THE HILL --- Some of the vets I got to know each year that I worked at the VA didn't make it to ring in the next. Of those, there were plenty who called out for help before it was too late. Too often, their voices weren't heard.
One former Vietnam medic, for example, called a special VA post-operative telephone hotline just days after being discharged from the heart surgery service at the highly-regarded San Francisco VA. He had survived a technically successful bypass operation, but his weakened heart continued to struggle behind a breastbone that had been sawed open and then wired shut.
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