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VA could learn from Twin Ports

Ray Anderson

I have been hearing so much bad news about the Veterans Administration I decided to write this.

I have spent the last six months in Arizona, near Phoenix. I don’t use the VA facilities there. One reason is they are overwhelmed by snowbirds in the winter. The trouble is not the doctors.

It was sure good to get back to the Twin Ports VA clinic. I have been treated by the Superior VA since it opened. Some of the best doctors and staff I have ever had have treated me at the Superior clinic.

I was in the Navy from 1946 to 1948. During that time, I contracted tuberculosis. I carried it after my discharge for close to two years before it was discovered. I was then committed to the Middle River tuberculosis sanitarium, where I spent two years, one and a half of them flat on my back. I was given six months to live when I entered the sanitarium. With the help of a new drug, surgery and the removal of seven ribs, which had collapsed my left lung, I survived. I am now 85 years old.

I disclose this part of my life because the VA has been very good to me. All you hear nowadays is bad news about the VA. I have been treated in VA hospitals many times starting in Milwaukee and the Wood hospital. Later, VA files were sent to the VA hospital in Minneapolis.

Over the last 65 years, I have seen a lot of changes in VA care. I saw a lot of sad cases of men who served during World War II and the Korean War. A lot of them died from not having the help the VA now offers.

Big changes have come to the Twin Ports VA in Superior. Ask any veteran who uses that VA. It’s unbelievable the changes that have been made. There is one doctor who has gone far out of his way to help me. He is a friend to me, and all veterans. I don’t believe there is one veteran out there who wouldn’t agree with me. That doctor has worked tirelessly for the vets in this area and is a friend to all of us. It was my pleasure to have been a patient of his. I believe without his leadership and hard work changes would not have been made.

So when you read all the bad things about the VA, remember we have one of the best VA clinics here in the Twin Ports. And, I think, personally, without the hard work of one doctor in particular — Dr. Clyde Markon, director of the Superior VA clinic — changes for the better would not have happened.

Ray Anderson of Superior is a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy during the late 1940s.