An American Veteran, His Wheelchair his Bed, the Sky his Roof (Photo courtesy of Robert Rosebrock)
(graphics courtesy of Daily Beast)
We knew the Bush/41 administration hated vets. What government would cut funding for veterans in the middle of a war?
Bush and Cheney, themselves notorious draft dodgers during the Vietnam War, led by Senator McCain, kept out of prison by a secret presidential pardon, used their wartime “moral authority” to label vets as “freeloaders.”
Now it is Obama failing vets, turning back. It didn’t even begin with Bush but rather with Vietnam when “conservative” veterans organizations who loved the Vietnam War but hated those who fought in it got control of veterans funding for the entire nation. They killed more soldiers than the Viet Cong.
The “neocons,” however, turned out to be a traitorous gang.
Backed by the conservative “think tank,” the American Enterprise Institute, that by our estimation, is a deeply flawed and morally repugnant institution, veterans, who had already suffered for decades, would suffer more.
It is called the “Court of Miracles,” the real story of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
When a veteran is sent to a “comp and pension” examination, suddenly as in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the blind can see and the lame can walk. Another painful similarity to the Victor Hugo novel’s “court of miracles,” is the fate of the “unwelcomed visitor.”
As with the “court,” those who visit the medical facilities of the VA are lucky to get away with their lives.
One veteran, a true story, was examined and the VA doctor evaluating his disability “accidentally” overlooked the fact that the patient was missing an arm, lost in an IED explosion. He was given a 10% disability, covering the fact that he had only lost 10% of his brain in the same attack.
The numbers, below, lie. Veterans processed are confronted, a new policy, verbally attacked, every attempt is made to get them to drop claims, they are threatened, their paperwork is lost, and many claims take decades not months.
Almost all who apply are denied fully or in part and enter a second “black hole” appeals process.
Worse still are the sick and injured. Too often, as I can personally attest to, veterans are given “band aid” treatment for serious conditions, receive no follow up care and are treated by great doctors and others who are incompetent, mentally ill or overworked to exhaustion.
We haven’t yet begun to speak of state and local veterans commissions, often controlled by old line veterans organizations whose leaders use taxpayer money like it was a personal “piggy bank” while veterans starve. This has been documented so many times, audits quickly hidden.
Those who “advise” government on veterans problems are, themselves, corrupt, running veterans clubs as drinking and gambling establishments, some involved in shady charities or worse.
America’s 5 or 6 thousand recent combat dead is more like 50 or 60 thousand, if we add suicides and the ignominious deaths of those abandoned and mistreated by a bureaucracy bloated with cash. Investigations at the Los Angeles Regional Veterans Affairs Center revealed lab work being “outsourced” to non-existent companies owned by senor VA employees, millions stolen.
Witnesses brought forward documents, met with FBI agents, VA employees who saw this, but as the “perps” are closely tied to a powerful Democratic congressman, nothing was and is being done.
Those whose lab work was simply thrown away may well die of the undiagnosed diseases that should have been found and treated. This happens continually, we have more stories like this, Helena, Montana, 11 veterans died and nobody was charged or even disciplined.
And so it goes…
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