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  • Posted April 29, 2012 by
    Danforth, Maine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Salute to troops

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    Veterans Affairs Recognition Has Real Meaning For Me

    Hey, folks.

    On a psychiatric level, I was not able to handle my two tours of duty in the US Army Quartermaster Corps, near the end of the Vietnam War, all that well. After leaving Vietnam, I did get a 2 year degree in Accounting, but I avoided authority, going to jail for trespassing with a bail of $5, rather than going to a VA psychiatric hospital.

    Near the end of my life, my WW II, US Navy WAVE, Mother died, and I was able to let go of some of my anger, and successfully apply for and receive my veterans benefits.

    But then I acted out on another old, PTSD feeling, and that was to move to remote Maine, where there was just mostly nature. But there was little psychiatric or medical care up here, and I was forced to drive the 350 miles round trip to VAMC in Togus near Augusta.

    When I complained about the drive to the Director in Washington, the Director of Mental Health for the VA in Maine (previous director) told me, via a television connection, that I had embarrassed him. A year later, in anger, he banned me from VA Mental Health care, and then reneged, realizing in his anger that he only controlled VA Mental Health care in the State of Maine.

    Well, it does seem that when I take Prozac, I become just like Bill Murray's character in the movie called WHAT ABOUT BOB. And if you remember, Bob's psychiatrist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, tried to blow Bob up with dynamite. So I've forgiven the previous VA Director of Mental Health for his ego driven problems, and forgive myself, as well, for my own shortcomings as a patient...LOL

    And it was a real pleasure to be able to plant a volunteer flower garden at the VA Lincoln C.O.B. Clinic these past two years. My nurse, Gretchen Rush, encouraged me, as well as Dr. Melrose, who prescribes my Prozac, and is kind enough to tolerate me, and I got this letter last summer, which I was grateful to receive.

    I've found out that the, "ban on VA Mental Health Care has been lifted," and I am grateful for that. I still have not asked for a counselor, for fear that I will only aggravate my new counselor, and make him want to blow me up with dynamite. LOL

    Driving down 3 days a week to water the plants under the eaves of the building where rain does not normally reach, I figure I drove over 3,000 miles last summer, and spent about $500 in gas, to keep this VA garden going. Don't know if I'll have the money this year to repeat the process for the third year in a row, but I will say that our veterans and the staff that treats them deserve every sunny day they can get.

    GOD BLESS VETERANS. Roger Stavitz in Danforth, Maine.
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