{This blog is not affiliated with the VA. Though a Veteran, four yrs. all shore in Navy last year In-Country Vietnam, I don't work for the VA}
**USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**

The Countries Responsibility is to Fully Fund the Agency Charged With Fulfilling the Obligations Promised to Those That Served Said Country! But those served, some veterans as well, find it easier to follow the started attacks, conservative ideology, on the agencies dedicated personal, while ignoring the many costly issues especially from our wars! Gen Shinseki had finally started addressing those issues and building the agency the Country promised but ignores and uses as a political pawn, Poser Patriotism, while addressing the Veterans issues of the present and two more long wars! Political ideologies and personal greed should never cross the doorways of Veterans Facilities nor Veterans Issues!!


Survey Finds Few Veterans on Congressional Staffs - Group says Congress should set example by hiring more vets

TX-19 Congressional Candidate Neal Marchbanks - Veteran: 28 March 2014 - "Congress controls the budget for the VA and it is the fault of Congress that the VA does not have enough employees and that the facilities are too small."

Congress, in Veteran Marchbanks statement, are the people served and who representatives work for, or are supposed to!

Sixth District Congressional candidate Seth Moulton: "Congress has made 'travesty' of veterans care" 05/14/2014

“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility
{two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, nor the results of, DeJa-Vu all over again from the previous decades and wars from! Ignore the many issues, by those served, no need to fund!}

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Republicans: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

25 June 2014 U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller: Veterans' Affairs issue an 'all too similar' scene

How We Could Do More For Our Vets: "We need to go into debt to pay our debt to U.S. veterans to make sure they get the care and services we owe them."

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

WHY? GOOD QUESTION THOSE SERVED SHOULD ANSWER!

Presidential Proclamation -- Veterans Day, 2013: "As we pay tribute to our veterans, we are mindful that no ceremony or parade can fully repay that debt." read more>>>


Read about now,
Bush Institute aims to identify best resources for vets' transition ,for it's archived and never to be heard about again!


And more disturbing, under both bushes, in relation to even before and through the early years of the Afghanistan, quickly abandoned missions of, and Iraq occupations, this:

ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
"DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War."

Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort


The War On Military Records

12/10/2013 - The era of big data has arrived on the battlefield and we need to find new ways to deal with it.

Add in the issues of finally recognizing in War Theater and more Veterans, by the Shinseki Veterans Administration and the Executive Administrations Cabinet, what the Country choose to ignore from our previous decades and wars of: The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTS, Agent Orange, Homelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War Illnesses, Gulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans' that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA's and the whole Country and through their representatives!

How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!


"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

"To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan" - President Lincoln



Homeless Veterans/Stand Downs

Are You Concerned About a Veteran? The Veterans Crisis Line Can Help>>>

For our sisters: National Women Veterans Hotline, call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) New Hotline now up and running

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Veterans Have Worked for Years to Establish a Clinic

Mobile clinic serves hundreds of veterans
August 20, 2014 - Hundreds of veterans are now visiting a mobile primary care clinic stationed in Mercer County, but it has the capacity to serve hundreds more, a representative of the Veterans Administration said Tuesday.

In February, a new mobile veterans clinic started operating along Stadium Drive in Bluefield.

Local veterans have worked for years to establish a clinic, so they are encouraging people who have served their country to utilize the new facility.

“It has wheels on it, and if leaves, we’ll never get it back,” said veteran advocate Al Hancock of Bluefield.

Hancock said the unit was the third-best in Division 6 of the Veterans Integrated Service Network, which includes West Virginia and part of Virginia and North Carolina. Local veterans have been working for years to establish a veterans primary care clinic in Mercer County so veterans can reduce the number of trips they make up and down Interstate 77 to the Beckley VA hospital. read more>>>


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Military Families & Veterans' a Big Part of 'Hunger in America'


Veterans among millions of Americans relying on food banks

August 18, 2014 - According to a new report, one in seven Americans is receiving food assistance. But the faces of those struggling to put food on the table may surprise some. Manuel Bojorquez reports.

A window into other issue. Listen as the Veteran speaks, from the trauma's of War/Occupation Theaters to the trauma's on the oh so 'patriotic' streets of America, "If it weren't for my son........."

More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries
About 20 percent of all the households using Feeding America services include a member who is serving or has served in the military. Of those, 620,000 households have at least one member currently in the military, which is one quarter of all U.S. military households.

Hunger in America
The Hunger in America study series is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive insight into charitable food distribution in the United States.

Hunger in America is a series of quadrennial studies that provide comprehensive demographic profiles of people seeking food assistance through the charitable sector and an in-depth analysis of the partner agencies in the Feeding America network that provide this assistance. It is the largest study of its kind. The data collected through the Hunger in America studies help guide the development of programs and solutions that improve food security for individuals and their households and inform public policy and support for solving hunger in America.

Hunger in America 2014 is the sixth and most comprehensive study undertaken. The 2014 study reveals that each year, the Feeding America network of food banks provides service to 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Through a network of 58,000 pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs, the Feeding America network reaches people in need in every community across the U.S. read more w/report links>>>


Monday, August 18, 2014

Yuppers! That, poser patriotism, 'Support the Troops'

It really is a bitch, ain't it, when the rare piece of reality comes along and wipes out the phony meme's and in the case of the Military and Veterans the symbols used, especially when the reality is easy to ignore!

More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

About 20 percent of all the households using Feeding America services include a member who is serving or has served in the military. Of those, 620,000 households have at least one member currently in the military, which is one quarter of all U.S. military households.
And carried into when those few who serve join our Veterans community especially us from our military actions or wars and long occupations, while them served never think they to should 'sacrifice'! Why it's to easy to just ignore or deny, much much cheaper, the issue's, especially as to those flag waving 'patriotic' wars and them follow the conservative long line of accusing the mostly dedicated personal, and volunteers, who strive to work for or help the Veterans especially those in the VA, it's all their fault and certainly not the, go shopping, 99%plus served! Why those served don't feel the need even to pay the multi billions in war costs, mostly to private corporate contractors, leading into the trillions!

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

August 18, 2014 - Despite the economic recovery, more than 46 million Americans — or one in seven — used a food pantry last year. And a surprisingly high number of those seeking help were households with military members, according to a new survey by Feeding America, which is a network of U.S. food banks.

The — conducted in 2013 — found that almost 620,000 of the households using Feeding America services have at least one member currently in the military. That's one quarter of all U.S. military households.

Deborah Flateman, who's president and CEO of the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore, says she isn't surprised. Last year, her food bank started working with groups like the USO to provide food aid to families affiliated with nearby military bases like Fort Meade.

She says, so far, they've used their mobile food pantry to distributed more than 200,000 pounds of food to military families.

"They're not unlike any of the other families that we serve," says Flateman. "They meet hardship and they need assistance with food."

And other food banks and pantries say they're seeing a similar increase. read more>>>

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
{Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from!!}

Highlighting Veteran Homelessness… “Wrong Side of Heaven”

Or this:

Veterans Administration: 'Facts' Are For Media To 'Report'

It is important that we openly and willingly discuss our mistakes and how we intend to improve. As we acknowledge areas where more work is needed, we also need to set the record straight when our work is unfairly mischaracterized.

But alas don't worry be happy, we got us an expensive private corporate merc army, that also has yet to be paid for, that's also charged with intelligence gathering!!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Veterans Administration: 'Facts' Are For Media To 'Report'

And not FOX speak spin, drumbeating war drums for 'patriotic' effect, Poser Patriots, to be parroted for the ambulance chasing 21st century journalism while totally ignoring the past and facts of, especially recent past and especially related to our Military and Veterans of!!

VA Presents Facts Omitted from Recent Article on Enrollment System
August 17, 2014 - Caring for our nation’s Veterans is the highest honor and privilege for the men and women who serve them at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Our mission is to provide timely access to earned health care and benefits for millions of Veterans. That is a responsibility that we do not take lightly.

Over the past several months, it has become clear that we have fallen short when it comes to timely access to care. Today, we are working hard with Veterans Service Organizations, Congress and others to take corrective actions, accelerate access and begin to rebuild trust with the Veterans who entrust us with their care. A third of VA’s employees are Veterans themselves and they come to work each day focused on making a difference.

It is important that we openly and willingly discuss our mistakes and how we intend to improve. As we acknowledge areas where more work is needed, we also need to set the record straight when our work is unfairly mischaracterized.

One such story alleged VA mishandled enrollment applications. While we have worked to make the enrollment process less complicated, it is an area VA has identified for improvement. As we move forward, our focus remains on enhancing the enrollment system to better serve Veterans.

However, the media report on this issue failed to include key facts and information provided by VA, which resulted in a misleading portrayal of VA’s work in this important area. Veterans and the public deserve to have a complete set of facts presented. read more>>>

I'm gonna add some more Facts placed in a recent post by this Veteran, me!!
Highlighting Veteran Homelessness… “Wrong Side of Heaven”


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Highlighting Veteran Homelessness… “Wrong Side of Heaven”

Those 'served', the 99%, need to finally step up and actually 'Sacrifice', their representatives start actually doing their jobs and not constantly attack the personal because they haven't done those jobs {here's looking at You Rep Miller, seeking the media coverage of himself, and company}, decades and wars from Not! As they ignore or deny the costly issues! These present wars have yet to be paid for let alone, DeJa-Vu, the long term results from! And build the VA not only promised but their Responsibility to bring to those few that served them, the served Poser Patriots!!

Fact: “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

New Five Finger Death Punch music video highlights veteran homelessness…but is it accurate?
August 15 2014 - The band Five Finger Death Punch has had close ties to the U.S. military for years. Previous music videos have featured images of soldiers struggling through life in a combat zone, and they have performed overseas for the troops on numerous occasions.

Their latest project takes on a related social issue. Released this week, the video for the song “Wrong Side of Heaven” casts a spotlight on veteran homelessness. It already has been viewed online more than 1 million times.

The statistics flashed across the screen are stark, and draw attention to an important issue. But are they accurate? Checkpoint decided to investigate. Among the claims: read more>>>

Fact: "If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Fact: To Those 99% Served, 'Build the Veterans Administration Promised!!'

Under Gen. Shinseki, with a target on him after speaking Military Truth and the bushco firing him with the political ideology/greed within the agency helping those in power targeting him, finally with help from this Executive Branch and it's Cabinet, like the Department of Labor - Veterans, The Department of Housing and Urban Development - Veterans and the Department of Justice - Veterans Courts and Related to name but only a few Veterans issues were finally addressing decades long ignored issues with some even denied they exist. Long Ignored by those served, other VA Secretaries and Executive Administrations, especially Conservative, and Especially Congresses who Represent the People Served, or are supposed to, and control the Nations purse strings. Across the VA and all issues of the us Veterans and especially from our Wars and long Occupations of others, not just Care Issues!
Already started but an agency can do only so much and at the pace the people served allow with what the agency is budgeted, still grossly under funded with two more long wars and the budget mostly borrowed with interest payments to cause problems thus feeding the conservative want to privatize for corporate profit off the peoples treasury, and country served willing to pay for:

"He would update the VA software program for scheduling called VISTA, a program first used in 1985.

Nabors also calls for the VA to hire more doctors and nurses, and build more physical space that will be needed for veterans in the future."

What the VA Needs is Those Served Actually Sacrifice, Not Poser Patriotism from Congress and those, 99%, People Served!!

Build the Veterans Administration Promised from the beginning with Real Patriotism not the decades of, cheap, empty rhetoric and Unfunded Congressional Legislation, putting their names too for that patriotic feel and praise, just like the unfunded flag waving patriotic wars with two tax cuts and no offsets mentioned, still unpaid for, used only to attack the VA personal for not rapidly addressing what was passed, Poser Patriotism!!

Fact: Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014
{Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from!!}

Fact:The Obama Administration, and it's Cabinet, they don't do the peoples purse strings, have been the 'Only Government Branch' consistently doing not only for Veterans but Military Personal and their Families since coming in!!

Fact: “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

Fact: Lets hope what Gen Shinseki, with the help of the entire Obama Admin and Cabinet, had finally started addressing continues. But it only can when those served, through their representatives, decide they actually owe in paying for these cheered on 'patriotic' wars and the long term results of is their responsibility to fully address!!

Are You Concerned About a Veteran? The Veterans Crisis Line Can Help>>>

For our sisters: National Women Veterans Hotline, call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) New Hotline now up and running


Thursday, August 14, 2014

VA Expands Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3)

What goes on in the Veterans Administration, the people served responsibility, costs. As those people served have yet to Sacrifice themselves, decades now and wars from especially the past decade plus as the wars still have yet been paid for. Thus the still grossly under funded, attack the VA personal by conservatives in congress, as congress still isn't doing the jobs charged to do with their employment when hired by those same people served!!

VA Expands Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) Contracts to Provide Access to Primary Care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 13, 2014

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that primary care has been added to the services available to Veterans through VA’s Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) contracts, a key and evolving part of the non-VA medical care program. Eligible Veterans are already able to access inpatient specialty care, outpatient specialty care, mental health care, limited emergency care and limited newborn care for female Veterans following childbirth under PC3.

“With the addition of primary care services, VA Medical Centers can now use PC3 to provide additional types of care in order to reduce wait times,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “This modification is another example of how we are working to ensure Veterans get the care they need, when they need it and where they want to be seen.”

This modification supports VA’s Accelerated Care Initiative, helping to move Veterans off of waitlists and into care. Additionally, reduced commuting standards will require that contracted providers schedule appointments closer to the Veterans’ homes. read more>>>


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin a ‘True Friend’ of the Troops

Certainly 'Not' a FOX/Rush, and greater majority served, patriotic?, 'Poser Patriot'!! As the FOX and Rush, and their many parrots, have been showing their true colors since Robin's death!!

Hagel Praises Williams as ‘True Friend’ of Troops
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saluted actor and comedian Robin Williams, who’d passed away yesterday at age 63, for his steadfast support of U.S. troops and veterans over the years.

In a statement issued yesterday, Hagel noted that Williams had toured with the USO to entertain overseas-deployed U.S. forces and supported efforts to assist veterans.

Hagel’s statement reads as follows:

“The entire Department of Defense community mourns the loss of Robin Williams. Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops. From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform. He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD -- so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.”

Rest In Peace Robin, your life long battles caught up to you. You knew what those battles were, you understood with them what many who serve suffer from as to their service especially in war theaters, and fought valiantly by bringing more then just your one of a kind humor about to us all, even the drama's you portrayed sent messages covering many issues in human nature, RIP!!

Journalist Recalls Travels With Robin Williams
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2014 – U.S. service members truly lost a friend with the death of Robin Williams yesterday.

Williams made multiple USO tours to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, Bahrain, Kuwait and other bases in Southwest Asia to give soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and DoD civilians a little taste of home.

It was my privilege to accompany him on many of those tours, and I can attest that he truly loved doing what he was doing and the people he was doing it for.

There really was no difference between Robin on stage and Robin behind the scenes.

On the first trip with Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the plane stopped at Shannon Airport, Ireland, to refuel. He got off the plane into the midst of about 150 National Guardsmen going home. Robin shook every hand, posed for every picture and ensured the Guardsmen knew he appreciated their sacrifices.

That was Robin. read more>>>

Remembering Robin Williams
August 12, 2014 - The sudden death of Robin Williams has left the world without an acting genius. Williams was able to bring characters of all kinds to life not just for a few hours on the screen; he was able to make them stay permanently in his audience’s memory.

Through these characters, Williams was able to elevate social issues in movies in a way that few actors can. To honor the man, Think Progress assembled a list of seven such issues Williams touched in his films. We give you an excerpt below: read more>>>


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Fallen Marines of Tarawa Still Coming Home

Bringing home the fallen Marines of Tarawa
August 11, 2014 - The Republic of Keera-Bass is a nation of 33 islands straddling the equator in the central Pacific Ocean.

One of the islands was the scene of a World War II battle. Now there is a mission to recover the fallen.

In November 1943, 18,000 U.S. Marines stormed the Pacific island of Tarawa. It was so heavily fortified that a Japanese commander boasted it would take a million men a hundred years to take the island. It took the Marines three days.

Jim Morrow was one of those Marines.

"My first emotional moment came when I got over the long pier and I saw bodies floating in the water. That's when the shock hit me." read more>>>


Monday, August 11, 2014

WWII ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Stories and Philosophy

The Generation that understood Sacrifice, especially as to it's Military and Veterans of, the last one in America, that under stood respect and giving thus receiving, especially in their labors, the last in America, that were more then willing to be innovative and educated daily in their lives and and trades and the importance of and self pride from accomplishments, the last in America..............! I grew up in and into, giving my contributions at least for some years which started ending about 30 to 40 years ago, the last in America! Will never be repeated, just look around and listen too, one label we are no longer is the United States, that too started ending about the same time!!

Real-life ‘Rosie the Riveter’ women share their stories and philosophy
August 10 2014 - On the iconic poster of Rosie the Riveter, the woman working in a factory on the home front during World War II rolls up her sleeve to proudly reveal her muscular arm.

But Crena Anderson, a real-life riveter, never showed off when she went to work to make airplanes during the war. Her husband was fighting; her brother had been killed in the Army Air Forces; she had taken only a short leave of absence from her seven-day-a-week job as a riveter to have a baby. She was worried about finding a trustworthy babysitter, about earning money to support her family, about doing her job well to ensure the safety of the men on the front — and about her arms.

“It made me big muscles,” she said. “I was ashamed to wear a short-sleeved dress. I always wore three-quarter-length sleeves. I looked like a man.”

Anderson, now 89, and four other female former factory workers reminisced Sunday about the challenges and opportunities of women who worked during the war. They now refer to themselves as Rosies. read more>>>


VA Announces New Grants to Help End Veterans Homelessness

And to you totally nitwit conservative, so called, journalists and commentators, conservative websites and more, who just love thinking you're showing 'patriotism', in reality 'Poser Patriotism', and going after the VA and the personal of, like your representatives do, on this or anything, as you have yet Sacrificed, DeJa-Vu decades and wars from, in your responsibility, let alone paying for these wars even, these grants come from other parts of the budget and not from the grossly under funded care and services side. They too are grossly under funded and in this Executive branch are helped with the other Cabinet Agencies charged with the issues of.

Award of Approximately $300 million in Grants
August 11, 2014 - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today announced the award of approximately $300 million in grants that will help approximately 115,000 homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants will be distributed to 301 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is awarding grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income Veteran families living in – or transitioning to – permanent housing. Those community organizations provide a range of services that promote housing stability among eligible very low income Veteran families (those making less than 50 percent of the area median income). The grants announced today will fund the fourth year of the SSVF program.

“By working with community non-profit organizations, we have enlisted valuable partners in our fight to end homelessness,” said McDonald. “The work of SSVF grantees has already helped thousands of homeless Veterans and their families find homes and thousands more have been able to stay in their own homes.” read more>>>


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Only About Two-Thirds of a Percent of All Americans Have Deployed to These Conflicts

And the rest, 991/3%, can't even Sacrifice in paying for the wars let alone, DeJa-Vu all over again,the long term results from and their responsibility the VA!! But oh, just ask, they're so 'patriotic', more like 'Poser Patriotism', cheap and easy!

Military and Veteran Mental Health: Why Should Psychiatrists Care?
August 05, 2014 - Psychiatrists might ask, “Why should I care?” The question is a reasonable one and the place where we will start. Each of you is a scarce resource to our larger society. If your bandwidth is like mine, it fills fast and has limits on what it can digest and act upon. So allow me to suggest a few reasons—by no means an exhaustive list—why what’s happening in the mental health world of the military and veterans is of great interest to you.

1. The local impact of the past 13 years of armed conflict is greater than many think and much greater than simply the number of veterans in your practice or your community

When speaking before groups, I have often started with a question: “How many Americans would you estimate have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001?” Mostly I get a few bashful guesses. Seldom does more than one person offer an estimate much higher than 500,000.

Sometimes there are gasps when these audiences hear that well over 2.5 million Americans have deployed about 3.5 million times. This number, as large as it is, hints at another challenging fact: only about two-thirds of a percent of all Americans have deployed to these conflicts. For most American families, their only direct exposure to the US military is in an airport.

A closer look shows that the deployment figures are large but the impacts of these wars are larger still. Consider this: In 2008 Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz1 and colleague Linda Bilmes estimated the cost of the Iraq War alone at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion (a broad potential range based on how the economic impact of some factors are valued, but striking even if the most conservative estimate is used). Can these figures be credible? As the US entered the Vietnam War in the early 1960s, there were still Americans receiving compensation for Civil War health effects. It is this lengthy economic tail—some resulting from direct benefits and compensation but perhaps mostly the consequence of more insidious long-term health effects on individual productivity—that is the major driver of the costs of war.

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

Combat Stress Among Veterans Is Found to Persist Since Vietnam
AUG. 7, 2014 - Most veterans who had persistent post-traumatic stress a decade or more after serving in the Vietnam War have shown surprisingly little improvement since then, and a large percentage have died, a new study finds, updating landmark research that began a generation ago. Members of minorities who enlisted before finishing high school were especially likely to develop such war-related trauma, as were those veterans who had killed multiple times in combat, the study found.

The new analysis, financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is part of the first effort to track a large, nationally representative sample of service members through their adult lives, and it is likely to have implications for post-traumatic stress treatment and disability-benefit programs for years to come, the authors said. Both issues have been hotly debated during the drawdown from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. read more>>>

August 9, 2014 - Trauma Before Enlistment Linked to High Suicide Rates Among Military Personnel, Veterans, Research Finds

“Prevalence of Childhood Abuse among Army National Soldiers And Its Relationship to Adult Suicidal Behavior” (PDF, 151KB)

“Premilitary Suicide Attempts and Severity of Suicidal Ideation Among Military Personnel and Veterans” (PDF, 195KB)

“Sexual Assault and Suicidal Behaviors Among Military Personnel and Veterans” (PDF, 145KB)

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Each war produces its own mental syndrome, whether the partial paralysis known as shell shock after World War I, or the numbed exhaustion that was called combat fatigue after World War II. But it was the first installment of this historic V.A. study — the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, published in 1992 — that put PTSD on the map as the signature mental injury of that war, prompting the government to invest heavily in the treatment of traumatized veterans and payment of disability benefits. It also set off a furious debate over the prevalence of the disorder, its definition and appropriate treatment that continues to this day.

snip

The death rates are not a matter of debate. About two in 10 of the veterans who participated in the landmark study at the beginning, in the 1980s, died prematurely, by retirement age. Those with lifetime PTSD were twice as likely to have died than those who did not have the disorder, their lives often claimed by the rough hand of a life on the margins: injuries, accidents, suicide and homicide.

“These are the costs of war, over a lifetime,” read more>>>

“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sense of Belonging that Only a Veteran can Truly Understand

Living history: How veterans are using the past to find present fulfillment
The veteran participating in living history will find a sense of belonging that only a veteran can truly understand

August 08, 2014 - With the recent attention focused on the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, the centennial of the start of World War I, and the 70th anniversary of D-Day, living historians, or reenactors, are in the public eye. The allure of joining their ranks goes beyond firing weapons to deeper motivations for veterans.

The camaraderie found in military units is hard to find elsewhere. The bonds formed by people united in a common purpose and then subjected to hardship are well-forged. While different from those formed in combat, the relationships established through reenacting can be quite strong. Although participation is voluntary, the camaraderie is genuine.

Portraying a soldier on campaign, wearing and carrying only what they did in that particular era, preparing and sharing rations, and making shelter in the heat of summer or the chill of spring can only be accomplished by the steadfast dedication and cooperation of all members of the unit. Just like modern-day soldiers, reenactors need to look out for one another.

The procedures followed at a living history encampment can feel restricting to the average civilian, but are as comfortable to the veteran as a broken-in pair of combat boots. This familiarity allows for a more natural participation and portrayal of the soldiers of the past. Marching in step with a drum or cadence is second nature, as is the wearing of a uniform. Anyone who has stood for a pass and review or change of command will easily recognize the daily parade that is held to post orders and provide accountability. Reenactments provide a structured environment that feels normal and comforting. read more>>>

“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration