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Number of disabled veterans rising

May 11th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - Increasing numbers of U.S. troops have left the military with damaged bodies and minds, an ever-larger pool of disabled veterans that will cost the nation billions for decades to come - even as the total population of America’s vets shrinks.

Despite the decline in total vets - as soldiers from World War II and Korea die - the government expects to be spending $59 billion a year to compensate injured warriors in 25 years, up from today’s $29 billion, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. And the Veterans Affairs Department concedes the bill could be much higher.


Worse wounds. More disabilities. More vets aware of the benefits and quicker to file for them.

Also, ironically, advanced medical care. Troops come home with devastating injuries that might well have killed them in earlier wars.

Time is also a factor when it comes to disability compensation costs. Payments tend to go up as veterans age, and an increasing number of soldiers from the Vietnam War will be getting bigger payments as they get older and are less able to work around their disabilities.

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Number of disabled veterans rising

I am going to say this again and again and again, and to any that don’t like it, don’t believe it or can’t support it, click the ‘X’ at the top right of your screen and LEAVE!!

Our Veterans, and their care comes 1st!!

These wonderful guys and gals have given this nation everything they have to give physically, many have given their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, and that’s the way it goes for folks in the military and I fully understand that, but the ones that DO survive must be cared for in the most top shelf fashion imaginable…

Our government continues to spend BILLIONS of our tax dollars to rebuild a war torn nation that is still engaged in a civil war, although there is nothing civil about that or any other war…

Why spend our money rebuilding Iraq, our money, when it could be much better spent taking care of the troops that come back home with life changing injuries and disabilities??

America 1st, and American SOLDIERS 1st, if that idea is beyond your realm of comprehension then you are reading the wrong blog, this isn’t about politics, it’s not about right, left, Dem, Repub or any of that, it’s all about doing the best job for our injured Vets no matter what it costs, and if it means we have to cut back on the rehabilitation of an OIL RICH nation like Iraq, then so be it!!

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VA lying about number of veteran suicides

April 24th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON – The Veterans Administration has lied about the number of veterans who have attempted suicide, Sen. Patty Murray said Wednesday, citing an internal e-mail that put the number at 12,000 a year while the department was publicly saying it was fewer than 800.

The Feb. 13 e-mail by Dr. Ira Katz, the man in charge of the department’s mental health programs, was disclosed this week as part of a lawsuit brought by two veterans groups that went to trial in San Francisco.

Dr. Katz’s message to Ev Chasen, the department’s communications director, started with “Shh!” It continued, “Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities. Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?”

Mr. Chasen responded: “I think this is something we should discuss among ourselves, before issuing a press release. Is the fact we are stopping them good news, or is the sheer number bad news? And is this more than we have ever seen before?”

Ms. Murray, D-Wash, said she has spoken with VA Secretary James Peake and demanded he fire Dr. Katz. The senator said Mr. Peake has yet to respond to her request for Dr. Katz’s resignation.

If you ignore it, it will go away, if you say it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen, if you don’t take care of the Vets and they do commit suicide, or otherwise die from lack of care, then your problem is solved, they’re gone and your budget is relatively safe…

And since Sen. Murray is a Dem, we ALL know she can’t possibly have the best interest of our Veterans in her heart, right?? Surely that will be the lamentations from the Bush Bots, Murray is only doing this to discredit the Bush administration, right??

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon Mansfield apologized Wednesday during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing, telling Ms. Murray and other senators he did not think there was any deliberate attempt to mislead Congress or the public.

Maybe it wasn’t a deliberate attempt, maybe it’s all been just a terrible coincidence, maybe some of the deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, conditions that have been documented, maybe that was just administrative oversight, the VA has their mission definition, and the utmost care of our Vets is their #1 priority, right??

But Ms. Murray remained skeptical, saying the VA has shown a pattern of misleading Congress when it comes to the increasing number of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan seeking help and putting a strain on DOD and VA facilities and programs.

And again, Sen. Murray’s skepticism is only because she is a Democrat, it has to be, the Bush Bots tell us ALL how there’s no way that the Dems care about the troops or their care once they become Veterans, the Dems are evil incarnate and this is simply an attempt to make Bush look bad for taking us to Iraq…

Bullshit!! There are many Dems that care, many that want nothing but the best for our troops and Vets, apparently Sen. Murray is one of them but you can bet on this, she’ll be castigated by the Bush administration and the Bush Bots for taking this issue on, and it will be because she IS a Democrat…

Mr. Mansfield responded that the situation was unfortunate and did not “send the right message” to Congress or the public.

“I know Dr. Katz is a dedicated public servant,” he said. “There isn’t a lot the VA should be keeping secret.”

“There isn’t a lot the VA should be keeping secret.”?? NOTHING that the VA does should be kept secret, absolutely nothing…

The mission of the VA is not an Operational Security mission, they are charged with taking care of our Veterans, from wars past and present, as well as those Vets that never saw combat, it’s the Veterans Administration, not the CIA, secrets may well be the reason that the VA has become the less than reliable administration it has…

Secrets?? In the VA?? Indeed…

Full Story Here:
Dallas Morning News - VA lying about number of veteran suicides

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Boosting GI Bill benefits could hit military roadblock

March 29th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON — For Sen. Jim Webb, it’s a question of fairness: Why don’t veterans of today’s armed services get the same benefits the GI Bill provided “the greatest generation” after World War II?

Actually Senator, the answer is pretty simple, Vets have always been handed the slick end of the stick, and you know that, perhaps PCness keeps you from saying it, I would hope NOT but that statement is nothing but the cold hard fact of the matter, if the government feels it needs a budget cut, Vets are the 1st to feel it.

But the Virginia Democrat’s effort to remedy the perceived slight, which has gained support in Congress, runs afoul of how officials at the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs want to manage the all-volunteer military. Besides being too expensive and more administratively complex than the current GI Bill, they say it would make it more difficult to retain experienced troops beyond their first hitch.

Too expensive?? Too expensive to take care of our Vets and offer them better benefits after they have put their lives on the line in service to this nation?? The DoD and V.A. need to rethink that position and define the word ‘expensive’.

In my opinion expensive is Iraq, and what we are doing there, we are spending BILLIONS of U.S. tax dollars on a gamble that we’re not even certain is going to pay off, but we won’t spend the money to give top shelf benefits to the troops that are working their tails off in an attempt to make this gamble in Iraq and elsewhere work?

And another thing, if the DoD wants to retain experienced troops beyond that 1st hitch, they need to take into consideration exactly what those troops are going through, what their families are sacrificing, the ‘big picture’ if you will, and the DoD needs to address the issue of WHY troops are now on their 3rd, 4th and in some cases, their 5th combat rotation to Iraq, personally I think that ANY troops that has given that much of themselves, to and for this nation, deserve nothing but the very finest educational opportunities available.

“I see the educational benefits in this bill as crucial to a service member’s readjustment to civilian life and as a cost of war that should receive the same priority that funding the war has received the last five years,” Webb said.

The benefit would cover tuition and fees for the most expensive public university in any state where the veteran resides and pay an allowance for books and housing.

I have often said, I don’t support the ‘political party’, I look at the individual and make my decisions based on what I see from that individual and their actions, and in this case I have to say, I support the efforts and statements of Sen. Webb, and of those in office that are supporting him and his effort to obtain more and better benefits for our Veterans.

I read a lot of so-called Conservative and Republican Blogs that are always tooting their own horns about how much they support the troops, several sites come to mind, but they will go unmentioned because I won’t give linkage to hypocrites, and those same sites will call BS on this story simply because Sen. Webb is a Democrat, and that is why I believe certain individuals are the hypocrites I accuse them of being when it comes to REAL troops support.

If you truly support the troops, PROVE IT, support this effort to help increase educational benefits for our Vets, don’t just sit there and say “Oh yeah, I support the troops“, help get this thing moving, call or write your congressman or senator, tell them to support Sen. Webb in this effort, if you can support the war then you can surely support the futures of guys and gals that are doing the work. They deserve it!

Full Story Here:
Boosting GI Bill benefits could hit military roadblock

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VA links poor care to 19 deaths at Ill. hospital

January 28th, 2008 . by TexasFred

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Substandard care at a southern Illinois Veterans Affairs hospital may have contributed to 19 deaths over the past two years, a VA official said Monday as he apologized to affected families and pledged reform.

The hospital in Marion, Ill., initially drew scrutiny over deaths connected to a single surgeon, but two federal reports found fault with five other doctors.

The hospital undertook many surgeries that its staffing or lack of proper surgical expertise made it ill-equipped to handle, and hospital administrators were too slow to respond once problems surfaced, said Dr. Michael Kussman, U.S. veterans affairs undersecretary for health.

“I can’t tell you how angry we all are and how frustrated we all are. Nothing angers me more than when we don’t do the right thing,” Kussman told reporters during a conference call after releasing findings of the VA’s investigation and summarizing a separate inspector general’s probe.

Still, Kussman insisted, “what happened in Marion is an exception to what otherwise is a truly quality health care system” across the VA.

Full Story Here:
VA links poor care to 19 deaths at Ill. hospital

As I sat here listening to George W. Bush giving his last State of the Union address and rattle his gums about how we’re going to do more for our Veterans and our troops returning home, I happened upon this story and it was all I could do to not puke…

Our troops do get good care, if the wounds don’t kill you out right, if you can get immediate combat care and get an evac to a field hospital where you’ll be stabilized and then flown to a state of the art military hospital, your chances of survival rise tremendously, and that’s awesome, I DO applaud the care our troops get when they are wounded in combat…

But our Veterans get the door slammed in their faces, they get 2nd and 3rd class treatment, they are ignored, they are pushed away and ignored, many DIE waiting for treatment, and that is what todays heroes can look forward to in their later years if there is not some serious reform within the V.A. and it’s administration…

And our Vets know this, our Vets know what it’s like to be handed a bottle of pills and told to take one every 4 hours until NO pain is felt, and when you run out, come on back, we’ll dope you up some more we’ll give you more treatments for your problems…

That’s the V.A. system, always has been and unless some miracle happens, that’s the way it always will be…

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Veterans Charities - How They Fared

December 13th, 2007 . by TexasFred

EDIT TO ADD 12-14-07: Mr. Jay Agg, National Communications Director for AMVETS, has contacted me personally and has posted a comment in this thread, I want to thank Mr. Agg for his response and I also want my readers to know, Jay has been the only official from the list of charities receiving an ‘F’ that I have heard from on this matter…

To the gentleman from Alaska that keeps trying to post figures and so forth about the PVA, you’re NOT an official of PVA and your link to Fishing in Alaska or whatever it is, is the reason I am not letting your comments thru, I detect a bit of commercialism on your part, if you want to see the PVA’s viewpoint on this blog, have THEM contact me and have them submit their comments, facts and figures from an official site and an official position like Mr. Agg did…

EDIT TO ADD 12-13-07: I have sent emails to all sites that garnered an ‘F’ in this report, 3 of the site had no email available and one was returned as undeliverable, no mail there I guess

Here are the figures on how well some of the Veterans Charities are doing on a grading level, I am shocked at the grades received by several of these highly regarded charities, this is truly a disgusting situation and I hope this list and the story just below will wake a few folks up…

How many of you have the guts to re-post this list and the story below?? How many are going to take the stance of the Bush Bots and just blow it off and say all is well??

The American Institute of Philanthropy, a leading charity watchdog, issued a report card this month for 29 veterans and military charities. Letter grades were based largely on the charities’ fundraising costs and the percentage of money raised that was spent on charitable activities. The charities that received failing grades are in bold type.

Air Force Aid Society (A+)
American Ex-Prisoners of War Service Foundation (F)
American Veterans Coalition (F)
American Veterans Relief Foundation (F)
AMVETS National Service Foundation (F)

Armed Services YMCA of the USA (A-)
Army Emergency Relief (A+)
Blinded Veterans Association (D)
Disabled American Veterans (D)
Fisher House Foundation (A+)
Freedom Alliance (F)
Help Hospitalized Veterans/Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (F)
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (A+)
Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation (F)
National Military Family Association (A)
National Veterans Services Fund (F)
National Vietnam Veterans Committee (D)
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (A+)
NCOA National Defense Foundation (F)
Paralyzed Veterans of America (F)

Soldiers’ Angels (D)
United Spinal Association’s Wounded Warrior Project (D)
USO (United Service Organization) (C+)
Veterans of Foreign Wars and foundation (C-)
Veterans of the Vietnam War & the Veterans Coalition (D)
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (D)
VietNow National Headquarters (F)
World War II Veterans Committee (D)

Veterans Charities - How They Fared

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Soldiers of the Highway…

December 3rd, 2007 . by TexasFred

This video was produced and brought to you by Renee Taylor and Company at

And remember folks, if YOU have it, a trucker brought it, no matter where you are, and keep this in mind, without trucks, America stops…

Excellent video Renee, it is MY privilege to post it…

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Wounded Vet Told To Pay Back Bonus

November 22nd, 2007 . by TexasFred

(CBS) Jordan Fox received a $10,000 signing bonus when he joined the Army. The Mt. Lebanon man served his country in Iraq, where as a sniper he survived machine gun battles and a roadside bomb that knocked him unconscious and blinded him in his right eye.

The injury forced the military to send him home. A few weeks later, Fox received a bill from the Department of Defense, saying he owes the military nearly $3,000 from his original enlistment bonus because he couldn’t fulfill three months of his commitment.

“I tried to do my best and serve my country and unfortunately I was hurt in the process and now they’re telling me that they want their money back,” Fox told CBS station KDKA-TV.

This is apparently not an isolated bureaucratic foul-up. The military is allegedly demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses - up to $30,000 in some cases. Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

Full Story Here:
Wounded Vet Told To Pay Back Bonus

Yes, it has been resolved, but I have to ask, what in the hell motivated the DoD to even TRY and pull this travesty off in the 1st place??

As the article says, this isn’t an isolated incident, who is running the DoD?? A bunch of idiots?? Ebenezer Scrooge before the transformation?? These men and women have given their ALL for the U.S. military, this nation and her people, even it this was a mistake and not done intentionally, it is the most disgusting thing imaginable…

“We have seen where the problems have been made [in] the system,” Major Nathan Banks told Griffin. Banks said the military was working to “make a wrong a right.”

But the Pentagon refused comment on allegations that thousands of other soldiers just sent home wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan will receive these sorts of bills.

George Bush will spend BILLIONS of OUR tax dollars on Iraq and it’s people but the DoD and V.A. aren’t giving OUR troops the best treatment available, they dun them for repayment of enlistment bonuses, and yes, it’s a mistake, and yes, the DoD is going to make it right but it NEVER should have happened at all, our troops that are injured and disabled in combat deserve all the money they received as bonuses and they deserve the very finest medical care this nation has to offer…

Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., told the station that he has proposed a bill that would guarantee soldiers receive full benefit of bonuses.

“Hard as it may be to believe, the Department of Defense has been denying injured servicemen and women the bonuses that they qualified for,” Altmire said at a press conference last month for H.R. 3793.

It’s not hard to believe at all, our veterans and active troops have always received the crappy end of the stick, for as long as there have been veterans and active troops, and it’s time to stop that poor treatment, suppose no one wanted to serve the USA because they were afraid that this is how they would be treated??

It could happen you know…

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