{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**

In 2003 some 72% of Americans fully supported the Abandoning of the Missions and those Sent to Accomplish so extremely Quickly after 9/11!!
At least some 95%, if not more as less then 1% serve them, not only still support the, just below, total lack of Sacrifice, they ran from any and all Accountability and left everything still on the table to be continually used if the political/military want was still in play in future executive/legislative wants!!
DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11", Decades and War From, All Over Again!!
Especially for the Corporate and Wealthy Community, investors in Defense Industries, and for these, Afghanistan and Iraq, came Two Huge Tax Cuts, with more sweetheart deals to same from states and the fed!!

Thousands of people across America don’t just talk about honoring Veterans; they walk the walk. Dedicated Volunteers Serve Veterans for Decades

On this Executive Administration, it's Cabinet and those directly around same, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer National Military Family Association - Dec. 30, 2011, and plenty more of similar since Joyce, others, spoke and continues!

Ask yourself: If the Veterans Administration is so corrupt and mismanaged, as the conservative ideology, under which the seeds of are planted when they control, wants everyone to buy into as they obstruct the budgets and do extremely little after they charge same, then why does the Private sector, many problems within rarely heard about, adopt so many practices and advanced technologies developed within the VA, for free?! The VA, DoD, and in partnership with Universities and Colleges, not just Health Care are constantly in R&D and that developed that works is quickly moved into the private, for profit, sector, even as the VA is long under funded, decades, and especially during and after our wars that the few are sent into!

* * * * *
President Obama 26 August 2014

Fact: "This is not just a job of government. It’s not just a job of the veterans’ organizations. Every American needs to join us in taking care of those who've taken care of us. Because only 1 percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but 100 percent of Americans benefit from that 1 percent. A hundred percent need to be supporting our troops. A hundred percent need to be supporting our veterans. A hundred percent need to be supporting our military families."

"We’ve been able to accomplish historic increases to veterans funding. We’ve protected veterans health care from Washington politics with advanced appropriations. We’ve been able to make VA benefits available to more than 2 million veterans who didn't have them before, including more Vietnam vets who were exposed to Agent Orange. We’ve dedicated major new resources for mental health care. We’ve helped more than 1 million veterans and their families pursue their education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill."

August 26, 2014 - Secretary Robert A. McDonald's Remarks for the American Legion's 96th Annual Convention, Charlotte, NC
Fact: "Unlike, P&G, VA may not be concerned about quarterly profit and loss statements or shareholder value, but it does have a bottom line—Veterans. "
{which is why No Government agency should be turned into a private corporate entity feeding for profit off the Countries duty and responsibility, especially the VA}
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Fact: “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars."
26 September 2014

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: "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!}

Fact: 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

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

Fact: 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."

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


Bob Herbert Losing Our Way : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

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>>>

Under two previous Executive administrations and wars from, father and son. With son and conservative congresses leading the extremely quick abandoning of the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11:

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."

Part Two: A Son Lost in Iraq, but Where Is the Casualty Report?

Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort

3/27/15 - U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq
"During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today."
"When Brown and others tried to obtain their medical records to prove their illnesses were service-related, they learned that the records had disappeared."

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

She wrote that she's proud of her service but added this: "That doesn't change the fact that I contributed - however indirectly - to human beings vanishing from the earth in a moment of sheer agony."

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-WOMEN1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-66361-855-829-6636) New Hotline now up and running

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vietnam: Writings of a US Soldier Before He was Killed

Servicemember's letters from Vietnam to be returned to family
The personal letters of US Army Sergeant Steve Flaherty, who was killed in action in 1969, rest on a tabel at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Hanoi on June 4, 2012. US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Hanoi on June 3 after visiting the former port at Cam Ranh Bay used by US forces in the Vietnam War in a highly symbolic trip that reflects Washington's efforts to deepen ties with its former enemy as it seeks to counter China's growing power.

4 June 2012 - HANOI, Vietnam — On the day he died more than 40 years ago, Army Sgt. Steve Flaherty carried with him a stack of letters he’d written but not yet sent to loved ones back home.

In one, addressed to his mother, he grimly detailed the brutal battle he was fighting just before his death.

“We couldn’t retrieve the bodies of our men or ruck sacks and when we brought air strikes, jets dropped napalm and explosives that destroyed everything that was there,” he wrote.

After he was killed on March 25, 1969, the letters were taken from him and used as propaganda by Vietnamese forces during the war. Now, Flaherty’s family will finally receive his last written words.

Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Gen. Phung Quang Thanh gave the letters — along with two other sets of letters that may have belonged to other American servicemembers — to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday. In return, Panetta presented the diary of a Vietnamese soldier, which had been taken after a firefight in March 1966 by an American Marine.

The historic exchange of documents at the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense underscores how the relationship between the two countries has progressed in the 17 years since the normalization of diplomatic relations, said George Little, acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

“It is a reflection of the priority the United States places on people-to-people ties with Vietnam,” Little said. read more>>>

Excerpts from Army sergeant's Vietnam letters
The following are excerpts, provided by the Defense Department, come from the letters taken from Army Sgt. Steve Flaherty, of Columbia, S.C., when he was killed in Vietnam on March 25, 1969.

Letter to “Betty”

“I’m sorry for not writing so long but we have been in a fierce fight with N.V.A. We took in lots of casualties and death. It has been trying days for me and my men. We dragged more bodies of dead and wounded than I can ever want to forget.”

“Thank you for your sweet card. It made my miserable day a much better one but I don’t think I will ever forget the bloody fight we are having.”

“RPG rockets and machine guns really tore my rucksack.”

“I felt bullets going past me. I have never been so scared in my life. Well I better close for now before we go in again to take that hill.”

Letter to “Mother”

“We couldn’t retrieve the bodies of our men or ruck sacks and when we brought air strikes, jets dropped napalm and explosives that destroyed everything that was there.”

“I definitely will take R&R, I don’t care where so long as I get a rest, which I need so badly, soon. I’ll let you know exact date.”

“If Dad calls, tell him I got too close to being dead but I’m O.K. I was real lucky. I’ll write again soon.”

Letter to “Mom”

Statement from George Little on the Exchange of Artifacts Taken During the Vietnam War
June 04, 2012 - Background Information on the Artifacts

Sergeant Flaherty Letters

In March 1969, U.S. Army Sergeant Steve Flaherty of Columbia, South Carolina was killed in action in northern South Vietnam while assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. Vietnamese forces took Flaherty’s letters and used excerpts for propaganda broadcasts during the war. At that time, Vietnamese Senior Colonel Nguyen Phu Dat retained the letters and following the war, contemplated how to return them to Flaherty’s family. Decades later, Phu Dat referenced the letters in an August 2011 Vietnamese online publication about documents kept from the war years.

In early 2012, Robert Destatte, a retired Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office employee, found the online publication referencing the letters and brought the issue to the attention of the Department of Defense. The Department of State and the Department of Defense began work with the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) to assist in returning the letters to the Flaherty family.

Now that Secretary Panetta has received the letters from the Vietnamese government, the Office of the Secretary of Defense will work with the United States Army Casualty office to present the letters to the surviving family.

Vu Ðình Ðoàn Diary

In March 1966, 1st platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, was engaged in a firefight near Quang Ngai during Operation Indiana. Following the battle, Robert “Ira” Frazure of Walla Walla Washington saw a small red diary on the chest of Vu Ðình Ðoàn, a Vietnamese soldier who was found killed in a machine gun pit. Frazure took the diary and brought it back to the United States. In November 1966, Frazure was discharged from the Marine Corps following three years of service.

Also in March 1966, a friend of Frazure, Gary E. Scooter was killed in action during Operation Utah. Decades later, Frazure was introduced to Scooter’s sister Marge who was conducting research for a book about Scooter’s life and service in the Marine Corps. Frazure asked Marge for her help to return the diary to the family of Vu Ðình Ðoàn. In February 2012, Marge Scooter brought the diary to the PBS television program History Detectives to research and find the Vu Ðình Ðoàn family. Last month, after finding the family, History Detectives asked the Department of State and the Department of Defense to help return the diary to the Vietnamese government so it can be returned to the Vu Ðình Ðoàn family.

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