I had to go to the VA clinic yesterday and as I looked around I was very saddened by what I saw. Nothing with the VA so don’t think I am about to start bashing the VA, it was the patients. I looked around and saw a few men that looked so demoralized and beaten, one was carrying oxygen, another just sat and stared and one who kept asking is daughter “is this the VA”. I couldn’t help but think how far these men have fallen (sorry ladies, there were no women in the clinic while I was there). At one time they were proud fighting men of our US Military and defenders of the constitution, and now they are shells.
Each time I go to the VA for checkups I see Veterans in similar situations. The one gentleman asked his daughter many times over and over “is this the VA?” and you could tell she was frustrated but I couldn’t help but wonder how proud and strong they may have been in the past? She seemed like a nice lady taking things in stride but I know it had to be hard seeing her father in this deteriorated state of mind. I could tell he got a little frustrated as a couple of times he actually asked if he already asked her a certain question only to ask that same question a couple min later.
I know people in the civilian world go through similar things but I can relate to the military people so it kind of hits home a bit more with me. I remember the comradery that I had with many of my fellow military personnel, the places we went, the things we did, the food we ate etc. These were some of the best times of my life and I wonder if they had similar times? I am sure many of them did. Even if they had never been in combat most grow bonds with other members that will always be there, some stronger than others, but still, the bonds are there.
People that have never served will never understand the thrill of defending the country, the honor, the passion and the pride that we all share when we serve. Everyone can be proud of their careers but when you raise that right hand to support and defend, I tell you, there is nothing like it in any other walk of life. I know the men and women I see in the VA clinics are still proud to have served and I am sure many would do it again, it is just a proud heritage that less than 1% of our population shares. It just saddens me to see how men and women who once stood so proud defending the Red, White and Blue have been reduced to the situations they now struggle with in their lives.