By Ed Coghlan.
Do you remember Robert Rose?
He’s a retired Marine – and, as Jack Nicholson would say, he is on the wall because you want him on that wall.
His regiment is comprised of veterans who are suffering from chronic pain.
It’s a big unit.
He is serving them valiantly.
Robert lives in Tennessee and has been pressing elected officials…particularly Congressmen and Senators…about their reluctance or resistance to helping veterans treat their pain.
On July 4 last summer, he tried to force his way to talk with his Congressman, Phil Roe at the Mountain Home VA Center in Johnson City. He shared with the National Pain Report what he would have told Roe, who is Robert’s Congressional representative.
We have covered Robert’s almost quixotic efforts to get the conversation at the VA focused on treatment of pain—with an emphasis on making sure that vets not only can get something to soothe their pain—particularly responsible opioid prescribing—but also get access to a true inter-disciplinary approach to treating chronic pain.
Here are some recent articles on Robert Rose on the National Pain Report.
Recently, the combative ex-Marine was trying to speak with the Congress about what he believes is the failure of the VA to treat veterans who have chronic pain.
It didn’t go so well.
Here’s how he introduced his column on the effort on Medium.Com
This piece is written in a speech type format as I wanted to provide it, under oath, to the Senate VA Committee on March 6, 2018. Sadly, all elected officials in the House & Senate VA Committees refused to respond to numerous phones calls, emails & Twitter messages requesting fifteen minutes during the Veterans Services Officer (VSOs) testimonies regarding the needs of veterans. (The VSOs were handpicked employees of the Veterans Administration whose responsibility is supposed to be helping veterans receive quality healthcare and to address issues for veteran’s benefits.)
Here’s the entire piece on Medium. (click here)
When he was refused that opportunity, he wrote the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee.
Dear Senator Johnny Isakson:
As I lay down this afternoon trying to relax the muscles & nerves screaming madly throughout my back & neck (which kept me up all last night), once again I thanked God for today and all the many wonderful blessings and His wonderful mercies with which He has blessed me. In that moment, with Christ my Lord & Savior, it came to me; the topic I should share with the Senate VA Committee.
The conundrum of a young man as thoughts of becoming a minster or serving his country was answered through prayer. Please, Sen Isakson & members of congress, just one minute for each year I served as a United States Marine. One call 423-794-8241 to me granting me ELEVEN minutes before Congress is nothing but a drop in the bucket for the millions each of you spend on photo ops. Eleven minutes in exchange for eleven wonderful years volunteering to be a Bullet Sponge so that you and your loved ones do not know the horrors of war. My testimony is guaranteed to reach millions of voting Americans and the only cost is damage to my deteriorating health. One call, Sir.
Robert did not hear back.
Editor’s Note: Answer this questions. Did you ever contact Congress about chronic pain? What did you say? Did you hear a response? If so, what did they tell you?