My Name is Richard Kleinsmith and I gave four years of my life serving my country in the Air Force during ’66 to ’70. During that time I spent 6 months in Guam building 500, 750 and 1,000 lb bombs that were destined for Vietnam. Then, a year or so later I was sent in Thailand, again supporting the Vietnam efforts. While my experiences were nothing compared to the grunts on the ground, I was profoundly affected by what I saw and experienced. Many of my friends who returned home were not so lucky.
My experiences with the VA have been nothing but positive when compared to the stories in the media. In fact, I have not spoken to anyone that has had a bad experience. Maybe I just haven’t spoken to the right guys. However, I have a friend who uses the Lebanon, PA., VA and owes his life to the doctors, nurses and staff when he had an aneurism burst in his brain.
His story is remarkable in that it flies in the face of every bad story that finds its way to the media. I won’t go into detail but after the initial evaluation and diagnosis, he was immediately rushed to Hershey Medical Center to undergo surgery. It was touch and go for a while and, after released, he still had a long way to go with numerous visits to the VA.
A word about his wife: She is a wonderful, caring beautician and business owner who is very smart but extremely fussy. If you ask her how the Lebanon VA measures up, she rates the facility above any non VA hospital for the care of her husband.
Can I say more?