And, as these legislators try to determine whether the neglect and other complaints are a result of the private contracting firm brought in to care for the aging veterans, there are 500 veterans still living in now questionable conditions.
That is not acceptable.
Our veterans deserve better, and they deserve care that doesn’t involve having a piece of tape placed over their mouths.
Of course, it would be easier for the powers that be if they didn’t have a voice. But, here’s the thing: They fought for their rights, benefits and voice.
They should be heard, and an outside investigative agency should be brought in to listen to them about the conditions at the home. Let them tell their stories, and tell their stories to investigators who can make an unbiased recommendation for how the home should be run in the future.
Legislators made the decision to save $4 million a year by laying off about 150 state nursing aides in March and turning the work over to a private contractor. Now those same legislators are looking into complaints? That seems a bit too cozy.
Perhaps privatizing the home was a mistake, or perhaps the union workers who lost their jobs are trying to cause problems. Either could well be the case.
But, if there is even a bit of truth to the complaints about care at the home, the bad seeds need to be rooted out and policies put in place so such elder victimization never happens again.
We need to stand up for our veterans, as they’ve stood up for us in the past. Our veterans need all of us to demand an independent investigation and appropriate action.
Count us in on that call to arms.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.