Mexico, Mars and the Man

Letters from the week of December 19, 2002

Aside from all this, Reynoso earned (according to ESPN.com) $4.5 million in 2002 and is a 12-year veteran. Surely he has earned a few more million along the way and could afford to retire and stay in Arizona if he so desired.

Dylan J. Fields
Via e-mail

Veteran Medicine

Vexed vet: Thank you for bringing Brian Callan's story to print ("Welcome Back, Warrior," Paul Rubin, November 21). There are many of us still getting the shaft from good old Uncle Sam. Me, for another. I will say that both Kate Monroe and Dr. Grant have been lifesavers in the system. The reality is the government doesn't want to pay for the medical needs of our service. It is better to deny than to give is the VARO motto, in my opinion. I am a disabled veteran, medic, woman, served 1964-'70 and am still fighting the system.

Catherine Baker
MesaHooray for the VA: In 1974 I realized I was having some problems with my time served in Vietnam, so I went to the VA, and they told me I would get over it with time and that there was nothing wrong with me. What could I do? Nothing.

In 1994 I was starting to have problems again, and finally, in 1995, a fellow veteran told me the VA was doing a lot better and I should go see them. I finally hit the wall, so I went to the Vet Center, who then channeled me into the VA for treatment, and it was a brand-new world! I was evaluated, put into programs, provided medication and counseling, and it was a relief, to say the least. The employees and medical staff at the Phoenix VA are some of the best people around. I did move to California for a year, but I could not get the first-rate treatment I was receiving here at the Loma Linda VA Center, so I moved back to Phoenix. I am around a lot of veterans who have good things to say about the treatment they receive here. Dr. Grant has been my physician, and he has helped me out immensely. I really had nothing to look forward to, and my family suffered until the VA helped me out.

The VA is a large institution and I know they have their problems, but the veterans who seek help there are sometimes not receptive to their attempts to help them. I know veterans who try and share prescriptions though they are not prescribed them and veterans who miss appointments and then demand to see a doctor right now; veterans need to realize the amount of people who seek these services and try and relax and get into the mainstream.

I do not know the circumstances surrounding your previous article, I just know that these people do the best they can and are doing a hell of job with what they have. I am glad to have Dr. Grant as my physician.

There is no nation on this earth that takes better care of its military veterans than the United States. We need to remember that.

Richard Sena
Avondale

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