RANGER AGAINST WAR: You're in the Army Now <

Friday, February 23, 2007

You're in the Army Now

We're happy as can be.
Have lots of company.

The cooties at night

Drop in for a bite.

We're in the Army now

--You're in the Army Now lyrics, Abe Lyman (1940)


Smiling faces as you wait to land

But once you get there no one gives a damn

You're in the army now

Oh, oh, you're in the army now
--You're In the Army Now lyrics, Quo Status (2006)

It seems that Walter Reed Hospital is a sick place ("US Probes Troops Neglect Claims," BBC, 2/21/07).

Buildings infected with roaches and rodents, mold and mildew along crumbling walls...Four years into a war, and one of our most esteemed military hospitals is revealed as a festering sore on the soul and body of wounded GI's.

If this is the condition of a premier medical facility, then what is the military hiding on lesser-known bases?

Dr. Winkenwerde, Assistant Defense Secretary, said trust in the Army has "taken a hit." Actually, it is the wounded soldiers that have taken the hit.

My personal experience with the poor conditions at Central and North Florida VA hospitals resonates with the findings at Walter Reed. I have even questioned the attending specialists re. the mildew along bubbling areas of concrete walls. How can such a thing be adequately sanitized?

Don't take my word for it--ask other veterans who have attended specialty clinics there, or go see for yourself. The facilities are open to the public, so you can go on your own walk-through.

This is a fine "thank you" for seriously wounded veterans. It is also appropriate, because it prepares them for what awaits them, as veterans, in the real world.

5 Comments:

Blogger A.E. said...

When I read the Walter Reed story, I gasped.

Goddamn, "support the troops" is just as a meaningless word. No one "supports the troops" if they're rotting away in Walter Reed.

Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 9:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous MK said...

Ranger: Ive been reading at intel-dump.com and at zenhuber.blogspot.com many other veterans with the same questions. There is only one answer: Organize yourselves. In the aftermath of Katrina, lots of people volunteered to help, there is a whole powerbase of practical people outthere. If the government wont fix it, do it yourselves. I would guess that you could get those walls fixed by a good round of volunteerwork.

That the people in charge dont care is just symptomatic of the bloody disgrace this administration is.

Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 10:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

Excellent Post.

For contrast, I would like to provide a description of something our government is doing right these days with regard to Vets.

I am currently a resident in a Veteran's Home after having undergone treatment through the VA for PTSD and Depression, long overdue some 40 years after the Tet Offensive that cap stoned my military 2nd tour in Vietnam with a lifetime of illness.

My blog has attracted the stories of many veterans such as myself and other sufferers from PTSD who were victimized by elements of society other than the VA system of medical and mental treatment. I, for one, became trapped in the Military Industrial Complex for 36 years working on weapons systems that are saving lives today but with such high security clearances that I dared not get treated for fear of losing my career:

http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

When my disorders became life threatening, the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs for the State of Minnesota, Clark Dyrud, stepped in and saw to it that I was entered into the VA System for treatment in Minneapolis. It saved my life and I am now in complete recovery and functioning as a volunteer for SCORE, as well as authoring books and blogging the world.

When I was in the VA system I was amazed at how well it functioned and how state of the art it is for its massive mission. Below is a feature article from Time Magazine which does a good job of explaining why it is a class act:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376238,00.html

I had state of the art medical and mental care, met some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever seen and was cared for by a handful of very special nurses among the 60,000 + nursing population that make up that mammoth system. While I was resident at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis I observed many returnees from Iraq getting excellent care.

I do not say the VA system is perfect but it is certainly being run better on a $39B budget than the Pentagon is running on $494B.

Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 12:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

rosecovored glasses,

Thank you.

I would suggest your experience with the DVA is based upon your location. Most literature accepts that there is regional differences in VA care and disability determinations.

As an example, FL is flooded with aging veterans.

I agree that the individuals w/in the VA system are generally caring and quality personnel. The VA as a system operates w/in its budget only by creating categories of veterans and eliminating benefits for large categories of veterans (Cat. 7 & 8), something, which I find unacceptable.

I am glad you found an advocate, and I'm glad that you're getting what you need. Thanks for joining us here, and if you're ever in Tallahassee I'll by you a beer. (I was in RVN in '70-'71.) All the best,

Jim

Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 6:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

mk,

Welcome. I am opposed to volunteers having to assume the responsibilities of government.

Volunteers in a hospital could introduce health problems, and I don't think insurance wold cover this. The government cannot accept liability for volunteer workers.

Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 6:07:00 PM GMT-5  

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