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 Post subject: Letting Our Veterans Down
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:20 pm 
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[url=http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070913_glantz_sep_13_va_story/]Letting Our Veterans Down
[/url]

The sorry state of care of American veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is not accidental. It’s on purpose. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush Administration has fought every effort to improve care for wounded and disabled veterans.

“The Department of Defense went to war in Iraq. They hired hundreds of thousands of extra soldiers from the Guard and Reserve to make the military larger so that they could do the invasion of Iraq,” noted Paul Sullivan, a veteran of the first Gulf War who was working as a high-ranking civil servant at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington when America invaded Iraq.

“However, the Department of Veterans Affairs, they didn’t hire more doctors, and they didn’t hire more bureaucrats to help them with their paperwork.

Indeed, as the country prepared for war, the Bush administration was actively involved in scaling back veterans’ benefits. In January 2003, the VA announced that, as a cost cutting-move, it would start turning away middle-income veterans who apply for medical benefits.

The administration also proposed making the VA’s prescription drug benefit less generous, increasing co-payments for many veterans from $7 to $15 and requiring a $250 annual fee as well.

President Bush even proposed eliminating disability payments for veterans who abuse drugs or alcohol, despite the fact that substance abuse has long been connected to psychological trauma caused by the horrors of combat.

All in all, the Bush administration proposed cutting hundreds of jobs at the Veterans Administration at precisely the time programs should have been expanded to care for a tidal wave of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a result, for example, the number of people charged with reviewing and approving veterans’ disability claims has actually dropped since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. According to the American Federation of Government Employees, the VA employed 1,392 veterans service representatives in June 2007, compared to 1,516 in January 2003.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:39 pm 
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Oh, my...how those GOP members and Joe LIEberman SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

GOP Blocks Bill on Iraq Combat Tours

Democrats' efforts to challenge President Bush's Iraq policies were dealt a demoralizing blow Wednesday in the Senate after they failed to scrape together enough support to guarantee troops more time at home.

The 56-44 vote - four short of reaching the 60 needed to advance - all but assured that Democrats would be unable to muster the support needed to pass tough anti-war legislation by year's end. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., was seen as the Democrats' best shot because of its pro-military premise.

"The idea of winning the war in Iraq is beginning to get a second look," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who led opposition to the bill alongside Sen. John McCain.

Webb's legislation would have required that troops spend as much time at home training with their units as they spend deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Members of the National Guard or Reserve would be guaranteed three years at home before being sent back.

...Of the 56 senators voting to advance the measure were 49 Democrats, six Republicans and Vermont Independent Bernard Sanders. Voting against it were 43 Republicans and Connecticut Independent Joseph Lieberman.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:07 pm 
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Being married to a disabled vet, this is not new this war.

A missle lift (think elevator car) fell three decks (think three floors) and crushed my husband's skull killing him.

He was brought back with the thanks to God and to his shipmates.

His scalp was peeled open like an orange. The military doctors were plucking flesh, bone, hair, hat fiber, and grease from his brain.

He has a plate in his head, memory problems, mobility issues, seizures, etc.

It took 18 years to get his 100% rating. They started him at 10% and took that from him at one point.

The entire system makes me sick. We deal with it constantly. We fight for him to get the most basic of care. But, it is the only care available to him. An ER trip is a 2 hour drive. Going to a civilian ER, they MIGHT cover stabalizing treatment, but only to a certain point then we are on our own. And what they cover does not cover what the civilian hospitals and doctors charge.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:06 pm 
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I'm sorry to hear about your husband's problems getting the medical care he deserves. We need to change the way our injured veterans are treated. Take a good look at who in Washington is fighting to improve this situation, and who is attempting to block those efforts at every turn. You might be surprised.

[url=http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-new.cfm?doc_name=fs-109-1-11]Link: Veterans on the Bush Budget: 'Shameful' and 'Woefully Inadequate'
[/url]

Link: American Legion Commander: ‘I Blame Bush And Congress’ For Veterans Cuts

Link: President Bush Leads Republican Effort to Slash Veterans' Health Programs; Democrats Fight Back

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:26 pm 
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I'm sorry for all of your husband's troubles, too, Kim...I wonder if so many of our young people would be so willing to join up, even with the pie in the sky promises they're given by the recruiters, if they knew what kind of medical care they actually get in the event of injuries. One of my sons served in the Army and the other is in the Coast Guard. My army son wasn't injured, even though he served two rotations to Kuwait. So far, the CG son is doing fine, too....let's hope it continues, but I still feel very sad for those who haven't been as lucky as my two sons. It's a shame...no other way to describe it.

You might be interested in knowing who, in the highest political offices today, making policies about veterans and their care, actually served in the military:

http://www.awolbush.com/whoserved.html

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:29 pm 
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Some of the things we tell people who are looking at the military are

1. The military is a great career. Just don't get hurt.
2. GI means Gov't Issue. Once you sign the papers, you are not a person but gov't property. Get used to it if it is the life you choose.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:00 pm 
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Mrs. Hoppes wrote:
Some of the things we tell people who are looking at the military are

1. The military is a great career. Just don't get hurt.
2. GI means Gov't Issue. Once you sign the papers, you are not a person but gov't property. Get used to it if it is the life you choose.


Who are you? Donald Rumsfeld?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:10 pm 
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No. Why do you say that?

Am I wrong in my statement?

I am an airforce brat. My husband is a Navy vet in a long line of Navy vets. My BIL did 2 tours in Nam. He did a full 20 in the Army. We have church members who are in Iraq and Afgan. One gentleman (a Marine) came home on leave last month just in time for our Annual Conference. He has done 10 and has another 10 to go. He is doing the full 20. He's been to Iraq twice. One of our ministers and his wife is taking care of their grandchildren right now while their daughter is in Korea and their SIL is in Iraq. (Or is it DIL and son?)

Anyway, we are very familiar with the military in and around our lives and the life of veterans.

Our local guard is being deployed very soon. There will be a LOT of broken up families this holiday season.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:14 pm 
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Quote:
1. The military is a great career. Just don't get hurt.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:02 am 
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Bush continues to show his real "love" for the men and women in uniform.

[url=http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/01/army_bonuses_halted_080102w/]Bonus payments frozen
[/url]

The Army has temporarily halted bonus payments for more than 20 enlistment, re-enlistment and service extension programs pending enactment of authorizing legislation.

President Bush, to the surprise of Congress and the Defense Department, vetoed the fiscal 2008 Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 29 after months bargaining with House and Senate leaders.

In announcing the pocket veto, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said the president objected to a single provision of the legislation that would delay the reconstruction of Iraq, and expose the Iraqi government to unwarranted law suits in U.S. courts.

If enacted as currently written, the legislation would authorize $696.3 billion in defense spending during 2008, including $1 billion for Army accession and retention bonuses.

Until a new version of the legislation is enacted, all new bonus agreements signed on, or after, Jan. 1 must include an addendum that stipulates the soldier’s eligibility for a future bonus.

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:14 am 
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American Veterans in Crisis


When young American men and women sign up to serve in our military, the government makes them a basic promise: If they are wounded in the line of duty, they will get the care they need. But for far too many, that’s a promise that only exists on paper—even months after the news emerged about American vets’ shameful treatment at U.S. military facilities.


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On Feb. 18, 2007, the headline “Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army’s Top Medical Facility” was splashed across the front page of one of the nation’s top newspapers, the Washington Post. The article, which described unsafe conditions and substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, began with the story of Army Specialist Jeremy Duncan, who was airlifted out of Iraq in February 2006 with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, “nearly dead from blood loss.”

“Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold,” the article read. “When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.”

The Washington Post’s coverage of the scandal at Walter Reed sparked outrage and finger-pointing around Washington’s official circles, but the controversy did not solve the problem of substandard care. Eight months later, in September, Sergeant GJ Cassidy died while receiving treatment for blast injuries at Fort Knox. A GAO report released at the time of his death showed half of the military’s Warrior Transition Units had “significant shortfalls” of doctors, nurses and other caregivers to treat wounded soldiers.

It’s not known how many other soldiers have died the way GJ Cassidy did—alone while allegedly seeking medical care from his government. But we do know that veterans of the Iraq war are taking their own lives as the Pentagon and the VA fail to provide adequate medical care.

A CBS News investigation in November found that 120 veterans kill themselves every week, adding up to over 6,000 per year. CBS asked all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records for veterans and non-veterans, and found that veterans were twice as likely to commit suicide [as] those who had not gone to war. Among those taking their own lives was Sergeant Brian Jason Rand, who served two tours in Iraq. On February 20, 2007, the Clarksville, Tennessee, police department found his body lying face down under an entertainment pavilion on the banks of the Cumberland River, a shotgun lying beside it
.


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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:48 pm 
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One Week After McCain Claims Vets ‘Know I’ll Take Care Of Them,’ IAVA Gives Him A ‘D

During the first presidential debate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repeatedly emphasized his love of veterans — and their fondness for him in return. “I’ll take care of them. And they know I’ll take care of them,” he said.

McCain frequently exaggerates his level of support for and from veterans groups, claiming to have “received the highest award from literally every veteran’s organization in America” and to have “a perfect voting record” on veterans’ issues. Watch a compilation:


Today, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released its congressional scorecard for the 110th Congress, and awarded McCain a grade of “D” for his votes against veterans’ priorities. The grade makes McCain one of only four Senators to fall on IAVA’s “D List” — and marks a repeat performance for him, after receiving a “D” for his 109th congressional voting record as well.

IAVA hammered McCain for refusing to co-sponsor Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) 21st Century G.I. Bill. In fact, the IAVA highlighted the weaker alternative proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — and endorsed by McCain — as “an effort to derail the popular and bipartisan” GI Bill proposed by Webb. “Thankfully,” the IAVA writes, “the Senate voted forcefully, 55-42, to kill” the Graham-McCain proposal.

IAVA’s score adds to other groups who have criticized McCain’s abysmal record on veterans’ issues. McCain has received a 20 percent vote rating from the Disabled Veterans of America, while the Vietnam Veterans of America noted McCain had “voted against us” in 15 “key votes.”

Update VetVoice's Brandon Friedman has a comprehensive look at McCain's entire "miserable record" on veterans' issues.

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject: Re: Letting Our Veterans Down
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:54 am 
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I thought this thread was the perfect place to post this....

Military Families Week: Putting the Spotlight on the Sacrifices of Those Left Behind

Talk about letting bygones be bygones: less than a year after President Obama relieved him of his command, the White House announced Sunday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal will help supervise a new initiative designed to put a spotlight on the sacrifices of America's military families -- and the practical steps the rest of us can take to help them.

Dubbed Joining Forces, the program will be officially announced today by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden -- whose husband McChrystal famously mocked by saying, "Who's that?"

But that was then and this is now -- a time to, as the First Lady put it, "build upon our nation's great patriotism by asking all Americans to take action and ensure our military families have the support they have earned." (For more on Joining Forces, be sure to check out the "You've Got..." video on AOL, which will feature Michelle Obama and Jill Biden talking about the effort and, as Biden puts it in the video, turning our "gratitude into concrete action.")

America has been a nation at war for nearly a decade -- longer than any time in our history. But because the fighting is being done by a tiny percentage of our citizens -- all of whom volunteered -- it's been far too easy to keep their struggles at arm's length. And it's even easier to forget about the hardships endured by the families they leave behind.

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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