Today’s Veterans Need Help!

I have been an antiwar person since 1970 and have been writing about the crappy treatment this country gives to its veterans that they pretend to cherish so much…..I have been writing about the plight of our troops and veterans since 9/11.

I first went to a Veterans Health Administration hospital for treatment in 1981, when I was assigned to civilian graduate school in the Boston area and no active-duty option was available. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, it was a “clean, well-lighted place,” not fancy but very functional. The medical teams were good at their jobs, and after a painful procedure or two, my problems were resolved. It left a lasting, positive impression of the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Decades later, my daughter required a medical determination after her time on active duty as a Navy nurse. While there was a fair amount of red tape as she moved out of active duty and came under VA auspices, it was again a positive experience overall. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-12-16/iraq-and-afghanistan-veterans-need-help-with-jobs-health-care

These god forsaken endless wars are not solving any problems and creating more than the government is willing to solve.

War: Good for few, bad for most by Carlos Latuff | ArtWanted.com

We all pretend that being a vet is something special……but that is a lie.  We pretend that they are the saviors of our system….so we can justify the horrible treatment that they receive from the country they are protecting…..we blame the “other side” for the lack of benefits for our veterans…..that is easier than demanding that the vets get what this country owes them…..

This is not a new problem or a new bitch for me…..it has been occurring since Vietnam and just gets worse the more prosperous this country becomes….

Just a sampling of my thoughts on the lack of concern for our veterans….

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/13/americas-dis-regard-for-its-soldiers-and-veterans/

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/30/how-veterans-are-losing-the-war-at-home/

https://lobotero.com/2015/06/22/veterans-screwed-again/

There are many more on IST….just go and look around….

We say “thank you” for your service when we mean thanx for going so my kid can stay home and be a worthless lump of crap.

Kevin Larmee_anti-war art_antiwar__jesus_Protester.jpg Drawing by Kevin  Larmee | Artmajeur

If you truly want to thank the Veterans then demand and demand again that they get the benefits they were promised for service this country in our time of need.

That would be a “thank you” that veterans would appreciate.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Disrespect Of Veterans

There is a report in the latest edition of the Atlantic magazine…..it seems that the president calls deceased soldiers as “losers” and “suckers”…..

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

 

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/

Just the hint of disrespect for our troops and veterans would be political fatal….so why is this acceptable today?  But I guess those days are gone to be replaced by hateful speech and Tweets.

Apparently Trump hates some vets….especially those that died in service to their country….if you will recalled his comments about Sen. McCain during the 2016 election cycle…..and by “logical truth” (For god sake look it up!) if you are a Trump supporter then you will disrespect veterans as well.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Jul20

The most often used political prop is the American flag…..and that is followed closely by the veterans and their issues.

Candidates take every opportunity to make it appear that they actually care about the plight of our brave veterans. This is is a LIE….if they all cared so much then why are our vets having to beg for the benefits that were promised to them for their service to the country.

And then there are all the wasted funds and give aways to buddies of the managing teams….like the one from 2018……

The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The ward is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s. 

This week, our award is going to the Department of Veteran Affairs for awarding a $5 million contract to a company whose owners, according to a report by the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), had a personal relationship with Peter Shelby, the VA’s then-assistant secretary for human resources and administration.The contract “resulted entirely in waste,” the OIG determined.

In February 2018, the recently appointed Shelby awarded a one-year contract to a service-disabled veteran-owned small business. The small business, which remains unnamed in the IG report, was supposed to provide leadership and development trainings, in addition to talent assessment services that could be employed for hiring and promotion decisions.

https://justthenews.com/accountability/waste-fraud-and-abuse/va-spent-5-million-entirely-wasteful-contract-went-friend-dept

So the moral of this story is when your politician uses the local vets as a prop and promises to do miraculous thongs for them…..he is LYING!

Our veterans deserve better than this country has done dating all the way back to World War One.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–10Jan20

As an amputee I found this report very disturbing…..

……there was a movie about the repossession of body parts for none payment….and I thought it was fiction……

It seems that a veteran has had his replacement leg repossessed for non-payment…..

Do I have your attention now?

A decorated military veteran who served in Vietnam and Iraq has claimed that his prosthetic legs were taken away after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would not cover the cost.

Jerry Holliman, 69, told the Clarion Ledger that he was in his room at the Veterans Home in Collins, Mississippi just a couple days before Christmas when a man walked in and took away his prosthetic limbs. According to Holliman, the VA said it would not cover the cost of the limbs, while Medicare said there’d be a copay required.

“Medicare did not send me to Vietnam,” Holliman, who received Bronze Stars in both wars in which he served, told the Ledger in an article published Thursday. “I was sent there by my country…with the understanding that if something bad happened to me, that it would be covered by the VA.”

The newspaper reported that Holliman received his prosthetics in August from the national company Hanger, which produces them. Holliman said, however, that after he received a few training lessons from Hanger staff, he was told the VA would not cover the cost and to check with Medicare.

According to Holliman, the Medicare paperwork said there would be a copay, and Holliman did not want to pay since he expected the VA to cover the costs in the end.

(Clarion Ledger)

Another example of just how badly the veterans are being screwed by the government…….do not blame Trump alone…this, sh*t has been going on for decades.

Every candidate, no matter the party, says they will protect our veterans and their words are hollow for they NEVER maker good on that promise…NONE OF THEM!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Message For Veterans Day

A day set aside to honor our veterans would be the perfect time for the resurrection of the antiwar movement….

It wasn’t supposed to be this way; wasn’t meant to be celebrated as such – as Veterans’ Day, that is. When the guns fell silent after more than four years of slaughter in the Great War – which consumed at least 9 million soldiers’ lives – in a widely celebrated, long-awaited armistice, veterans, and even many leaders, swore off war once and for all. Sure lots of the Wilsonian rhetoric of war “to end all wars,” was probably always hyperbolic and politically opportunistic. Nonetheless, it’s remarkable how many veterans and victims of that war truly believed it, were even dedicated to ensure this was so.

Thus, until the Second World War shattered those expectations, and governments around the world then waged near endless wars in the half century afterwards, the Americans, and other peoples celebrated the anniversary of the Great Wars’ end as Armistice Day. By it’s very nature, it was, then, imbued with meaning, with hopes, dreams, demands for a more peaceful future. Here in the U.S. those sentiments are long gone. Their morbid obituary America’s 19+ years of hopeless wars since 9/11. What we’re left with is a rebranded shell of a holiday: Veterans’ Day.

The Armistice We Need: Time for Vets To Reclaim Veterans’ Day

Reclaim the day for our veterans…..commercialization has turn the day into something it was never intended to be…..please help the Veterans For Peace to reclaim the day in the name of the veteran….

Veterans For Peace has been celebrating Armistice Day almost since the organization’s inception, with a few chapters doing yearly events.  However, in 2008 the effort became a national effort with the passage of an official Veterans For Peace resolution.  Since then, chapters across the country have been “Reclaiming Armistice Day” pushing the celebration of peace into the national conversation on Veterans Day.

Over one hundred years ago the world celebrated peace as a universal principle.  The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars.  Armistice Day was born and was designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.”

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/take-action/armistice-day

Our veterans deserve better than a ‘thank you’ once a year….or a “white Sale” named after them…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thoughts–06Aug19

Some good news from the Korean War….more than two dozen MIAs have been identified by the remains returned by North Korea….

Defense Department officials have identified 25 more missing service members from the cases of remains turned over by North Korean officials last year, a major advance for dozens of families who have waited decades for closure in the deaths of their loved ones.

The identifications were first announced by Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday afternoon and later confirmed by officials at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency during their annual briefing to families of the Korean War, held in Washington.

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the news “A promise kept from the agreement between (North Korean) Chairman Kim (Jong Un) and President Donald Trump … to return all of our fallen heroes.”

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/08/02/more-than-two-dozen-missing-korean-war-troops-just-identified-from-returned-remains/

This excellent news for the families of these fallen heroes….may they now get the closure that they have waited so long to obtain.

This is one of the few positive things to come out of the dealings with Kim and North Korea…..these families deserved to know the fate of their loved ones.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–02Aug19

I have written ,much about the problems that our veterans are having….their mental health……suicides were on the rise at a time when the VA has its problems as well…..I have written about these problems often….

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/veterans-suicide/

https://lobotero.com/2019/06/24/suicides/

I revisit my post on veterans suicide because I read that the UK seems to be having a like problem with the veterans…..

A coroner has warned that more military veterans suffering PTSD may take their own lives unless urgent action is taken to improve their care.

Emma Brown, the coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, has written to NHS services and police highlighting a catalogue of failures in the treatment of Lance Corporal Dave Jukes in the months leading up to his suicide.

Earlier this month, she ruled the 49-year-old veteran from Birmingham, who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, took his own life last year after repeated calls for help were largely ignored.

In a strongly worded letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph, she has urged NHS England, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust and West Midlands Police to learn from mistakes in the soldier’s treatment.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/british-armed-services-veterans-suicides-200000175.html

It is a crying shame that these men and women made it home to their loved ones only to face PTSD that could just as lethal as any enemy on the battlefield.

Hopefully my readers in the UK will fill in any blanks that I may have in this issue.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Thoughts On Veterans

Closing Thought–22Jul19

Veterans are once again making news…first it is a situation that they face overseas that is making them ill…..

The Department of Defense seemingly acknowledged the dangers of burn pit exposure in a new report released by Congress — but falls short of offering solutions.

A feasibility study conducted by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, which was provided to Congress last month, was supposed to figure out how to end burn pits for waste disposal on overseas military bases. Instead, critics said, the report seemingly defended the use of burn pits because there are no other options.

Since veterans returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a long and contentious debate over the data surrounding the effects of burn pit exposure. Thousands of veterans have linked their chronic medical issues, including cancer and respiratory illnesses, to burn pits that release dangerous toxins.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/pentagon-fails-to-provide-accountability-for-veteran-burn-pit-exposure-in-report-to-congress

Bad enough there is an enemy that wants them dead and now the Pentagon is helping with that desire.

Looks like veterans are finally starting to ask questions about their forever wars.

It is undoubtedly my favorite part of every wedding. That awkward, but strangely forthright moment when the preacher asks the crowd for any objections to the couple’s marriage. No one ever objects, of course, but it’s still a raw, if tense, moment. I just love it.

I suppose we had that ubiquitous ritual in mind back in 2007 when Keith – a close buddy and fellow officer – and I crafted our own plan of objection. The setting was Baghdad, Iraq, at the start of the “surge” and the climax of the bloody civil war the U.S. invasion had unleashed. Just twenty three years old and only eighteen months out of the academy, my clique of officers had already decided the war was a mess, shouldn’t have been fought, and couldn’t be won

What Was It All for For: Vets Have Finally Turned on America’s Endless Wars

If there is anyone that has the RIGHT to oppose war then it is the veterans that must fight them.

They need to make their voices heard …..a LOUD voice…..time to make the society actually feel the guilt of aiding the death of so many.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Suicides

Closing Thought–24Jun19

I have been watching the rate of suicides among our veterans and farmers as well….It is troubling at the rate these groups are killing themselves…..I wrote recently about military suicides……https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/

More articles:

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/06/to-help-our-veterans/

https://lobotero.com/2008/05/29/gi-suicides-at-record-high/

Let’s look at the suicides by active military personnel……

The suicide rate among veterans and, now, among active-duty GIs is at an historic high. The U.S. Marine Corps, for example, just turned in an all-time record in 2018 for attempted and successful suicides in a year (354 active and reserve). Marine Colonel Dom D. Ford, writing in the Marine Times, is grasping at straws to explain the rising rates, from claiming there is too little Christian religion in the ranks to the Marines not being willing to accept counsel and advice. As for the too little Christianity in the ranks, as an advisory board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, I know the opposite is true: there is too much Dominionist Christianity in the ranks. In fact, as soon as Colonel Ford made his comments, the phones at MRFF began ringing.

But might there be far greater reasons than these desperate efforts suggest behind such a deadly development?

GI Suicide: Maybe It’s the Job?

Once the soldier leaves the service he becomes a stat for the VA…..let’s look at those issues as well….

Veteran health care and specifically veteran mental health is a severe problem in this nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has over 150 hospitals nationwide and over 2,000 community-based outpatient clinics.

Still, 20 veterans each day lose their lives to suicide — a number that has not changed for almost a decade.

The same number of suicides occur each day despite billions of dollars being funded to the VA through Congress to hire mental health clinicians, develop and implement programs and services, and increase awareness and provide education to veterans.

https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/veteran-suicide-is-not-just-military-issue-1.585829

This one issue is so sad for it is the easiest to help…..the VA needs to be more in-tuned to the needs to vets and stop playing politics with the rest of the toads in DC.

Our veterans deserve the best care money can buy….not bargain basement pseudo-science that the deficit hawks would have them treated with……we need to do better…..much better.

Now the hardest hit group by suicide is Trump supporters……

In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.

A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes. What’s more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually — the suicide rate — has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s. Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides, even though the murder rate gets so much more attention.

A Deadly Epidemic Is Hitting Trump Supporters the Hardest

Then there is the info about Native American women…

Suicide rates for Native Americans have been rising faster than any other group, a new CDC analysis says: 139% for women and 71% for men since 1999. Experts say poverty, substance abuse, unemployment, and lack of access to mental health care are all contributing factors, USA Today reports. For the US overall, suicide is up 33% in the same period. A 2018 report from the CDC listed the suicide rate non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives was more than 3.5 times higher than the incidence among racial and ethnic groups with the lowest rates.

Maybe now would be a good time to make mental health a priority…..and spend less time debating semantics.

Just A Thought!

An Unpleasant Surprise

AS Memorial Day approached the US Army thought it would try something new….it ran a survey that asked veterans on Twitter a simple question…..the answers were not what the Army was hoping to get…..

……..the US Army asked veterans on twitter a simple question, “How has serving impacted you?” As Memorial Day approaches, whoever is in charge of the Army’s social media was probably hoping for some nice responses about all the benefits they think come with serving, college education, the bonds formed with fellow soldiers or the invaluable life experience. But the sad reality that our nations veterans and their families face showed itself in the thousands of heart-breaking replies to the question.

Michael J Neel replied, “26 brothers dead. Only 8 in theater. Psyche ward myself after 3 attempts. Everything we accomplished in Mosul was wasted. Every life we gave was spat on. That’s how serving impacted me.” Veteran Drew Turner said, “Let’s see. Lost the functional use of a hand, developed a rare movement disorder and cancer both likely from burn pit exposure, enjoy sleeping 3 to 4 hours most nights due to nightmares and during the day random anxiety attacks all due to PTSD, 7 herniated discs, arthritis…”

 
These veterans are begging for help….IS ANYONE LISTENING?
 
AS I wrote…not exactly what the Army intended……these are the stories the media needs to report and stop cheer leading for war and aggression and adventurism.
 
And then forgotten heroes that are with us and we choose to look away…..

Every Memorial Day, we remember the great heroes who perished, from Gettysburg to Normandy to the streets of Basra. Our country was founded, defended and defined on the backs of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and our freedoms.

We think today of the lives that were cut short. Of the men and women in their twenties who never made it home. The children they never had, or the birthdays and graduations they never saw. We must pause to reflect on those lives that were shortened in the name of letting the rest of us live on. We remember their sacrifice on the battlefields in defense of our nation, as we rightfully should.

https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-the-casualties-of-war-we-often-forget-20190527-nht36h46kvcjnej3lasew5bstu-story.html

Once again these are the stories that should make the news nightly…instead of what a royal baby is named or what shoes some model wore in Cannes.

None of that is life changing or will make a difference in society….so why bother?

A closing thought is mine and mine alone……

Be a hero and resist the warmongers among us.