U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Military Life and Issues
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-18-2009, 04:41 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,779,721 times
Reputation: 1419

Advertisements

I cannot receive care at US military bases except in emergency rooms. I'm 100% service connected and must use the VA.

When the VA cannot provide care (as in the specialist isn't there or simply not provided) they do a fee basis, MilBill where I go to local docs and they pay the bill.

Airfare to MX is like 1-200 bucks and the dollar is so strong that it's so much cheaper. The Euro is stronger against the dollar so any procedure here that cost say 10k would end up costing 20-30k in Europe.

I'm gonna try and keep trying to get my care through the VA and President Obama's cabinet of Dept Veteran Affairs is the stopping point. If I can't get help there, I either have to move out of this VA system to another or just suffer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-18-2009, 10:22 PM
 
Location: NE Oklahoma
1,036 posts, read 2,579,815 times
Reputation: 1080
Default Long Post to answer a short question...sorry I wrote a book..

This is sort of a tender subject for me. My father was injured in Korea on the 38th Parallel in Chorwan. He was a medic. An injured soldier called for a medic and he ran through falling shells to go give a wounded man help. In the firefight he had a shell explode very close to him.

A few years ago I got a phone call from a lady who said she was Reverend Paxton's daughter. When he passed away she found his diaries.

It is one thing to hear from our family and see my dad and how injured he was but after 40 or 50 years you can't see so many of the wounds.

On April 12, 1952, the Monday after Easter, he was asked to help with the wounded. My dad had very little flesh left on his arms and had to have a cut down on his neck for an IV. Literally they could see through his arms he had so much shrapnel damage. His fingers were mangled and further tissue damage ensued because of lack of circulation. When it was all said and done he had 3 platinum plates (according to him) in his skull to repair the damage there, both hands were 100% disabled and his right leg needed a brace to walk and was also 100%. Basically other than his SKULL he was 300% disabled directly from a war connected injury. It was so weird reading this first hand from Reverend Paxton's diary...so intensely personal.
Later in life he was having problems with his rotator cuff on his left arm that he could eat with and the VA wanted to do an MRI. I INSISTED they do a flat plate X-Ray first because they were asking about arterial clips in his brain and stuff. We don't know what is there or not because literally they put him back together again. He has had shrapnel appear in dental X-Rays over the years randomly. I know that is some sort of metal. When they did the flat plate he had 8 arterial clips and LOTS of shrapnel visible on it. The Radiologist didn't even consider an MRI after that. I got several snide comments by people at the VA about ME denying him treatment. "He is scheduled for it IF you will allow him to have it." I told one off and she was quite fired over the whole thing. If he had had an MRI and those metal parts started swirling around his brain he wouldn't have been worth carrying home in a body bag, a causality 55 years AFTER the war of their treatment.

It pissed him off that I was VERY VOCAL and would insist on his treatment. I wouldn't stand by and watch him say "OK Doc" and get shuffled around the VA system. I told one DOCTOR who told me "he was beyond help" because of his physical disabilities that he came to the Army a perfectly healthy individual, this is what you sent back to his parents farm. Now you have the responsibility to do what you possibly can (which he wasn't) to help him. It wasn't that he was beyond any sort of help, he was TROUBLE and so was I. He was complicated. He had lots of problems because of his injuries later in life. BUT. When he was injured at 23, the Doc thought he would be in a vegetative state for LIFE. In a nursing home FOR LIFE. He lived, got married X, had 2 children, farmed, was a good member of the community, he had a relatively normal life, for someone who looked like Humpty Dumpty or Frankenstein. Literally people stared at him.

SO. I said all that to say this. YES, I think the Military and the VA system owes disabled and/or retired veterans medical care. It is a good faith system. We take care of our own. That is the way it is supposed to be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2009, 04:40 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,757,172 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by okpondlady View Post
This is sort of a tender subject for me. My father was injured in Korea on the 38th Parallel in Chorwan. He was a medic. An injured soldier called for a medic and he ran through falling shells to go give a wounded man help. In the firefight he had a shell explode very close to him.

A few years ago I got a phone call from a lady who said she was Reverend Paxton's daughter. When he passed away she found his diaries.

It is one thing to hear from our family and see my dad and how injured he was but after 40 or 50 years you can't see so many of the wounds.

On April 12, 1952, the Monday after Easter, he was asked to help with the wounded. My dad had very little flesh left on his arms and had to have a cut down on his neck for an IV. Literally they could see through his arms he had so much shrapnel damage. His fingers were mangled and further tissue damage ensued because of lack of circulation. When it was all said and done he had 3 platinum plates (according to him) in his skull to repair the damage there, both hands were 100% disabled and his right leg needed a brace to walk and was also 100%. Basically other than his SKULL he was 300% disabled directly from a war connected injury. It was so weird reading this first hand from Reverend Paxton's diary...so intensely personal.
Later in life he was having problems with his rotator cuff on his left arm that he could eat with and the VA wanted to do an MRI. I INSISTED they do a flat plate X-Ray first because they were asking about arterial clips in his brain and stuff. We don't know what is there or not because literally they put him back together again. He has had shrapnel appear in dental X-Rays over the years randomly. I know that is some sort of metal. When they did the flat plate he had 8 arterial clips and LOTS of shrapnel visible on it. The Radiologist didn't even consider an MRI after that. I got several snide comments by people at the VA about ME denying him treatment. "He is scheduled for it IF you will allow him to have it." I told one off and she was quite fired over the whole thing. If he had had an MRI and those metal parts started swirling around his brain he wouldn't have been worth carrying home in a body bag, a causality 55 years AFTER the war of their treatment.

It pissed him off that I was VERY VOCAL and would insist on his treatment. I wouldn't stand by and watch him say "OK Doc" and get shuffled around the VA system. I told one DOCTOR who told me "he was beyond help" because of his physical disabilities that he came to the Army a perfectly healthy individual, this is what you sent back to his parents farm. Now you have the responsibility to do what you possibly can (which he wasn't) to help him. It wasn't that he was beyond any sort of help, he was TROUBLE and so was I. He was complicated. He had lots of problems because of his injuries later in life. BUT. When he was injured at 23, the Doc thought he would be in a vegetative state for LIFE. In a nursing home FOR LIFE. He lived, got married X, had 2 children, farmed, was a good member of the community, he had a relatively normal life, for someone who looked like Humpty Dumpty or Frankenstein. Literally people stared at him.

SO. I said all that to say this. YES, I think the Military and the VA system owes disabled and/or retired veterans medical care. It is a good faith system. We take care of our own. That is the way it is supposed to be.
Thank you very much for sharing your father's story. He was was typical of that generation. They just took and went on with their lives with no big fanfare. They just saw it as their duty never complained. In today's world the present generation of people are very different in that sense.

Morally they all deserve the care and appreciation for their service. The reality at times is different for different reasons.
I am glad he had a daughter who cared and fought for him. I have no doubt deep inside he loved what you did for him and was even proud of you for standing up for him. I, as a Soldier and a father would feel the same way and in a sense I tell you then in his name as a fellow Soldier, thanks.

You have great day.
El Amigo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2009, 07:09 AM
 
15,616 posts, read 9,164,144 times
Reputation: 67792
ElAmigo - Usually I do pick up on languages but hadn't noticed it in your posts at all. You express yourself more clearly in your second language than many people do in their first! Anyway, your example about families being surprised that they aren't primary is exactly right and it's why I was so adamant about clarifying that point earlier. I work with soldiers and families through the army family programs and, wow, people have some interesting expectations LOL.

Vegas - I'm glad you've pursued several courses in order to get resolution for your medical treatment and am glad you'll keep us posted on your progress. Any chance you'd share with us what your health issue is and what kind of treatment you're seeking? I wouldn't want my loved ones jetting out of the country for medical treatment and am not thrilled that you're considering it either. Maybe if we knew more someone here could come up with another alternative for you? Either way, I wish you well and hope for a good outcome.

OKpondlady - thank you for sharing your dad's story and thanks to him for his service. I bet it did **** him off when you were vocal on his behalf...because you HAD to be, and because HE needed help, and because the people who SHOULD be helping him weren't doing their job with the same dedication he always did. The fact that his daughter isn't afraid to stand up and speak out for what's right? That fills a dad's heart with pride and you can be sure he was grateful for that in his quieter moments. Would that everyone had an advocate like you've been for your dad. Personally, I believe that more people outside the military need to hear stories like your dad's in order for things to improve.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,757,172 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by toosie View Post
ElAmigo - Usually I do pick up on languages but hadn't noticed it in your posts at all. You express yourself more clearly in your second language than many people do in their first! Anyway, your example about families being surprised that they aren't primary is exactly right and it's why I was so adamant about clarifying that point earlier. I work with soldiers and families through the army family programs and, wow, people have some interesting expectations LOL.

Vegas - I'm glad you've pursued several courses in order to get resolution for your medical treatment and am glad you'll keep us posted on your progress. Any chance you'd share with us what your health issue is and what kind of treatment you're seeking? I wouldn't want my loved ones jetting out of the country for medical treatment and am not thrilled that you're considering it either. Maybe if we knew more someone here could come up with another alternative for you? Either way, I wish you well and hope for a good outcome.

OKpondlady - thank you for sharing your dad's story and thanks to him for his service. I bet it did **** him off when you were vocal on his behalf...because you HAD to be, and because HE needed help, and because the people who SHOULD be helping him weren't doing their job with the same dedication he always did. The fact that his daughter isn't afraid to stand up and speak out for what's right? That fills a dad's heart with pride and you can be sure he was grateful for that in his quieter moments. Would that everyone had an advocate like you've been for your dad. Personally, I believe that more people outside the military need to hear stories like your dad's in order for things to improve.
I looked at your profile and saw that you are an FRG leader, good for you! I am glad you are involved with the families. I have been in the Army 31 and I am a Sergeant Major and I still attend any training that ACS has to offer. I just completed the AFTB courses and pretty much all the financial classes. Anything the Army offers free I will take. Sadly, many Soldiers from all ranks do not take advante of all the services and programs the Army has to offer. What post do are you at? I am at Ft. Bliss.
You have a great day.
El Amigo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2009, 10:02 AM
 
15,616 posts, read 9,164,144 times
Reputation: 67792
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
I looked at your profile and saw that you are an FRG leader, good for you! I am glad you are involved with the families. I have been in the Army 31 and I am a Sergeant Major and I still attend any training that ACS has to offer. I just completed the AFTB courses and pretty much all the financial classes. Anything the Army offers free I will take. Sadly, many Soldiers from all ranks do not take advante of all the services and programs the Army has to offer. What post do are you at? I am at Ft. Bliss.
You have a great day.
El Amigo
Your troops (and their families) are lucky to have a leader like you who sees some value in those programs. Like you said, it's unfortunate that many don't. It takes a while for the culture to adapt.

My husband was enlisted Active Duty Army when we met. Some years later he went through OCS and now is a MAJ in the Army Reserves. He has 20-some years in and "probably" is retiring after his change of command this summer. After 2 deployments with these guys and having come up through the ranks with them, it's a bittersweet time. He'll still have some association through his work as a civilian at Ft Sill, OK - he's just starting that this month.

When I started working with soldiers and families, I didn't even know there was such a thing as an FRG - it just seemed like, with all these deployments, something should be done and no one else was doing it. My husband was a det commander and now is co commander here in Pittsburgh - a sub of USASOC. I ended up running the program for the entire BN and covering off on any add-ons during deployments. Like so many things in the Army - at times its been stressful and aggravating but, overall, it's really been rewarding.

My BFF's son was at Ft Bliss for AIT and now is at Ft Hood (patriot missiles). BTW, Senior NCOs are like rock stars to me LOL. You really are the backbone of the Army in the best way possible. And what a great job too - my husband's NCOIC and I used to joke about me subbing for him while he was on leave - would have loved to for those 2 weeks only!

Ummm...sorry if this should have been DM talk - off topic-ish
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2009, 03:41 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,889,368 times
Reputation: 9895
Quote:
Originally Posted by toosie View Post
Ummm...sorry if this should have been DM talk - off topic-ish
You have seen the error of your ways; no infraction this time!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2009, 05:07 PM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,877,279 times
Reputation: 4563
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
Since I do not know the specifics of the cases all I can say is that if I was in the situation ther first thing I would do is go to the hospital patient coordinator and submit a complain. I have been in the Army 31 years and can give you and example of a female Soldier I encountered in the hospital elevator. I could see she was distressed. We both had come out of the dental clinic. I asked her if everything was OK. She told me she was denied some dental care. She told me she was on leave from Iraq and she was due to return in about 5 days and they had told her she should have the care over there. She said she was trying to get it done in the States so she could be at full force on duty when she gets back. I told her to follow me. We went to the clinic and they said there is nothing they could do. At that point I got upset and asked the clerk if she felt it was OK to deny service to a Soldier scheduled to go the front lines because the schedule was full and there were no oppenings. I even asked the people right there in the waiting area if any of them mind giving her his spot so she could be served. Many said they would not mind but the clerk still said she has to go by the schedule.
I then took her to the hospital patient coordinator and let her tell him her issue. He told her he would call her back. I gave the Soldier my phone number and to let me know what was the outcome. The next day she thankfully call me to let me know she got the procedure done.

I did scold her at the point. Why? Because she was a Staff Sergeant. I told her that if she let them treat her like that I wonder how in the world she was going to take care of her Soldiers if they were denied service somewhere. I told her I expect her to learn from this and to learn not to give up when someone denies her services in the Army system. There are avenues for help. You just have to not give up.

The system is often overloaded and as in anywhere, there are people that do not care. You must not let people get away with this and that is what I tell my Soldiers all the time. I also tell them that when they fell the wall is to tough to break down, then to let me know and then it is time to use my rank to approach people at higher levels.

So even though the cases you site sound as if the program does not support the Soldier, I tend to believe the often they do not know where to go for help or that they do not have a Chain of Command and a Support Chain to help them up. It is sad but that happens. Leaders come in all shapes and form, some care, some do not.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
I agree with you she should be treated.

I was at the VA hospital one day and they turned away an active duty serviceman.

I listened to what was going on and he was told that the VA was for Veterans and that active duty personnel were DOD... and that they could not see him but they gave him the name of a hospital in Houston that has a contract with the DOD to serve active duty personnel. He was also told that he could go to any military base and be served...

The people at the VA were very polite to him, Just wanted to let you know that.

But again I agree with you and she should have been served...

I would have been proud to have given my spot up for her or any active duty military person..

Thanks for serving in such a trying time...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-12-2012, 07:16 AM
 
317 posts, read 466,250 times
Reputation: 404
Yes, the family should get the same level of quality care as the soldier, yet the soldier should have priority in all appointments first.

I would like to see one change done, where all Service Connected Vets have access to the Commissary and PX.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-12-2012, 09:07 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,757,172 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by OIF VET View Post
Yes, the family should get the same level of quality care as the soldier, yet the soldier should have priority in all appointments first.

I would like to see one change done, where all Service Connected Vets have access to the Commissary and PX.
The services are making big strides on many areas of quality of life. The Army has this "Army Family Action Plan" program. They have a worldwide one week long seminar. In this seminar they invite military related personnel to discuss issues they feel the Army need to address. They include families, Soldiers, retirees, widows of retirees, etc. They form panels to cover specific areas and a facilitator helps the group come up with what they think are the major areas they want Army Headquarters to know about. Take care.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Military Life and Issues
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top