NEWS FROM THE VA: Vets should be made aware of the changes that are being made

Veterans Administration facility at Togus. (Internet photo)

by Gary Kennedy

Well, it seems most of our veterans have received the vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer were the vaccines used. It seems all reacted well to both shots. In most cases the significant other had to wait a bit but all in all it was accomplished. Supposedly VA is in phase 3 of the shut down. I have been told that during this phase physical therapy should reopen. Most of we vets have noticed it has become very difficult to go inside of the VA. I for one believe that this is part of the master plan. VA is being transformed into a different place than what we old timers are use to. When you walk through the doors you are met with, “What brings you here today”? An appointment is what they are looking for. Under Director Ryan Lilly’s watch security and restriction seems to have become necessary and it seems to have been planned out very well. You don’t see this in Jamaica Plains or Boston. Time to speak with President Biden.

There are four booths for processing inside Building 200 and two at Building 205. There you are still screened for Covid and questioned regarding your purpose for being there. When you see all the great things that are being given the vets it would lead one to believe all is good. I noticed that Covid has been addressed and as the last shots were given the construction trucks started rolling in. They are now blocking things in and tearing up the road. Some vets notice and worry about the restriction. VA doesn’t share what they are doing with the vets. I firmly believe the vets should be made aware about the changes that are being made for their sake. VA is sacred ground for many veterans who have depended on it as a life line. Some vets have nervous disorder such as PTSD and change can upset them. Only trained, loving eyes would realize this. During this Covid ordeal many changes have been conveniently implemented. Perhaps some will turn out OK.

One of the big concerns has been the violation of the “Duck Habitat” next to the new hospitality house. We counted as many as 100 geese feeding on the rich habitat pond. The Canada Geese have felt so secure there that they have decided to nest. So far we have counted a dozen chicks. It is a wonderful place but it is getting very crowded. There have been some complaints made to the state but there seems to be no response. Still more construction goes on around the pond. With 500 acres you would think the imagination of the Lilly’s team could spread out a little. It takes more than brick and mortar to comfort the sick, wounded and weary. Some people don’t see the big picture. They don’t get into the heads of those they are supposed to be serving.

Togus is a wildlife lover’s paradise and that all adds to the healing process. I for one love watching the deer frolic in the meadow in the evening hours. My wife and I park there and just relax and watch. The folks who bring loved ones to have procedures stay in the hospitality houses and get to enjoy this beauty while waiting for their loved ones to be returned. Still not all is as great as Washington would have us believe.

During this pandemic veterans have been OK’d for outside doctors. This was always desired by vets, especially those living in remote areas. However, accepting this brought about teleconference VA appointments and has lightened the in-house load at VA. V.A. likes this procedure as it requires less time. I believe it will only last so long and the quality of the veterans care will deteriorate.

I spoke with a couple of doctors and found out VA was only paying between 35-51 percent of the billed accounts. At that reduced rate quality care will not last very long. Have a good week my friends and God bless.


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