These were my thoughts when I heard about a veteran and the dirty exam room at the Salt Lake City veterans hospital. I saw the pictures and thought this is unacceptable. However, having worked for the VA for over 25 years, and married to a veteran, I have several views of this.

What discouraged me most was why the patient and his family did not go to the director first before the media. Whoever placed the vet in this room was certainly not thinking or distracted. I know that patients get discouraged by their wait times and want to be put in a room now. I think this was not meant to be disrespectful to the veteran. Because everything we are about is for the veteran first and always.

The response of the veteran after he received an apology from the director, saying that she was only saying it to cover her butt, is troubling for me. We have a great director and she is sincere about the service that we provide.

My husband would not be here today if it weren’t for the care he received at the Salt Lake City VA.

Patrice Kennedy, APRN, Salt Lake City