It's no secret, that the VA (Veterans Affairs a.k.a. Victim's Anonymous), has been an enemy of most veterans...including myself, etc. The VA has earned the name,'The Evil Empire'. Why would a veteran leave the VA Medical Center to get his own healthcare in the private sector, and pay for it himself?
That's exactly what I did in 2007, when I became eligible for Medicare (after a two-year waiting period on a disability). And, where did that disability happen? At the VA Medical Center. Over the 18 years, that I got my healthcare at the VA Medical Center (Albuquerque, New Mexico), I've been screwed so many times...that I got my own health plan in the community...before I get murdered at the VA...or WORSE! You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for."
There was an article published in the Albuquerque Journal in June, 2010 about a jet-fuel spill near the VA Medical Center and the article is entitled, "They're Going To Kill All of Us (chemical dumping) and can be seen at the folllowing link;
Unbeknownst to me for all these years, the state of New Mexico and the Air Force have been doing battle for ten years now...and the cost for the clean-up is estimated at over $200 million dollars in taxpayer's money. How much longer it's going to take is anybody's guess!
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the VA Medical Center and the Kirtland AFB are practically together. Go in the front lobby of the VA Medical Center...and travel out the back tunnel and you'll find yourself in the the Air Force hospital. According to the newspaper map of the jet-fuel spill is located within a couple of blocks of the VA Medical Center and the airport/Air Force runways, etc. What has the Air Force done so evil, that the clean-up of the spill has taken ten years so far...at a projected cost of $200 million dollars? I live about a mile from ground zero!
After I saw the article in the newspaper in June, 2010...I lit up like a Christmas tree...because, as I reflected back to 2005, when I was in the VA hospital for the three months and I've never been so sick in my life...for so long! It's only speculation of my part...but back when I was in the hospital, I pointed to one of the medications I was being given, etc. Now, with the knowledge from the newspaper article, and the jet-fuel being so close to me at the VA Medical Center...I could now point the finger at possible water contamination!
At that time, I was in the hospital for a variety of reasons...but not for nausea and stomach problems. The nausea came after I was admitted, and I suffered from nausea almost everyday...some days were better than other days. There were days, when I couldn't even get out of bed...and if I did get out of bed...it was around 4 or 5 in the afternoon...missing breakfast and lunch, etc.
There were some days, when I was really sick...I couldn't even sit up in bed! I heard through the grapevine, that the nurses and medical people just written my condition off...as a fantasy of mine...and that I was 'faking it." I was furious at this apathetic attitude!
One Saturday morning, I tried to go to the day room for breakfast and I didn't make it! I collapsed in the hallway, and I was placed in a wheelchair and brought back to my room. For the rest of the day, I didn't have any of the medical come to check on me. Missing breakfast and lunch...and about 4 in the afternoon, I got in the wheelchair and wheeled myself to the day room to get something to eat for dinner!
During my hospital stay, all the veterans were required to participate in discussion groups...in which there was 2-3 leaders on the groups. My group leader was Dr. Evelyn Sandine, the ward staff psychologist (505-265-1711). There were about six occasions when I was so sick, that I couldn't attend groups, and Dr. Sandine would always come to my room to check on me...and the answer was always NO...I couldn't get out of bed to attend groups!
People lie all the time, but a scale doesn't lie. During my hospital stay I lost about 16 pounds. At the time, I pleaded with the medical staff, to let me go to the G.I. Clinic, to see if they could find out what was wrong with me...and I was denied! What could be making me so sick? At the time, the thought of water contamination never crossed my mind! Now that I live a mile from the jet-spill, I think about water contamition all the time!
It was 5 am in the morning and after more than three months in the hospital, and my day of discharge had arrived...I was in the day room throwing-up in a trash can...and a nurse standing at the door said to me, "You will still be discharged today, Mr. Aragon!"
Words cannot express to the reader how much I wanted to get out of this place!
Who in there right mind...that after spending over three months in the hospital...would walk across the patio and check into the emergency room...to get the care he didn't get in the ward? That's exactly what I did after my discharge. I had to get this nausea and stomach problems squared away, because I was headed to live in a homeless shelter across town at the time!
During the three months as a patient at the VA Medical Center, I felt like I was neglected; abused; abandonded and my civil rights violated! And, for all those families who have someone in the VA System...a son; a daughter; an uncle; aunt; father...all I can say is, 'buyer beware!'
I know of other veterans who have been abused at the VA Medical Center. But, what's the problem? Getting somebody in high places to listen and do something about it! Veterans are not very high on the 'to do' list of people in high places in the government...or veterans are not on the list at all, etc.
After my discharge from the hospital, I threw all my medications away...and started over. Now, that I was living in the north side of town, all the nausea and stomach problems went away, and I started gaining weight and I felt much better. Since I didn't know anything about the jet-fuel spill that was so close to me at the time...water contamination never entered my mind until later. The only person who can find out and get the truth in 2010 ...would be a federal judge who could open the case and get my medical records, etc.
Could water contamination be part of my condition/sickness while I was a patient at the VA Medical Center for over three months...and with a jet-fuel spill so near-by?
A few years ago, federal judges were getting murdered at alarming rate all across the country. A network reporter asked one federal judge why he remained on the bench, knowing the risk...and his response, "It's the right thing to do!"
And, that's why I'm doing what I'm doing...it's the right thing to do. I'm going from an ordinary citizen with a 'couch potato mentality'...to an activitist to try to raise awareness among the people in the highest levels of government about contamination of the water, etc.
"I appreciate the confidence with which you have approached me." Those are the words of long-time and retired Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico when he answered my letter a few years ago. And yes, the Senator is right...I do have the confidence to approach people in high places...Senators; federal judges; the governor and the Mayor of the city, etc.
With respect to the 10 year (child-like) fight between the state of New Mexico and the Air Force over the spill near the VA Medical Center/Kirtland AFB...all this bickering has to stop! Albuquerque, New Mexico has a population of over 500,000 people, and many residents live around Kirtland Air Force base in the southeast heights. In my view, the residents living in the area are placed in danger, while this sensless fight continues. People in high places such as federal judges; the governor; the mayor of Albuquerque; the delegation of New Mexico should get involved and make the Air Force speed the clean-up efforts up and make it right.
The governor and the mayors of towns and cities are responsible for the safety of the citizens all over the individuals states. In this case, there MUST be accountibility on the part of the Air Force, to keep the neighborhoods in and around the base safe from water contamination, fire, explosions, chemicals, etc. You be the judge in your own community!
As far as being an activist in all of this, I've decided to put together packages and mail them to people in high places in the government to raise awareness. The packages will consits about 9-10 pages of material and will consist of the following;
- A copy of this article you are reading now.
- The original article of the jet-fuel spill that was written by the newspaper staff writer.
- A two-page summary of the dangers and examples of the chemical dumps in this nation and the danger they present. (example; Love Canal)
- The reader will remember when I was discharged from the VA Medical Center, and walked across the patio and checked into the emergency room, etc.
These two documents; back to back; 1) the discharge form from the VA; and on the backside; 2) the emergency room document. (There probably not too many people who will believe this...so I have to show them about my abuse at the VA)
All of this will go out certified mail, with copies of the certifications to the next level of mailing, and so forth. The cost of the mailings will be about $40.00, but it's worth it, because it feels to me that I'm doing something for the residents of this city. The mailings will go to the following;
- Federal judges in the city (6);
- The governor of the state of New Mexico;
- The Mayor of the city of Albuquerque;
- Director of Public Safety in the city;
- The New Mexico delegation; (Senators/Representatives);
- The Kirtland AFB commander;
- State and City Health Departments; (2);
- Editor; The Albuquerque Journal
- Journal staff writer who wrote the piece on the jet-
- Local television news stations; ABC; NBC; CBS
- U.S Attorney;
- Attorney General of New Mexico;
The reader will notice that I left out the VA Medical Center Director. That's because of my mistrust of the VA for over 18 years...they will probably shred my medical records...so don't tell anybody about this endevor...you've never heard of me, okay? SHAME ON THE VA MEDICAL CENTER!
By the way, after getting my healthcare at the VA for over 18 years, I now have my own healthcare plan in the private sector and it's going great. Since the middle of 2008, we have accomplished quite a bit, and I don't mind paying for my own healthcare...as long it is affordable. And, the best thing...trust is coming back into my life!
It feels great to do something to help others (even if it's a tiny bit)! After doing this project...I don't feel like a potato-head with a couch potato mentality' anymore...I feel more like a rocket scientist (with a long nose, of course!)
WELCOME TO THE AGE OF TERRORISM...
In the wake of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States, surface water supplies; water treatment plants and distrubution systems, were quickly recognized as potential targets of a terrorist attack! While water facilities are often equipped to discourage mischief (i.e. chain-link fence surrounding a reservoir), virtually no water facilities are designed to prevent a deliberate and coordinated attack.
In most municipalities, water treatment involves the addition of chlorine and chlorine products to kill microorganisms. The dilerberate disabling of the chlornation system of a treatment plant, would make the contamination of the drinking water a certainty.
For example; a breakdown in the chlornation of the drinking water of Walkerton, Ontario (Canada), cooincident with the run-off from a cattle field that contaminated the water that sickened over 2,000 people and killed 7 people in the summer of 2000. A Cyptosporidium contamination of the water supply in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sickened over 200,000 people and killed nearly 100 people.
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Copyright; 2010; Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor
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