VA Clinic

I’m taking a veteran down to Scottsbluff to the Veterans Administration Clinic Wednesday morning. I do this occasionally, as you who read my blog regularly know, a part of my volunteer work through RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program). It is an easy thing for me to do. It is something I can do. It is something I want to do!

The trip is a short one. We’ll leave a bit before 7:00 AM, and most likely be back home before 10 AM. My cats needn’t worry about supper!

This particular volunteer activity is one I feel the Veterans Administration, the US Government have a moral obligation to do but don’t, all in the name of saving money. More about that later.

There used to be a clinic in town. There is a bus to take people to the VA hospitals and clinics that serve this part of Nebraska but they are dependent of having a driver or a full day to devote to the activity. I am a time saver for the people I drive to appointments. When you get to a certain age, time’s at a premium. Let’s be blunt about it. Between riding and waiting to get in for an appointment, lots of time’s consumed in a way that saves the US Government (you and me, the taxpayers) money. Paul Ryan must be proud.

On the other hand, the people I take to these appointments served in war zones, gave up their youth being shot at, sometimes were wounded if not emotionally scarred. What the hell is a little money to you, me, and the money scrimpers in Congress when we’re talking about people like that? I guarantee your Congressman gets better treatment than that. So does your Senator. Yet very few of them ever served in the military, let alone stood in the firing line in a war zone, have to deal with a prosthesis, go to bed and not sleep because they can’t forget the terrors their country had no problem tossing them into.

I think it is a disgrace. Let me restate that:


Oh yeah, Congress. I spend my own money driving these people. If I can’t convince them not to give me money, I donate that money in their name to the Sallows Military Museum. Not because I’m rich. Not because I’m wonderful. But because we owe our veterans more than you are willing to pay. Let me spend my retirement money to do the morally right thing. You haven’t the integrity to appropriate adequate taxpayer money to do the same on a national scale.

9 thoughts on “VA Clinic

    • It’s a family tradition. I’m not as active as my mother and father were, but I believe in giving back to the community where I can.

      In my case, the military museum, taking veterans to appointments, and church-related activities have made up most of my volunteer activities in the last half year. In past, I’ve helped with BINGO at the nearby care center.

      Once my mother died, though, I’ve found going there a bit… well, I’m not quite ready. I think I’m getting back to the place where I can start helping there again, though. Perhaps when the weather cools down.

  1. I think you are Rich in wisdom and Wonderful in spirit and practice. Thank you for the good that you do for Veterans. And I think it should be a requirement that ALL politicians have time-served, military experience. JMHO. Woof!

    • I think they should have military service, too. It’s a lot easier to send people off to war if you haven’t experienced it, I think.

      Thank you, too, for your comment. I am bristly about some topics, and this (clearly!) is one that truly pushes my buttons. I help people this way because I can, but I also think the people who run this country are bankrupt morally when they can’t see that the cost of helping veterans post service is part of the price this country must pay if we are going to take on these little foreign adventures.

      If we aren’t willing, as a country, to pay that price, then what the hell are we doing contemplating some sort of Syrian action or getting involved in situations like the longest war in our history in Afghanistan, etc.? Grr!

    • That seems to be a problem. Though I am a veteran, I was fortunate not to experience a war (even though I served during the Vietnam era). I don’t use the VA, though I am eligible for some benefits, I guess. God knows that’d make me a “taker” in the view of certain US politicians if I did use those benefits! For those people who did serve in war, though, I think they should get exceptional care and access to whatever they need to put life back together.

      • I visited VA Administration in January to determine if they provided information on veteran’s preference or placement in hiring as well as other benefits available to veterans. I am a veteran and my husband was a Vietnam-era veteran. I was told that I have no benefits of any kind for my service as a veteran and was given an application for widow’s pension based on my husband’s service. I begrudgingly completed the form but expect the application to be denied when it is finally reviewed (I get a letter once a month apologizing for the delay but the application will be reviewed at some later date – to be determined by the VA.) I was embarrassed to submit the application because i just really wanted advice on employment.

        I think I feel the way you do about using the benefits. There is so much negativity towards spending money on veterans – from politicians and fellow citizens. I felt bad about filing for unemployment for the first time in my life just last year. People who have what they need – don’t care much for those who are down on their luck and need temporary assistance.

      • I find those people vile and small-minded. If they didn’t serve in the military on top of it, I find them contemptible. Having spent lots of time in recent years dealing with state and federal bureaucracies on my elderly parents’ behalf, I note that any small benefits gained are at the cost of dignity and self-worth. Anyone who feels people who use benefits are somehow inferior can go to hell, frankly. They need a chance to experience what their parsimonious a-hole political leaders (who have sweet benefits they vote themselves) want to do to the poor, the disadvantaged, the people without a safety net.

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