Walking The Halls Of A VA Hospital


I have been wanting to write this entry for a few weeks now, but today I’m sitting down to actually do it. Its going to be allot food for thought, my personal observations, and about something that was said to me that I really did not appreciate one damn bit. It may seem as though I am ranting, which it is a little, but more venting than anything else. Before this year my dealings with the Veterans Administration (VA) has been very limited because other than receiving a check every month and my initial VA home loan I haven’t had a real need. Regulars here over the years know I am a retired disabled Air Force veteran who participated in Desert Storm and The Liberation of Kuwait back in the 90s. I am disabled with a 100% rating yet I have worked full time ever since the day I left the Air Force. Hell, the first time I visited the VA Medical Center here in Houston for my own personal needs was in February of this year (2014). There is but only one way to get into the VA medical system and that is to visit a medical center and take a fucking number.

Since that little adventure I have returned a handful of times and also to the VA clinic in Conroe where my PCP is located. My reasons were simple for beginning this journey so many years after my departure from the Air Force. First because my service related injury to continue care and because of needing diabetes medication. Both became an instant need once I was laid off in February this year. Never underestimate the need of private insurance and the amount of the financial burden it actually covers. I still had the needs I had beforehand, just now without insurance. So, I made a choice, and that choice was to start using my VA privileges for the first time. The inside of a VA hospital is a disheartening sight because inside a VA hospital is where one can see the cost of freedom just by witnessing the people visiting the hospital that day for their needs and services. I wondered the first time, just looking around, why in the fuck I am here. But, now I am a part of the “system”, I wait in line, I take a number, and I try to be patient while waiting for my turn. My point is simple really, the men and women, active or veteran, who are seen within the walls of a VA hospital are there because they have paid in one way, form, or fashion, that many of us have no way of understanding, whether it is mental or physical or a combination of both, because unless we are in that person’s shoes we can never know.

Everyday I grow a little more impatient with people who, in my opinion, are very self centered. Why? Let’s use a very recent example which happened to me back in April. My wife and I had pulled into a very crowded parking lot of a local supermarket on a Sunday around the time the local churches have been letting out. We maneuver around the parking lot in my Hummer H1 looking for a spot. My wife sees a handicap space has opened up and has told me where to go. As I signal that I am turning in to the vehicles around me a woman in a brand new Cadillac Escalade comes down the row against traffic, meaning she was coming down the one way lane the wrong way, and attempts to cut me off and take the spot. So, I approached her Escalade rather aggressively to see if she would back off. To my surprise, a 20ish woman jumps out of the driver’s door yelling and screaming at me to get the fuck out of her parking space. Pause a moment. Upon review of her vehicle I see she still has dealer paper plates a a red handicap tag (in Texas a red tag is very temporary) hanging from her mirror. For ten minutes she yelled at me, cursed at me, and scolded me. Then, then she showed her ass by asking why in the fuck I was even trying to park there since I don’t even have handicap plates or a placard. It is true, everything she said, except the fact that I have DV (disabled veteran handicap logoed) license plates. She had no idea what they are and proceeds to lecture me (the person with visible scarring on both knees, one being from a knee replacement) on the purpose and design of a handicap parking space. Since I was in the space, since I was done talking, I locked up the H1, and proceeded to go inside to go shopping. Meanwhile, she calls the police so they can have my vehicle towed (which never happened). When we came out about 25 minutes later she had moved her vehicle out of the drive so others could pass. Except now she was in the backseat of the police cruiser screaming at the officer. The verdict? She was in possession of an expired tag (new date was written over the old), her drivers license was already suspended, and the temporary dealer tags were also expired by two months. She was arrested and her Escalade was towed. That’s the end of what I know or want to know about her.

Is there a moral to this story? Who really knows. I do know that before she tried to be a fraud, a cheat, and a liar, that should actually know what in the fuck she is yelling about. I have no time for people like her. If she would have just asked me to let her have the spot politely it would have been all hers, no explanation needed because I wasn’t in such a great hurry and my doctor says a little walking on occasion won’t kill me. I’m easy like that. Blow up in my face and I make it hard because I will just walk away from the bullshit. I love people, especially the clueless ones because they make the world go round. I wondered, after the fact, why she had so many things going wrong for her and all I came up with is, to me and in my own opinion, that she had a poor and negative attitude. Personally, I doubt she will ever get her shit together and be a functional adult in society, but that is just my opinion based on one brief encounter with her. How can I really now anyways.


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Sweet Wine From My Grapevine


Over the years one thing that has always stood true is the fact that I know allot of people both in and out of the United States Air Force. This comes in very handy as a resource from time to time. Most of the time it isn’t personal, it’s just things people thought I might find interesting. It has also been a valued resource when trying to locate people that can never be matched by none other. Last week I found out some things that shocked the shit out of me because I never, in a thousand years, thought it would happen the way it did. Such is life right, sometimes we get proven wrong beyond our wildest dreams. Before we talk about the fantastically surprising yet fitting news, we must first explore the pre-cursor of the career, the actual career, and the ultimate demise of that career of the woman I will be discussing. So, if you think you are ready then lets kick the tires and light the fires to get this story in the air.

Back in the 90s there was a young mother who didn’t want to work so she struck a deal with her husband. The deal? She decided to go to college to pursue a career as a social worker. She promised her husband that this was a great idea and when he would eventually retire she could be the support for the family. Push forward a few years now. Just prior to receiving her Master Social Worker degree the marriage fell apart and eventually had to be dismantled in the best interests of everyone involved. Push forward even more you say? After getting her LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker) she applied and was granted entrance into the United States Air Force. Afterwhich she guilted their only daughter into moving out from her father’s house and into her own. Shortly after having the sole custody of father case overturned she had the husband (at least on official government paperwork) declared deceased which granted her special hardship privileges since she was a single mother whom was widowed.

The careerfield she chose was so hard up for people that they waived the age restriction of 35 (she was to turn 35 shortly before entering). She was also provided an enlistment bonus (I won’t disclose how much because it will just piss you off) in exchange for an eight year commitment. She would also start her new career as a Captain (0-3), skipping the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (0-1) and 1st Lieutenant (0-2) altogether. She bit that like she was a ravenous vulture ripping apart a decaying carcass. She made many friends in a variety of positions which always guaranteed that she stayed stateside and most assuredly never having to do a remote or hazardous duty tour due to her hardship status. Time passes and she found it possible to increase her rank another two times, Major (0-4) and finally a very fresh (like under 60 days fresh) new Lieutenant Colonel (0-5). Just imagine with me now, she did all of this within 8 years 7 months and 18 days. There are those of you scratching your heads right now because either you don’t understand how long rank takes to acquire or you do know how long it takes to acquire rank. Either way, it was accomplished at the fucking speed of light.

Recently, she decided to early retire. But wait, it gets better. She retired for FREE because she hadn’t been in long enough to get a retirement of any sort from the Air Force. Wait, it gets even better. Want to know why she got out? She had two long time friends who both recently retired after giving 30+ years of service to the Air Force each. They were the muscle and guarantee that she never had to do a duty she didn’t want to. But, seems just before they retired a little birdie blabbed to the Air Force that not only was she never a widow, but her daughter lives in another state and is a mother herself. Oops. Anyway, her name came up to go to Qatar for 2 years. There was nobody to “save” her from going, so she just quit the Air Force. She has since, within the last month, moved to another state where she can be a private social worker in private practice. She will not even tell her daughter where she is living.

Now, perhaps you are wondering why any of this gossip of a career gone south would make a hill of beans to me. I’ll tell you why, I am the deceased husband. Most of this I already knew over the years, up to the point that she exited the Air Force rather abruptly within the last few months instead of going on the tour to Qatar. I have mixed thoughts about her. In my mind she is still the same back stabbing cunt that led us down the destructive road of divorce. On the other hand it would seem that it was her time to dance with this bitch we all know as karma who also thought she was a cunt and decided to treat her like one. Either way, she loses. No, I don’t win, but man is this some fun shit to watch unfold over the years. Wow, wait until my oldest daughter reads this post. Good thing I already called her.

Travel Trip Grape Stomping

Being A Number On A List


I write quite a bit about the United States Air Force, the AMMO careerfield, the places in the world I have traveled, and the people I have met because my time in the Air Force consumed just shy of 15 years of my life. I write quite a bit about being a United States Air Force Disabled Veteran as well since this “status” was given to me and has been a part of my life for the last 13 years. In a way, my “status” is no more than being a number in a system and a monthly disbursement of funds. Fortunately for me, I did not have the struggles that we hear over time about how people get denied benefits. I was fortunate to receive a 100% disabled rating from the start. One of the “benefits”, if it can be considered a benefit, is that my vehicles bear Texas DV permanent license plates. I’m one of those people you will see out in the actual parking lot and not in the designated handicap parking spaces. Why? Good question. Perhaps because I intend on confusing people who notice. It really matters not to me where I park, most days, as I get older, being closer to the entrance is nice, but not required. I can get there from anywhere, might take me a little longer, but I will get there eventually.

Why do I bring all of this up? I had an interesting interaction with a young lady at our local Big Box supercenter, insert the name you know belongs, who afterwords really got my son to thinking and asking questions he had never asked before. First, she asked to take a picture of my H1 Alpha where the license plate is visible to help her in her project she is putting together showing disabled parking placard fraud. When I asked why she responded with an interesting observation she made while watching me and others. She pointed out that each entrance to the Big Box supercenter has 21 handicap parking spaces yet there are 40+ vehicles out in general parking that have disabled plates. She continued to explain that there are only two vehicles with actual disabled plates using handicap parking spaces, the rest are using disabled placards of different varieties. He points out that half of them are expired, some of them have had the dates obscured some way, and a small percentage actually look proper. I still don’t see my place in this conversation yet. She continued by saying that the two vehicles that had actual disabled plates had people in them which were using the assistance of motorized chair, where all the placarded vehicles moved under self locomotion. Okay, so what is the issue or problem with me. She says she has noticed before as she has been doing her “study” for a few months that there are times I park is handicap parking when it is available. I was waiting for her to ask me why, but it never happened.


I soon walked off because I actually was there for a reason beyond looking who is parking where. As I walked off I made a call to a friend of my in the county sheriffs office and asked if what she was doing was legal. He said he would roll out there and see if he could talk with her. Why did I call? I called for 2 reasons, first of all her stalking people in the parking lot enough to recognize people who frequent this store (which is mega-creepy) and secondly because she was taking pictures of people, vehicles, and license plates. Is she doing anything illegal? We’ll talk about that here in a bit. This whole thing prompted my son to start asking a few questions of his own. We will talk about a few of them. First he asked why the police don’t tow, boot, or ticket vehicle in disabled parking with expired credentials. I actually know this answer, it is because disabled parking violations on private property is not exactly a high priority with the police department. Now this same problem in a public setting or at government facilities is swiftly handled. Why? My guess is money, logistics, and manning. Second he asked what were the requirements for getting a disabled plate or placard. Personally I don’t know what others needed to do, I had to fill out forms and be examined before being given my prescription to take to the DMV. I would only expect that this would be the same process for everyone. But, I don’t often assume things, so I leave this one as unknown.

Thirdly he asked don’t I wish that I could closer to the entrance all the time. Sure, it would be nice, but I don’t mind the longer walk. Last, he asked me a question which he shouldn’t be worrying about which was are most of the people who have handicap parking privileges frauds. Good question. People have their reasons for doing everything. Most people who know they are doing something wrong have already weighed the odds of getting caught and are willing to accept the consequences. Sure, I see people getting in the car and out their car and wonder to myself what the reason for their disabled plate/placard is. But then I would imagine that people ask the same about me. What they see is a man in his mid-40s who gets out or gets in his vehicles a little slower than others. They see a man who walks a little bit slower than most. Other than a modest limp, nobody would think nothing to be any different about me. I don’t where my medical history on my shirt for the world to read nor is it available at your request to review. I personally don’t know other people are doing or why they are doing it. In the end if I ever get to the point where my mobility is really shitty I can always have my wife do the annoying thing I see allot, which is to stop right in front of the front doors and drop me off.

Now, getting back to the young lady in the parking lot. She claims to be a college student here locally and a while back handicap parking fraud caught her attention and through some research she found it was a large problem that is mostly ignored. So, she has become an “advocate” for the disabled driver, she uses her website to get out her word and findings, I guess like an investigative reporter of sorts. She also does petitions and writes lawmakers in Austin to try to get the laws changed so the fraud will disappear. As well, she feels she is at least a little bit partially responsible for the fines increasing in Texas for violators. I look like at it like this, karma truly is a bitch. Everything has a way of catching up with you in one way or another. I know that I’m not the one who is a fraud, I’m not the one doing something illegal, I’m not the one who needs a lesson in morality, and I’m not the person who will get shot confronting someone over a parking space. Life is too short to let the little things ruin your day. It may seem that I don’t actually care, which is isn’t altogether true, I do care, I care that I have myself in-line, what someone else does with their life is their choice. Too many assholes have frauded the disabled parking system that Joe Public looks at all of us with scrutiny and in-turn sees no harm in the handicap space being mis-used. Not everyone is a thief and a liar, not everyone is a fraud, not everyone is lazy, and not everyone who has disabled plates needs to be in disabled parking. It would be nice however, if people did follow the law and that the laws are enforced. In a perfect world maybe, but not in the world I live in.


Overall I guess the actual point of this post is to show people that not everyone feels “privileged” with what they believe to be their undisputable right to park in a handicap spot. And yes, I am a person who could go either way. Most days my body decides to be cooperative with me living my life, other days not so much, but life must still carry forward. I think the only problem I have with people, in general, is the ones that admit they borrow a vehicle or a placard so they can park closer, because that is just lazy, and lazy isn’t a handicap, it’s a choice people make everyday.

And Now I Find Out He’s A Marine!

One of the guys I work with, we will just call him BS, also may be referred to as one of my work kids, always comes up with some whoppers on what he has done the weekend before. Now, before I begin let me give you some background on BS. I have known BS and his family since 2000, when BS was only 9 years old. My wife has worked side by side with his mom since then and I have worked off and on with his step dad over the years as well. In fact, I have worked for his step dad solid for the last four years. BS has worked here as well off and on for the last 4 years as well. He always has to work with his step dad because he can’t get and hold a job unless daddy is there to hold his hand on a daily basis. Tell you how bad off he has it. I consider BS a grown ass man. He is married which scares me because one day they will breed. But, eventhough he is employed fulltime, making $42K a year, his mommy pays his rent, pays his car payment, car insurance, and buys plenty of groceries every month. Why? In my opinion she just won’t cut the cord. BS is a skilled, a master even, habitual liar. I have always known this and out of respect to his parents and my wife I have always bit my tongue and looked away. I cannot be his friend because he, in my opinion, is a lazy piece of shit who has no control in his life and doesn’t care about anything but the lies he tells.

After working here for a few years our manager got tired of his bullshit and fired him. He spent about 14 months gone. Meanwhile our manager got fired and soon after BS was re-hired by daddy because he didn’t have a job and mommy and daddy were going broke. BS likes to tell tall tales. For some reason he does not think anybody knows any better. So, he has been back for a few months now and the other kids up here started asking him what he did while he wasn’t working here. He says he did a variety of things, anywhere from being a fireman, border patrol, race car driver, UFC fighter, and he became a United Stated Marine as well. When he started telling this story in particular my ears perked up like an old hound dog on the porch. He knew a few things or at least it sounded like he knew something for once. He talked for hours, he was getting frustrated because as he talked the others were asking for details and he would get his story all fucked up. I found myself laughing more than once during the story. Normally I walk away, ignore, and stay way out of it all because I am considered a family friend. Daddy does the same, just let’s him dig his hole deeper and deeper. But, on this day, he picked this day to drag me into the conversation. He told the guys that if they didn’t believe what he was saying as fact to just ask me since I spent a considerable amount of time in the Air Force. I don’t know how it related so I declined at first to give comment. After being nagged for a while I finally broke and gave in.

I told BS that he was full of shit and I would not be a part of his shit filled story because it is all one poorly told lie. BS said he could prove he was a Marine. So, I said to prove it. There are two ways I would have been convinced, show me a military i.d. card or show me your dog tags. Other than that leave me out of it. He went on to explain that he didn’t have either one on his person. I explained to him that if he was a Marine that he is forbidden from ever having either form of i.d. not on his person. BS continued with his cock and bull story and continued to get pissed off at me because I would not support his flagrant bullshit. Finally, I had enough. After he didn’t even know what or where he went to boot camp I was done with him. If he doesn’t know he spent a couple months at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego then there is more than just one problem for this poor dickhead. So, it continued until he actually pissed me off. I have a few friends with interesting jobs in and out of the military so I made a call to one of them and put them on the speaker so everyone could hear the conversation because I was going to settle this shit once and for all. Now the story evolved a bit, now he wasn’t active duty, he was Marine Corps Reserve so the same rules didn’t apply to him.

I started out the call with normal chit chat and then told my friend the reason I was calling was because I had a family friend who was in the Reserves and had misplaced his i.d. and all three sets of his dog tags. I gave him BS’s social security number, full name, and claimed rank. He checked 13 different data bases that covers ALL of the military personal ever to be in the military to include active, retired, dead, POW, MIA, and so forth. Guess what? BS was nowhere to be found. BS has never even applied to join any branch ever. Now this shit just got real. Now the kids here really started digging into him. I hung up with my friend and BS tells me it was all just crap and that guy wasn’t nobody and didn’t know shit about what he has done in his life or the Marines. Fair enough. I got onto my computer and went to a few database sites I have access to for background checks and so forth. Within a few minutes I was provided a shitload of information. I saw things I should not have seen. He had been in jail for 3 months for indecent exposure to a minor female. His parents were not aware of this and he quickly told me that I could never speak of it. I told BS fine, but it had already slipped that he spent time in jail so he quickly made up the story that he had beat the crap out of a police officer when he got pulled over for no reason and the cop was harassing him. The plot thickened from there. He got pissed and told me thank for not having his back. I told him that he did not want to involve me because I don’t play these fucking games with nobody. He hasn’t spoke to me in a few months now, in fact he is one of the quiet ones now, and he doesn’t really say anything in front of me because he knows I will slam the door on his bullshit.

There are a few things I have a hard time accepting, those are liars, posers, impostors, child molesters, thieves, cheaters, and outright and blatant bullshit. Anyway, I guess this one goes into the books in the category of “jail” in all intensive purposes of title-sake. I am very sure that this isn’t the last master tale to be crafted by BS and I am sure it won’t be the last lie he gets caught telling.