Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 2, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
The Lethbridge Herald Fourth Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, May 2, 1973 PAGES 39 TO 45 PEACE? WHAT PEACE? FOR THOUSANDS OF DISABLED VIETNAM VETERANS a handsome beret, is one of 'critical') injury, and there aie whole blasted thing. Hence the "This isn't because they don't body else I like to take my wife the wounds of Vietnam that thousands of other who have guy in the wheelchair gets little want to work, says Hartnett, out to eat now and then. I shall never heal. Soldiers come lost eyes, legs, arms or other mileage rattling his medals; in "but because nobody wants to want to do it in peace and By Tom Tiede, Newspaper Enterprise Association NEW YORK fVEA) Tyrone Thompson sajs he went to Vietnam for the gloij And that's a good thing, "because there was no glory, at least not for me He went because, well, hell, "it was better than jail But now, sitting in a wheelchair, home, lives are restarted, peaceful rhetoric rings from on high, but none of it makes uses of their bodies fact, says James Maye of the hire them." Why? Some em- quiet. But what do I have to jjas> Of couise_ always Paralyzed Veterans Associa- plojers worry (incorrectly) do? I have to go in through thus in war. But the pecu- tion! disabled vet is "being that their insurance rates the back door, the kitchen, to much diffeience to Ty Thomp- iiar nature, if not to say odor, shunted aside and forgotten would go up. Others don't want get to a table. That makes me son Seven years ago in the Of the Vietnam conflict seems People look at ut> as losers, to spend time matching the mad. That makes me wonder. Nam his spinal cord was sev- to emphasize the head-shaking Tliey subconsciously put us out man to the job Still others, who really gives a ered during an enemy ambush tragedy of the contemporary their minds. And as time frankly, simply refuse to both- The question is fair. Who does it will remain thus for maimed veteran After other passes we think this treatment er with the idea of having crip- care? The federal government the remainder of his life. American wars the perman- ls to worse ptes in their plants has passed legislation mandat- Peace? What peace' For entiy injured could at least sal- Indeed Recently the Veter- what if they get hurt or some- ing accommodating architec- Thompson and others like him Vage some satisfaction from ans Administration compiled a ture for the handicapped on all the war doesn't end merely be- the knowledge they got what study concerning the merits of And even if the employer is construction helped by federal lf they got for a more or less nee- compensation to disabled vet- not prejudiced, Hartnett adds, funds. Yet builders of Washin- essary battle. Today, says one erans. Its finding indicated the he has no special incentive for ton's new Metro subway have paraplegic, "The only thing we maimed chaps were all but hiring the seriously disabled. "I told the PVA that they "will know is that we got what we diippmg with government get damn mad when I see every not" construct necessary ele- got for this damn 'peace with granted wealth, thus slight re- minority group in the country vators, ramps, etc to enable honor'" ductions might be in order, (blacks, women, etc.) take wheelchair citizens access The Slight? Ron Drach, a one-legged priority jobs preference over PVA says it is suing, but ad- TVT I 1 Vietvet now working with the veterans. There is one govern- nuts to a probably losing cause. IN O Help DAV. says his monthly com- ment program, for Sighs one Viet member: "Since pensation, under the VA pro- that offers tax credits to em- I've got back I've noticed a Besides this, the American posal, would be cut from to ployers of the hardcore unem- pattern in this country. Metro, unable to his body from era veterans are receiving some public has not helped. It too has Needless to say Drach was ployed. Well obviously, then, jobs, you name it. I just don't the waist down, he has to won- compensation today, but that been long soured on Vietnam not happy with the V A. report if a guy has got 20 openings he's think people want me der about the wisdom of his figure includes a majority who and> some say. those who par- and protested bitterly going to fill them with 20 hard- around." wartime choice have been only slightly damag- ticipated m it. Evidence is that dld thousands of other core unemployed why should Oh man, he what could ed thus only slightly scarred people simply want to handicapped Vietvets And the he hire a disabled vet if he been worse than this7 Thompson represents perhaps forget about the vhole blasted VA slurhtlv humiliated ai- '-an get federal compensation Thompson, now 27, a black to Vietvets who have thing and forget about any- apologies withdrew for hiring man with a spnggly beard and suffered spinal cord (read it one who reminds them of the the proposition with' uncharac- Bad as it is, the unemploy- teristic haste. cause it is over Others There are, unfortunately, sig- nificant numbers of others like Thompson No one knows ex- actly how many The Disabled American Veterans Association reports that Vietnam Anguish ment puzzle is only one of the But even though compensa- tion cuts are no longer expect- ed, and even if the future is to But the disabled Vietnam vet is around Not in restaurants by ser- W1th skinny doors, perhaps, but veter- elsewhere In hospitals, in even more aggravat- ground floor homes, in automo- designed for be'worse than the present for especially for the wrinnilv disabled Vietvets wheelchaired victim, is the an- ttagfwill bVbadenouph John cient obstacle of public accom- operators. And never mind Sr, Cation. Wheelchairs cannot JpeopH. want them around or i-_- ____ A______- npffntiatp parmnr term War doesn't end just because it is over tor of the D4V says America negotiate stairs, cannot leap is through the most la- "to tees, cannot squeeze mentable "Tommy Atkins syn- drome" he has seen after any mes. being around, some- such condition, is So here he is Wearing his of the day is spent flat in bed. for them. beret over his eye Giving the It's a big deal if somebody hospital hell surgeons are smuggles in some booze and Storing his cigar- Atkins was the Rudyard Kip- SK, SfSSi SS SfjJdS when there was trouble in the but always afterwards uues' it was "Tommv this and Tommy that and Tommv get behind The disabled Vietnam Tom- mies, says Keller, aie way behind in today s Amei i- can conscience complaining for generations tient in the Spinal Cord Injury about such "exclusionary fad- section of the Bronx V A. Hos- pital to no serious avail. He's mad to lteration As tion to For him it's not over As such he suffers men- tal and physical anguish What was and what will never again be For the remainder of his Me he cannot walk, cannot control his bladder, cannot en- sajs Jim Maje, "I'm The public, says direc- citizen and I think I should be tor of eniDloyment Norm Hart- able to get on a bus Or how nett, is birnply not responding about a plane' Some airlines to the disabled vet with rea- refused my ticket Or how sonable concern. Take employ- about a restaurant' Like any- national norm, ment. He says over-all Vietvet unemployment has leveled off at 6 per cent, but the disabled veteran rate may be as high as 25 per cent and the figure among paralyzed veterans may be as high, as shocking, as one in two. m.. nel1 aUow lum to Like in the ward can get a bit crocked But Thompson says it'll all he's asked, just how change soon He sajs he's sit- the God in heaven ting up now for two and one-half hours at a time and "when it gets to four I'm checking out He sajs he's got everything all figured. A house on Long what' Like spending Island A desire to raise dogs "P __ JYlOllOtOirV" the PVA s gage m routine sex. en the most of the day in bed Like or work m a children's hospi- a taxpaymg 'remainder of his life" has monotony. Like eternal subjec- tal. A wish to_ traiel and see probing and poking. as much as he can Every- SIMPSONS DccuS Old-time Grandeur. Economically. 46" This beautiful hexagonal chain lamp bi ings back all the grandeur of centuries past. price is very small. The antiqued brass finished filigree has an inner off-whits shade to give a softer light. Lamp is 17-inches high with 13- feet of chain. Finished with gold colour cloth tassels. a-Antiqued brass finished drop lamp with inner off-white shade. Finished with gold colour tassel and 13' chain' 21 99 (As above, but with 15" chain' 34.99 b-Twin swag with filigree antiqued brass finish and off-white inner shade 5' chain; gold colour tassel cloth Only' ]899 It" on your All Purpose Account Quality Costs No More at Simpsons-Sears STOKE HOURS Open Daily from 9 30 a m to 5 30 p m Thursday and Friday 9 30 e.m. to 9.00 p m. a paraplegic, his life expect- Awake at 9 am, maybe some thing is planned Everything ancv is now about tolal jears therapy, majbe some conver- good That is, if tne 10 to 15 years less than the safaon, maybe record eome American conscience co op- music on cassette tape. Most crates.