PRODUCTION NOTE VA Helps Veterans—When A Camera Crew Is Around In “Women At War: Forgotten Veterans of Desert Storm,” there’s a serio-comedic scene of our main character, Carol Williams, at the Veterans Administration’s Hospital in Dublin, GA, trying to get a prescription filled.
The female clerk outlines the entire bureaucratic ordeal, including committees, Carol would have to go through to get her prescription. In the end, even though she had made a special trip, Carol wasn’t able to pick up her prescription and would have to go see her doctor again. It was a mind-blowing display of the obstacles a veteran has to go through just to fill a prescription for a skin condition.
Off-camera, as we were leaving the VA parking lot, a VA person ran up to the car and handed Carol her filled prescription through the car window! Obviously the powers-that-be at the VA medical center didn’t want us showing that Carol had an unproductive VA experience.
The power of the media to galvanize unresponsive bureaucracies like the VA to do the right thing is amazing. Carol often would have us call her VA hospital just to put the pressure on if they were holding up her benefits or treatment. It’s very sad that fear of media exposure is what it takes to get a veteran the help she needs and deserves.