While I was at the VA Hospital, in Indianapolis, a week ago going through emergency surgery I had a nurse in ICU who was caring for me. I noticed she had a foreign dialect that I didn't recognize. I asked her where she was from, she told me she was from Serbia. Regretfully, I thought to myself "If she told me that some years ago I would have turned my nose up at her and called her a COMMIE".

I asked her to tell me the story about how she ended up by my bedside. I was moved to tears. I'm sharing this because I believe many citizens of our great country don't appreciate the freedom that they have. And the sacrifice so many people made to give them that privilege.

Maria (last name omitted to protect her privacy) was raised in a small town in Serbia, less than a couple hundred people. Raised under communism she yearned for her own personal identity and political freedom. She married young to a man with like feelings and compassions matching her own. Despite many hardships she was able to complete her college and continue on to obtain an advanced Nursing degree.

After relations between Russia and America changed several years ago she and her husband, who is a auto body mechanic, took advantage of the immigration quota and applied for visas to come to our country. Thankfully when our immigration authorities realize the positive advantages Maria and her husband could contribute to our country her application was swift and without many delays. What I asked her why she chose to work in a VA Hospital my pride and tears overwhelmed me.

"I wanted to give back to this great country for so much that I have received living here," she replied. "I want to tend to, and care for, the military members in their time of need", those who give so much on a daily basis to maintain this great country."

Although her reasons may be more personal she is not unlike her co-workers. The nurses and the doctors (including the specialty technicians and administrators) at our VA Medical Center are the foundation of our great society. I was unable to take a picture of Maria and post it here because of Hospital regulations which I believe to be a bunch of Bull-dung!

My first priority in posting this is to give Maria the recognition that she deserves.

My second priority is to let the American people know that all the negative rhetoric you hear about our VA system is not normally the fault of the hospital operations at the local level. It's the high-level Administrative bureaucrats, and Washington politicians, who try to squeeze every dime of our funds for their own personal benefit that they can get away with.

I only wish I had the opportunity to tell our presidential candidates this story.

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