Veterans Affairs turns away veterans of war on Christmas

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – In yet another case of embarrassing incompetence, a VA center has turned away a group of War on Christmas Veterans seeking basic medical care, local sources report.

“They’ve served their country, making great sacrifices to share pictures of the nativity on Facebook or rolling their eyes at Menorahs.” said KellyAnne Morris, a lawyer representing the group. “Now it’s time for this country to give back to them and give them the benefits they’re earned.”

The group of eight veterans Collins represents all thought that the undue burden put on them was a unique event until each met one another in VA waiting rooms. Slowly, the stories came to light — Warriors against phrases like “Happy Holidays” stymied in paperwork, waiting for hours on the phone, all to be told that their service wasn’t good enough.

“They told me that I needed a DD214 to go here," said Gordon Collins, a veteran of 37 Christmases. “I don’t know what a DD214 is, but I know what a 12/24 is — the goddamn birth of Christ.”

“People sleep soundly in their beds because rough men stand ready to protect Santa,” said Justin Lawton, a Martinsburg youth pastor. “People don’t understand that Christmas isn’t a right, it’s a privilege, and one that I’ve had the privilege of protecting.”

The group has been awaiting eligibility letters for a combined 18 months, which far exceeds the VA’s stated polices. Collins was told that greeting everyone in the hallway with direct eye contact and a firm ‘Merry Christmas’ was not proof of service, even if in the future saying Merry Christmas will be mandatory.

“When I think of all the good men we lost out there to Rudolph, and Frosty, and Kwanzaa, it tears me up inside," Lawton said. "I need that counseling, and I don’t know how those clowns who run the VA can be so callous to turn me away. They said they didn't have an appointment until spring, which I think really means Easter.”