By Carol Mowdy Bond
Vietnam veteran Col. Lynn W. Wilson, USMC (Ret.) served in the Marine Corps for 28 years, from Nov. 1965 to July 1993.
Due to his military service, Wilson is disabled. And from the beginning, and still to this day he receives his medical advice, care, and treatment through the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center and Health Care System. Wilson has only praises for, and wonderful stories about his treatment through the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. “Keep in mind, these are all my personal experiences and opinions,” Wilson said.
“I was 51 when I retired from the military, and I was in Hawaii. That was my last duty station. I knew I was disabled. I came home to Oklahoma and went to the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center to get profiled. That means I wanted them to evaluate my medical issues that were service connected. The care I’ve received has always been very high end/costly medical care involving the latest technology.
As well, the Oklahoma VA has maintained constant communication with me, and constantly given me all the free supplies I need. I have high tech, in-home devices to help with daily living and quality of life issues. I have the latest apps on my phone connected to my medical equipment. In Oklahoma, vets have access to high quality service providers through the VA,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the Oklahoma VA Health Care System now has specialty clinics. Without an appointment, he literally just walks in to the appropriate clinic and sits down. His experiences have involved very short wait times, in order to be seen.
Wilson said his experiences have nothing to do with his rank, saying no matter the rank, any veterans living in Oklahoma get the same service and help he receives.
But he stresses that these are his experiences and opinions.
As well, Wilson said he receives emails from the Oklahoma VA, with lists of resources for all areas of life, even job opportunities, as well as hot lines to call if needed. “The VA lets us know when someone, for example a doctor or other, who is within the organization, has done something illegal. So we know what to stay clear of, and what to be aware of,” Wilson said.
Wilson is an active member of the Piedmont Area Veterans Association, PAVA, which is open to all veterans in Canadian County. The PAVA location, at 170 Edmond Road in Piedmont, is open to veterans on Saturday mornings for coffee from 7 am. to 9 a.m., and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wilson said, “The Oklahoma VA sends their counselors to PAVA three times a month. The counselors are informational representatives of the Oklahoma VA. Oklahoma VA is very beneficial, offering more benefits than National VA. The counselors stay and take walk-ins, to answer questions and offer help for any type of veteran related issues and concerns.
The counselors are at our PAVA location the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and also the first Tuesday of each month starting at 6:30 p.m. The counselors often drive a long way to come and offer their help. And they put out signs in the community, to let veterans know when they’ll be at PAVA.”
Wilson noted there is a National VA, and also each state has its own VA system. The state systems, and what they offer and the quality of service, vary from state to state.
“The Oklahoma VA is very sensitive to make sure our veterans’ needs are met,” Wilson said.
In July 1965, Wilson was graduated from Southern Nazarene University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in November that same year.
Wilson’s operational tours have taken him to locations across the U.S., and to the Republic of South Vietnam, and Japan.
His staff assignments have included Quantico, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Japan; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which was his last assignment.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (2d Award), Navy Commendation with Valor Device, Army Commendation, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon.
Col. Wilson has been married for 57 years. He and his wife have two children.