<b>Veterans' health care</b>
EDITOR: The sign hanging from the Santa Rosa federal building read, "Help, the V.A. is killing us!" Although it fits today's news, this was 1981. Vietnam veterans occupied the federal building lawn in June and July of 1981. Eventually, some of the sicker vets went on a hunger strike because the White House wasn't interested in our health and welfare. The hunger strike lasted more than a week before veterans in Congress stepped up to assure us the vet centers wouldn't be closed and that Agent Orange and battle fatigue problems and deaths would be addressed.
The federal building takeover came after the assurances because nothing really changed. To die or be debilitated on the battlefield is one thing. To survive and come home only to suffer and die from lack of care and caring is another.
Thirty-three years and two prolonged wars later, very little is different at the V.A. We veterans were sent to fight wars we weren't allowed to win, only to come home with illnesses and wounds we won't be allowed to recover from. The American public will be somewhat concerned, the media will play it up until something else comes along, and veterans will continue to die needlessly. Two percent of America go to war — 98 percent go to the mall.