VETERANS CORNER: Clarifying veterans’ dissolutionment and confusion with VA shutdown

by Gary Kennedy

So many veterans are dissolutioned and confused by the VA being shutdown. For vets VA is a safe haven, a place that gives feelings of security. My phone and computer are active all the time. I have a relationship with vets not only here but in Asia as well. We have VA facilities in both places and more. In Asia American holidays and shutdowns are in force but also in other countries VA celebrates their holidays and shutdown rules as well as their own. That gives big gaps in service and we still pay for it.

I will just address home as most of the VA related rules both medical and administrative are basically the same. The big difference that I would answer here is, if getting medical service in a foreign country you can still go outside the VA system if you are service connected for the problem. However, make sure your condition is a service connected condition and that you go to a facility that accepts VA patients.

VA would have a contract with them and you would not have to pay out if pocket. If you are in a remote area where VA isn’t covered you will need to pay up front and file for reimbursement. Make sure you know the rules. In some cases you need to be a 100 percent Service Connected Disabled Veteran. Clarity is key here so check with the local VA system or check with “My Healthy Vet” on your computer or smart phone.

VA here at Togus is still seeing some patients but the rule of thumb is, if you are given an unacceptable wait time then you can insist on being farmed out. We are now dealing with a double edged sword in many cases. We received this benefit originally because of having to travel long distances and/or long wait times. Now however, some of us here have to travel great distances for our new outside appointments. I, for one, has recently been given an eye specialist appointment with choices of Fairfield or Portland. The research I will do on this one will be; if we have such a large eye department at Togus and our doctors are working anyway, why don’t we just make specific strict time appointments at VA? All the protocols could be met with no problem from the front entrance.

I was at the VA yesterday and everyone was on conference calls. The U.S. government is saying how wonderful they are treating us but we don’t have any input and we are the reason they have a job. Salaries at Togus are in the millions. There should be some veteran interplay in the process. I believe we would feel better and the administration would have some input from the veteran’s perspective. Right now I really don’t know how long the government can sustain this practice they have put in place, from a financial point of view. We still have all the doctors at VA and now we also have “Veteran’s Choice”. How deep are the government pockets?

Actually, I see very little good happening at this time. Our country is spending money we don’t have, we are under attack by Covid-19, a Chinese concocted virus which has killed millions. Our veterans in nursing homes are suffering and dying, yet we are being told that we are getting great treatment while at the same time our pensions are as weak as is our social security. At the same time we are praying for a fast cure to this pandemic. The government as well as some of the people don’t seem to realize how vulnerable the elder veterans are. Some give up and some go in hiding.

We are watching our country, that made us veterans, be desecrated by radicals from within. It’s a political year and the politicians are worried about what to do without upsetting the apple cart. The #1 program on TV as of late has been the battle of the news companies. It has been so sad to see the desecration of our flag, monuments, buildings, ships, and forts and in general, our way of life. All that we have fought to protect is being torn down and now we are too old to help stop it. Does anyone out there really know how hurt, angry we are? The fact of the matter is most of this is being caused by people we have allowed to call this country home, legally and illegally. (Not born here). Our two political parties are at a stalemate and we can’t get anything done. Other countries are either laughing at us or feeling sorry for us. If we aren’t careful we will be speaking another language soon.

My personal pain goes to my children and grandchildren. When I am in the South Pacific, I hear some terrible things. It always seems that no one cares until it is too late and they have to wear the yoke. Has anyone paid attention to the fact that in the past three months gun sales have increased some 300 percent. I watched a TV program the other night and a gun store had only one rifle left on the wall and no ammunition. That’s scary. Are they to shoot each other or are we preparing for war? The public doesn’t realize how this all affects our nation’s veterans. We are terrified and angry at the same time. Remember the song, “You don’t believe we’re on the Eve of Destruction.” If you are too young to know it, you should pull it up on your computer.

Back in President John Kennedy’s era the statement was made, “we’ll take them from within,” referring to the U.S.A. That statement was originally coined by Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev after Kennedy found the Russian missiles down in Cuba. I would ask the readers; what do you think he meant by that? (Inference to our power grid, our food supply, germ infection, etc.) Think about this. Are Americans aware that the Chinese have bought into some of this in our country? Hannaford just stopped buying a brand of pork products owned by China. I think it was Smithfield ham and pork products. Ask your store manager.

When I am in Asia I hear many negative things and the one I have just mentioned is still very much alive. In Maine, we don’t have as big a problem as is shown in other places, especially big cities, of the U.S.A. So when you are thinking of the state of affairs and especially the treatment of veterans, remember how and why they exist as such. Everything we love and enjoy is because of them and always has been and probably always will be. Most of us have lost some one defending us and this country we love. Don’t let those who live among us destroy that. You know, we all know, who and what they are. If you don’t love this country and the time proven Declaration of Independence, as well as the Constitution of the U.S.A., then I guess you don’t belong here. Some people have actually said, “America has never been any good.” This should break your heart and it does to many veterans. If you’re about what you had and what you now have, we really shouldn’t be having this conversation. Some people just like trouble and sick attention.

Having any health problems, you can reach your primary care provider by dialing 207-623-8411 and when you get the recording press “0” and tell the operator who you would like to speak with and their representative will set you up. (Secret) Hope you had a great 4th of July and remembered your veterans.

God Bless you and God Bless America.


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