The VA wants me dead, do you?
I hate writing about the VA, I really do. Unfortunately because I live here in the US where we think it’s our right to die from disease and have ludicrous amounts of medical debt for a sprained ankle, it’s a conversation we should have. Hello America, I served my country and now my country wants me dead. I sincerely wish I was exaggerating. Please hold your, “thank you for your service” for the end that way I can tell you to go fuck yourself. Let me explain…
I signed up to fight for my country as a member of the lower-lower class because I saw it as a way to do something with my life, but more importantly I saw it as a way to rise above my birth circumstances. It wasn’t a completely selfless choice, but no choice is completely selfless, ever. I can admit to this. I can also admit that I knew there was a chance I would get hurt or even die. I went in knowing this and I accepted this, so here I am dealing with the consequences of those choices. I understand all of that.
What I didn’t know and learned shortly after I got out was that the only good service member is a dead one. The living ones cause too much trouble, you can’t spin a hero story with the person still alive, it just doesn’t work. However, they can’t kill us all, so they gave us benefits upon our return to civilian life to show us they (the government) care. What I didn’t understand when I enlisted was that while the government can’t get all of us service members killed, they can fix the mistake after the fact.
The VA healthcare system is overburdened, underfunded, understaffed, underqualified, and frankly if you were at the bottom of your medical school class, graduated out of sheer luck, and are borderline incompetent the VA has a job for you! It isn’t that everyone who works at the VA is uncaring, far from it in fact. It’s just that everyone who is good at what they do will eventually leave the VA for better work, better pay, and better treatment.
I’ve said this before, but the VA is just a slow moving slaughterhouse. I guess that makes me cattle, moo motherfucker. The VA is a way for the government to wash their hands of those of us who didn’t have the decency to die in combat so they could justify handing out guns to children and giving tax breaks to the wealthy. I wish I was being dramatic, but the fact of the matter is the VA is crumbling under its own weight in normal times and when it’s at its “best.”
“…the VA is just a slow moving slaughterhouse. I guess that makes me cattle, moo motherfucker.”
In the age of the coronavirus I dare say these are not ordinary times. Even regular healthcare is falling apart because they too lack the funding from the government needed to properly operate. The difference is that the VA has been falling apart and lacked proper equipment well before this happened. Now veterans are getting sick and we are reaching a tipping point for the VA healthcare system.
You may or may not know this, but one of the mission statements of the VA was to take in civilians in the time of a crisis. I say was becuase when a crisis finally happened, the VA removed this from its mission statement. They couldn’t take care of the people they served in normal times, so this comes as no shock to those of us who routinely get care at the VA. For a civilian looking in, this might seem odd, but let me be perfectly clear about this. If I end up with the coronavirus, I will need to be on my deathbed before I go to the VA for care becuase I will live longer without them. I am more likely to die going to the VA than if I just try to survive the virus.
“If I end up with the coronavirus, I will need to be on my deathbed before I go to the VA for care because I will live longer without them.”
I wish I was being dramatic, but if you recall all the news stories about horrid care at the VA they are constant, like this story or there is this story, or this one, need I go on? This is just the very tip of the tip of the iceberg. As bad as the stories are that come out, it is a million times worse and the VA gets away with it because the average age of a veteran is over 65 years old. I don’t care that you feel the urge to thank me for my service when it’s just words.
All this to say, wash your hands, keep your distance, and don’t touch your face. Take this seriously. I wish I didn’t have to beg, but everywhere I look people aren’t giving a shit. I’ve never seen so many people okay with killing others because they don’t have to pull a fucking trigger. While the VA is okay with veterans dying en masse, I’m hoping that civilians are not. Please don’t prove me wrong, while I fight everyday with the voice in the background telling me to kill myself, I genuinely want to live.