When I was stationed I Guam, I met a local who was very friendly and actually introduced me to more friends. Over time, I got to meet this mans family and spent a few days at the families house on the outskirts of town. Yes, it was 'off limits' but the Navy did not know because I was on leave. They explained to me, their perception of 'sailors' and what they do to the town. I actually got to meet the Mayor of Guam. There was a lot of 'unrest' there with local customs and perceptions of American expectations there.
When I returned to my ship, the first comment I heard was that they thought I was 'dead' since no one could find me.
My point, yes, there needs to be a lot of changes in the perception of the people of Guam from what I am reading in the opinions column.
Then we move on to the topic at hand about the lack of treatment there and how POOR the healthcare is. The dept of veterans affairs has know about this for quite some time I am very sure. There is always an excuse from the govt about why they can't keep up. Now they are blaming computerized records which should have been done and should be up to date already but of course this is ignored.
Stop with the excuses! There is no reason for this! If you have a shortage you can fill it, it has been done before. I know I was sent TAD (temporary additional duty) with vacancies that needed to be filled and I had no choice when I worked for the VA.(What doctors are exempt from filling vacancies?)
If you want to change the perception of Guam, start by giving the soldiers the treatment they need! If you don't you only create more problems which is proof now! Guam is NOT a third world country, so don't treat it like one! Ask the locals what they think of Americans there now. That is how 'fear' is created and put a soldier who is still waiting for treatment on an island where no one understands and see what happens, including the soldier!
FIX this already!