As I read about the Workhouses, Casual Labor and Sweatshops that operated during the Victorian era, I noticed a few disheartening similarities between them and the Veterans Administration. If you’re unaware of the numerous scandals that have taken place within an organization designed to care for our veterans then you’ve either been living under a rock or need to dislodge yourself from reality TV and Facebook to find out what’s happening in your country. In the Workhouses, children were supposed to receive some education, but this rule was often ignored by those that ran them. In the same way those children were willfully neglected by those that chose to ignore the rules of the government program designed to help them; our veterans are often an after thought to good performance reviews, false reports to make the VA look better. Bureaucracy, it seems, has withstood the test of time.
The other strong correlation was drawn from the casual labor example cited. Just as men struggled to get work to feed themselves and their families, veterans scramble for much needed healthcare brought on by war and years of living in the most adverse conditions imaginable. Just as those laborers were sometimes turned away due to nothing being available, veterans encounter the same as a lack of healthcare professionals available equate to incredibly long wait times to get an appointment (think months, not days) and suffer greatly from it. As the casual labor force was turned away they had little to no options other than the workhouse or some sort of nefarious activity. Unfortunately, when our veterans our turned away they find drug and alcohol addiction with some not living to try again the next day.