VA on a wild veteran chase

Every Veterans' Day, politicians and V.A. elites lament veteran suicides "due to mental health problems" as if unaware that the V.A.'s bureaucratic elves had already wrapped perpetually devastating "Christmas gifts" for veterans.  Some of these "gifts" are wrapped in protective coloring for homelessness, others are in plain brown wrappers for Agent Orange claims, and still others are in camouflage for opioid prescriptions — you name it.  By the end of the fete, there are just friends' wishes of "Happier Veterans Day" and, as a bonus, an evening of collective swearing, because as Mark Twain correctly put it: "under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."

Let's get down to V.A.'s brass tacks: the department has been serving the PTSD red herring for too many years, subsequently leading the already clueless mainstream media deeper into the forest on a wild veteran chase.  The true reasons for the veteran suicide "epidemic" have never been officially named and are either shrouded in PTSD Lysenko-ism or obscured by a "mental health problems" cloud of smoke.  An official affirmation that an entire professional group — e.g., nurses or firemen — are intellectually disabled due to challenges at work would certainly lead to a defamation lawsuit, but ad nauseam public "hinting" that veterans are somehow mentally impaired by the nature of their jobs gets "socially normalized."

On a need-to-know basis, PTSD is neither an "automatic" consequence of combat nor limited to the "security" sector; however, trauma experienced due to the "lie, delay, and deny until they die" strategy happens to be reserved for veterans.  If your hands were tied while your mum's hands trembled in Parkinson's tremors, if you helplessly watched your dad fading away after multiple cancers and several Agent Orange claims denials, you know that Post-V.A. Stress Disorder can be more destructive than PTSD.  Do you know how it feels to fight for your right to stay alive?  Would you react if a yawning bureaucrat told you to wait 'til you die?  Well, if you are a veteran responding by email to these frustrations, you could be labeled "a hostile sender."  If it's a verbal protest, your file may be embellished by the PTSD label.

No matter if critically ill or homeless and exhausted — the less time you have, the slower the V.A.'s procedures become.  Many veterans consider that Forgotten and Ignored Vietnam War Veterans: Thailand-Based Veterans Were Also Contaminated with Agent Orange, a one-of-a-kind book by our heroic veteran, tireless Robert L. McHenry, Ph.D., offered an inestimable help in writing their claims.  As for the V.A. — "veterans, hurry up and wait."  As if it were not enough that the V.A. notoriously cherry-picked disability benefits claims based on exposure to herbicides on Thailand military bases, the department's  "new list "omits more than 40 previously identified locations, simply 'deleting' pending claims[.]" 

V.A. VIPs do not seem to understand that honor matters and, even if it is textually "gravely wrong," refuse to admit it.  In May, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and veterans from Texas and Utah, demanded that the V.A. remove Nazi grave markers from gravesites where enemy troops were buried alongside American veterans, but V.A. secretary Robert Wilkie thought it would be better to "find a way to put this in historical context."  Maybe the V.A. also considers that lost time and lost hope, and therefore lost lives, of American veterans should be put in "PTSD context. "  How many veterans from the "suicide epidemic" list died not because of combat "rabies," but due to a "Post-V.A. Stress Disorder"?  It would be time for V.A. to clean its own backyard.

In 2019, a veteran struggling with opioid withdrawal symptoms feared suicidal thoughts and responsibly hoped to stay in Washington's V.A. hospital for one night.  What he got was a doctor's advice: "Go shoot [yourself].  I don't care," and police escorted him out.  Six days later, the veteran shot himself.  In what "context" should we put it, V.A.?

Image credit: U.S. government via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

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