Tag Archives: Veterans Administration

Statue of Liberty replica from a water tower

A lot of people these days worry about whether other people are going to bring about the collapse of civilization and the end of life as we know it if they don’t perform the proper ritual when various patriotic icons are displayed.    But the VA in Leavenworth is going the extra mile to recreate a national icon that will take the breath away from the most casual observer.

water tower 1

See those wossname, things, sticking out at the top of that water tower?

water tower 2

Yeah, those.    And here is what is happening:

water tower 3

That’s right!  Can you believe that?   The VA is creating a replica of the Statue of Liberty out of that water tower!

water tower 8

Is this a great country, or what?

Old Jules

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The Bivouac of the Dead – [Thank you for your service wasn’t enough]

 

cemetery poem sign 6

cemetery poem sign 3

cemetery poem sign 1

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’ve visited a lot of National Cemeteries over the years, along with a lot of private and State cemeteries where the remains of military personnel and veterans who served over the past centuries are planted.   I used to attend Memorial and sometimes Veterans Day ceremonies at the National Cemetery at Santa Fe when I lived in New Mexico.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about National Cemeteries, even Arlington, was the tasteful, somewhat understated and even egalitarian approach by the caretakers to those burial sites.

But that was before the presidential wars of the 21st Century and the need to glorify the whole idea of those who served in the military.   Suddenly, post-9-11 a surprisingly large piece of the population was singing the song of the spanking new fad, “Thank you for your service!”    Pretending all those who served were heroes, had dodged bullets of some enemy who wished only to rob us of our freedoms.   We veterans ‘fought’ for the freedoms, rights, something else ambiguous, courageous, praiseworthy.   Although it’s between wars and the fad is declining somewhat, it’s still out there to a limited degree, waiting for the need that will come from the next presidential war to spark public outrage against some group politicians declare are enemies and need killing.

But I’ve digressed.    What I was going to write about are the signs that have appeared during the past couple of decades in the National Cemeteries.    It wasn’t enough to have the public beating the drums and parroting thankyouverymuch to veterans.   Some bright light in the National Cemetery management system decided to make us all Chargers of the Light Brigade by hindsight.

Evidently they couldn’t find any 20th Century poets who expressed mawkish enough sentiments to satisfy their needs.    So they rode their lofty mounts back to the times between the Mexican War and the Civil War to Theodore O’Hara and his poem, The Bivouac of the Dead.    And they sure as hell found a level of absurdity and theater there to bring the 90% of the dead vets who never saw a day of combat right up there with fixed bayonets and bloody comrades.

So, even though VA hospitals across the country appear to have a lot of difficulty providing services to veterans legally eligible to receive health care services and the historical buildings are falling apart, the residue of synthetic heroism still resides across the hill in the graveyard,  The National Cemetery managed to afford somewhere between 10,000 and 38,000 Christmas wreaths made of real pine to place on those stones.

National Cemetery background

National Cemetery Christmas

But at least they didn’t allow the affluent mothers of young men killed in the last couple of presidential wars to put their helmet-bayonet-fixed-rifle-and combat-boot memorials in the National Cemetery.    Nope, they made them put those up by the front gate to the Medical Center.

Levenworth med entrance6

There are seven of those up there to ponder, along with a couple of empty block of granite in place for more if the moms and pops lose one and want to remember their son in such a way.

We Americans are such patriots, we are.

Thanks for the visit..

Old Jules

 

 

 

If they wanted good health care they should have dodged the draft and gone to Canada

When I wrote this I was probably still carrying some bitterness about what happened to me when I tried to get diagnosed through the VA in Odessa/Big Spring and instead became one of the types of experiences that got a lot of terrible publicity for the Veterans Administration.

But the horror stories are still widespread, though no longer so pervasive. Living here and being over at the hospitals so frequently, I still listen to more of it than is right and proper for those legally mandated to provide health care for veterans.

So by golly, I’m reblogging this one.   To read the entire text….. 351 words that didn’t get on the reblog, you can click at the bottom where it says, “View original text 351 words.

 

So Far From Heaven

All over the US VA Hospitals/Medical Centers are under investigation for incompetence, waste, negligence, malfeasance and misfeasance, brutality and being a cruel farce.  Turns out the San Antonio VA Medical Center is under investigation for precisely the same [failure to treat patients in a timely manner] reasons I entered a private hospital in Kerrville, Texas in January after several weeks of non-treatment and non-diagnosis at the VA Odessa and Big Spring VA Medical facilities during November and December, 2013 All over the US VA Hospitals/Medical Centers are under investigation for incompetence, waste, negligence, malfeasance and misfeasance, brutality and being a cruel farce. Turns out the San Antonio VA Medical Center is under investigation for precisely the same [failure to treat patients in a timely manner] reasons I entered a private hospital in Kerrville, Texas in January after several weeks of non-treatment and non-diagnosis at the VA Odessa and Big Spring VA Medical facilities during November and December, 2013 Current VA Hospital investigation news videos:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0LEVw85nG5TSFYAZTdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0a3VnZmkwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1NNRTQ4NV8x?p=VA+hospital+investigation

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’ve said before I don’t believe the US government owes veterans good health care for the remainder of our lives as an ethical matter.  Merely a legal one.

We don’t particularly deserve it any more than Native Americans deserve cradle to grave health, dental and eye care because they happen to be descendants of aboriginals.  Merely…

View original post 351 more words

Back when the world was young

Lake Jeanette Soldiers Home Leavenworth, KSOriginal Hospital and LakeHere are a couple of historic postcards showing how this place looked sometime between 1895 and 1933 when the original hospital was torn down.   Those trees are either larger, or many have died and their remains stick up here and there from the lake like swords hoping for a King Arthur.

There used to be a group of ‘Christian Indians’ located here before the decision to build a soldiers home here.   But [according to the official history] they ‘left’.   They were called the Muncies.

So when the old hospital was torn down in 1933 and they began excavating to build something else on the location they discovered a number of graves containing Muncie Indians.   I suppose they pondered a while before deciding to bury them in a mass grave in the National Cemetery a quarter-mile away from here.    It’s the only mass grave in that cemetery, so you could say those Muncies got special treatment.

I’ll be posting more about the various buildings, the cemetery, the ghost stories and the current population of old vets here.    But first I wanted to convey that there really is a bit of a saga ……. it’s just not quite what a person might expect.

Thanks for the read.

Old Jules

Moved on to the next adventure

Hi readers.    It’s been a longish while.   So much has changed in my life I’m not even certain I’m the same man who wrote all those other entries ……   Chickens?   We don’t got no cheekens.

I’m living these days in Leavenworth, Kansas.    The house I live in is just to the left of that lake you see in the photo.    Been here just over a year living on the Leavenworth VA campus.    I’m in an apartment, one of four, in an old 1890s vintage house built for the staff serving the original VA hospital here.

The lake, interestingly, was dug by old veterans of the late 1800s for the clay used to make bricks for the hospital when it was going up.

The bricks the house is built of are from the same clay pit now named Lake Jeanette.

I suppose I’m likely to tell you a lot more about Leavenworth, Kansas and this aging VA campus over time.    But for now I just want to break the ice and say, maybe I’m back for a while.

Thanks for coming along.

Old Jules

 

Do not plug in this USB connector

Seems to me that's asking for it.  I did manage to resist the temptation, but it was difficult.

Seems to me that’s asking for it. I did manage to resist the temptation, but it was difficult.

Hi Readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

When FEDEX delivered this package I examined it with considerable awe.  Here’s a device with no instructions, nothing to indicate what it is, nor why the VA had St. Judes send it to me.

It's evidently intended to be plugged into an electric Coleman camp stove.  The camp stove wasn't included in the package.

It’s evidently intended to be plugged into an electric Coleman camp stove. The camp stove wasn’t included in the package.

However, I eventually got replies from my enquiries to the KCVA about why it was sent.  Seems the camp stove should be arriving sometime soon, and that on May 27 I should take it along with me to an appointment with a VA cardiologist specialist and all will be explained.

Until then I’m still doing all my cooking on Jeanne’s electric range.

Old Jules

If they wanted good health care they should have dodged the draft and gone to Canada

All over the US VA Hospitals/Medical Centers are under investigation for incompetence, waste, negligence, malfeasance and misfeasance, brutality and being a cruel farce.  Turns out the San Antonio VA Medical Center is under investigation for precisely the same [failure to treat patients in a timely manner] reasons I entered a private hospital in Kerrville, Texas in January after several weeks of non-treatment and non-diagnosis at the VA Odessa and Big Spring VA Medical facilities during November and December, 2013

All over the US VA Hospitals/Medical Centers are under investigation for incompetence, waste, negligence, malfeasance and misfeasance, brutality and being a cruel farce. Turns out the San Antonio VA Medical Center is under investigation for precisely the same [failure to treat patients in a timely manner] reasons I entered a private hospital in Kerrville, Texas in January after several weeks of non-treatment and non-diagnosis at the VA Odessa and Big Spring VA Medical facilities during November and December, 2013

Current VA Hospital investigation news videos:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0LEVw85nG5TSFYAZTdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0a3VnZmkwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1NNRTQ4NV8x?p=VA+hospital+investigation

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’ve said before I don’t believe the US government owes veterans good health care for the remainder of our lives as an ethical matter.  Merely a legal one.

We don’t particularly deserve it any more than Native Americans deserve cradle to grave health, dental and eye care because they happen to be descendants of aboriginals.  Merely something required by law.  Same as the VA.  They’re no more deserving than veterans, Wall Street bankers, CEOs of Multi-National Corporations, Congressmen and US Senators, or people living down in the war zones of slums getting their asses shot off in driveby shootings and their kids getting HIV from dirty needles.

Fact is, the US used to have wars people could understand and they needed to be able to draft young men to fight in them.  Forcing the Confederate States to come back into the Union and offer up their sons to fight in Cuba and Puerto Rico [Spanish American War],  the various Indian Wars acquiring Arizona, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, and WWI [the BIG Mystery], along with WWII and various Asian Police Action debacles required incentives and salesmanship.

Out of the need for incentives for young guys to be discommoded in foreign lands for the benefit of big business and old men who liked parades grew the VA hospitals.  And when military conscription went away at the end of the Vietnam War and the US began using a force volunteers, the need for the huge infrastructure gradually aged along with draft era vets.

Today we’d probably be better off moving the entire Indian Health Care System [run by the US Public Health Service] into those VA facilities so they wouldn’t be getting any better care than Veterans.  That would take up the slack for a while, until this whole health care issue in the US gets sorted out.

It ain’t that anyone deserves any better health care than anyone else, no matter how much money they make, don’t make, or what they’ve done with their lives.  It’s whether whatever health care anyone gets is what it claimed to be out where these claims are made when people are deciding what they want to do about their health issues.

Today the VA appears to be a cruel farce.  I’m glad I’m eligible to make use of it, but a nice disclaimer on the front above the door might be appropriate:

ABANDON HOPE ALL WHO ENTER HERE

Old Jules