"The Vet's Place" -Veteran Disability Issues

Salute to all vets of ALL wars!

I am a disabled Vietnam Vet and a Life member of the VFW, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America).

I started a blog,

"The Vet’s Place" at http://vetplace.blogspot.com ,

a few weeks ago and it has been very popular with all the vets I know. If anyone has relevent information that should be available to other vets please forward it to me for posting.

Thanks again, Veteran, for your Service. And, thank you for your support of Veteran Needs!

I am going to laugh for now, but I am sure it will pass…my dad the “Junior operative” lol. :wink:

I never knew you blogged dad, so I’ll check it later when I have time to read up.
thanks

RhMorgan, thank you for your service sir.

Smich, this fine man is your father? What a lucky woman you are!

To you sir, I say thank you, 1000 times over, thank you!

cupcakes: And he also passed on a little bit of photog-art interest. :smile: He’s a pretty good photographer too.

Good deal!
There is something in the genes for that sort of thing. My father is a pretty incredible artist–painting and drawing. I was good too, but did not pursue it beyond what I can use in my crafts. We have several other members of our family on his side who are artistically very talented. I have an aunt who was a “commercial artist” back in the days when they were still called that:wink:

Thank you for your service; I recently retired from the US Army and living in NC now. Good to know Vets are out on the Web!!

[QUOTE=rhmorgan]Salute to all vets of ALL wars!

I am a disabled Vietnam Vet and a Life member of the VFW, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America).

I started a blog, “The Vet’s Place” at http://vetplace.blogspot.com , a few weeks ago and it has been very popular with all the vets I know. If anyone has relevent information that should be available to other vets please forward it to me for posting.

Thanks again, Veteran, for your Service. And, thank you for your support of Veteran Needs! :dog:[/QUOTE]

:wave:

My last 12 years of my 26 year Army career was the a USAR Psychological Operations company.

PSYOPs is part of Special Operations Command, so some of our training was at Ft Bragg. We worked with a PSYOP company and some of the SF folks.
I really liked NC.

[left]*When a soldier leaves the battlefield and returns home he should not have to go to war with those who sent him.
The veteran earned certain benefits for service. When he signed up to serve there were promises made. He was promised a paycheck, allowences for dependents, leave time, and **medical care, to name a few of the promises Uncle Sam made. He was promised his disabilities would be cared for.

Now, politicians (many who have never served in uniform) think it costs too much to stand by promises made. They never provide the VA with enough to do the job and try to cut services where ever they can. They do this even in a time when thousands of wounded veterans are returning stateside to inadequate care with long waiting lines because of reductions in already overworked facilities.

A well known philosopher once said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war”. It is so sad the veteran will never know peace until he dies. It is so sad he will have to spend the rest of his days fighting with petty politicians who never tire of stabbing the veteran in the back.

Below is but one sample of what is going on in Washington D.C.:

*[/left]
[size=4]Veterans Left Behind as VA Continues Drastic Cut Backs[/size]

  May  27, 2005                    No. 05-008

(Washington, D.C.) – The Budget Resolution passed by both houses of Congress will result in staff reductions in every VA Medical Center at a most inauspicious time—as veterans return from the war in Iraq and as increasing numbers of veterans need care from the system, said Thomas H. Corey, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).

The impact will be significant among those returning troops who suffer from mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), those who have sustained loss of limbs, and other serious injuries.

In addition to devastating decreases in the availability of care for veterans that will result from such budget cuts, the VA seems determined to contest even long-standing disability compensation for PTSD from veterans currently receiving VA benefits and health care. A recent VA Inspector General’s (IG) report concluded that following a brief review of certain grants of service-connected benefits for PTSD, the “subjectivity” involved in such determinations has resulted in over-granting of benefits.

As a result, the VA will be reviewing PTSD grants between 1999 and 2004, with an eye toward revoking benefits if the claim was adjusted incorrectly. “VVA believes that the “subjectivity” offered to the IG report is a euphemism for poor training and quality control of VA adjudication staff.

“We must make it crystal clear to Congress that the budget appropriation for fiscal year 2006 year is at least $3.5 billion less than what is needed to fund the VA medical programs adequately,” Corey said. “This is a critical time. Without these resources, veterans will have longer waits to see specialists, much-needed maintenance will be deferred, and medical equipment will not be purchased.

“Together, through the Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform veterans service organizations will demonstrate against these drastic cutbacks. Veterans’ health care is not a welfare program. It is a benefit earned by rendering honorable service to our country. If we don’t act forcefully now, we will continue to witness the erosion of what was one of the finest health care programs in the nation.”

Ya gotta love this country and it’s intellectual thinkers who make up regulations. Locked, Loaded, and Untrimmed


From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5/31

When soldiers with the Georgia Army National Guard’s 48th Brigade Combat Team boarded a charter flight from Savannah to Kuwait, they carried all of their personal arms with them: rifles, shotguns, pistols.
:machinegu

But they didn’t carry any pocket knives, nose-hair clippers, or cigarette lighters. In keeping with FAA regulations, they had to give up all of those items before getting on the airplane, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters embedded with the unit.

**


**

Salem, OR - Veterans and their families will be joined by veterans’ groups and legislators to enjoy a Flag Day Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance event at the Oregon State Capitol on June 14, 2005, National Flag Day. The Massing of the Colors, initiated seventy years ago, is a unique, patriotic opportunity to honor veterans of the Armed Forces, living and deceased, who have served our nation in war and in peace.

The 2005 Massing of the Colors is being dedicated to Oregon servicemembers who lost their lives during military service in Afghanistan and Iraq. The ceremony will include music, an address from Director Jim Willis of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, along with a special tribute to fallen servicemembers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those in the Salem and surrounding areas should note that a flyover of F-15 Eagles from the 142d Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, has been requested for the event with the flyover to occur at approximately 1:45 p.m.

The Massing of the Colors ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. on June 14, 2005 at the Oregon State Capitol and the public is invited.

***Public Service Announcement! ***

***This Veteran

has been medicated for your safety!***

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not ! the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN,
who salutes the Flag,

It is the veteran,
who serves under the Flag,

DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER, PLEASE GRANT THEM ETERNAL REST AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

I don’t know if you saw this in the news but it really impressed me. Funny, our US Senate/House took 2 days off as they couldn’t work because of the expected storm.

On the ABC evening news, it was reported tonight that, because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabelle approaching Washington DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!”

Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson.

The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24 / 7, since 1930.

The suicide rate is many times higher among than the regular population. It looks like vets of our latest wars may share this dubious distintion. It is sad.
Read on…
**
Wreath for Those Killed, Even at Their Own Hands**

By SCOTT SHANE

WASHINGTON, June 2 - On Monday, in a Memorial Day ritual, President Bush laid a wreath honoring the nation’s war dead in Arlington National Cemetery. Then Liz Sweet got her turn.

Accompanied by a military honor guard, she helped lay a wreath honoring soldiers killed in Iraq, including her 23-year-old son, T. J. His photograph hung below the wreath on a ribbon Mrs. Sweet had fashioned in red, white and blue, a rare public tribute to a soldier who took his own life.

Although military officials were not asked for approval, Mrs. Sweet and a veterans’ advocate wanted to recognize the sacrifice of soldiers who committed suicide.

For their families, the loss can be especially excruciating. “Not only did your child go off to a combat zone,” Mrs. Sweet said. “Not only did your child lose his life. But something happened that you will never, ever understand.”

One of the questions that haunts her is whether her son’s suicide could have been prevented. In a required predeployment health questionnaire in August 2003, T. J. - it stands for Thomas John - reported that he had sought mental health treatment during the previous year.

Such an answer should have triggered a referral for further evaluation, Army officials say. But under “Referral Indicated,” an Army physician’s assistant had marked “None,” and declared Specialist Sweet “deployable.”

“The system failed,” said Mrs. Sweet, a 53-year-old mental health administrator who works near Washington and lives in Frederick, Md. She has written to military officials in search of answers, receiving letters of consolation that leave her unsatisfied.

According to the Pentagon, 40 soldiers in Iraq and seven others in Afghanistan have killed themselves, and 21 marines have committed suicide either in the region or while on active duty in the United States.

The numbers do not include suicides that occurred after discharge. Veterans’ advocates have identified more than 30 such cases from news accounts but say the total may be considerably higher.

Some military health experts say they believe the surreptitious threat from suicide bombers and snipers in Iraq is even more stressful than open combat. Through the end of April, 1,118 Army men and women had been evacuated from Iraq for psychiatric reasons, according to official statistics.

Through February, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 12,020 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan had been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The wording on the wreath that Mrs. Sweet helped set in front of the marble Tomb of the Unknowns made subtle note of those who died at their own hand at home after discharge.

“In Memory of Those Who Served and Died in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gulf and Home,” said the inscription, prepared by Mrs. Sweet and Stephen L. Robinson, the director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, an advocacy group for veterans of recent wars.

Mr. Robinson, a former ranger who wrote a report on the mental health problems of soldiers in Iraq, has become an informal counselor to some families of suicides. He invited Mrs. Sweet to present his group’s wreath on Monday.

“This, too, is part of the cost of war,” Mr. Robinson said. He said he was not aware of any previous occasion when a soldier who died by suicide was singled out in the Memorial Day observances at the Arlington cemetery.

The suicide of T. J. Sweet II came on Thanksgiving Day in 2003, just minutes after an angry exchange with a superior as the young Army specialist rushed to find parts for a .50-caliber machine gun and begin guard duty. He was ordered to do five pushups and told he was being taken off the promotion list, his mother said.

The promotion was especially important because Specialist Sweet had vowed to outrank his father, Tom, a retired teacher who served in Vietnam. Army investigators found that Specialist Sweet had shot himself with his M-16 rifle.

Growing up in Bismarck, N.D., where his parents lived until recently, Specialist Sweet had no history of mental illness, his mother said in an interview. On her blouse she wore her son’s unit crest, with the slogan, “Faithful and True,” and a tiny framed portrait of her son in uniform. But there had been hints of trouble, she said.

After basic training in 1999, Specialist Sweet was assigned to Fort Riley, Kan., and had difficulty sleeping. He went to a clinic and was given a diagnosis of “generalized anxiety disorder” but no medication.

When he was preparing to leave for Iraq, he told his parents he was eager to try out his skills. But having been trained as an artilleryman, he said he feared he would make a poor infantryman. In a letter from Iraq shortly before his death, his mother said, Specialist Sweet asked if his parents could immediately send him some Ritalin, a drug he had taken in childhood for attention deficit disorder.

“They were working 18-hour shifts and couldn’t take showers,” Mrs. Sweet said. Her son described sandstorms that resembled the whiteout blizzards of North Dakota.

But she said she had no idea of the degree of his distress, Mrs. Sweet said, until an Army officer knocked on the door as her family prepared to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, bringing the worst imaginable news.

Specialist Sweet was promoted, to sergeant, after all, his mother said, a decision made by his Army superiors after his funeral back home in Bismarck.

Congress should have to go through bootcamp at a bare minimum…:bored:

Rules of Thumb for the Military

These rules of thumb are followed by those who survive the military and go on to other vocations.

·[font=&quot] [/font]“If you are in advanced position, artillery will fall short.” Murphy

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Aim towards the Enemy.” - Instruction printed on U.S. Army Rocket Launcher

·[font=&quot] [/font]"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend. - U.S.M.C. Training Bulletin

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground.” - U.S.A.F. Literature.

·[font=&quot] [/font]“If the enemy is in range, so are you.” - Infantryman’s Journal

·[font=&quot] [/font]“A slipping trigger gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit.” - Army’s Magazine of Preventive Maintenance

·[font=&quot] [/font]“It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.” - U.S. Air Force Manual

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.” - Infantryman’s Journal

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Tracers work both ways.” - U.S. Army Ordnance Manual

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Five-second fuses! only last three seconds.” - Infantryman’s Journal

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” - David Hackworth

·[font=&quot] [/font]“If your attack is going too well, you’re walking into an ambush.” - Infantryman’s Journal

·[font=&quot] [/font]“No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.”

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Any ship can be a minesweeper… once.” - Anon Naval brass

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.” - Unknown Marine Recruit

·[font=&quot] [/font]“Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you.” - Your Buddies

·[font=&quot] [/font]“If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him.”

·[font=&quot] [/font]“As far as I’m concerned, war always means failure.” - Jacques Chirac, President of France. “As far as France is concerned, you’re right.” - Rush Limbaugh

·[font=&quot] [/font]“When a crash seems inevitable, endeavour to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity, as slowly and gently as possible.” - Advice given to RAF pilots during W.W.II

·[font=&quot] [/font]“A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.” Anon

·[font=&quot] [/font]“The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.” Anon

some good advice to keep in mind.

Representative Peter King (R-NY) introduced a bill in the house (HR 123) which calls for the establishment in the House of Representatives, a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs and as of 5/1/05 it only had 5 sponsors.

It would be appreciated if you and other Veterans would contact your representative and ask them to support this bill. Especially in light of “The Gulag Study” a 90-page Pentagon report, this concluded that Americans were imprisoned in the former Soviet Union.

For decades the POW-MIA organizations have been saying the same thing. It was also proclaimed in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator John Kerry.

As documented by Bill Dumas in “missing, presumed dead, the Search for America’s POWs”. It is time to talk and let our voices be heard and time for action.

The American Legion: "Proposed VA Funding Inadequate"

The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization vehemently criticized the House of Representatives’ passage last week of appropriations bill (H.R. 2528) that “would inadequately fund” the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Fiscal Year 2006. According to Thomas P. Cadmus, The American Legion’s National Commander, “It simply did not provide enough funds for a nation at war to meet its obligations of active-duty service members, veterans, and their families. Instead of being in ‘budget battles’ over limited dollars with HUD projects, NASA, and others, VA is now in direct competition with active duty service members, military retirees and their families,” explained Cadmus. “Historically, lawmakers understood the high funding priority need for VA in comparison with other programs within the Subcommittee, but now everything in this new Subcommittee is a high national priority.” For more information, click here.****

:sad: Veterans Joining the Ranks of the Homeless

Advocates for the homeless already are seeing veterans from the war on terror living on the street, and say the government must do more to ease their transition from military to civilian life…More