Posted by: CeCe | May 10, 2012

Why I love our country but hate our government, part three

So where I left off, we were isolated, stuck in Germany, with all of our friends having left by the end of 2008, not knowing when we were going to finally be sent back to the States.  And then, on March 1 2009, I woke up to an email from my sister, telling me to call her no matter what time I awoke.  I called, and that’s when she told me that it had been discovered that our mother had a mass on her shoulder.  She didn’t use the word “cancer”, but we both knew that’s what it was.  Of course everyone knows how that ended.

When Shawn brought it to the attention of his NCOs, he was told that we were not eligible for a compassionate reassignment because– and this is priceless– because it was my mother, not his.  Never mind the fact that the eligibility for a compassionate reassignment clearly includes the immediate family of the spouse as well as the soldier.  We were further told, and this I was told by one of Shawn’s sergeants, that if I wanted to go be with my mom, I’d have to go alone.  That was at the same time that it was discovered that Shawn had a cardiac arrhythmia (read: heart murmur), and he was told that it could lead to very early heart failure.  We were told that he could very easily be headed for an early heart attack, and it could happen at any time.

So here, I was left with a choice:  Go be with my sick and possibly dying mother, or stay with my sick and possibly dying husband.  I made the decision to stay with Shawn until it was apparent that my mom’s cancer was terminal.  However, I should never have had to make the choice.

After my mom died, we had to wait nearly another year before the paperwork was finally complete, Shawn was discharged from the Army, and we were sent back to the States.  So now we get to why I really hate the government.

First, when Shawn was discharged, the Army gave us a lump sum which we have to pay back in order to receive medical care from the VA or any disability.

Second, from the way the discharge paperwork was worded, absolutely none of Shawn’s health problems (sleep apnea, cardiac arrhythmia, and epilepsy, as well as the memory problems, difficulty in concentrating, and fatigue caused by the seizures) can be blamed on his time in the service, despite the fact that no medical examinations prior to his entry into the Army included any indication that he had those conditions.

Third, the above means that we can get no aid from the VA in getting Shawn vocational rehab so he can find a decent job.

Fourth, the very fact of the matter is, the Army completely destroyed my husband’s health, robbed me of the last few months I would have with my only surviving parent, and refuse to help us even a tiny bit.  We’ve been able to live off of the lump sum for the last two years, but that’s only because we’ve been living with Shawn’s mom and have no serious expenses.  Imagine if we’d used the money to get into our own place!

It’s very fortunate that Shawn has not had any tonic-clonic seizures (though I’m pretty sure he’s had a few petit mal seizures), because we can’t afford to get his medication, and the VA won’t pay for it unless we pay back the lump sum.  So we’re stuck.

So yes, I do hate the government.  I hate them for what they did to my husband, what they did to me, and the fact that we’ve begun to feel there is absolutely nothing we can do.  There is more to the story, but I figure this is enough to explain my anger and bitterness.

Shawn deserved so much more than this.  He gave the military nearly nine years of his life, and in return, received poor health and a “forget you”.  I can’t help but wonder how many more soldiers like my husband are out there.

For part one:

For part two:



  1. […] three:… Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. […] sleep apnea, VA, WTU « Why I love our country but hate our government, part one Why I love our country but hate our government, part three […]

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