That was on Memorial Day 2006.
Now, under the Wisconsin State Yellow Ribbon Program, "31 private institutions in Wisconsin have signed up to help make tuition affordable and in some cases, free," as reported by Erica Perez last month in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
It seems like when it comes to providing higher education and vocational training to our veterans, folks is Wisconsin are straining to outdo each other. That’s news we want to read.
Now if we can just get the regional Inspector General’s office and the DVA cop-wannabes off the asses of the veterans whom it regards a low-hanging fruit, Wisconsin will be a model for the rest of the country in walking the walk for veterans.
I’m talking about Robert Anthon, rated at 100 percent disability, which make him a target of the VA cops who have him under investigation, taking his medical records and their usual bullshit intimidation of a vetean who in lay language is screwed-up and deperately trying an ill-advised self-diagnosis as the VA cops swarm about.
That’s all we know. But a lot of veterans’ advocates are concerned.
Here’s the text of a letter numerous veterans and advocates sent to Anthon’s two state legislators and the chairs of Wisconsin’s two veterans affairs committeees to keep this Army veteran from being swiftboated.
Will keep you posted.
Text of Letter
July 13, 2009
Senator Jim Sullivan
Chair, Veterans and Military Affairs, Bio-technology, and Financial Institutions
State Capitol; Room 15 South
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707
Representative Steve Hilgenberg
Chair, Veterans and Military Affairs
State Capitol; Room 5 North
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708
Representative Andy Jorgensen
State Capitol; Room 320 West
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708
Senator Scott Fitzgerald
State Capitol; Room 202 South
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882
We are writing out of concern for the welfare of a Wisconsin U.S. Army veteran, Robert Anthon, currently under “criminal” investigation by Veteran Administration inspectors. This former Army recruiter, one of many recruiters suffering from severe psychological trauma, fears he will be spending the rest of his life in federal prison because of the efforts of the regional office of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Office of Inspector General. We, the undersigned, believe the Inspector General (IG) is operating using unsound ethics with inadequate oversight.
Robert Anthon (the former Robert Eric Maze), a resident of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is an honorably discharged non-commissioned Army officer, who served on active duty from 1993 to 2003. Mr. Anthon was diagnosed with PTSD by psychiatrists at the DVA after a series of psychiatric hospitalizations, a careful examination of his military records, and a lengthy review by a disability ratings board.
The Inspector General’s office has instigated an ill-advised investigation of Mr. Anthon’s DVA benefits, obviously with an eye to curtailing these benefits. Mr. Anthon is right to be paranoid about the IG’s motives here. IG employees are neither sworn law enforcement officers nor trained in criminal investigations. Their primary purpose is to discover areas of mismanagement and misallocation of resources within the DVA.
Unfortunately, as current DVA scandals indicate, this group has charged itself with an unauthorized “witch hunt,” investigating patients, rather than employees and procedures. These patients, as in the case of Robert Anthon, are military veterans, often severely disabled as a direct result of their military service.
Despite the areas of oversight and checks, a single DVA employee with neither law enforcement nor medical training has decided to begin a criminal action against this disabled veteran based on hearsay and conjecture.
We are asking you specifically to contact the regional Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and express your concern that Mr. Anthon be treated fairly, in accordance with the respect that this veteran deserves. He is not being so treated now; in fact he has threatened suicide because he believes, not implausibly, that the Inspector General (IG) is “out to get” him, as Mr. Anthon often says.
Frankly, we are appalled at the manner in which the IG’s office is approaching the matter of Mr. Anthon. The severity of Mr. Anthon’s psychiatric disorder, of which extreme paranoia, suicidal ideation, and pathological delusions are key components, makes him not only unable to defend himself but makes the current incomprehensible efforts by VA officials against him tantamount to attempted murder.
Military recruiters are especially prone to psychological pathologies. See, for example, “Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?” (Thomson, Time Magazine, April 02, 2009) and “Army Recruiter Suicide Crisis,” (CBS News, February 14, 2009), in which are detailed “incidences of suicides of U.S. Army recruiters [that have] reached the highest level ever, forcing officials to mandate that soldiers take prevention training.” Mr. Anthon received no such training during his service. Please see also: “Army Recruiters, a Hard Toll from a Hard Sell” (Cave. New York Times, March 27, 2005); “Army Recruiter Stress Prompts Drug Abuse” (Jordan, Military.com, December 24, 2008), “Army creates suicide prevention board” (Mount. CNN, Sept. 29, 2008)
Please be advised that we, the undersigned veterans and veterans’ advocates, are willing to commit considerable resources to see that this man is protected from this IG’s office that has become outright hostile and adversarial toward the veterans it is meant to serve. We do not want to read about another veteran killing himself because he is convinced that he is abandoned. We seek your help by way of a call to the IG’s office and to Mr. Anthon’s home, expressing your concerns and outrage at this situation.
Finally, the contact information for Robert Anthon is as follows:
1550 Raveen Street, Apartment 1
Fort Atkinson, WI
Phone: (920) 568-8118; Email: [email protected]
Note: We have just heard that Mr. Anthon has now been hospitalized as of July 10, 2009, Friday night, though we do not know where.