A Report From the ‘Terror Of Terrors’
by James Glaser
Yes, 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.
In 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.
As a group, veterans are pretty cynical when it comes to America's government. From World War 2 to the Gulf War, every vet had an opinion about what our country is going through.
Some 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.
Vietnam 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.
One 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.
I didn't 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.
The 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 doesn't 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.