It is rare indeed when I get so angry the urge to be physically violent takes over. I got that angry (and then some) this morning when I read a Facebook post from the person I love and trust the most on the planet announcing he was on his way the VA Emergency Room because he’d received a letter from the VA giving him a hearing date so he can prove he is missing his legs. Michael Sulsona,a Staten Island resident, is a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran. A once (and always) United States Marine. He is an award winning playwright and screenwriter. He lost both legs above-the-knee during the war in January 1971 when he stepped on a mine. Recently the VA has taken a merciless run at him and, no doubt, many others. First, it sends him notice informing him it wants to reduce his disability because, it explains, he is only missing his feet. He recently quipped, “Hey, no one whose ever met me has called me the guy who’s missing his feet.”
When it comes to veterans who’ve experienced the flat-out horror of combat, I don’t give a damn who you are; I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Independent, Tea Party, Coffee Party or no party, you (and I) are well-advised to show respect (I think most Americans do) and treat them with respect. Don’t even think about pretending you understand what they’ve been through.You don’t because you can’t. And, when you see any of them getting brutalized by the system, like the entire country is seeing now in the latest disgrace of veterans suffering and dying because of bogus Veterans Administration waiting lists, you should speak up. Also, if you think the mistreatment of veterans goes on under this White House’s watch only, you’re dreaming. It’s gone on for years under Republican and Democrat administrations.
Were there justice for veterans like Michael, never again would they have to worry about receiving quality healthcare in a timely manner. Never again would they have to worry about having enough money to pay the bills and function comfortably in life. Never again would any of them find themselves in the humiliating position of having to prove the wounds of war, particularly when those wounds are so glaringly evident.