Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Supporting our troops

More on our guys over there. Via dirtgrain, this interview from an "unknown solder" in Iraq.
    What’s it like being a medical corpsman?

    I’m thinking about a 19-year-old who was on my table. This guy could have been your next door neighbor. Smart kid, excited kid. But his life as he knew it was basically over. His legs were gone. It’s hard for these soldiers to believe. I’ve seen lots of people with severe, permanent injuries. They’re going to need a lot of help when they get back home, because their lives are going to change forever. And to have the guy [President Bush] cutting billions from the VA [Veterans Administration] budget, at a time when you’ve got all those guys coming back from overseas with major injuries, that’s disgusting! That hurts every person who ever served this country. I don’t understand how someone can stand up and say, “I’m pro-military,” when you want to cut $16 billion from the VA and close VA hospitals.

    We’re going to need those hospitals. The veterans are going to need medical help and psychological training. They’re not going to be able to walk out of that environment and just go back to their normal jobs. They’re going to need therapy, they’re going to need help. And where do you go to get that help? You go to the VA. If there’s no VA, where do you go? We don’t have insurance. The military doesn’t provide health insurance for you after you leave the military. So they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    What do they do? How are they going to get the medical attention they need if the VA hospital is closed down? Some of these guys may be traveling 100 to 200 miles to get to the nearest VA. They’re going to have a real rough life when they get back.
Some guys (and gals) do travel that much to get to the nearest VA in some places around the nation. And they aren't guaranteed good medical care at that. Boggles the mind to think our fearless leader is 'pro-military'.