Robin Paul, a licensed social worker who manages the "Seamless Integrated Care Clinic" at Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis, has been found mocking returning combat veterans suffering from mental health problems.
She was publicly mocking the very people she and those who work under her are charged with helping---those who have laid their lives on the line in combat for our freedoms.
Her mockery is sick.
The way the hospital has responded is profoundly disappointing. The response of NBC News and CBS News is, I suppose, not so surprising.
The Indianapolis Star got hold of the email Robin Paul sent to her colleagues. It contains a series of pictures and comments mocking those whom they are supposed to be caring for.
The Star reports this:
The Dec. 18 email was sent to the "IND STICC Team" with the subject, "Naughty Elf in the STICC clinic."
"So, photos have appeared that indicate that the STICC clinic may have been invaded," the email says. "Looks like this magical character made his way through a few areas."
One photo depicts the elf peering between the legs of a female doll. "Trying his skills as a primary care provider (doing a pap)," the email says.
Another shows the elf next to a sticky note with the words, "Out of XANAX — please help!" A caption says, "Self-medicating for mental health issues when a CNS would not give him his requested script."
A third photograph shows the elf hanging from a strand of Christmas lights. "Caught in the act of suicidal behavior (trying to hang himself from an electrical cord)," the email says.
It is unclear from the email whether other VA employees were involved in the joke, but a note visible in one photo appears to include directions about passing the elf to others.
When Paul was initially confronted about the email she responded, "Oh my goodness," then referred the Star reporter to the hospital's public affairs office. They in turn sent the reporter an email statement on behalf of Paul which included a "sincere apology," etc., etc., etc.
Much has been said recently about the acute problem regarding the mental health of our returning combat veterans. The Star story covers some of that.
Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is one who has been working tirelessly to help these veterans.
When he heard about this, he said, "We hope this person has been dealt with aggressively because we're in the middle of a suicide problem."
Unfortunately it appears she has not been dealt with in any aggressive way.
Robin Paul remains employed at the hospital with her $79,916 annual salary in tack, and records show she received a $2,000 performance bonus in 2013. Records for 2014 were not made available.
Media Research Council has noted that although the suicide issue among our returning vets is receiving a lot of attention, with several bills being passed intended to help those who have served their country, CBS News with Scott Pelly and NBC News completely ignored the story.
ABC's World News Tonight, MRC says, "offered a full one-minute-and-33-second segment on the story that anchor David Muir described as 'Stunning' and involved 'a manager now accused of making fun of the very veterans she and her team were supposed to be helping when they returned from war'."
ABC also reported that this story surfaces "as the VA itself reports that 22 military veterans commit suicide every day."
After the ABC story ran later that night while progressives slept, CBS.com posted an article about the incident on their web site.
William Shakespeare wrote in the Merchant of Venice, "How far the candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."
The beam of those who serve us shines as testimony to their love of friends and country, and the freedoms God has given us.
Recently retired US Representative Doc Hastings from Central Washington's 4th District has said, "We owe our World War II veterans---and all our veterans---a debt we can never fully repay."
And it is written, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
May God bless and heal those who have served so selflessly.