Mark I. Kirkmeyer

VETERANS DAY THOUGHTS, 2007

This year I got to spend Veterans’ Day in San Diego, California, nestled between the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton and the Navy enclave at San Diego Bay.

The annual veteran’s parade was so sparsely attended that all participants knew it was just their immediate family “honoring” them. On this veteran’s weekend 4,600 people walked 60 miles to raise $2.6 million for breast cancer research while very few could take the holiday for what it is, a holiday to honor those who placed others before themselves and defend the nation and the rights we hold dear.

On this Veteran’s Holiday Weekend, the Veteran’s Healthcare funding bill has been tabled in the Senate because the House of Representatives attached a non-Veteran related Health initiative that had already been through the House and Senate but was vetoed by the President and was unable to overturn the veto. The Senate says the additional initiative does not belong in the Veteran’s Healthcare funding bill; an equally important bill for emergency funding the purchase of body armor for those soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Again our trusted Representatives added unrelated pork to the emergency spending bill. The Senate again has stopped the bill demanding that the excess spending be removed.

At the same time I called the VA Escondido Clinic last week to transfer from my Primary Care Provider in Colorado to a Primary Care Provider here in Escondido. I got told that somebody would have to contact me to determine if I am eligible for care. In the mean time I’m supposed to wait, holding my breath. Additionally I can’t see anyone from the Mental Health Clinic until I get a referral from the PCP so basically I have half a month supply of meds and the VA is giving me a hand job.

Happy anything but Veteran’s Day y’all