I have been a patient at Veterans Affairs hospitals in Massachusetts and for 20 years now at Togus. In my opinion, the doctors, nurses, techs and everyone who works in the medical section of VA hospitals are excellent. It is the administrative branch and their ilk who are the real problem at VA hospitals.

Gen. Eric Shinseki, who had half his foot blown off by a landmine in Vietnam, knows firsthand the horrors of war and about healing from war wounds. It is unfair to blame him for the long lines of wounded veterans at unprepared and understaffed VA hospitals around the nation. The real reason for this tragedy, in my opinion, is perpetual war.

Having Shinseki fall on his sword will not improve care for our nation’s veterans, who are being treated horribly by politicians, political appointees and bureaucrats in the same way, ironically, Shinseki was treated when he dared to tell the truth to those who would listen.

With more than 50,000 wounded from the so-called “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington needs to look in the mirror for who’s responsible for the overwhelmed VA health system. It’s not a war hero intent on speaking truth to political power.

Frank D. Slason


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