Mar. 10, 2015

VA Manager Mocks Veteran Suicides

Robin Paul is exactly the kind of person you’d not want to invite to a Memorial Day picnic. The social worker, who was helping veterans at the Roudebush Veteran Affairs Medical Center, sent an email around the office during Christmas time joking about veteran suicides. The email showed a series of pictures of an elf doll “self medicating” after hospital staff wouldn’t prescribe him Xanax, thus hanging himself on a string of Christmas lights. Again, Paul seems like a delightful lady. In a statement she sent through the hospitals spokesman, Paul wrote, “I would like to sincerely apologize for the email message and I take full responsibility for this poor judgment. I have put my heart and soul into my work with Veterans for many years. I hold all Veterans and military personnel in the highest regard and am deeply remorseful for any hurt this may have caused.” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw said he knows of nurses that develop gallows humor to help them deal with the trauma they witness every day. Such a phenomenon could be similar in a place that works on transitioning soldiers back into civilian life, he writes. But you don’t mock the very people you devote yourself trying to save. But hey, the Indy Star reports the VA gave her a bonus last year.

Correction: This story previously misidentified the elf in the photos as an “Elf on the Shelf” doll. That was incorrect. According to the company, “The Elf on the Shelf is in no way affiliated with these emails, nor does it condone judgment or mockery of the men and women of our military, or anyone for that matter.” We regret the error.

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