Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dolittle Lives Up To His Name

Here is a letter that I sent on behalf of a friend to Congressman Doolittle. He lived up to his name 'Do Little' by doing nothing.

March 2, 2005

Representative John T. Doolittle
United States House of Representatives
2410 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Request for Help
[Military Retiree]
Antelope, CA 95843
(916) XXX-XXX

Dear Congressman Doolittle:

My name is Gonzalo Vergara, I am retired from the US Air Force ... I am writing this letter to you on behalf of my friend, __, who also retired from the Air Force after honorably serving the United States some 20-plus years. He is a good man, devoted to God, family and country, who always played by the rules and who would be the first one to lend a hand to anyone who was in need. On September 18, 2004, while sitting his daughter’s dogs in San Francisco, he was almost killed by a hit-an-run driver. His pelvis and internal organs were crushed as was one of his arms, and he suffered major trauma to his head. He was in a comma and on life support systems for over two months, the doctor recommending at one point that they be removed, as there was no hope for him. His wife of 30 years, [his wife] refused.

__ finally came out of his comma about a month-and-a-half ago but his mind is that of a one-year old. Due to his injuries he is unable to walk, sit, and must be fed and cleaned; he is completely unable to do anything for himself. Moreover, he goes into convulsions and his body becomes contorted, and he screams incoherently. Two weeks ago, the doctors at the San Jose hospital where he was convalescing told [his wife] that there was nothing more that they could do and he would be discharged to a long-term care facility.

__ and [his wife] cannot afford the $2,400 per month that it would cost to put him in a long-term care facility. The problem is that because of __’s military retirement he does not qualify for MediCal; [his wife] called MediCal and they told her that given these circumstances there was nothing they could do. Further, __’s military health insurance provider, TRICARE, told [his wife] that the coverage did not provide for such long-term care. Given that the driver who hit __ has never been found, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office told her that nothing could be done in terms of getting money for __'s medical needs. The San Francisco County Victims of Crimes Compensation Program only provides for short-term care costs, over and above those paid by the medical insurance provider. Given that TRICARE is unwilling to provide for his long-term care needs, [his wife] is left without the ability to provide for __’s long-term care needs. Thus, she is caring for him at home.

My wife and I visited __ this past Sunday; I was shocked at his state. He mumbles incoherently, goes into contortions and is otherwise completely dependent on [his wife]. However much she loves him, it was obvious to me that she could not handle the situation for long. When [his wife] told me the circumstances that I have told in this letter, I was outraged! This is a man who honorably served his country when others were running away to Canada and were refusing to serve; yet now in his hour of need he is left without recourse. THIS IS NOT RIGHT!

Congressman Doolittle, you have been in public service a long time and have the power to make things happen or know who does. I ask you on behalf of __ and [his wife] that you do whatever it takes to get ___ the long-term care that he requires. The United States and California owe __ no less

If you would like to speak to me, my telephone number is (916) XXX-XXXX. Please help ___!

I look forward to hearing from your office soon.


Gonzalo I. Vergara

Lincoln, California



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