To Help Our Veterans

I have been very critical of our president in the past……I will have to give him his props on one subject…..Veterans.

He has given them lots of lip service in the past but has shown little truly concern for their welfare….that is until yesterday…..

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at stemming a persistently high number of veteran suicides, urging expanded outreach by awarding grants to community programs. The order creates a Cabinet-level task force that will seek to develop a national roadmap for suicide prevention, bringing in state and local organizations to raise awareness among the high-risk group. It directs the task force led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to finalize a plan in 12 months, the AP reports. “Veterans suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions,” Trump said at a signing ceremony surrounded by military families and veterans’ organizations. “Today we can help end this crisis.”

He said the problem of veteran suicide can only be solved if the entire country works together to build communities that support and protect veterans from the first moment they return to civilian life. “They courageously fulfill their duties to our nation, now we must fulfill our duties to them,” Trump said. Currently, about 20 veterans die by suicide each day, about 1.5 times higher than those who haven’t served in the military. The government says about 14 of those 20 were not under VA care, pointing to a need for improved outreach. According to the White House, the new task force will look to create a grant system similar to the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, which provides funding to state and local programs. The effort, which is being dubbed the PREVENTS Initiative, will also aim to better coordinate research on suicide prevention across agencies, including Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security. PREVENTS stands for “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.”

I hope this is a real effort to help and not some “feel good” order.

I think we can save a bunch of money by admitting that war is the biggest contributor to the causes of vet suicides….end these worthless endless wars and the suicide rate may go down.

But DC will do what DC always does…..stretch this out for maximum cash outlay and issue a report that will not change a goddamn thing.

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Giving Respect

Closing Thought–29Jan19

Recently I wrote a post about the respect shown to an “Unclaimed” veteran……..https://lobotero.com/2019/01/22/those-unclaimed-veterans/

And again an outpouring of respect for the “Unclaimed” veteran…..

When the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery announced that 72-year-old Joseph Walker was to be buried as an “unaccompanied veteran,” with nobody present but cemetery workers, the response was overwhelming. Roads around the cemetery were jammed and the service had to start late to accommodate the estimated 2,000 to 5,000 people who showed up to honor the Air Force veteran Monday, CNN reports. The cemetery said it had been unable to contact any relatives of the Vietnam-era vet, who served from 1964 to 1968 and received an honorable discharge. “If you have the opportunity, please come out and attend,” the Killeen cemetery said in a Facebook post. “We do NOT leave Veterans behind.”

Sen. Ted Cruz and CNN’s Jake Tapper were among those spreading word of the funeral. It was officiated by Marc George of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, NPR reports. “Today, we’re not strangers; today, we are family,” he said. “This is our brother, Joseph Walker.” Cemetery staff say the turnout included airmen and veterans from all over Texas. “It’s completely overwhelming,” Texas General Land Office communications director Karina Erickson tells the Killeen Daily Herald. “It really sends the message that this is Texas, and we don’t leave our veterans behind.” She says the agency, headed by George P. Bush, changed policies in 2015 to ensure that all veterans are buried with recognition of their service. (In New Mexico, a funeral home paid for a full military funeral for a veteran whose body was unclaimed in a hospital morgue.)

Bless the people that showed such respect….for NO veteran should be buries without people in attendance.

Screw Those Veterans Again!

Closing Thought–23Jan19

Everybody knows that the federal deficit is outrageous…..and everybody has a party that has a plan to control the deficit…..the only problem it is seldom that important until election time and then it is paramount and will destroy the nation if not brought under control.

All that is pure rancid manure spread by small minded idiots in the Right.

As usual the way to control the deficit is by screw someone in society…..the poor, the aging and the veterans…..well the CBO has a good plan to screw the veterans again……

Some vets use the VA but more have access to Tricare…….and this is where the CBO said changes needed to be made……

With the federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion this year, the Congressional Budget Office in December published a list of options for reducing the imbalance over the next 10 years, including three suggestions on Tricare and six that address veterans benefits.

In its Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028, the CBO laid out 121 opportunities for curtailing spending and raising revenue. These include raising Tricare enrollment fees for military retirees, instituting enrollment fees for Tricare for Life and reducing veterans benefits.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/14/cbo-suggests-raising-tricare-fees-cutting-veteran-benefits-slash-deficit.html

Here’s a better idea….since the problem is a lack of income thanks to all the mindless tax cuts for decades….approve the higher tax on the uber-rich and increase the income….will not solve all the problems but will help the loss of income.

History proves that taxing the rich is beneficial…..

Do high taxes really hurt the economy as much as they believe, and will lowering them have much of an impact on stimulating it? The economic literature is clear — tax breaks to encourage economic relocation or investment decisions are inefficient and wasteful. Hundreds of studies reach this conclusion. When businesses are surveyed regarding factors important to their investment decisions, taxes often come in behind proximity to markets, suppliers, and the quality of the labor force. These other factors occupy a larger percentage of a business’s budget than do taxes, and all of them are far more critical to long-term success than are taxes. Businesses occasionally admit this. Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/09/tax-the-rich-history-proves-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-may-be-correct/

Please stop believing the LIE that tax cuts are beneficial!  They help very few and raise the deficit….time to consider the alternatives to GOP bullsh*t.

Those Unclaimed Veterans

Closing Thought–22Jan19

Before I go to the meat of this post….on this day in 1950 George Orwell died…the quote attributed to him…….”If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Most move on…….

I try to focus on our veterans because I am one but my life has been a bit better than some….I also try to report on the soldiers that are killed in service to their country,

There are times when there are no family member to claim the bodies of the dead…has anyone ever asked what happens to their remains?

When the flags were removed from the caskets and folded with military precision, there were no family members there to receive them.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.

Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.

So, the banners were passed, hand-to-hand, through the crowd.Some mourners wept as they clutched the flags briefly. Others kissed them. But the three veterans laid to rest on a rainy Memphis morning were strangers to most of those who gathered to honor their memory.The service was part of a national effort by funeral homes, medical examiners, state and federal veterans’ affairs departments, and local veterans’ groups to pay final respects to members of the military whose bodies were not claimed by any relatives. Since 2000, Dignity Memorial and other funeral homes in more than 30 cities have organized about 3,000 funerals for soldiers, sailors and Marines who died alone, but still deserved a dignified funeral and burial, said Jeff Berry, Dignity’s general manager in Knoxville.
 
Army soldiers Arnold M. Klechka, 71, and Wesley Russell, 76, and Marine Charles B. Fox, 60, were laid to rest in a service attended by about 700 people at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis on Thursday. There was a gun salute, and a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.”
 
But none of them had family members present.
 
Good to see that their remains were treated with care and the respect they deserve……
 
May they Rest In Peace!

 

Let’s Go To The Poll

If you talk to any given candidate then they will say that they have the support of the military and that they listen and do what concerns our veterans…..like I said a claim….but do any of these people actually approve of our current military policies?

Let’s go to the polls!

To answer that question the Smithsonian asked active duty troops as well as veterans about our current military policies……

It’s no secret that many Americans are fatigued by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it’s clear for the first time that the troops are, too, according to a new poll conducted by Smithsonian with two partners, the Defense Department publication Stars and Stripes and the Schar School at George Mason University.

Seventeen years after the U.S.-led military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 80 percent of 1,031 service members and veterans surveyed agreed with the statement that the occupations have “been going on too long.” As far as we know, this survey was the first one to pose that question to current and former service members. Their frustration is significant because they also voiced strong support for the war on terror generally, with 83 percent saying it should continue.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/new-poll-us-troops-veterans-reveals-thoughts-current-military-policies-180971134/

I agree with almost everything……I have a problem with the border thingy…I understand the fear but are troops really the answer?  If so then why do we have a border patrol/ ICE let the military handle it…..of if the border is so important why did it take 2 years to become an issue?  Is this admin so mentally deficient that it can only handle one issue at a time….then they need to move over and make room for the “big boys”……
A poll that was somehow missed by the MSM…..so much for them having the pulse of the nation.
As long as I am writing about polls……a recent one shows that a majority of Americans agree with a 70% tax on the uber rich……
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sparked a flood of hysterical and error-filled responses from the right when she suggested in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that America’s top marginal tax rate should be hiked to 70 percent to help pay for bold progressive programs, but a survey published on Tuesday found that the majority of Americans are on the freshman congresswoman’s side.
That was surprising, huh?
Any thoughts?

112 Years Of Service

Closing Thought–28Dec18  #2

I was derelict in my duty over the last few days…..I try to give our troops and veterans all the respect they deserve….sad to say that from time to time I miss a chance to tell their story…..as it was over the days after Christmas that I decided to take a “few days”…..

Another sadness is that we lost another veteran of World War Two….their numbers are dwindling fast….the oldest veteran has died……

A family member says the nation’s oldest World War II veteran, who was also believed to be oldest living man in the US, has died in Texas. Richard Overton was 112. Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin, says the Army veteran died Thursday evening at a rehab facility in Austin, the AP reports. Overton had been recently hospitalized with pneumonia. Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941. He once said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home. In 2013, he was honored by former President Obama at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

I apologize that I missed his passing and did not post an obit……our greatest generation is slowly dying off…soon they will be all gone and the next will be the Korean War many of whom were fighting in WW2….then my generation will be the ones that they talk about….probably not lovingly.

Mr. Overton….Thank you for your service to your country……May you Rest In Peace.

Screw The Vets!

Closing Thought–30Nov18

This country is failing the people at every turn…..the most blatant crap is the promise the veterans get with every election and with every election they continue to be crapped on by the very country they have signed on to protect.

This administration is NO different…it has been lying to the vets from day one……and veterans still support this goddamn poser in the White House why?

The latest debacle against the veterans is from the Trump people…..

A major snafu has hit benefit payments to student veterans under the GI Bill—and congressional aides tells NBC that they have been told the veterans are never going to be paid back. The aides say they were told by the Department of Veterans Affairs that the VA will not be making retroactive payments to veterans who were underpaid for their housing allowance because it would mean reviewing around 2 millions claims, further delaying implementation of a new system, which has already been pushed back to Dec. 2019. Under the Forever GI Bill signed into law by President Trump last year, students are supposed to be paid housing allowance based on where they take the most classes, not on where the school’s main campus is located.

Tanya Ang, vice president of Veterans Education Success, tells the Military Times that the VA’s excuse of retroactive payments creating too much work isn’t good enough. “That could be hundreds of dollars for some students—per month,” she says. “If this was a disability benefit, this would never fly.” The issue, which is the result of new legislation being introduced before the VA’s outdated computer system could handle it, has contributed to a backlog of claims that has forced some veterans facing final hardship to abandon their studies, the Tennessean reports. The agency is still working to process more than 58,000 claims, reports the Star Tribune. The paper’s editorial board calls the delays a “national disgrace.” “Those courageous enough to go into battle should face zero delays in getting the education benefits they’ve earned,” they write. (Read more GI Bill stories.)

It was not amusing to hear Speaker Ryan to stand before the military at the Pentagon and lie his ass off about what the veterans mean to this country…..they mean absolutely NOTHING from the White House down.

We hear about the obligation the people have to the country they love….sadly the country has NO such obligation toward its people.  This is the republic you keep voting for….boy are you guys morons!

Our veterans and service people deserve so much better than this country is giving them……and the country does not deserve the vets loyalty any longer.