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Apr-17-2009 07:25printcomments

Wounded Veterans: The Severe Catastrophe is Here

As of October 2006, 600 thousand Iraq Vets sought VA medical care, according to President Obama in his speech of April 9, 500 thousand Veterans requests have been denied.

Truck in Iraq blown up by IED
Truck in Iraq that was involved in an IED explosion. Those who survive this kind of warfare are lucky to be alive, but not lucky to ultimately land in the VA healthcare system. photo by Tim King

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - If the present Iraq/Afghanistan war isn’t the dirtiest, awfulist for American soldiers, marines, etc. (they do most of the fighting, killing and dying (please don’t write)) I don’t know what was.

We went into this with totally false assumptions about WMD’s which was most likely a hand job from the start.

The climate was possibly the worst over all experienced by our troops. It seems that the field clothing doesn’t really protect the troops on field missions. I’m not talking about the “bullet proof vests”. They didn’t work either. The Humvees and various tank-like vehicles appear to be death traps – totally vulnerable to the IED’s.

The mythology by McNamara that we go to war with what we have is the reason we have about 23 thousand seriously physically disabled Vets added to 2 million more from previous wars and about 5 thousand dead but the worst feature doesn’t seem to be admitted by the Army, Marines, The Pentagon and the VA which is SUPPOSED to be taking care of the medical needs of these Veterans.

The current battle Veterans are seeking medical care from the VA system. As of October 2006, 600 thousand Iraq Vets sought VA medical care, according to President Obama in his speech of April 9, 500 thousand Veterans requests have been denied.

This is VA Bureaucracy gone amok. In the meantime, we have heard that incoming patients triage doctors who are really psychologists, social workers or maybe a Nurse Practitioner, if they are lucky, have been told to deny PTSD claims. This is a travesty and brings back the fact – only combat Vets know the stress and sequels of combat.

Another factor is even more puzzling. Possibly the greatest number of deaths and serious injuries are from IED’s and the Pentagon refuses to reveal the number of casualties for fear of aiding the enemy!? Hey there! The Iraqi’s etc. know how successful they are. So do the American troops which is one of the several reasons for the high number of PTSD suicides.

The frontline troops are sick of this and I as a former frontline Infantryman I am sick and disgusted to see and read about it.

In WWII we had Flail Tanks which took care (destroyed) most tank mines. They worked. Why not now?



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Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change April 18, 2009 10:53 am (Pacific time)

This truly doesn’t amaze me, the actions of the VA and the VAMC’s as well as their individual Director’s! The VA system has literally been screwing over veterans, their spouses, and children since Eisenhower was President! The VSO’s (Veterans Service Organizations) such as the VFW, American Legion, VVA, etc., etc., sit on their hands and do very little if anything at all while millions of veterans lay in pain needing medical attention, treatment, top quality VA Medical Centers, highly trained well educated medical professionals and most of all benefits! Many veterans file a claim, only to be denied, or their file sits in limbo for months even years before someone decides to get up off their ass and look at the file which is generally a cursory viewing, and marked DENIED! Should they appeal, they can pretty much count on a second denial after which most veterans or their spouses give up! Precisely what the VA wants you to do! They (the VA) have an unwritten, unspoken motto: “DENY, DENY, UNTIL THEY DIE!” The only way veterans of past, current and future have a chance in hell of really seeing the benefits and care that has been promised all is to get up, stand tall and fight like hell! DO NOT trust your service organization to do the work for you, or to fight for your benefits, YOU as a veteran must do the fighting. And not just for yourself, but your fellow vet and all the vets to come! Join an advocacy group, a veterans rights group, write your Senators and Congressman, send letters to the Editor’s of local papers, do what you have to do to secure your care and benefits, and not just for yourself, but your spouse! If our veterans don’t stand up for themselves, no one else will, trust me! Otherwise we’d not have the backlog of over ONE MILLION CLAIMS/APPEALS! We not have over 600 thousand Iraq claims and 50 thousand of those being denied! The VA System is broken, degraded, over-regulated, under-staffed, and policy and procedures are not followed, claims processors are not adequately trained, nor are they trained exactly the same way through all the Veteran Service Organizations. A Mandatory 1 year training program should be assembled and enforced, and all service officers should be required to attend and be trained exactly the same before they receive certification! The VA should be funded for no less than two years at a time, and based on the previous year’s financials, not years prior. Facilities need to be updated, properly equipped, properly staffed, and no time limitations placed on any form of illness for filing. I know many vets are too ill to do anything and that’s ok, but there many more of you who are capable of spending 30-60 on a computer and you can access each member of Congress through the web direct to their webmail, or get involved with an advocacy group or pro rights group. WE CAN WIN if we all fight! There is POWER IN NUMBERS, and trust me we have more veterans than we do members of Congress! There are only 535 of them against how many millions? DO NOT LET THE VA WIN!

stephen April 17, 2009 3:01 pm (Pacific time)

And, when/if the vets come home alive, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says they are suspected domestic terrorists. When confronted, she defends her stance. Then, after many confrontations, she says "well, thats not what I really meant" And the beat goes on.

current military April 17, 2009 9:38 am (Pacific time)

this is just my opinion of course, but i would take things you said more seriously if it weren't for the pot leaf next to your picture. that said, i do appreciate your opinion.

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