A couple of weeks ago I addressed the issue of veteran care, and more specifically veteran suicide, in my blog (see 18 a day…you do the math). After writing that blog I wrote to both North Dakota Senators (Conrad and Hoeven) and Congressman Berg. Congressman Berg’s aide in his Washington office, Kevin, called me the other day regarding my note to the Congressman. I was not able to get back to him due to conference activities until last evening.
Well, let me make this quick – like the tearing off of a bandaid – I was NOT happy at the end of that call. In fact, I was irritated all night and into today – hence this blog. I am stilil dumbfounded at the audacity of the conversation.
At the outset, I thought Kevin genuinely wanted to hear more about my thoughts on veteran care and suicides (especially since he told me he was a veteran himself). In actuality, he wanted to tell me that veterans who committed suicide were probably mentally unbalanced before going into the service or were not diligent in seeking VA assistance. In short, he blamed the veterans.
As the mother of a veteran and an American who is disgusted to know that veteran care has become the poster child for reform and veteran suicide has become an epidemic, I did not appreciate Kevin’s combative discourse with me one bit. I am tremendously disappointed that this staffer that is under Congressman Berg’s employ evidenced such a complete lack of knowledge on the issue and an even greater lack of compassion or sense of respect for veterans who were struggling. North Dakota is a state rich with veterans and the fact that Congressman Berg’s office is arguing with and trying to diminish a constituent’s concern about veteran care and veteran suicide is really quite disheartening.
I will be forwarding this blog to Congressman Berg ( at https://berg.house.gov/contact-me – feel free to tell the Congressman your thoughts as well if you are likewise appalled at Kevin’s response to veteran care and suicide issues). I do hope the Congressman takes note. The position and attitude his staffer put forth is decidedly distasteful. This is not the kind of constituent response that will carry him forward into the Senate…indeed, it won’t even allow him to stay in the House.
Day seven hundred and three of the new forty – obla di obla da