VA needs changes - Brownsville Herald: Letters To The Editor

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VA needs changes

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2019 10:47 pm


I returned from Vietnam in 1968. I did not know how to behave because I was so depressed I did not know what to do. Life kept moving forward and I was always sad.

As time went by the depression kept getting in my way. Anger and rage were always part of the depression in my mind. I was always mad at everyone. My family could not understand why I was so mad when I was a caregiver for my brothers and sister, not to mention our mother.

When I returned from Vietnam I was very mixed up. I did not know how to behave. I could not hold a job.

As life went by I began to get worse.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs did not help at all. They thought I was pretending to be mentally ill so that I could get compensation. It took me 25 years before the Houston regional office finally service-connected me for posttraumatic stress disorder. I first applied for PTSD in 1981, it would be 1995 when the VA Houston regional office finally connected me with PTSD.

I have been taking medication for depression for 20 years.

It was Dr. Pujols who mentioned to my wife that I had all of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, that was about two years ago. She never mentioned it to my psychiatrist for at least a decade. A month ago I was taken to a Methodist Hospital in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas, due to thoughts of suicide.

The first day I was seen by a psychiatrist by name of Dr. Robert Moore. He told me he could not believe that after so many years with the VA they had never diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. He prescribed me lithium and a few days later the depression subsided. I felt normal for the first time in many years.

Those of you who know me know I was always in a bad mood. It was more than that.

All of you veterans or citizens who can’t seem

to get rid of depression, go see a psychiatrist and tell him or her about how you cannot seem to get rid of depression and mention bipolar.

You have nothing to lose and everything to win.

The VA needs to be dismantled and taken over by real doctors and nurses. Humans who are proud of the work they do and doctors who care about humans and veterans who need healing.

The VA employees who make the decisions about veterans who need help should be capable and have compassion for veterans.

Fred Rendon Jr.


Davis doesn’t belong in park


I’m writing this as a concerned veteran concerning the Jefferson Davis monument.

My brother was Raul Leal, commander of American Legion Post 43 for more than 20 years. He worked very hard for more than 15 years with various mayors and commissioners to get the city to build a park to recognize Brownsville veterans for their service to our country. After 15 years of constant meetings and broken promises he was able to see a park built. The park would contain the names of every man and woman who served our country honorably.

The criteria for getting a name at the park was simple. The veteran must have been born in Brownsville and received an honorable discharge.

The Davis monument does not meet these criteria. It has no place at the park, where numerous Brownsville veterans paid the ultimate price to serve their country.

I say no to relocating it to Veterans Park. I’m also asking all veterans who feel the same way to let the City Commission know that the monument has no place at Veterans Park.

Rolando H. Leal

USAF (ret.)

Mooresville, N.C.

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