Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Volunteer Speaks up on behalf of Veterans - Adjutant blows it off..

I stopped into the Home today because I had a VA Clinic appointment. I was given this letter and asked to publish it on the blog, but to withhold the peoples names out of fear of retribution from the Administration at the home.

Thursday March 21, 2013

From Volunteer
City, Mich

To: Major General Gregjory J Vadnaia
Director and Adjuant General
3511 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Lansing Mi 48906
517 487 8083

Dear Sir,
  My name is (withheld) and I am a volunteer at the Grand rapids Home for Veterans. I wanted to make you aware of two issues, of the many I am concerned about.

The first rule for volunteers that is supposedly enforced across the board stating that volunteers cannot bring food into the building nor can they feed, or provide flavored drinks to members (veterans) of the home. My close friend and member  (name withheld) is a Paraplegic, who only  has limited movement in his left hand and for example, I had hm his cigarette and light it for him.
(withheld) has unlimited diet without restriction and has never been chartered as having a choking hazard. However, due to this one size fits all application of this rule, I am not allowed to assist him in eating or drinking and he is falling far down in the crack of this rule and feels his rights are being taken away. He is not able to enjoy foods that we take for granted such as Delivered pizza, Burger King, McDonalds, Arbys, oriental foods, taco's, etc..

The Second issue is one of the leadership or lack thereof at the home. A Majority of the members feel that the home has been guided down the wrong path and that many of their few privileges and rights are being either restricted or taken away all together - the ship has run aground.  They have also expressed and cried out for a need for better care for them. They have said the level of care they receive has plummeted since the firing of all the state workers and that hiring of the current agency workers and not capable of providing the care because they are under-trained and under-paid.These concerns have caused the members to start a Veterans for Justice Group, within the home to act as liaison between members and Staff. Rather than the state appoint someone over the home, or appoint an ombudsman, the Veterans for Justice Group is lobbying for their strong desire to have a Veteran Leader and Advocate over the facility that is voted in and elected by the members themselves.  Veteran leadership for the veterans and by the veterans to get the home back on the right track.

It is with utmost respect that I request your help and attention with these issues. Working together with the members, will provide a positive living environment they will be proud to call home

Respectfully (name withheld).

The Response he got reads:

From The Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, Lansing Michigan. April 1st, 2013

Dear (withheld);

I am writing in response to your March 21,2013 correspondence. First, I wanted to start off by thanking your for being an active volunteer at our veterans home.  Our Veterans sincerely appreciate the care and attention that volunteers like you provide to them and their families. Volunteers can provide an additional layer of compassion that makes our veterans feel more like home.

I have asked the hospital superintendent to review your suggestion that volunteers be permitted to bring various items into the veterans home. That said, I'm sure you are aware that our homes are regulated by numerous state and federal laws and procedures that were adopted to ensure that we continue to provide save, compassionate, and consistent care to our honored veterans. Many of our veterans have various medical conditions and food allergies that may make it difficult to honor your request.  The Superintendent will forward you a letter indicating whether your request may be viable.

Secondly, while I do not necessarily share your assertions that the standard of car has been affected by the recent restructuring of the veterans home staffing, I appreciate your concern for the care of our veterans. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Signed, Gregory J. Vadnais, Major General, MING, The Adjutant General.


In other words, the Major General told the volunteer, Nothing will be done to change the current status, and that they (the politicians) do not believe that the level of care has changed despite what they are being told.

Screw the veterans again.

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