So this is a tough one,…not because it isn’t compelling. On the contrary, it’s compelling beyond description. But the subject matter is difficult to hear, though hear it we must. In 1995, 18 year-old Yadyra Fiol enlisted in the Air Force and became a Security Forces member because she wanted to be part of the Air Force’s combat force. What then followed was a succession of medical incidents that left her traumatized and with severe physical ailments that persist to this day. A former Security Forces member himself, Dave give his fellow Veteran a chance to tell her story. As Dave wrote us, “The eloquence with which Yadyra speaks of these horrific events is testament not only to the lady’s endurance, but her dedication to make sure that no one ever goes through this kind of thing again.” Dave noted that toward the end of the interview, it was obvious that his fellow Veteran was starting to feel poorly as yet another migraine was kicking in. The conversation methodically tracks many incidents, and among the questions asked was whether Yadyra would be willing to put on the uniform again, after all she had been through. We think you’ll find the answer to this and other questions well worth listening to.

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There are 4 comments.

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  1. drlorentz Member

    Absolutely riveting interview. Couldn’t stop listening. Unbelievable what happened to this patriot. And by unbelievable I mean her story is completely believable but hard to choke down.

    Loved the closing music, btw. What’s the name of that song?

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  2. Bunwick Chiffswiddle Member
    Bunwick Chiffswiddle

    drlorentz (View Comment): And by unbelievable I mean her story is completely believable but hard to choke down.

    Indeed. It’s absolutely believable.

    Those lucky enough to enjoy good health (or lucky enough to contract only well-known illnesses) seldom realize what a mess our medical system is. Doctors, in general, are wont to dismiss hard cases with a shrug of the shoulders and a prescription for Zoloft. It’s maddening.

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  3. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks

    Yuk.  I couldn’t finish.

    I was in the Coast Guard from 79-86.  I never had any chronic or unusual medical problems so I never got caught up in military medical hell.  I often read in the Navy Times that military families were unhappy with military medicine.

    Yadyra Fiol came into the military with an unusual medical problem, at least for the military, and hopefully Fiol was straightforward about her medical problems before she processed for enlistment.

    There are some differences in the doctor patient relationship if you’re in the military.  While it’s rarely invoked, the military can order you to accept medical treatment.  Technically, they don’t have to get your consent.  You don’t have the right to sue your doctor or the military for incompetence.  Note Fiol’s description of a doctor performing a gynecological exam, actually an unsupervised intern with no nurse in the room, holding down a military member while conducting treatment.  Technically he might be on weak legal ground, but it’s not non-existent.

    The military is very good in treating healthy medical members, and in treating trauma on the battlefield and near battlefield.  But you will never get Mayo Clinic quality treatment from them when it comes to anything else.

    I don’t expect that to change.

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  4. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann

    This was all too believable. I was very fortunate in my life in having had very few medical problems. Following my first experience in a fire fight I felt depressed and in need, but, fortunately, chose to work it out myself rather than checking in with the base psych. When I received wounds I was also fortunate in being in excellent condition and healed without complication. In short, what little experience I had with the medical community in the Navy was minimal. More recently, my HMO GP at Kaiser Permanente recommended that I see a dematologist to look at some moles I had. It took a while to get an appointment with Dermatology. The doctor I got was recent hire who had retired from the Navy and been hired by Kaiser a short time before. The examination was something that I would characterize as comparable to the old joke of “Wham bam, thank you ma’am!” His “bedside manner” was non-existent. His obvious goal was to get as many patients as possible in the shortest time. It was something I had never experienced in my many years with Group Health/Kaiser Permanente.

    What happened to Ms Fiol is completely credible. Her continued acceptance of how “the system” worked and her part in it, and her apparent failure to succeed in the system, plus the putting off her complaints as due to the fact that she was a woman, is classic. What goes on in the medical services of the military and veterans’ hospitals is not limited to those areas. It is just far more terrible since the service person has no other alternative and has been conditioned to accept a certain level abuse as a normal part of their training. As I said, I was lucky, I always have been, but many have not, and they, like Ms Fiol, have paid a terrible price.

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