Tag Archives: Veterans

LET’S BLAME BARACK OBAMA CLUB

It is clear the Growling Republican Party is out to get the president and they will stop at nothing to blame him for all ills in the world. We recently came into possession of a missive from a senior Growler concerning future attacks on “that man in the White House.” The Obama man can expect these issues will be raised with the public,

The New York Football Giants do not have an outstanding wide receiver but Chicago has one.

Lack of any good films this summer. Is this a coincidence? Or is it related to electing “that man?”

Why if Lou Dobbs comes across a fact it only is allowed to linger in his mind for a micro-second.

Swine flu epidemic. Come on, there was no swine flu epidemic when George Bush was president!

The Chicago Cubs have not won a world series in nearly a hundred years. And, Barack Obama used to live in Chicago!

Osama bin Laden has yet to be captured dead or alive.

The inability of Rush Limbaugh to lose weight. Oppose Barack Obama and you will gain weight.

Why there are enough empty stores to fill a small sized city.

Why over one thousand veterans of WWI die each day.

Why a member of your family or a friend is gay or lesbian.

Why milk no longer costs a nickel a bottle as it did in my America before the arrival of Barack Obama and his Socialist crew.

Divide Opens Between Current And Older Veterans

There is an increasing sense among veterans of prior wars that money, attention, and service for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are taking a higher priority over service to those in who fought in World War II, Korean or the Vietnam wars. A recent comment by Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has sparked a controversy. He noted, that “unlike during the Vietnam War, today’s military is a professional all-volunteer force.” The assumption by his remarks appears to suggest current members of the military are more qualified as a fighting force. After being blasted by veteran groups, Mr. Reickhoff issued an apology.

The truth is historically, America depended on a Citizen’s Army and they performed heroically in prior wars. A visit to a Veteran’s Hospital still reveals evidence of discrimination against those who served. In the past, veterans had access to medical care, but today there are income requirements. I don’t recall any income requirements when we entered the military. It is time to rethink the treatment of veterans including addressing the needs of those who served in the Merchant Marine and the brave members of the Philippine Scouts.

Veterans Get Short End Of Stick Once Again!

Congress passed a new education benefit bill that was intended to acknowledge the dedication and patriotism of those who served in the armed forces as well as being an inducement for those seeking to remain in service. The bill is called, the “Post 9/11 GI Bill” for anyone who served in the military during that time period. A feature of the legislation was allowing service members to transfer benefits to a spouse or child. However, as always there is something in the small print which says that transfer right was only available to those who were in the service on August 1, 2009. Thousands of servicemen are leaving the military in the coming months and were unaware of the provision so they, in effect, have lost transfer rights.

Dana Beausoleil, was severely wounded in combat and had to leave the military. “I am not eligible to transfer any benefits to my children, even though my disability cost me my military career.” There are times in life when common sense should over-rule bureaucracy. This is one of those examples. Let anyone who served after 9/11 be eligible to all parts of a bill that is designed for those who served after 9/11.

McCain Fails Veterans And Troops

The Veteran group representing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rated Senator John McCain with the letter grade of “D” for his record on voting for legislation that provided assistance to veterans and troops. The grade represents his voting on 13 votes dealing with increasing funding for veterans, a veterans suicide prevention bill, a bill giving refugee status to translators who worked with US troops in Iraq, expanding benefits for those who died or were wounded and unable to pay off their enlistment bonus, and a new GI education bill of Rights. Both Obama and Biden received a “B” grade.

John McCain never ceases boasting he “cares about the troops” but he opposed the new GI Bill of Rights for education because it would encourage veterans to go to college instead of re-enlisting. It is a sad commentary that a man who served in the military receives a “D in supporting the military.

Iraq-Afghanistan Vets Want Action From New President

A group representing the interests of the 1.7 million servicemen and women who have served in the Middle East have issued a 10 point action plan they wish implemented by the next president. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America(IAVA) insist the new occupant of the White House finally gets down to dealing with veteran issues that have consistently been ignored by President Bush. Most of their demands relate to improvements in mental health care, dealing with disability claims, issuing of 50,000 housing vouchers to assist veterans, and payment of the long delayed $1,000 a month for those on extended deployments.

There is no doubt veteran demands are legitimate and long due, but the question not asked is why are veterans being forced to ask a new president to carry out a program that readily could have been implemented by the current occupant of the Oval Office? Where has George Bush been the past few years when veterans were denied their rights? One might also ask, where has John McCain, the supposed maverick been on the issue of veteran treatment? Can Senator McCain cite on example of his “maverick” challenge to Bush procrastination in dealing with veteran issues? The senator from Arizona even opposed the new G.I. Bill of Rights for veterans!

Betrayal Of American Veterans By Bush Administration

Two important groups representing American war veterans charge the Bush administration is betraying the rights of those who have served in the armed forces and been wounded. The Disabled American Veterans and the Afghanistan Veterans of America sent letters to every member of Congress saying, “we need your immediate assistance to help end the deliberate, systemic betrayal of every brave American” who has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. At issue is the definition of what constitutes “combat related” injuries. Kerry Baker of the Disabled American Veterans insists there are cases in which a veteran received $30,000 severance pay and used it for medical care and education only to be compelled to repay the money, even though he may have been awarded a 100% disability rating. The veteran groups claim the Pentagon is taking a narrow interpretation of the law and only classifying disability if the person was in a combat zone.

A soldier who is injured during training for combat does not fit the Pentagon definition of what constitutes being injured in the service of their nation. Baker cites the case of a female soldier who dove for cover into a pile of rocks during a mortar attack and was informed the injury was not combat related. A diagnosis of PSTD is now not classified as combat related. It is time for Americans to share the fury of those who served their nation and are now being denied medical treatment.

Special Court For Veterans-Interesting Innovation

The city of Buffalo, New York has established a special court which only focuses on criminal charges against veterans or members of their families. Judge Robert russell, who created the city’s drug treatment court in 1995 and a mental health treatment court in 2005, holds court weekly with veterans assured criminal charges will be dropped on the basis of their willingness to under counseling and psychological treatment. C. West Huddington, CEO of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, predicts other communities will eventually pick up on this idea and develop their own version of special courts for veterans. He cites a recent Rand Study report which estimates 19% of veterans who returned home from Iraq or Afghanistan report symptoms PTSD.

The Department of Health and Human Services began offering grants to communithy programs that divert people with truma related disorders, especially veterans, from the criminal court system. A high percent of veterans attending the Buffalo court are dealing with drug or other substance abuse issues which have resulted in criminal action.

Open Doors Of VA To Active Service Members!

Under new bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Barak Obama, Kit Bond, and other senators, active and reserve service m embers would be eligible for m ental health counseling from one of the 207 veterans’ centers operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill would extend military survivor benefits in cases of suicides among service members with a history of service-related mental health problems, an unprecedented policy change that would extend active-duty survivor benefits beyond the end of service for those who are not receriving retired pay.

According to Senator Bond, the bill “not only opens the door to additional resoruces but also lightens the load on our currently over-tasked specialists. There are grossly insufficient numbers of military behavioral health specialists t provide care ou troops need.” An interesting item in the bill provides incentives for veteran to become mental health specialists.

It is wonderful that finally mental health care issues for soldiers and veterans is beginning to receive the attention of Congress, but, isn’t there need for a congressional investigation into failure on the part of the Bush administration to address these issues over the past seven years?

Housing Crisis And War In Iraq

There is considerable discussion in the media about the war in Iraq and casualty figures, but much less notice has been focused on what happens to reservists and members of the National Guard who must place careers on stand-still or cope with financial pressures created when an individual shifts from a good salary to the one being received in the military. The Senate has decided to address one issue– housing and mortgage payments. A new bill would delay forclosure action against a service member for up to nine months after they return from deployment. It also provides one year of relief from increases in mortgage interest rates for retuning service members and creates a counseling program to help them deal with financial problems. The cap on veterans’ home loans, now set at $417,000 would temporarily rise as high as $730,000.

The bill finally has the government begin to address the host of problems created by the war in Iraq such as the nearly 30,000 who have been wounded. The bill provides grants to assist those who were disabled to modify their homes in order to meet new physical needs. There are so many financial issues which remain unresolved. Many reservists and National Guard members are confronting severe financial problems due to changes in their income. Will these receive any attention?

Congress Seeks To Protect Wounded Soldiers

it is all too common for opponents of the war in Iraq to focus on the number of men and women who have been killed in the conflict. Much less attention has been paid to the 29,000 who have been wounded as well as the thousands of others whose mental wounds will not appear for years to come. The Iraq wounded will always be with the people of America. The House Veterans Affairs Committee is proposing legislation that will ensure wounded soldiers are guaranteed ongoing medical care after leaving the service. Several veteran groups have urged legislation for veterans with service-connected disabilities or the need for special devices such as hearing aids. Under the proposed legislation, a host of disabilities will now be covered and veterans will receive a rating of at least 10% in order to guarantee access to medical care.

This is a step long overdue. The wounds of Iraq will not disappear for half a century and America will have to pay the cost of Bush’s war.