WE DARE TO GO WHERE THE VA HAS FAILED
“Some people didn’t say anything, and it just grew and grew inside of them. I wanted to let it out. Even now that I’m back home, and Iook at the pictures of the guys, its hard to keep from crying.”
— ARMY NATIONAL GUARD SGT. SINQUE SWALES
I was furious. I have never been shot at in my civilian life. I have never been blown up in my civilian life. I haven't lost an "adopted" child to a suicide bomber in my civilian life. And I haven't had to listen to a man's death over the Med-Evac frequency in my civilian life. All those things happened during my year in Iraq, but my PTSD is probably just related to my years working at UPS or something?
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM VETERAN
It took two years and nine suicide attempts for DJ to finally get help through the VA system. He has had plenty more deplorable doctors; one shrieked at me how, “That’s the VA way. If you don’t like it, leave,” when DJ had a life-threatening reaction to a medication. Now, when I advocate for DJ’s and other’s care, I remember her lesson that near-fatal medical policies are the VA way. Instead of leaving, though, I do my best to make sure poor treatment at home doesn’t kill soldiers who survived deployment.
WIFE OF OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VETERAN