Major William Jung shines a light on veteran inequality and helps advise on what America can do to support our service members
Excellent information and presentation, as always, Jeremy. The suicide statistics for veterans are shocking—it's obvious our country needs to do a much better job. My grandfather was a veteran of WI, and my father a Veteran of WWII. My father went to college on the GI Bill ( the first in his family) and purchased our family home with a VA loan. Given his family's financial situation, he never could have gone to college without government support.
This is just great and is a sobering reminder of why all of us -- especially those who have never served -- owe an enormous amount of respect to our veterans. Just yesterday at the Apple Store where I live, I met a Navy Vet from the Vietnam War (he was wearing his hat) and as a result, we had a wonderful conversation. The repair agent at Apple waited patiently while we spoke and then after said, "Not everyone gets you. You do. You made him feel great." I said, "Well, my dad fought in the Second World War and though I never served, I understand what these men and women sacrificed for us." Thanks for this very much.
I’m disappointed that there was no mention of how to deal with the extremely inadequate VA in the solutions part of the post. It seems to me that disbanding the VA healthcare system and changing it to an insurance type program where you can just take your money with you and choose where to go is the most workable solution. Maybe keep the major medical centers but get rid of the smaller clinics. We have one doctor that covers three clinics in three different towns that are about 110 miles apart from the first to the third. Said doctor is well past retirement age and is cognitively burning out. Wait times are still extremely long. You can’t even call the local clinic, your call goes to a call center 8 hours away and you will be lucky to hear back from the doctor in a week and God forbid you miss their call because it will be another week before you can get ahold of them again. The MISSION Act helped but is far from adequate and there are a lot of screw ups with billing and it seems as if every third visit or so we have to fight to get the VA to cover a referral or community care. Don’t get me started on what a hot mess the rural nursing homes are and worse when a community doesn’t have a rural nursing home veterans often have to be placed in VA nursing homes hours away rather than in community nursing homes. Everything with the VA is a fight. It’s a fight to schedule an appointment. A fight to get appointments paid for. A fight to get the VA the medical records from other clinics that they should already have. A fight to get your appropriate disability benefits. A fight to get access to treatments other than pills for a variety of issues. Clearly the government in incapable of making the system work so a complete overhaul needs to be undertaken.