The 3rd Rail

Welfare, aka “The 3rd Rail” has been described as a death trap for any politician. Probably the same for any poor blogger that approaches the subject. So, with that in mind, I am finding the highest voltage 3rd rail available to step on.

What brought up the subject is this inflammatory headline

A Third of Veterans Waiting for VA Help Have Died*

The intent is to show how horrible the neglect for veterans by the VA. And, in many, many situations, they have let our Veterans who really, really needed them languish and die. May those responsible burn in Hell.

But, if I may, before passing final sentence on the VA, ask: Is the VA responsible for every veteran that ever served with or without service connected disabilities, or is it there to first serve those wounded in battle needing extended care, and 2nd help veterans that have other service connected problems with no other recourse, followed by the rest requesting help? Is this an unreasonable question or not?

I am a Vietnam-era veteran. I served in the swamps of Vietnam, put up with bugs, filth, being shot at any given time of the day or night, working 14 hours a day for an average of 18-21 days at a stretch with no breaks, exposed to Agent Orange, of course, and bringing home a bad case tinnitus coupled with more or less 50% hearing loss and fungus infection that has stayed regardless of treatment rendered. I worked as a com center specialist, so had it pretty good compared to guys in the field. When I got back, there was no help. I came home, got a job and paid for group insurance. That worked for 25-30 years. Never had to contact the VA, and did not want to because other Veterans who were less fortunate than I needed those benefits.

Come age 55, starting my own business primarily due to age discrimination, no insurance and developing health problems. My wife had been after me to get some health care. I had no where to turn, starting a business meant I had “worth” that exceeded any levels for medicaid or most charity. A friend convinced me to go to the VA for help. I explained the situation, filled out the forms. Almost immediately upon income verifications, I got the help I needed. No waiting, no run around, and found a lot of people really concerned about “my” situation.

A trip to the VA does cause consternation because I see so many in such great need, but at the same time, I see “disabled” veterans who use valet parking for their Lexus SUV so that they do not have to walk or take a bus from a distant parking area. They seem to be only handicapped by the need to drive expensive vehicles and not perspire in their expensive clothes. Do they need help? Are they the ones waiting in line who almost died waiting for help? They are not the ones driving salvage-grade vehicles, struggling with walkers and wheelchairs who parked in the parking lot and struggled to get to their appointment because someone else might need more help than they.

Now, here comes the high-voltage rebuke. Congress, in their numb-nut stupidity, have declared that everyone who ever joined the service to get the educational, housing and other income benefits coming to service personnel, never be turned away.  No means testing, no needs testing. Just “free health care for all”, the same mantra POTUS is spouting to the welfare recipients. “YOU ARE ENTITLED”

I think not. I think those who can afford the healthcare should pay for it. I think the VA should be there as they were there for me when I needed them.

That’s the way I see it. Okay?? So take me out and shoot me


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