I remember the VA nurses, usually kind and sincere unlike the doctors who blew through the room and seemed to scoff at questions. Who would have the audacity to speak in the presence of the almighty doctor? In 2006, when my dad spent a length of time at the VA hospital, the night staff would take the time to speak to me about my life, goals, whatever. I recall one nurse who made the evening rounds in the first or second room my dad occupied, who put up with a rude gentleman who shared my dad’s room in a bed next to the window. She dealt with him gracefully while lending a sympathetic ear to me. As she left the room to continue her rounds, she put her hand on mine and gave it a squeeze.
For whatever reason my dad had the VA write a standard letter that read:
“The official records of the Department of Veterans Affairs show that [my dad] is permanently and totally disabled for purposes of the VA.”
He was officially diagnosed 100% permanently disabled with PTSD in the early nineties. (I have the official paperwork somewhere.) He also had: diabetes, a condition his doctor attributed to Agent Orange exposure, brought on by the Vietnam War Continue reading