The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

When I was a kid I was involved in a school project.  We made lanyards which we sent to those who were returning veterans from the Korean War (or Police Action if you prefer).  Our small school made and sent hundreds of these as Christmas presents to our returning soldiers, many of whom had been severely wounded and were being treated at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

I remember that all of us who volunteered (which incidentally was 100% of my class) felt really good about doing this.  We were too young to have a really clear understanding of all that was involved in the word “war” but we were told by our teachers that soldiers were people who fought and sometimes died to protect our country from its enemies.  The lanyards that we made were meant to show those who had fought and been wounded that we appreciated their sacrifices.

When I worked on my lanyards I remember that I wanted them to be perfect.  The amount of tension that I applied in twisting and braiding had to be precise because this was going to someone special – someone whom I did not know and would never meet.  I wanted to have as much pride in my work as they had shown in theirs.

Walter Reed Army Hospital is still a major source of treatment for those who have returned from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It treats many of those who are the most severely wounded – double and triple amputees.  The course of treatment, because of the severity of the injuries, sometimes takes two years or more.

Most of these soldiers are housed in Building 62 of the hospital and get their meals at the “Warrior Café” within that building.  But the café has been closed – due to “legal issues” and now these soldiers have to wheel themselves to the next closest eating facility – one half mile away in the complex.  A one mile round trip three times a day for people in a wheel chair or who have to walk there on prosthetic limbs.

After protests from the families of these soldier-patients about the burden this creates, the hospital administration, notwithstanding the “legal issues” surrounding the eating facility, have decided to reopen the café.  Good decision.

If this is the way we treat those who have made tremendous sacrifice for the country, what might the average person expect when government controls our healthcare?



  1. Good, i hadn’t heard that, although I see Fox is reporting it (unconfirmed) It had best be. Despicable group of bureaucrats.

    Of course part of the reason is that we have gotten so good at battlefield medicine (Thank God) that our wounded are wounded so catastrophically that in any other war in history they would have died.

    • It seems a bit incongruous to save them on the battlefield and treat them as refuse when we bring them home.

      • Very. I would attribute it to the difference between the operational people on the field and the bureaucrats at ‘Fort Fumble’.

      • I saw this years ago when I volunteered as a pianist for “The Veterans Bedside Network” at Hines V. A. Hospital in Illinois. The patients, some of whom were hooked up to IV’s had to wheel themselves and their gurneys with canes because this wasn’t a “budgeted activity.” It used to take me a week to get over my feeling of depression – and then we were back a week later to do it all over again.

        We only spent a couple of hours there. I cannot even imagine how that patients who were resident there must have felt.

      • Indeed. I’ve been in a couple (as a visitor) that appeared to have a particularly toxic combination of bureaucrat, and union help. One patient, a grizzled WW II NCO, told me they were only allowed to die on Tuesday between 1400 and 1600 because they had a volunteer to do the paper work.

        Not all are that bad, or bad at all, but there can be an easily detectable lack of caring, don’t rock the boat. I find that miasma intolerable, and very hard to penetrate.

        It’s why Obamacare scares me so much, as well.

      • Me, too. That’s why I wrote the piece I just posted.

      • i thought as much, and the stories coming out of the NHS are quite a lot worse than our VA. Scary times.

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