27 August 2014

Philadelphia VA: Distorted Image of Veterans

An insult to all Veterans from the Philadelphia VA:

On behalf of The C-123 Veterans Association, and as an individual member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Retired Officer Association, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Disabled American Veterans, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, I say to the VA...we're not grouchy, we're not cranky, unrealistic or demanding of anything beyond what's right. We're not pissed off. And our widows don't need "being managed" or "dealt with," as the Washington Times and other sources today reported the VA having said.

Like many of you, we're Veterans. With a capital "V" as per the VA stylebook. We're sick. Some of us you'll treat because we have LOD injuries, but many of our crewmates you won't. That's what we work towards.

The Philadelphia VA last week conducted training for their staff and portrayed wounded, injured and sick Veterans with the following disgusting graphic in their slide show, "What to Say to Oscar the Grouch,' in preparation for the upcoming series of national VA town hall meetings.

How dare they attack us with such an insult!
VA labeled this graphic about vets, "100% GROUCHY. DEAL WITH IT."

We're not knocking VA health care.  We're just trying to get it! And we have to fight anti-Veteran attitudes like those in Philadelphia.

A side note: We respect the Ranch Hand vets who flew before us and are doing nothing to interfere with them, their association, our respect for their historical accomplishments, or their relationship and friendship with Colonel Young. Many of us are Vietnam vets as well as veterans of subsequent conflicts.

The only objections we have are with the VA's Veterans Health Administration for constructing improper barriers to our claims, and the Veterans Benefits Administration for welcoming those barriers from VHA. We're not too pleased with VA's Office of General Counsel, but their job is to defend the institution against the Veterans so we can't gripe much there. Also, we're not too pleased with the VA National Center for Ethics in Healthcare which seems inert.

Ranch Hand, your health studies have nothing to do with us, other than we both reflect a flight physical-healthy population and we flew the C-123s at different times. That's all, so give us a break, fellow Veterans. Trying to help our crewmates and maintainers does nothing to impact Ranch Hand. You should be helping.

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