Report From the 'Terror Of Terrors'
a week at the Minneapolis Veterans Hospital Colon/ Rectal Clinic
can put our country's problems into some sort of perspective. Waiting
in line to have some really weird test done will open up any barriers
to speech with strangers that you might have had. First off you
want to know if they had the test before, and you just want to talk,
as they do, to get your mind off of what is coming.
any VA Hospital you will meet people of all ages and backgrounds,
from farmers to computer nerds and everything in between. Sometimes
waiting for your turn for a test, a few of you will be talking so
much that the time flies by and as one leaves another will take
his place. At night in the ward people will visit other rooms and
talk. Everyone is a vet and that opens a lot of gates.
a group, veterans are pretty cynical when it comes to Americaís
government. From World War 2 to the Gulf War, every vet had an opinion
about what our country is going through.
WW2 vets said that if you wanted to see a terror attack, think of
the bombs raining down on European cities night after night for
years. They explained that these bombs, some of which they had dropped,
were right on the population centers.
vets talked about biological warfare like Agent Orange, and how
even the children of some veterans were now suffering from spina
bifida and that the children of female Vietnam vets had significantly
more birth defects. No one knew what happened to the people of Vietnam
that we sprayed on.
Gulf War vet said that he had lost all trust in our government as
he and many in his unit were so sick from serving this country in
the war, and the government would not believe them.
didnít take a poll, but every vet expressed his love for this country,
and his lack of love for those in Washington screwing it up. The
number one bitch was all the illegal aliens, and next on the list
was how we give guns to people that we later fight.
thing that struck me the most in this week at the VA, other than
some really incredible tests, was the fact that many vets will say
that our government is lying, or, as they would put it, when George
W. or some spokesman was on TV, "Ah, bullshit" These guys had seen
enough to know that our government doesnít trust us enough to be
open and above board. Politicians always have to shade the facts
to try to get us thinking their way, even if sometimes the truth
would be more powerful.
Glaser [send him mail]
is a Vietnam vet and a volunteer in veterans hospitals.