DUFF MCKAGAN Visits Seattle VA Hospital

Former GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan, along with his DUFF MCKAGAN LOADED bandmates Mike Squires and Jeff Rouse — was invited on Monday to go to the Seattle VA hospital and visit some of the patients. In his column, which appears on Reverb at SeattleWeekly.com, McKagan writes of the experience, "It was much less a 'celebrity' thing than simply an 'interaction with someone other than hospital staff' thing."

He adds, "I was kind of left scratching my head a bit. It is in situations like this that I find myself feeling a little embarrassed, maybe. I know for a fact that LOADED is not a household name and therefore not a band that most patients up at the VA would know about or recognize.

"We had written a song this past summer for our new record (which comes out in February) called 'Fight On'. The song was inspired by personal stories I heard about the plight of some of our returning vets. So here at least was somewhat of a tie-in between LOADED and the VA.

"A sobering thing to think about is that with all the new-technology armor and immediate and high-caliber medical attention that our soldiers are getting on the battlefield, we are seeing a much higher survival rate than ever before. In other words, and to put it bluntly, guys and gals who would have certainly died in Vietnam from terminal wounds and injuries are now not dying.

"But we have now more and more kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with missing limbs, disfigured bodies, and spinal-cord injuries. Also, with all this armor, more kids are surviving as witnesses to their buddies' deaths. Post-traumatic stress disorder is almost rampant now among our returning soldiers. Think about that."

Read more of McKagan's comments at SeattleWeekly.com.

Photo credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

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