materials available to get the job done and Humanity be damned.
To the Gulf War I vets, these poor men and women have been jerked around so many times it is crazy. The V.A. never seems like it can settle on what if anything they can do for them.
Now, I have been to the Portland V.A. Hospital for the Gulf War Registry Screening, this was March 24th 2010 and saw Dr. Grebenow. Before hand they had sent me a large packet of paper to fill out regarding my exposure and my symptoms. I took considerable time filling it out with great detail and took it with me to my appointment. Now I was NOT AT ALL IMPRESSED!! with this Dr. or the exam, it appeared to be an appeasement process so us veterans would shut up. The reason I say this, is because he never once looked at all the paper work I filled out. He then would ask me questions, and instead of letting me answer them, he would finish my answers his way. What the hell was the point of driving 110 miles round trip for nothing? Now, I am not trying to be mean or anything, but this needs to change!!
Then at the end of the appointment, he asked me "What do you know about Sodium Dichromate?" kinda as if to find out with what type of B.S. answers he was going to be able to get away with telling me. So I told him "I know it's a corrosion fighter"
to which he replied "we do not have any data on short term exposure to Sodium Dichromate... At least someone was finally being honest!!
I really want to be of service to my fellow veterans, but it is really hard to travel for long distances for me because my bones and joints ache all the time and my left eye is real sensitive to too much sunlight.
So to the V.A. if you read this, I am willing to help, but you must put forth a earnest effort to help all veterans and Educate your Doctors and Staff, they are there to help veterans, if they do not like their job, maybe they need to look elsewhere. And please, if you are going to make us fill out a whole bunch of paperwork for a exam, have the doctor go over it with us during the exam. I listed all my symptoms on that damn paper packet, but we did not even talk about half of them.
Better yet, I think I am going to start showing up to my appointments with a micro tape recorder and a sign hanging around my neck saying "This Appointment may be recorded for quality assurance purposes"
Let's talk about the V.A.'s claim process.. It has done a 180 degree from what I can tell. V.A. Training letter 10-03 lays it all out and has straightened alot of stuff out. And I gotta give Mr. Shinseki MAJOR props for that!! YOU ROCK!!