Don’t compare VA to socialized medicine

Tue, 08/07/2007 - 4:06pm
By: Letters to the ...

Three columns under the Free Speech section of The Citizen is about two and half columns too many for another no-name, opinion-spouting, grand-standing chest beater. Although there were some worthy comments about socialized health care, don’t run down my VA to support your ranting. If you are that impassioned, put your name where your mouth is.

Every war has produced new challenges for the understaffed medical corps and every war has produced improved techniques of dealing with the challenges. The military will never be able to produce as many doctors and medical assistants as front line troops. It’s just not feasible. If you want more doctors as well as other trained technicians of any field, reinstate the draft. There are a lot young people who are not being taught discipline at home and need to get it somewhere.

While in Vietnam my wounds were not life-threatening and were addressed as competently as possible for the conditions. When I returned home I didn’t ask the VA for any help for almost 40 years, and then it was because my pension was threatened and my former employer reneged on the promise of health benefits. At that point I applied and received VA healthcare benefits.

My first trip to the VA Hospital on Clairmont Avenue, I expected a scene from “Born On The Fourth Of July,” but I was completely wrong. Everyone I came in contact with spoke the Queen’s English, was helpful, courteous and knowledgeable. Try getting the same service at South Fulton. I get follow-up calls and have never been turned down for an appointment.

I haven’t inspected all VA hospitals but I can’t help but think the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed were tolerated and ultimately caused by a poor administrator. Why else would he resign? He should be court-martialed and jailed for not insisting on better facilities and money for upgrades. There is a great demand on the services of VA hospitals, but we are at war and that is when the demand is greatest.

Don’t compare socialized medicine to the VA. The VA treats people who served their country. And the next time you feel the need to whine about waiting all day, remember there were over 52,000 less fortunate ones in Vietnam that never had that opportunity.

Socialized medicine is another give away/buy your vote program for those who want the government to take care of them. They don’t have enough common sense or initiative to help themselves. It’s easier to have the government protect them from themselves.

Mike Loyd

mloyd0767 (at)

Fayetteville, Ga.

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