observations on life

The VA Owes Me Seven Years

My last year in grad school, I did an internship at a VA working with Vietnam Veterans with PTSD.  I loved the patients, who were wonderful, but working at the VA was a nightmare.  The staff were crazier than the patients, and the prime directive was to keep veterans from getting benefits.  A great deal of time was spent by staff covering their asses, protecting their turf, getting their untrue stories straight, stroking their egos, showing off, and promoting themselves at the expense of patients and interns.  It took me seven years to get over it.  Seven years to stop thinking about Vietnam every day, to stop thinking about the corruption and self-absorption of the staff, to stop being angry every time I thought about it, and to stop dreaming that I was a soldier in Vietnam.  I am not the same person I was before.  They took everything I was, and it took seven years to get even parts of it back.  And still now, 17 years later, I hate the staff I worked with for letting it happen.  Or more correctly, for causing it to happen.

Klicks clackers dusters sappers
16s 60s 81s

popping smoke hot LZ
screaming eagles FNG

AKs VC RPGs
ARVN SEATO DMZ

Airstrike gunship evac dustoff
Huey Cobra Jolly Puff

Tonkin Mekong Cam Rahn Bay
Dakto Kesahn Chu Lai Hue

Incoming overrunning
humping waiting splitting grass

rounds charges bouncing bettys
ambush recon claymores frags

Rolling Thunder Uncle Ho
Ponchos paddies RTO

Sweeps tunnels gooks vills
Missing wounded captures kills

 

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