Recently, I had an infected toe, so I drove 90 miles south to the VA clinic and gave my Indian, VA doctor, who is from West Bengal, India, at the VA, Bangor, Maine, clinic, an interesting article from the NY Times, written by a Marine Lieutenant, who led troops in 1969 in Nam.
My doctor got angry, and told me I had violated his rules, or the VA rules, and that as a result, nobody at the VA in Maine would treat me. LOL He seemed to think I would lose my ability to get medical care at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Maine? I’m not sure where he got that idea?
At least he sent me to Wound Care at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor, where I got good medical treatment, so I have no complaints, at all. The infection was cured, and upon a second visit to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor, they debrided the wound, and I am alive and well…. LOL… ONE DAY AT A TIME. 🙂
I am 100% disabled at the Department of Veterans Affairs, due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and 20% disabled due to Agent Orange exposure.
Well! 🙂 As we used to say IN THE NAM, what are they going to do? Send us to Vietnam? LOL
I’m 69, with various illnesses, which are life threatening, and if they give me treatment, or cut my medical benefits off, how long am I going to be alive, anyway? Essentially, my emotions are still living in The Vietnam War.
Still, I have frequently greeted him by bowing and saying, “Namaste,” with folded hands, which is the Hindu greeting, and he would do the same, and he seemed to enjoy it, and told me that his home area of West Bengal in India had the highest rate of college graduates.
I think he was raised in a different culture, where Brahmans, who often become doctors, who also treat the untouchable caste, which is much lower, similar to our class system in America.
He had a similar disagreement with a disabled, African American, Vietnam veteran, friend of mine, who volunteers, fixing eyeglasses, and driving a DAV van so veterans can get transportation, and it is apparent that he thinks that no veteran can criticize a doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and maybe that is the way it is in the country of India, where he was born?
I was not criticising my Indian born, VA doctor, but merely showing him an article about people like me who were drafted and sent to Vietnam against our will, whether we liked it or not.
I used to teach English as a Second Language, as a volunteer, to small classes of immigrants, and often immigrants from other countries do not understand our customs.
Frankly, if I went to India, and asked where the local McDonald’s was, as I wished to eat a hamburger with cow meat, I might get beaten up or spat upon, so it is easy for visitors and immigrants to misunderstand the country they are visiting.
To my VA doctor at Bangor, Maine, COB clinic, I still say, “NAMASTE, SIR!” Roger J Stavitz, in Danforth, Maine.
PS This is the article I showed him, which irritated him for some reason? Mr. Broyles actually finished a Masters Degree in England, and then got drafted, became a Marine officer in 1969, and led young draftees like me (as one in seven draftees got sent to the Marine Corps in Newark, NJ, on June 25, 1969).
The Vietnam War Was Already Lost, but I Had to Go Anyway
Fifty years ago, American troops began withdrawing, but tens of thousands were yet to die.
By William Broyles, Jr.