On this Memorial Day, I begin by expressing my sincerest gratitudes for those members of our armed forces who have paid for our liberties with their lives. From the beginning days of our nation’s history until today, we have asked men and women to lay down their lives. They deserve our highest honor.
Several days a week I am at the VA Medical Center in my area. I often see veterans who are without limbs and with other injuries with which they have lived. They also deserve honor.
I grew up in the military environment. My father was a career member of the Air Force. My older brother also served in the Air Force. Both of them went to war in Vietnam. My son served in the Army Reserves. He was called into duty in both Bosnia and in Iraq. Finally, I served in the Army during peace time.
In recent days, the VA Healthcare system has had negative spotlights shined upon them. Our Commander-In-Chief is madder than a hornet. And he should be. The problems that have been made public should not happen in any setting let alone in service to men and women who have bravely served our nation.
After decades of receiving my medical care from the private sector, I entered into the VA Healthcare system this January. I am a diabetic who has suffered from four heart attacks. Along with other maladies, my physical makeup has been a mess. In 2013 one heart attack ended with open heart surgery. The bills from that incident raced above the half a million dollars mark. I am grateful for the care I received.
But in terms of medical care, what I received in the private sector has not compared well to the care I have received in the VA system. God has surely blessed me by getting me hooked up with the VA. So with changes apparently necessary in some aspects of the system, I have nothing but the highest praise for those who are charged with my care.
It would be difficult to even count the number of people who have been involved in my care. I have received excellent service from my primary care physician, cardiologists, pulmonary physician, pharmacologist, cardiac rehab techs, lab techs, various other techs, dietitians, counselors, educators and especially the nurses. Even the office staffs have been fantastic.
I have been thanked for my service countless times. I have been monitored, treated, probed, poked and cared for in amazing fashion. I can walk into my local clinic or into the hospital areas and be greeted as a long lost friend. I have encountered my primary in the hallway while heading to an appointment with a specialist. She has greeted me with encouragement and updates on my latest numbers. Not knowing she would even see me, she has monitored my status. In the darkest days of my condition, she even shed tears of concern for me.
How vastly different this has been from the high priced cardiologist with the expensive suits and the flashy sports car. So count me as a veteran who is beyond grateful for those who are serving those who have served.