VA indignity sours one Vietnam veteran

Originally Cont’d from Terrorists force VA to strip vet’s dignity 11-25-09

Veterans should not have to undergo such treatment.

Yes, I know the public must remove a belt to get through the airports. But we ain’t no ordinary John Q Public. We are the sons and daughters of  a country that didn’t care what type of belt we used when sending us to fight some war America had (has?) little or no interest in being at war with in the first place.

And who decided to force us to take off the belt? Some new security chief? Has he even served in the military? Does he even work for the government, or is he part of some new, so-called cost-cutting measure to get some civilian business to run the show. I think a veteran would have more sensitivity, not only for the vet, but the people who work there and try their best to serve us.

 We all must show our federal government-issued ID cards. If somebody suspects something is wrong, then you can single out that man or woman. Don’t subject all of us to this. Terrorism wins if we succumb to this deprivation.

I have to return to the VA center. Return on a monthly schedule. I told my representative there that I did not want to subject my self to this again. I have PTSD, for Christ sake, and I don’t want to feel like my own government is out to screw me again. I don’t want to make a scene, and I don’t want armed guards to have to escort somebody like me, who complains of this type of policy. I hope I don’t have face possible retaliation when I must visit again. 

So please, Director of the Philadelphia VA Center. Loosen the belt policy. Let this veteran return in peace with his dignity intact.

(Letter sent to Philly VA Center while the anger is still red-hot)

5 comments on “VA indignity sours one Vietnam veteran

  1. Hey Michael J! Wow, that was really rough for you, and I’m sorry for all that pain.

    First, I want you to know I heard you and that I listened fully and completely, all defenses and dharma shields down! You felt like your face had been pushed in the dirt. You felt like you had been forced to “low crawl” through the metal detectors (“Low crawl.” I haven’t heard that term since my Army basic training at Fort Ord, CA, back in ’72!) You have never been subjected to such mistrust at the VA. Stripping off your belt made you feel like a criminal, plain and simple. And as one of your post titles said, the VA stripped you of your dignity.

    Now, this is probably the point where a number of things could happen. I could take your side, or the VA’s side, or straddle the fence and say there are two sides. Or, worse, I could start spouting pop-psychology advice or offer half-baked (or even fully baked!) dharma nostrums. And if I did any of these, I’d deserve a punch in the nose.

    What I’d like to do—and what I would do, if I lived nearby—would be to first, give you a great big bear hug. I’m a big, strong guy and very good at those. And then I’d offer to go have a beer or some of that great red wine you love and espouse so eloquently. And, I’d just be there with you, as a brother vet, and listen deeply and without judgment.

    What I’d want to give you is just what I call Big Sky love—love that is mindful and compassionate and that is no more changed by arising emotions and feelings—my own or others—than the sky is changed by the clouds and birds that pass through it. That’s what I’d give you if I were physically there. And guess what, that’s what I am giving you, as best I can—in responding with my heart to your cries pain in your posts and in the writing of this note to you.

    I’m with you, brother. You may barely know me, or I you, but in the meeting of our hearts, we have more in common than many “friends” that don’t walk this path we’re both trying to walk. I hope it helps. Sometimes all we need is someone else just to bear witness to our innate goodness and sanity.



  2. I wholeheartedly agree. Add to that the fact that’s it’s really all scarecrow security anyway, the whole thing is offensive.


    • contoveros says:

      “Scarecrow security”
      I think I will use that in my letter to the director. I tried to print out my post, but the ink cartridge went crazy on me (not too computer literate). Was on my way to get new ink when I was blocked by something in a bread store and was unable to complete the chore.

      But, I am glad for the delay. I now can use the scarecrow quote to bolster my plea.



  3. […] to such mistrust. Stripping off my belt made me feel like a criminal, plain and simple. (See  VA indignity for Part […]


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