Hey guys, I’m BACK! Yes, the most consistent job I’ve had since leaving the military. Whoo.

One of the parts that seemed to really land with people were my issues with the VA. And holy crap, I think we’ve got a lot to work with here. Most people do nothing but complain about the VA. Reading nothing but complaints all day can be really irritating. So I’m going to give an overview of some VA services without complaining. Don’t believe me? Well, I hope you’ve got a fifth of something decent with you, because you’re going to need every drop…

 

1. The Talent is Beyond Reproach

Doubtless the greatest professionals to ever exist work at various VA medical centers throughout the nation. Doubtless.

In my last appointment alone, I got to practice my ability to understand a doctor with a heavy Russian accent. Then, there was the lab technician for the EKG who could barely tell me to get up onto the table for the test. The VA will give you some of the outright greatest challenges to your ability to understand people who haven’t mastered English.

And don’t get me wrong, one of the best machine-gunners in my platoon could barely speak a lick. But it’s just THAT much better when it’s a doctor trying to give you some important information that could save (or cost) you your life. Aren’t we excited about that opportunity?

 

2. You Get ALL the Pills!!!

This is by far my favorite part of the VA. They mail me my drugs. Now, they aren’t the BEST drugs, mind, no for those you have to hang around the sketch people at the bar. These are drugs like antidepressants and cholesterol pills which I’m suspect about at best. They came labeled and all, but I’m not entirely sure the pills in the container were shaped the way they were described on Drugs.com. That might sound like a website for a fun sort of drug, but it sadly isn’t.

Sure enough, you will get shipped so many pills that you won’t remember what they are for. And reading labels is for chumps.

 

3. Walking on the Grass

One of the best times I have at the VA is intentionally NOT walking on concrete paths. Try it sometime on your next visit. You’ll see the institutionalized dudes who were never able to take the uniform off. You can tell the vein above that one retired SGM’s left eye is about to pop out of his forehead. Just smile at him and then keep walking around off the pavement.

Everyone knew that one senior NCO who would lose his MIND for walking on the grass. I mean, I know that’s one way we mess with new recruits, but once a man or woman has been in for a minute, it becomes an exercise in utter stupidity. Much like the reflective belt in a combat zone.

In any event, you will make someone’s day awful and raise your own spirits. Just keep walking on that Bermuda Sod…and don’t forget to make eye contact and smile — especially when they’re full of rage!

 

4. Expertise in Spelling Your Name and Writing Your Last Four

If there’s one thing that I definitely didn’t do enough of in the military, it was writing my name on every piece of paper that I ever come across. And you know what? I get even MORE practice at the VA! It’s the BEST. Seriously. I’m DEFINITELY not complaining here.

Writing my name and most of my social security number on so many random sheets of paper has me shocked — somehow, my identity STILL hasn’t been stolen yet. But you know, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, right? Identity theft — it’s like the Free Space on Veterans Affairs BINGO.
So how did I do? No complaints, right? Would you do me a favor and tell my shrink so I can get off these pills? I swear I’m making progress…

 

 

Artwork by Marc Osborne

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One Response

  1. Debra

    Amen I’m not a veteran or served but I know veterans my husband served on an ammo ship in Viet Nam. My ex was in on the evacuation of Saigon. I think the veterans are the most under served people. I dare say, that John McCain is one of the worst representatives for POW,s and veterans.

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