As a veteran myself, I find the maudlin, mawkish, displays of affection for military personnel hypocritical and disgusting. Flyovers at football games, the shallow emotional “thank you for your service” cliché, and phony, baloney outpourings of appreciation through little privileges (first in line to get on an airplane) are no-sacrifice forms of super-patriotism that keep the real sacrifice of our troops out of sight and out of mind.
Elderly and disabled veterans in state run nursing homes are certainly out of sight and out of mind these days. We don’t know how many of these places are deplorable and full of neglect and abuse. However, I was initially alerted by family members about conditions in a very large state run veterans’ facility in New York. It appears that that their loved ones are not well treated, nor are they as family members. We are looking at COVID data in that facility and what we are finding is alarming. However, given the resistance of any state to come clean with the information advocates and family members need, we will need to keep fighting this out so that we can find out what really happened.
I’ve been reading the inspection reports for the Kansas Soldiers’ Home in Fort Dodge, Kansas. The staffing levels, condition of the facility, and treatment of patients are shocking. In the state of Missouri, we can’t see the inspection reports online. Missouri veterans’ facilities aren’t on Nursing Home Compare. We are told that we have to go into the facility and ask to see reports for those facilities.
We will stay on this issue. This is just the beginning of our investigation into what is happening to veterans in America’s nursing homes. Let’s not overlook the $788 billion defense budget that sailed through the Senate this week, which doesn’t even include the VA and military retirement benefits. Nor does it include the nuke stuff in the Department of Energy. Can’t we spend an adequate amount on veterans’ in nursing homes in a $trillion military budget?
Watch this blog. We will keep investigating and writing about how our veterans are treated.