What Happens If You Don't Have a Pen?
by James Glaser
November 4, 2009

You can probably bunch this column in with my "Support the Troops" columns. So, suppose you are a veteran, and you are having a hard time with thoughts of what happened during your combat tour or tours. It starts getting worse and worse and thoughts of suicide start creeping into your mind. What do you do?

Well, you can call a Veteran's Administration Hospital or Clinic, but that might just drive you over the edge. First off, like every place else you call in America, you hear a recorded voice. This one starts out with asking if you are having a medical emergency, and it tells you if you are, to hang up and call 911. Well, if you are in the middle of flipping out, maybe you have it together enough to believe that your problem isn't a "medical" problem, but rather a "mental" problem, so you hold on thinking you will talk to somebody that can get you some help.

Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If it is after hours, that voice will give you the hours the Clinic or Hospital is open. If it is during regular hours, that voice will tell you the number of the Veteran Suicide Hotline—1.800.273.8355.

Of course if you are thinking about killing yourself hard enough that you are trying to get help, you are pretty frazzled. Everybody knows how insane it can get trying to talk to a human voice when you are just trying to deal with some corporate problem. Imagine how it gets when you want to off yourself, before you start the call.

So, here we have this recorded voice at the VA telling you a phone number you can call if you are thinking of suicide, but what happens if you don't have a pen or pencil to write that number down?

That's just another example of how our government is right there to "Support the Troops." In this day and age, they could have a way of letting frazzled veterans punch a number to talk to a counselor. If they don't have enough people for 24 hour a day national coverage, well then use some of that stimulus money and hire them.

If you are a combat veteran like me, you have a very good chance of believing that the VA and Washington would rather that the veteran kill himself. It would save a lot of money.

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source

BACK to the 2009 Politics Columns.