Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

A walk through Carl Hayden Veterans Hospital

My father, a WWII veteran, used the VA in Mississippi and Florida at the end of his life, here he is with two friends, one was a German POW who came to America and was a baker who loved this country, and raised a grateful family in upstate NY.

The huge and much criticized VA hospital in downtown Pheonix was bustling with activity. I found a lone parking spot and proceeded to try to find my son, there for observation following a car accident yesterday morning. I could not find anything resembling a help desk that was not related to patients waiting for service and finally asked a guard what to do. He pointed to a phone and told me it was for information. I listened to dial tones off and one for six minutes with no one answering. The guard told me to go to emergency, and I missed my son by six minutes as he was being transferred to another facility.

Observation...I saw an ocean of struggling, sick, poor, and wounded humanity seeking help in a facility clearly overwhelmed by the aging, unhealthy, veteran population of this huge city. I also realized that if these people were made to pay for their care they would overwhelm the system.

I also realized that most of my life has been lived in the suburbs, surrounded by wealth, priviledge and opportunity. This sight was overwhelmingly sad to me, realizing that it takes place every day of every year.

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