For Memorial Day, Remember Our Living Veterans In Need


This Memorial Day message comes from Veterans for Common Sense (VCS). Although not an anti-war Veterans group in the true sense of the word, VCS still continues to question both the handling of the wars, and how our troops and Veterans are treated when they come Home to War.

Upon review of the various Memorial Day message coming from VSOs that question the wars, or how those fighting and dying in them are treated, we note that VCA has the same message as most every other Veterans group that QUESTIONS the wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

This Memorial Day weekend, as we pause and honor our fellow Americans who died in service to our country, please take time and remember our living Veterans who have given so much for our freedom.

Please support Veterans for Common Sense’s work
to help our brave Veterans get the health care and benefits they earned.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired

Veterans’ Benefits Problem

It is criminal that given the experience and reception received by the Veterans of Vietnam from the American people and our government back in the day, that our younger generation of Veterans returning home from war with physical and mental wounds wait months and years for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to decide benefit claims.

Though America no longer blames us Veterans for participating in the wars that is about the only difference thus far from how Vietnam Vets were treated.

Our Veterans are forced to fill out a burdensome 23-page claim form and are subjected to almost endless paper requests for proof of their service.

VETERANS TODAY EDITORIAL COMMENT: Our active duty folks even when they have the courage to admit they have a problem have it even worse when it comes to DoD red tape, long forms to fill out for active duty Mental Health treatment, and just how intimidating those forms can be. Don’t take my word for it just pick up or request a copy of the various forms our troops, and their families must fill out just to access Mental Health care. The most intimidating part is signing a release understanding that anything discussed with an Army or Navy shrink can be shared with a Soldier or Marines chain of command. We believe the services put up more road blocks that encourage stigma than breaking down barriers to stigma with comic books and virtual reality combat simulators.

This process of filing a VA Claim often lasts years.

Too often our Veterans’ paperwork ends up lost or shredded in the bureaucratic mess at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the agency within VA that decides Veterans’ claims.

Our Veterans deserve better. They deserve a Veteran-friendly, modern claims system that works accurately and quickly. [One that does not place COST SAVINGS over VET SAVING]

It is the least our country can do for all they have sacrificed.

Please help us fix this unjust VBA claim system because an approved claim often means independent financial dignity and an open door for free medical care at VA’s hospitals and clinics.

Our VCS Solution

Veterans for Common Sense works hard to fix VBA and get our Veterans the health care and benefits they have earned.

Seeing a doctor soon often means the ability to lead a quality life and keep a job. Getting benefits fast often makes the difference between paying the rent or sleeping in the streets.

We have a blueprint to fix VBA’s broken claims processing system. We have outlined the practical, common sense solutions VBA needs to implement to provide our Veterans with a simple and timely process.

Every day, we are putting pressure on VBA by sharing the real stories of our Veterans’ struggles with legislators and reporters.

Please help our Veterans get the health care and disability benefits they deserve in a timely manner by supporting Veterans for Common Sense today.

Thank you!

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director
Veterans for Common Sense


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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.