Where is the VA? MIA? “Rescue Me: I served.”

By: Bill Whaley
25 June, 2019

Dear Editor:

In response to your article Crimes against Humanity I want to share a veterans story with you.

I have also attached a collage of pictures. As the quote states “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

In June 2018 to present day my brother in-law who is a Vietnam War  veteran was hospitalized at the VA Hospital, he then went to a assisted living facility in Albuquerque on March 2019.

I have been advocating for this war veteran who has dementia and is now on Hospice. He is a 100% PTSD disabled from war and suffers from diabetes caused  from herbicides dropped with Agent Orange.

What my brother in-law has gone through is criminal in my eyes. The first week at the VA in the Geriatric Ward he was punched and pushed against a wall. He ended up with a seven inch gash on his head. He then was transferred to another ward.

Numerous times we found him being hungry constantly talking about food. This is the least to say, it got worse! 

I contacted Udall’s and Heinrich’s office. Udall’s office launched an investigation and things got better for awhile. 

History repeated itself when he went to a VA contracted home. He was punched in the face on the third day and then received another head wound. In the same week his wife and son found him in front of a nurses station slumped over with his arms dangling to the floor, delirious, and severely dehydrated.  

He was treated at the UNMH trauma unit for sepsis.  Once he got better he was transferred back to the VA hospital. His spouse who is Power of Attorney instructed the social worker to not send him back to the place he was abused.  He was sent back against her wishes.

We recently found out that he was found on the fourth floor in a stairwell. He was not in the lockdown unit on the third floor where he was supposed to be at. We dont even know where the stair well is at. We dont know how he got there and who let him out. When we visit him a nurse let’s us out.  There are so many questions that will never get answered regarding this incident. 

We have done this done that.  We have met with the VA director twice. He has appointed staff who has failed to help.  We have made at least five claims through the White House VA hotline.  I can say that they intervened at least once in regards to one particular incident. 

We attempted to contact a well known attorney here in Taos to never receive a call back. We have tried so hard to get him closer to home and he continually gets rejected.  I now feel he is being discriminated against his illnes. 

Last year I contacted Governor Susanna Martinez office and that failed.  I have now contacted Governor Michelle Grishams office. I am glad to say that they are now involved. Adult Protective Services is now working with us but we are still stuck in regards to VA. The state has no jurisdiction over federal.

 Tom Udalls office intervened for a short time. I contacted Heinrich’s and Ben Ray’s office in the past only to be told that if Udall was taking care of it they wouldn’t get involved.  I also contacted Representative Gonzales. He told me only that Udall’s staff knew all about it. 

What am I to do in regards to VA? Does anyone in Congress care? You may be right that energy renewables are more important than humanity. 

My brother in-law has said on more than one occasion “I am a human being.” Somewhere in his mind he knows that he is not being treated like a human being. 


Stella Gallegos

Click to view photos of Adelmo