I received this letter from the wife of a highly decorated soldier. To think this is how our veterans are treated makes me sick. I'd like to say this is just one aberrant experience at one VA hospital, but anyone who has tried to receive treatment at one of these facilities knows this is closer to the standard of care given than not. She is too nice to say it, or even think it, but personally, I would not have left that place until that girl's head was on a platter. I'd have happily handled the decapitation myself.
To Whom It May Concern,
On October 30, 2012, my husband and I made our first visit to the VA Hospital. I am proud to say he is an Afghanistan Veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the
second highest medal in the United States Army. We were only there for a minor injury that my husband sustained while at work that day so it was nothing serious. Please know that it is not my intention in this letter to be negative or to get anyone in trouble because I am very thankful for the VA Hospital and all it does. I have always been the one that goes out of my way to praise a server or cashier to management for a job well done, but because of what I witnessed, I cannot stand aside and let what happen be untold.
I was in utter disbelief and left heartbroken in tears because of how a man, a Veteran of this country was treated. He was treated as if he was such a nuisance to the receptionist and I pray was treated with more respect behind closed doors. I worked at a psychiatric hospital and am more than aware of the meaning “frequent flyer” with a patient – however, this is still not ok for someone to be mistreated by being dismissed and not even heard.
As the Veteran approached the receptionist she would not even open the window for him to speak. He had to ask not once, but TWICE for her to open it – I’m sure because she did not hear his simple request the first time through her closed window. The gentleman had already stated to me that he had just been released from there that very same day, so I am sure she was more than aware of him. As he started to explain his reasoning for returning so quickly she shut the window – right in the middle of him speaking!! The gentleman, as sweet as he was, just smiled, turned around and proceeded to sit by me until it was his turn to be seen. Either he was just a bigger person not to say anything to her, because she was clearly in the wrong, or unfortunately he was accustomed to this kind of treatment there and/or in the world.
The thought of this brings me to tears again just as I write it. What hurts my heart even more was wondering if he even had a home to go to. I know this is probably not the VA Hospital’s place to assist in this matter, but I can’t imagine how he was treated tonight made him feel any better.
Let it also be noted that during our time there, the ER waiting room was not busy at all. There were 4 people including myself, all of which were family members of the patients, not
that being extremely busy would make it ok to treat someone so badly. The most amazing thing was when he did come back out after being seen; he sat by me again and even offered some of his chips to me. This may not seem like much, but as I stated before I was not sure of his living situation. He was definitely not a man above his means. This is not only a human being that deserves to be treated with respect, but a Veteran of the United States that deserves to be treated with the utmost respect.
As a wife and a daughter of Veterans I could not even begin to imagine my husband or father being treated so disrespectfully regardless of the situation or circumstance.
What also saddens me is that we are fortunate enough to have the care of the VA Hospital and I am MORE than certain there are beyond AMAZING caretakers there, as I seen firsthand.
The nurses that treated my husband were wonderful and such a pleasure. However, this one worker, this one incident sticks with me the most. I would like to think the VA Hospital, no matter the location in the United States, is represented with the highest regards and respect as possible to every Veteran that walks through its door. That night I do not believe this was the case.