Vietnam Vet Told To Use Wag Bag In VA Hospital Room With No Toilet

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A military Wag-Bag.

A veteran who was admitted to the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System was caught off guard when he realized his room had no toilet. Instead Vietnam veteran Tim Stillwell was given a portable latrine and a plastic bag, reports Fox News.


Stillwell was admitted to the temporarily relocated cardiac intensive care unit in early February, and while he was in one of the temporary rooms he realized it had no toilet, only disposable bags with white powder at the bottom, which Stillwell said the staff referred to as “cat litter.”

“They had a good bed there and I sat down on the bed and then they told me if I needed to use the restroom I had to do it in the cat litter in this plastic sack,” he told Fox News.

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However, Stillwell was unimpressed and not just with the fact that veterans had to use the disposable commodes. He was also concerned for the medical staff who had to work in those conditions.

“I don't think it is right that the veterans would have to put up with something like that,” he told Fox. “Except for the bed, it is about the way we lived in Vietnam. … The people that work there are great they are absolutely wonderful and they have to put up with it too.”

The bag, which is likely familiar to many post-9/11 veterans as a Wag Bag, is a disposable commode with powder at the bottom that works to deodorize the user’s bowel movement.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Stacey Rine, a spokesperson at the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System, explained that the temporary toilets are used for patients who cannot travel to the shared restrooms down the hall.

Rine said that the cardiac intensive care unit, where Stillwell was recovering, is where the hospital’s sickest patients are cared for. As such, many of them use a product called a “Sani-Bag” — again think Wag Bag — because they are unable to walk down the hall to the shared restroom.

While using a disposable bag as a toilet is far from ideal, most of the patients don’t have to stay in the temporary rooms for long. A patient’s average length of stay in the temporary cardiac intensive care unit over a year-long period is 1.6 days, according to Rine.

Once construction on the hospital is complete, the cardiac intensive care unit will be relocated to its former space, where both portable toilets and in-room toilets are available for patients based on their needs.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on its own power for the first time while leaving Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia (USA), on April 8, 2017. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni)

Against a blistering 56 mph wind, an F/A-18F Super Hornet laden with fuel roared off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and into the brilliant January sky.

No glitches.

Chalk up another step forward for America's newest and most expensive warship.

The Ford has been at sea since Jan. 16, accompanied by Navy test pilots flying a variety of aircraft. They're taking off and landing on the ship's 5 acre flight deck, taking notes and gathering data that will prove valuable for generations of pilots to come.

The Navy calls it aircraft compatibility testing, and the process marks an important new chapter for a first-in-class ship that has seen its share of challenges.

"We're establishing the launch and recovery capabilities for the history of this class, which is pretty amazing," said Capt. J.J. "Yank" Cummings, the Ford's commanding officer. "The crew is extremely proud, and they recognize the historic context of this."

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Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

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