By Sherry Pasquarello,Senior Columnist/worldwidehippies.com
I was talking with my cousin recently. Her father and mother and my father and mother were best friends. She is my cousin by heart not by blood. Her dad was a nurse at the VA here, my dad was going in and out of the VA for his entire life but spent years there at first as a result of a horrific arm injury. In fact, that’s how my mother met my dad. She was a secretary there after she left D.C. as a government secretary; one of those working for Omar Bradley. Dad was running an elevator at the V.A. for something to do in-between surgeries.
So as I’ve mentioned, I spent my life as long as I can remember going to the V.A. to visit my dad when he was hospitalized. He passed at the VA palliative care unit here.
My cousin and I both have grandchildren. We also have younger family and friends that were in the service and in combat. We talked about the fact that our grandkids could see a draft reinstated with the way things seem to be going. After she went home I sat and thought about all of the folks and their injuries I’d seen at those VAs and my own or family’s times at hospitals over my lifetime.
So I had this idea:
BEFORE any member of Congress can be allowed to vote on sending troops into combat they have to complete a specified time following nurses around VA facilities. I want them dressed as hospital staff so none of the patients know who they are. I want them to observe up close things like wound care. Let them see what it looks like. I want them to see dressings changed on fresh amputations. WE need them to glove up and hold sterile gauze to soak up the liquid crap from the hole in a patient’s abdomen as a nurse change a colostomy bag and teaches the patient how to do it when they get home.
Then after a week or so there I want them to go to a field hospital to see what it looks like when soldiers are brought in with fresh wounds perhaps with pieces of their fellow soldiers mixed in them, I want them to fill some body bags while they are there too.
Then I want then to sign an agreement that if they authorize combat that any family member eligible (with NO legal bullshit that gets them safe cushy assignments) MUST be sent into “boots on the ground” service; perhaps under phony names so no one can or will treat them any differently than a kid from a poor area of our country.
That’s what I want BEFORE. I want all of this and with no little helpers like Xanax to take the edge off of their experiences at the VA. I want them to see and smell and hear it all. I want them sitting at the bedside of a human being who has ten minutes to go before they can activate the morphine pump or have the nurse come in with the shot and the pain meds have worn off. I want them to see and smell an open packed wound. I want them SEE what war is BEFORE their vote.
Peace – maybe then they’ll work harder for it