One of VA's ongoing missions is to provide a positive health care experience for all Veterans. That mission includes focusing on Veterans' needs, working with health care providers who want to make a difference, and providing a safe healing environment.
Below are some stories from both Veterans and VA health care providers that illustrate the many ways VA is committed to creating a positive health care experience:
Veterans Adam Anicich and Andrew Clark appreciate, more than most, the significance of the 10th anniversary this week of VA’s Polytrauma treatment program.
The both served in Iraq and both experienced explosions that left them with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Anicich: “I sustained a TBI when I fell from the top of a piece of cargo handling equipment after a mortar hit near our position. The driver likely jerked the steering wheel in response to the explosion, causing me to fall about 20 feet onto the hard-packed gravel.”
Clark: “During my second deployment, we were getting mortared on a daily basis. Most of the rockets shattered upon impact, thankfully, because I was only a couple of feet away. Unfortunately some went off close enough so that the power of the concussion knocked me down.”
Josie Beatty’s nightmares began some time before she left military service in 2006. She’d spent 15 years in the Air Force, a lot of those years working in the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
“My unit handled mass causalities, and most of them were coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan,” she explained. “Sometimes, when they unzipped the body bag, the person inside looked peaceful, like they were just sleeping. Other times, it was the opposite, especially if they’d been killed in an explosion, a helicopter crash, or something like that. Sometimes they weren’t even in one piece.”
Nonetheless, a Servicemember’s remains still needed to go through a carefully orchestrated process in order to be positively identified. It required a team of specialists.