Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Grand Rapids PRISON for Veterans - what it was like under the previous administration.

Despite Mark Sutton of the American Legion's comments to our State Legislature on the last day of testimony, Marks comment of "not everyone thinks the home is a prison", is only true for a small percentage of the people who are CURRENTLY there. Many have passed on or like myself, managed to escape (move out) of that hell hole.

Mark obliviously has not read this blog. If he had, he would have seen the column on the right, showing the top 10 posts from this blog that has over 400 posts covering over 5 years time.  He would have seen the top issues the previous administration refused to address.
 Top issues the administration refuses to address (click here)  

Even back then we were saying the operation of the home was costing taxpayers more than it should.

Members had a hand book that was supposed to be our guide, but the administration only followed it when it suited them.

Many guys were kicked out of the home with little or no due process. Many vets needing help did not get the help they needed. Veteran abuse was rampant through out the facility.  Some of it still goes on to this day. Many guys turned to drinking to deal with the pain, then got kicked out for that.

Dorm unit members stop going to Member unit council meetings because the staff would not listen to them, and they became glorified complaining sessions. It got so bad one time, the staff had to go get the units council President and VP out of bed to attend a meeting where they were the only residents in attendance. 

Another instance was when the Activities person was told to hold a unit picnic, but only those residents from the unit who attended the units monthly meeting would be able to go to the picnic. 3 showed up for the meeting, 1 other told the Activities person that he was not a donkey and using the Picnic as a carrot on a stick was insulting to the Veterans.

If members wanted to use the bowling alley there had to be a staff member or a volunteer to be with them, even the Dom unit guys who knew more about the bowling alley and machinery than the staff member, had to be "escorted and supervised" to use it.  The bowling alley went unused for days at a time because of this.. In my 4 year stay at the home, I never was able to go down to the basement where its located at and get in 1 frame.

Members wanting to use the Gas grills by the pavilion had the same situation. They had to be escorted and supervised.

If they wanted to use the charcoal grill located out in the band stand area, they had to have a fire extinguisher with them -- but where could they get one???  And again, be escorted and supervised just to be able to grill a steak. 

Some guys desperately wanted to help out with yard maintenance to have something to do, so they could contribute or give something back;but they were refused. They were told it would take away a job from someone, or "we don't want the liability for you".. DUH!!!!!!!!!!! The home was already LIABLE for their healthcare!  How could running a lawn mower, or painting the curbs, or doing something simple like that be so hard for them to be able help with?? 

It got to the point were abled bodied men and women just gave up trying to do stuff because the staff treated them like they were completely stupid children.

And many were unable to move to different establishments due to VA rules. They felt stuck there, just wasting time, waiting to die - and many did while at the home.

This is the PRISON environment so many vets found themselves in.

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