76-Year-Old Veteran Commits Suicide In Parking Lot Of Hospital After VA Refused Him Care
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The tragic death of a 76-year old Navy vet in a parking lot doesn’t invoke the same type of anger that burns down buildings, loot stores, overturns police cars or gets the distention of having wall to wall news coverage.
Peter Kaisen on Sunday took his own life, perhaps not more than 50-feet from the entrance of a New York VA hospital, seeking medical help and was turned away, and now he’s dead.
Perhaps if Kaisen was of a different skin pigmentation or perhaps if he were not an American citizen, perhaps he would be alive today.
Obviously we’ll never know, however what we do know is that Kaisen, served in the Navy from 1958 to 1962, and also served as an officer with the Long Beach Police Department in the 60s, and he went to Long Island’s Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Sunday seeking “an emergency-room physician for reasons related to his mental health,” and for whatever reason he was denied care, went out to the parking lot, sat in his car and shot himself.
“He went to the E.R. and was denied service. And then he went to his car and shot himself.”
An employee at the hospital acknowledged that “someone dropped the ball” and that Kaisen “should not have turned him away.”
Spokesmen Thomas Farley, a lifelong friend of Kaisen, for over 40 years, spoke on behalf of the grieving family: “He went there for help with depression. That was his last hope, and he didn’t get any help.”
In a world where celebrity figures, social activists and public demonstrations, take up the news, the death of another elderly vet in a parking lot a few feet from the entrance way of a VA Hospital, hardly causes a ripple, in that Mr. Kaisen is only 1 of 22 veteran suicides committed each and every day.