I was shot by the Germans the first time in November 1944 at age 19.
I was shelled and wounded by the Germans the second time in January 1945 at Hatten-Rittershoffen.
I was shot by the Germans the third time in southern Germany in April 1945 shortly before we entered Dachau on my 20th birthday.
My first VA trip was to Dr. Kibler in Lakeland December 1946
My next VA trip was Bay Pines Nov. 14–Dec. 1 1947 with a bad experience of a nurse who broke off needles in our arms.
My next VA trip was to US Naval Hospital Jacksonville major surgery followed by eleven weeks in ICU summer of 1948 as a graduating senior at Florida Southern.
I did not go to the VA again for fifty years and my only major surgery was that Dr. McMicken took off a bad toe nail on my right big toe as I was permitted to serve the Asbury United Methodist Church having received my Ordination for those five graduate school years at Duke University.
However at age 79 I went back to the VA
I have been treated by almost every department (except oncology) of the VA Haley and Lakeland Outreach for the past ten years. I have sat with 50 or 60 other waiting patients; I have ridden with five or six other vets in the Haley shuttle bus; I have stood in line with four or five vets for hours; I have been cared for by six effective primary care doctors; I have been treated by some of the top specialists in several disciplines: I have been attended by numerous caring nurses; I have talked to emergency responsive nurses at off hours; and I would like to report that my care could not have been better or more caring. And not only mine. I have never heard a serious complaint but have frequently heard the old G.I. bunk about “I’m late, can you move me up in line … ”
In short I have not had a need that has not been met on time. I have not had a question unanswered. I have had only patient, adequate descriptions of my needs and problems. I am appreciative of my care and grateful that a part of the taxes we all send to Washington goes to care for vets who were in need of life time care and attention. My regret is that those who have suffered anywhere could not have had the care givers that have been mine.
I have never been short changed. My care and service has been exceptional. My expectations have been met, except for those few minor glitches that come with life, I have reveled in the good response and the caring attitude that exemplifies those who work and care at the VA as I know it.
Thank you, MyHealthyVA!
DAVID CLAYTON GROVES
BA Florida Southern ’48
Duke Divinity School ‘53