Saturday, May 17, 2014

Remembering The Past

I am brought to a point where, A man who served his country, was revered.  Although I was raised through the Viet Nam Era, and served through the Post Viet Nam war era, I had served three years in the Air Force, during what was called "Post War" Vietnam Era.  I never say military action during the war in Vietnam.  I have however, conducted may interviews while in college, with War Time Vietnam Veterans, whom served in Country.

I recall tales, by Veterans whom served during the actual conflict, which was unjustly re-classified as a Policing Action, and not a war time consideration. (A travesty to say the least, as we lost a lot of good men and had many good people in the wake of injury; both mentally and physically.

Although I have served, in the era of the Vietnam conflict, I feel somewhat disgraced that I had not seen action, in what I consider to be amongst the most honorable of wars, conflicts and Policing actions, we as Americans have had the task of participating in.  I am often harboring a wealth of respect for those who had served during that conflict as well as the most recent conflicts in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

I also have been fighting another war, which was remnants of an action or series of actions, which had caused me to become disabled and functionally unable to pursue the career which helped me deal with the effects of my service to the United States, while in the Air Force.  Even if it was Peace-time, I feel like I have been fighting my battle for over 33 years, in silence and all alone.

Now, I am not going to go further into my service, my ailments, nor my woes alone; as the item of note, far extends beyond my needs, wants or situation alone.  However I will not a somewhat detailed summary of my situation, is documented in the archives of this blog; if you feel like taking some time to read the archived notes, and posts of my blog.

Recently, we have seen the Government show disgust in the Veteran's Administration of support, service and assistance, given to Veteran's of all Conflicts between the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts.   Supposedly, the military and the Obama Cabinet, has been bragging about services supposedly now available to current Military Veterans, as well as Veterans of prior military actions.

Now, my interests lie within the walls and confines of Military Sexual Assault, Military Rape, which is going unpunished or inadequately researched and reported over the years.  My blog is not to ignore the impact on Female Victims of Sexual Assault/Rape; however since there is a huge disparity in reporting of rape and sexual misconduct with male victims, in relation to those claims by women of Sexual misconduct. 

I departed the military in 1983.  I returned home, under questionable circumstances, and when I arrived, I paid a visit to the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Long Beach, CA.  I became all to  familiar with the delays for help and treatment, which were much worse than those reports by the government would have most believe.

Since I returned and since my time in various states, through out the United States, I have heard horror stories of time delays and deaths due to the Veteran's Administration's unwillingness to complete and pursue medical attention to those who were among the walking dead.  (I refer to the Walking Dead, to note more that there are people who are left with scars of war and peace time violence, who are not getting the assistance; thus causing them to suffer silently.)

Today, I heard that a head Administrator for the Veteran's Administration Health Care system, had tendered his resignation, based on allegations that he did not do enough to correct problems within the Veterans Administration and their handling of Claims for medical assistance and disability.

Back in the early 80's, I attended College to try and make a life for myself; after being beaten up while in the service of my country.  I was seeking out a finance degree, which I finally completed back in the 90's...  I was told two things and found at least one, to be true.

1.  If you wish to become wealthy, open a Church.

2. If you wish to get help, stay away from the Governmental Agencies to get you there. (later to find that the person who shared this one with me, was a Vietnam Veteran.)

Now, in current news headlines, I am seeing a man being forced to retire and tender his resignation, based on the Veteran's Administration, lack of ability to hire, maintain and serve Veterans ailments and medical needs. 

I have to say, that although it does not surprise me that our Government is dragging their heels in getting the health care system with in the Veteran's Administration, where it should be and would be deemed as acceptable.  What bothers me, in all of this mess that the Government is sweeping the Veteran's Administrations lack of utilizing trained personnel, to administer aid, medical assistance and medical mental health assistance to Veteran's who served our country.

Now some time ago, I would say about six or eight months ago, the Government held hearings and later handed out directives that such services be available to all victims of military based crimes; which were committed against military personnel by Military Personnel, Rape/Sexual Assault, and war time injuries with more vigor.

The problem is, that since I can recall the norm is not a norm for sexual abuse/ or sexual assault victims, nor adequate medical or mental health for War-Time sufferers of PTSD, is not even adequate.  Let's look at untrained or inadequately trained personnel, trying to help PTSD and medically challenging injuries.

I think my knowledge, as it relates to War Time Veterans suffering from injury to both mental and physical aspects of their bodies;  The Veteran's Administration has at minimum, discounted the importance of time, when addressing an issue.    Time is not on the Veteran's side, when seeking out help for what ever the ailment they suffer from

Now, in current time, the United States Government is holding accountable, a man who served his country, who is by all of my research a model soldier, who has been put into place as Head Administrator of the Veteran's Administration, accountable for past results (or lack thereof), within the Veteran's Administration.

Now, it has been my experience, that in any Governmental Agency, in any branch of Governmental body, or agency over-seen by the Federal Government, changes come every four or six years.  Now, you may disagree, but normally during a change of administration of a given entity, it takes the first four years for the newly appointed administrator to get a glimpse and idea of what needs to and can be changed.  It takes approximately the fifth or sixth year to get new policy in force and about the next two years to get the new policy to start becoming effective.  Even under Congressional and Senate over-sight, this has been historically the pattern that is followed and plays out.

Now, I am not necessarily a supporter of the new Administrator of the Veteran's Administration.  However, he is being used as a "Scape-Goat" for all the prior failures of service, on hand in regards to the VA's Medical and Mental Health services.

As of this moment, there are no specialists or services, to address Male sexual assault, or Male Sexual Rape Victimization.   As of this moment, the services that are being offered is based on the norm of "Male on Female" Sexual Assault and Sexual Rape cases.  However, it has been noted by the VA themselves and male Victims, that the programs that are in tact for Male on Male Sexual Assault is the same as the Male on Female programs.

It must be noted, that although either sex victimization is very serious; Male Sexual Assault and Male on Male Sexual Rape, can be more devastating than a Rape of  a female victim.   I wish not to discount the effects upon any Female whom has suffered the trauma of Sexual Assualt/Rape.  Please do not believe that is my opinion.

However, in contrast to the Female Rape Victim, the Male victim has primarily Egoistical issues and Social Psychological issues that come into play.  Sexual Identity, Sexual Preference questioning, Self Doubts, Depression based on the prior issues, to include some added insult to the Rape or attack, that would be suffered by the female.  These issues are societies pressures that are applied to men, as the stronger sex; which has been in existence since the "Caveman Times."

However, if a man were to approach the Veteran's Administration, in effort to deal with the matters at hand, they are considered Weak, their attack is discounted and in some cases (as in mine) minimized by blame shifting, to include that the victim has for some reason, asked for such treatment by the attacker.  There is no "Due Process" in most cases, as most Sexual Assault Victims whom are male, often suffer in Silence.  I suffered in Silence for over 30 years.

Now, although this is not only on the sexual assault victim populace, but it also includes the medically needed services, needed by Veteran's of Foreign Wars, such as Vietnam, Iraq and also Afghanistan campaigns.

I am sure most have heard of the potential 40 plus Veterans whom died after being put off, by the Veteran's Administration, to schedule routine procedures.  Although horrific, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense has discounted the events, tremendously to mute bad publicity.

Every day, thousands of Veterans are scheduled out to over 30 days for basic services, on average.  The same procedures that are sought after by public health care providers, are mandated to be within a more reasonable time frame, via HEPA policies.  Why should the Veteran's Administrative health care system be held to a higher standard?  I affirm that my belief is that it, the Veterans Administration, should be held to a higher standard of care, than the public standards.

It is funny that in the Military Sector, Air Craft has multiple redundancies to ensure safe operation and safe return of Military personnel.  It is notable that Public transportation Air Traffic systems and requirements, have only two or less redundancies  for safety.   Why are the same number of redundancies in tact, for the Sufferers of War time Injuries and mental health concerns follow the same pattern of redundancy count?

Personally, I feel the resignation of the current Veteran's Administration's Chief, is no more than the President Obama denial of responsibility and putting the Administration's failures and short-comings, onto the back of a man who has served his post a limited amount of time, to save the political parties face, for the up-coming running for the Presidency, and due to Coward-ness on part of the President.