A Disabled Veteran’s Need….

~By The SL Parade’s Own Dolly Warden~
This story is about a US Army veteran named Jim.  He is like many other US veterans who rely on the VA medical center for his health needs.  The sad thing is, I don’t think he is going to live very long.  I believe he could be the next statistic of loss and neglect via the VA Medical system.
Why?  Well, just last year I remember him going for walks.  I would see him as I drove by, and I would wave hello. Then I didn’t see him walking anymore, so I inquired about it and found out that he may or may not have had a stroke.
If you saw this homeless veteran on the street, would you help him? How, and in what way would YOU help?

He was supposed to have an MRI to determine what went wrong, but the VA medical Center bus never showed up for his first appointment, and he is unable to drive.  The next time he had an appointment, the doctor cancelled it for personal reasons.  Another appointment has not been made since. It has been a few months now.

In the meantime, we can see Jim getting worse, and he is suffering from depression as well.  He has not been given any treatment or cause for his illness.  His neighbors and fellow church members have been helping him.  I do some of his grocery shopping for him myself.  He tries hard to adapt to his handicap way of life, as he is a man of pride, but the VA medical system is so overwhelmed that he seems to be forgotten. This is but one of many stories I can tell.
I have spoken to a few of the doctors at VA, and I get the same story.   They have to care for an extremely large amount of patients in a ridiculously short amount of time. They need more doctors and nurses, and funding.  Some have resorted to other means to try to compensate for lack of time.  A couple of them call patients on the phone to triage them.  They complain about having too many patients.
Think on this: It is veterans like Jim that help make the world see the United States in the way this mural describes…
I wish I had the answers.  I don’t!  But I do not want to sit idly by either, and not say anything.  So I wrote this down for all of you; for anyone it may inspire who can make a difference.  I will continue to help him with his mail and his groceries, and anything else I can do.  I am a 100% disabled veteran myself, just trying to help another.  I have fallen through the cracks a few times myself.  So if you find yourself in a position to help a veteran, please do so.  I would really like to see Jim get better, but he is going downhill fast.
If you, or someone you know is a Veteran and needs any kind of assistance, please contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273- 8255.  Be sure to Press 1 once you are connected and instructed to do so.  You can also get help by using the Veterans Chat to get online support anonymously , or by sending a text message to 838255.

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