As we get ready to transition to a new administration, many are hopeful that positive changes are coming. Perhaps no group is in more dire need of change than our service men and women. We owe all of them not only a debt of gratitude, but our unwavering support after they sacrificed so much for our freedom.
However, the last eight years have not been kind to our veterans. Despite putting their lives on the line for their country, the care they’ve received after leaving the service has been subpar at best. Rather than do everything it can to assure the greatest care possible for our veterans, the Obama Veterans Administration has been involved in scandal after scandal. From revelations of obscene wait times and the subsequent cover up, to misdiagnoses costing veterans their lives, care for our fighting men and women has been appalling.
Sadly, our veterans are still suffering under Obama’a VA. Yesterday, four staff member resigned after it was discovered that a resident who had recently passed was found with maggots in his wound. From the Tulsa World:Four staff members at the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Talihina facility have resigned after a resident who later died was found with maggots in a wound, the agency said.
Executive Director Myles Deering said the maggots were discovered while the patient was alive but were not the cause of his death. He said the man came into the center with an infection.
“He did not succumb as a result of the parasites,” Deering said Tuesday. “He succumbed as a result of the sepsis.” Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.
A physician’s assistant and three nurses, including the director of nursing, resigned in the wake of the investigation, said Shane Faulkner, a spokesman for the agency.“All four chose to resign before the termination process began,” Faulkner said.
The Veteran was identified as 73-year-old Owen Reese Petersen. Although Petersen did not die as a result of the maggots, the presence of parasites in a wound that was being treated for infection is yet another striking example of the shamefully inadequate care our veterans currently receive.
Unfortunately, shamefully little has been done under the current administration to correct the lack of quality care for veterans. Despite promises to fix the system, the same problems have continued to persist. Despite an increase in funding, most of that new money has gone to waste in the giant bureaucracy.
Now, however, there is cause for optimism. President-elect Trump made improving the VA a cornerstone of his campaign, releasing a 10-point reform plan earlier this year.
Congress and President-elect Trump will have a big job on their hands in January, but there may not be anything more important than making sure our veterans get the care they deserve. Let’s hope stories like this are soon a thing of the past.
[Note: This article was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]