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Thoughtless Words Cause Concern: Military Connection

Thoughtless Words Cause Concern

By Debbie Gregory.

In this age of rapid communication, many of us have had a moment where we’ve sent a reply to an email or text message and the second it goes, we question if we sent to the right person. We second guess whether we remembered to attach that document referenced in the note. Sometimes we say the first thing that comes to mind, even though it might not be the appropriate comment. But the minute it leaves your fingertips, it’s out there for the world to see and to remember.

Such is the circumstance of a VA physician in Pennsylvania. A quick, not thought-out post on his Facebook page has turned into something that he deeply regrets, and so does the Veterans Administration.

Dr. Gregg Gorton, a VA psychiatrist, has been practicing for 30 years, treating psychiatric patients and teaching suicide prevention. While reading his Facebook timeline, a post appeared that had been shared from Imgur. The status stated,

“I am all for gun control. If there is a gun in the room, I want to be in control of it.”

Gorton would not call himself a gun-control activist, but for some reason, this status struck a chord, and he quickly posted a reply, “Off yourself, please.” He agreed that he has concerns about gun violence as many others do.

“It’s just one of those moments you’d rather take back in your life,” Gorton told The Associated Press. The exchange was also exposed in The Washington Times.

“The post was totally inappropriate and does not convey our commitment to veterans. We are taking steps immediately to address the situation,” the VA told the newspaper.

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia is reviewing his 11-year job status. Gorton said he has deleted the post and realizes the Veterans Affairs agency does not need more negative press, “That’s not me.”

The hospital has apologized to veterans and called the post “unacceptable.”

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