Thursday, May 28, 2015

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans War on Free Speech.

Well they did it. It has been a successful campaign. The Home silences voices for Veterans, (unless it is one of them) and obstructs free speech.

Historical evidence clearly shows an intentional attempt by the administration of the Michigan Veterans home at Grand Rapids, is involved in squashing free speech by its residents or any other out side influence from speaking up for the veterans within.

From targeting residents for discharge (removal) to targeting visitors. Anyone who has anything negative to say about the home or its administration, even if it is for the purpose of bringing attention to problems that need resolution (positive criticism) , the administration is actively attempting to silence that voice.

From Sara Dunne's claim that its HER job to talk to Congressional representatives, instead of letting veterans do so, to Jim Dunn of the Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs Agency, who said its his job to represent the veterans to the congress, the history is clear.

The fact that this home ordered a state congresswoman  (Winnie Brinks) whose district includes the home, OFF of the homes property should not surprise anyone.

The local media is in lock down about the home and refuses or fails to do any kind of story on the home or what is going on within the home, without the administrations approval. And any stories short of murder are quashed unless they reflect the home in a positive way.  Outside voices for the veterans and resident veterans themselves have gone to local media (WOOD TV8  and WZZM 13) with stories only to see them silenced. A video interview with one resident (at his request), who later died at the VA hospital in Battle Creek, was hand delivered to WZZM and it too got silenced.

What once used to be a real HOME for veterans has become a glorified prison for many of the remaining residents. Members as they are called, even though the home is classified as a "hospital" and ran quasi like one. It has become a place for veterans to die, more than an actual home where people do things like live and enjoy life.  Residents are afraid to speak up for fear of being targets for expulsion from the home. And for many of them, it is the only place they have other than the streets.

Residents have witnessed what they believe is the homes targeting residents who "speak up" and who 'are not afraid to say whats on their minds", only to see those residents discharged, "kicked out" of the home shortly after they become vocal.   Other residents are told to "shut up" when they try to bring up issues. I am told this happened most recently to a veteran of the Dorm Unit, who spoke up about proper licensing on a hunting trip.

The homes residents "member counsel" has become nothing more than a glorified bitch session, with the residents whining about trivial matters and the administration ignoring them, while talking DOWN to them about various things.

Dorm unit member counsel meeting was eliminated because Dorm residents stop going to it. They got tired of being talked down to by the administration who refused to listen to what they were saying to the administration. Ideas on how to improve things and how to deal with problems fell on deaf ears (so the residents felt). Now there is just one resident counsel meeting that covers both nursing units and Dorm unit, and recently a member from the Dorm unit was kicked out of that meeting because he was trying to discuss a serious problem at the home.

Long time volunteers and advocates for veterans from the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and others have been banned from the property after years of volunteering at the home.

Several residents, volunteers and visitors who go to the home on a regular basis have told me that they believe the only reason Greg M is not allowed to visit resident friends is because the board of managers believes he is directly connected to this blog and this is their attempt to silence him. The residents say that they think that the board seems to believe that if he cannot go on the property he cannot report what is really going on there.  They are wrong. Joe and I get reports form over 40 people. Residents, volunteers, visitors, and even a few employees contact us monthly to keep us informed as to whats going on there. I can and do visit once in a while when I have time and I see things going on that are just unbelievable and unacceptable behavior from the administration. Joe was there last week and says the place should be shut down and the veterans allowed to go to private sector care places.

Pro veteran members of Michigan Congress say they are being stopped by the Executive branch, and Governor Rick Snyders' people. Many have tried to intervene on behalf of veterans only to be shut down.

The Governors people, the board of managers and the homes administration doesn't want the public to know about any of this for their own self interest reasons. And that is why this blog and its Facebook page exists.

This is a criminal act by those who are employed by the state to act in the interest of the public trust to care for our veterans. And they need to be held accountable and REMOVED and where applicable, prosecuted.

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