Get our newsletters
Guest Opinion

VA provided two decades of healing for a grateful veteran


My journey began with the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease. I was diagnosed with this soon after my separation from the United States Air Force.

The Veterans Affairs medical professionals, with cutting-edge treatments and a commitment to excellence, stood by me as I faced the challenges of heart disease and prostate cancer head-on.

Additionally, I benefited from state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, personalized treatment plans, and compassionate care that addressed not only the physical but also the heavy emotional toll of the battle.

Just when it seemed the war was perhaps even-keeled, type 2 diabetes emerged as a silent assailant. Advanced monitoring, innovative therapies and a focus on preventative care transformed my increasing struggle with diabetes into a manageable aspect of my life rather than an insurmountable hurdle.

The expansion of medical facilities, the recruitment of top-tier health care professionals, and the integration of cutting-edge technologies over the past two-plus decades have elevated the standard of care for veterans nationwide like me.

The VA’s emphasis on holistic care has proven to be a game-changer. Mental health services, nutritional guidance and rehabilitation programs have become integral components of the veteran healthcare experience.

I found solace in the fact that the VA was not merely treating symptoms but increasingly attempting to address the entirety of my well-being.

As I reflect on my 20+-year journey with VA health care, my gratitude for the VA knows no bounds. They didn’t just save my life; they gave me a life worth living. The camaraderie between veterans and the medical professionals at the VA has become a defining characteristic of the health care provided.

My journey is a testament to the indomitable spirit of veterans and the transformative power of exceptional health care.

As we look toward to the future, let us carry forward the lessons learned from this journey — that with resilience, innovation and unwavering dedication, we can overcome nearly any obstacle and emerge stronger on the other side.

While the VA health care system consistently strives to fulfill its mission of serving those who have served, significant challenges persist within the VA disability claims process.

Addressing these challenges requires ongoing efforts to streamline procedures, enhance transparency, and ensure that the system is responsive to the very unique needs of disabled veterans.

By recognizing and addressing these hurdles, the VA can better fulfill its commitment to providing timely and effective support to the men and women who have greatly sacrificed for their country.

Jim Hulton is a U.S. Air Force veteran who has faced a formidable trio of disabling life-threatening diseases. He lives in Montgomery Township and can be contacted at

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.