I'd like to share a Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare story because I think there are a lot of Americans that still don't get it, or even care, possibly. I receive VA health benefits due to combat wounds sustained in Fallujah, Iraq, while serving in the Marines. I've been waiting for a specialist referral to navigate the bureaucracy for a couple of years now, extended at least a year by the closing of the Wiregrass clinic on the east side of town.

Today I finally received a message concerning the referral. It was a robocall. I was robocalled, and then put on hold for 5 minutes. Then after that I was hung up on, apologizing for not having anyone to answer their own phone call, and a computerized voice told me to call the number they just called me from. That is how the multi-billion dollar VA runs now. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

If someone were to make a short film embellishing the absurdity of VA bureaucracy, they could not write a better script than reality. I'm just one guy. Think of the hundreds of thousands of veterans whose lives literally depend on this gargantuan government cluster we're all paying for. My heart hurts for all of them who actually need this and have nowhere else to turn. Those who have to continually call their doctors and health staff to remind them to do their jobs and then get met by the gun confiscation police if they dare to voice their frustrations at the VA staff.

Nate Travers


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