Saturday, April 7, 2012

A sad story

I generally try to keep these blogs fairly upbeat (except when I'm venting about something or the topic is politics). But unfortunately this is not one of those.

I used to visit a WWII navy veteran at the Lutheran Home in Southbury. His name is Jack. He wasn't happy there because there were no other veterans for him to talk to so he transferred to the Veterans Hospital in Rocky Hill, CT. This all happened about a year ago.

Yesterday, his brother called me and told me he was back at the Lutheran Home and that he would like for me to look in on him. Apparently, conditions at the brand-new veterans hospital were dreadful. Most of the men with whom he hoped to make friends were in fact not WWII veterans. Rather, they were men who served in more recent conflicts like Viet Nam and Iraq.

Most of the men were seriously impaired from injuries or drug dependence. Jack's brother went on to report that while the hospital looked shiny and new from the outside, it was everything but that inside. He reported that the place was filthy inside. For example he reported that the bathroom in his room hadn't been cleaned in a very long time. It contained days-old vomit and feces from his roommate.

The hospital was understaffed and the workers who were there were all 'foreigners' who spoke little if any English. They were unfriendly and generally unresponsive to the needs of the residents.

Jack couldn't take any more so his brother moved him back to his former location.

This is a very sad situation. Is this typical of veterans hospitals across the nation or just this place? Someone needs to look into this.

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