It took me over 40 years to get into the VA system. My first procedure at Albany Stratton was a combo of a colonoscopy/endoscopy.From the check in to the 5 or 6 nurses and doctors , I had never been treated so decently in any medical facility. I felt human, as opposed to a statistic.They all seemed so competent and yet compassionate and calm. When I came out of the anesthesia, I asked the nurse if my pleasant experience was unusual. She said it's kind of the norm. I asked if she new why that was. She thought it might have something to do to the fact they didn't to explain things to an insurance company or a for profit hospital's board of directors. Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals get to make decisions based on what's needed, as opposed to what brings more profit $$$ to the bottom line.
Great Britain, who has been our closest ally through every conflict, started their national health care system that veterans AND THEIR FAMILIES, would not have to go begging to see a doctor. Like every other soldier I served with ( yes, I mean Nay, Air Force Marines and the most underrated, Coast Guard) I'm a flag waving , free enterprise patriot. But health care for Vets and their families ( why not every American) is too important to be left to politicians,corporate hacks, and their accountants (the vast majority never served) to make decisions about life and death.
Sorry about the rant. This was about my gratitude to the men and woman who take great care of us at the VA Med. Our nation owes them our respect and gratitude.
Sgt. Alan M Kessler
Panmunjom Joint Security Area '67 to '69