Saturday, October 23, 2010

Larry and Me

Former U.S. Army troop, Larry

Ranger Question of the Day (R.Q.O.D.):
What happens when a soldier

is no longer "Army Strong"?


This is Larry. He lives on a park bench outside of the local VFW post, which happens to also be near a coffee shop I frequent. He served in the U.S. Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He is not quick to socialize, and is easy to miss in a crowd. Larry has severe palsy and skin problems, the latter which has earned him a 10% disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). he receives treatment for his skin problems at the local VA Outpatient Clinic.

Larry can barely speak, so it is hard to know why he is living on a park bench and not receiving additional support.
He seems to have brain problems.

Sometimes I wonder what separates a guy like Larry from me. Does he have physical or mental or physical problems which are insurmountable? Does he have no one who cares for him? How was and is he damaged? Is he depressed? Angry? Has he chosen this way of life?

Larry is one of the veterans in the "We Support Our Veterans", only he doesn't seem to be getting much support.

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Anonymous Carl said...

Jim. As you would be very aware, there are thousands of Larry's amongst us. Not just in the US, also in most other countries... men (and women) who have served in their defense forces (and increasingly, Police dept's too), are often simply discarded when they are deemed by their employer to be no longer of any use. Used up / squeezed dry and spat out by the soul less machine they mistakenly thought would care for them in infirmity or otherwise. Ex Sec State (and still guiding "light" to your senior politicians) "... Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as 'dumb, stupid animals to be used' as pawns for foreign policy." You may have heard that one before. What he needs is a half dozen of these "animals" to be left in a room alone with him and their ka-bars. Getting back to Larry - have you had a conversation with him?

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 12:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Chief said...

I, also, was at the Bay of Pigs. Navy tincan.

I, also, see people similar to Larry. I have never investigated, but have wondered what happened to them so they arrived at that place in time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 11:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consider how many 'Christians' have passed Larry by as he sat in his state of 'disfunctionality'.

What qualifies Larry for 'regard', the fact that he is a vet? Shouldn't that he is a 'human' be enough?

Perhaps we might start to help Larry by outlawing the word 'Christian'. Think what outrage that would bring. I mean, in enormous amounts, we hear and read what Christians want and expect on a daily minute-by-minute basis; yet in a constant stream, they file past Larry. The Christian creed seems so conveniently 'misplaced' at that moment, but my my, isn't that a nice hat and shoes they are wearing?

Perhaps Larry does in fact suffer from some mental incapacity. If you gave Larry a million dollars would he still be on the bench?

If Larry has indeed access too some VA medical facilities, have they pronounced him 'fit'? After all, Larry is on 'display', right?

I imagine that Larry is living in a capitalist society with no capital.

,,, it's not hard for me too imagine.


Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 10:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

According to DVA there are 250,000 homeless vets in the US of A.
Think about that for a while. How many homeless former Congressmen can you name?
Yes, i talk to Larry, and i buy him coffee when i see him at the coffee bar.
Larry does not beg, and he does not appear to be a drunk.
It's exceedingly difficult to understand what he says, and requires very close attention.

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Your point is well taken , and Lisa and i discuss this very point. The medical system does not see us as human or individuals, whether civilian or vet.
The question is why can anyone end up like this in a sane society?
The next point is- are we a sane society.
We launched a new carrier recently, and meanwhile 250 thou sleep rough.
There but for fortune go you or i.-Tom Paxton.

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Carl said...

Thanks Jim. 250k hurting veterans is a massive number to be simply swept aside - while politicians back slap & hi5 over another war machine's launch (endless cycle?). There, but for the Grace of God, go I.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 3:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The 250 k figure is from the DVA, but imho this is an understatement.
The 5 year goal of the DVA is to end vet homelessness.
WOW!?!? The DVA has been in existence since the CW and we're just getting around to ending vet homelessness.
Hope they don't get whiplash.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 8:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Grunt said...

Can someone ask this guy if he has filed for the Non-Service Connected pension benefit? He may be eligible. Maybe get him into a veterans home or help him apply for Aid & Attendance since he clearly needs medical care.

Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 9:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

By your name i know who/what you are.
We are the same.We check details.
I've done a follow on to this entry to close the loop..
My essays are usually a week-10 days in arrears.It's been edited and is in the hopper.
Watch for it.
Thanks for writing.
Now that i have a grunt reader , i'll try to use more pictures.

Monday, November 15, 2010 at 3:45:00 PM GMT-5  

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