Veterans deserve VA facilities to help, not hurt health needs | Editorial

It’s a sad commentary that as we note the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, our country is caught up in the scandal involving our Veteran’s Administration hospitals.

  • Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:27pm
  • Opinion

It’s a sad commentary that as we note the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, our country is caught up in the scandal involving our Veteran’s Administration hospitals.

Veterans, in World War II and other wars that followed, put their lives on the line for our country. Now we learn that many of those veterans, whose lives were shattered in combat, are suffering again as they wait for care in VA facilities.

It is unacceptable that this has happened. It would be unconscionable if we do not fix the problem — now.

On our Opinion page today, Jeffrey Howard of Redmond tells of joining the Marines at age 17 and serving in Vietnam. He was sent home after 15 months with a spine that had a permanent curvature from carrying the weight of a 46-pound mortar on his back. He tells of having numerous surgeries but, as he puts it, “won’t go near a VA facility.”

Who can blame him after hearing stories like his from all around the country.

We need to stop here for a moment to acknowledge that there are many physicians and other employees of VA hospitals and facilities who are dedicated in their care for our veterans. And many veterans do get prompt and quality care when they need it.

Nevertheless, too many stories have been surfacing that some officials game and skew the system to make themselves look good, all while veterans suffer.

Without question, the VA system is massive: 80 million outpatient visits a year at 1,700 VA clinics and hospitals. However, that can’t be an excuse when someone’s health — or life — is on the line.

Documents reportedly show that the VA has known since 2008 that employees were manipulating the scheduling system. Today, it’s obvious that little or nothing has been done to change that. It’s time to fix the system.

— Craig Groshart, Issaquah & Sammamish Reporter


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Robert Whale can be reached at rwhale@soundpublishing.com.
Here’s a theory on why people embrace all those crazy theories | Whale’s Tales

Not so long ago, one could have called me a dyed-in-the-wool, hard-core… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Police misconduct is getting expensive for taxpayers | Roegner

More cities and counties are avoiding trials and settling with the families… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray’s research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India. She is a resident of Kirkland.
Changing tides: Learning and training in the Metaverse

The Indian Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, pushed the colonial classroom outdoors in… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Here’s how we foot the bill for reducing wildfires in WA | Brunell

Thinning public woodlands to remove millions of dead trees is a way… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Did we end the mask mandate too soon in WA? | Roegner

Philadelphia recently became the first U.S. city to reinstate its indoor mask… Continue reading

Most Read