I was not able to vote in this election, but I will be able to vote in the next election, so I have begun to think about my opinion on certain subjects. Some issues haven’t had a huge impact on my family yet, but others have. The main problem that is impacting my family is the current care and treatment of veterans.
Before I was born my uncle joined the Marine Corps. While in the Marines, he was never deployed overseas, but suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from some experiences he endured throughout boot camp and as a prison guard. On several occasions his requests for help have been denied. I have had members of my family serve in the military all the way back to the war of 1812. Since the United States has millions of people serving in the armed forces, I know this is not just the problem of one family, but the problems of many families.
In 2014, several whistleblowers came forward with accusations about the VA’s (Veterans Association) care of their patients. According to the story “A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a secret VA waiting list”, Thomas Breen was a 71-year old U.S. Navy Veteran who was rushed to the Phoenix VA with blood in his urine and a family history of cancer on September 28th, 2013 and was told that he would be seen by a doctor within a week. After he was sent home, then he was told that there was a 7month waiting period. He died on November 30th 2013 from bladder cancer. The VA called on December 6th to make an appointment after Breen had died.
This was just one incident that was made public, I’m sure there were others. An email sent by a coordinator at the VA in Cheyenne Wyoming details how to manipulate appointment dates. After this information came to light, there was an investigation by the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, the Obama Administration, the RAND Corporation, and the Office of Special Council. The investigations ended with a rework of the VA’s chain of command. I still do not believe that this is enough.
I think there should be random inspections of VA facilities weekly to ensure that America’s veterans are getting the care that they deserve. Veterans have done so much in the service of their country, we should serve them the way they have served us when they return home. Mr. President, the care of our nation’s veterans are in your hands. Will you choose to help them, and make sure the incidents don’t happen again, or let them suffer from maltreatment once again? Please, make the best decision possible for our veterans.