We have a problem that every American should be FULLY aware of. Part One

(Part Two is directly below – promoted by buhdydharma )

Series of two to be posted from Sancho Press on Docudharma, Turn Maine Blue, DailyKos and sent to the Communications Director (per her request) for Congressman Michael Michaud, Maine 2nd district, member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

CAN YOU SPARE JUST ONE HOUR OUT OF YOUR LIFE?

If you REALLY want to know what problems our troops and veterans are battling, then you might want to take that one hour to read and watch these. It took me about 90 minutes to read every word and watch every video. I have TBI and am not the sharpest tack in the box. It took me MUCH longer to compile excerpts from 27 articles, videos and photos.

If you can not spare this much time, that’s fine. I know these are more a book than an article. They will be equally split between today and Monday. There will be a link in Monday’s back to this one.

I know some will not want to take that much time reading just two articles. That is understandable, we all struggle to keep up with all the information in the blogosphere. You could read a dozen articles in the time you will take on these.

Please finish reading the introduction to Sancho Press “below the fold.” Then decide if you can spare that one hour from your life by reading today’s and tomorrow’s..

In addition to the five or six members Sancho Press had in the beginning, we have had over 20 members join from the “left” political blogs. We have had people with military experience become members like; Brian McGough, IrritatedVet, LT Nixon, jimstaro and ArmyofOne.

12/28/2007 Sancho Press, a new blog/newpaper, posted our first article. We didn’t have any “famous” founders who had been on CNN and MSNBC. We didn’t have any members with well established political connections. We didn’t have a “founder” who had written books or who had many degrees. We didn’t have a well established reputation in the blogosphere and a “following” to bring to our new endeavor.

We had one guy who had been blogging on the “left” politcal blogs about the troops and veterans problems for four months. He belonged to some military blogs and also blogged there. He made a few friends in each area. We did have a good site designer who was also well versed in the primary purpose of this new task. We did have a good graphics person who wanted to learn more about the main purpose of the blog. We did have a few bloggers who are passionate about fixing the immense problems of the troops/veterans. We did have committments from troops actually on the front lines and veterans who have suffered the pains of returning to terrible care and treatment.

The site was established on a unique premise, purpose and goal in the blogosphere. Our slogan is:

“Citizens and military combine forces to advocate for better care for troops and vets, for responsive government and for the Constitution.”

We want to support the 1.6 million troops who have spent from 15,000 to 35,000 hours each in the hell holes of Iraq and Afghanistan. A place where about 4000 brave American soles lost their lives. The men and women who have given arms and legs. Those who have been burned over 20%, 50% or 90% of their bodies. Those who have lost eyes or been completely blinded. There are too many phsical injuries to list them all here.Many will have PTSD and TBI and the mental health issues that come with these. They will suffer horrendous nightmares and social anxiety. Some will have anger so intense they harm loved ones, alcoholism, impulse control problems, unable to hold a job, feel disconnected from the real world, drug addiction, memory problems, normal daily things will cause flashbacks, an inability to peform routine activities, suicide, legal problems and more. Many will suffer these all their life. Too many Nam vets still suffer these forty years after combat. Our “new” veterans will have the same as Nam vets. They will if we don’t do something now.

In Sancho Press’ first 40 days about 70% of our articles have been about troops and veterans problems. The other 30% a mix of articles about other issues. We want to continue this combination. Come join us and contribute to either area.

We do NOT compete with the political blogs. We are NOT a political blog. We do NOT compete with the military blogs that require members to be military members or vets. We in fact utilize much of the information on these blogs and sites.

Many of you will have already seen some, most or all of what is here. Of course, skipping these will reduce the time you need. finishing. I could have done this in a series. I purposely did it all in two large articles to better show how immense the problems are. To have so much in two articles is more reflective of what is REALLY going on with our troops/veterans, the DOD, the VA and the Govt.

To put the problems in perspective; The articles that were compiled in these two are only 10% of the articles on Sancho Press for ONLY the last 30 days and only by ten people. By using the links to Sancho Press, you will find the sources for the articles.

I hope you can find a way to spare one hour to understand how immense the problems are for these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our nation. The videos are excellent. The photos were taken by me. They are from here in the deep woods of Maine where I live. They are just for a momentary break in your reading and watching so many serious things.



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excerpt from Brian McGough’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

As vets we tend to get the short end of the stick on a lot of things. The medical care that is provided for us is sometimes less than stellar, the VA home loans often do not cover half of the price of a new house which means citizens need to look into mortgage financing compaines and the GI bill barely covers the cost of an education at the cheapest schools in the country. A new Department of Veterans Affairs report shows that we also lack far behind in the job sector as well.

WASHINGTON – Strained by war, recently discharged veterans are having a harder time finding civilian jobs and are more likely to earn lower wages for years, partly because of employer concerns about their mental health and overall skills, a government study says.

Some of us have really good jobs, there is no denying that fact. There also is no denying that a large number of vets do not have good jobs, or even jobs at all. Nevermind that the recruiters will tell you that being in the military will set you up with the skills that you need to succeed in todays job market; it just isn’t true.

The 2007 study by the consulting firm Abt Associates Inc. found that 18 percent of the veterans who sought jobs within one to three years of discharge were unemployed, while one out of four who did find jobs earned less than $21,840 a year.

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comment by MilitaryTracy 2/1/08

Here’s the diary I did when it happened at DKos. I later found out that he had shot himself in front of the VA hospital in Colorado Springs. Left his wallet and wedding ring at home, placed his vehicle registration on the dash of his work truck so he could be easily identified, then shot himself in the heart with an enlarged photo of himself surrounded by a village of Vietnamese children in the passenger seat. After that and with my husand not coming home from his first Iraq tour Okay, was there ever any question that I wasn’t going to drive all night until I dropped to get to Crawford TX when they threatened to arrest Camp Casey? I will miss him forever. His two children will have to raise their families and mature their hearts without him though, they lose the most! And his grandchildren will not know him now, the three of them were too small.

Thank you for this diary and for a new chance to honor and remember him and hold him to my heart for only a moment. He gave me away at my wedding. He had to walk me down the aisle because my dad had a “meltdown” just before my wedding because of his TBI. He was one of my best friends and I had no idea his PTSD had flared up and was going to take his life like it did. The Vietnam vets are good at hiding that from those who love them. That photo they found with him always hung in his bedroom to remind him that though Vietnam was horrible and terrible things happened he was not a terrible man and he was loved by those who lived there and knew him.

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excerpt from NamGuardianAngel’s article; http://sanchopress.com/editDia…

When will we hear them?

Iraq combat veteran speaks out about opposing the war while in Iraq February 7th, 2008

By John Bruhns

An Iraq combat veteran speaks out about opposing the war while in Iraq and after his discharge and what it’s like being called a “coward” and a “traitor” by war supporters.


Think of being fully aware of all the facts that came out and yet still being expected to lay down your life after you were lied to. Think of doing your duty, fulfilling the mission and returning back home only to be told you should get out of the country you just risked your life for because your word of honor meant something to you but didn’t mean anything to them. Think of how you would feel when you returned wounded and were told you had to prove it, fight the government and then have to wait a year or longer without any income when you cannot work because you were wounded in service to this nation and then be told you are worthless.

Feb. 7 Update: VCS Testimony – President Bush Slashes VA Spending as VA Expects 333,000 New Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran Patients to Flood into VA Hospitals

VA’s budget does not address what we believe are VA’s four highest current priorities for veterans: ending homelessness, reducing suicide, providing free medical care to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and eliminating VA’s claims backlog.

While the troops train for war, they are not pro-war and it’s time the people of this nation used some common sense. No one is pro-war because it causes death and destruction.

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75% of an article by Don Quixote posted 11/09/07 on Dkos.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/… . Cross posted to Docudharma, VetVoice and Turn Maine Blue. Sancho Press 1/08.

I went to the Veterans Administration hospital yesterday for a routine appointment that was to be just a quick check-in with my doc & off I go.

Reflecting on my trip to the VA yesterday, I thought of the people I spoke to, the things I learned and the emotions I felt.

Since I have TBI and so do many soldiers returning from Iraq/Afghanistan, I have researched this problem extensively. Another major side effect that has been caused by Bushco’s debacle.

While there yesterday, I spoke with a Major who told me that every soldier returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is put through a battery of tests for PTSD, mental health issues and TBI to see if they need help or are fit to return to the front line.

The word is getting around amongst the troops about possible ways to “fool” the testing. Some soldiers who may have PTSD, mental health issues or TBI, want to “pass” the test and be allowed to return to the front.

No, they do NOT believe in the war in Iraq. Most know we should never have gone and we should get out. The reason they want to “fool” the test, is a sense of responsibility to those “friends” they left at the battlefront. A felling of guilt if they stay home when their comrades in arms are returning to the front. A desire to return to help protect those who helped protect them is an overwhelming desire for many. A bond and loyalty that ONLY a soldier from combat truly knows. A bond that compels one to literally pur their life on the line for another.

When leaving from my “routine” appointment I met this “baby faced” soldier in the men’s room. He looked about 17 but was 22.

Baby face and I talked for a little while. He just got back a few weeks ago from 18 months in Afghanistan. 547 days of hell and carnage and death. 13,128 hours of thinking about how not to get killed and/or how to kill someone else. 787,680 minutes of this young mans life gone, wasted and pissed away for lies, deceit, ego, oil, money and stupidity (to name just a few).

He was not even active duty military. He was national guard. He was at the VA hospital for a “review” of his 18 month deployment. After that was done, he would be “prepped” to return to Afghanistan in a couple months!!

He talked about the men and women in Afghanistan feeling forgotten. Most feel all the attention is given to those in Iraq and nobody recognizes their efforts and sacrifices. We talked about the irony of this since the war on terrorism started in Afghanistan. The war should have remained there instead of going into Iraq which may have been the stupidest possible thing we could do in regards to fighting terrorism.

Baby face didn’t volunteer any information about what he saw, thought, felt or believed, but he answered all my questions. Some things relating to politics he said “We don’t think about that stuff”.

He knew I had served and because of the respectful way he spoke to me, I felt it would not be inappropriate to give him my two cents.

I told him to be sure he told the testers the truth and tell them everything he thought and felt. We talked about how close he had been to a half dozen IED’s and what TBI was. I told him that from how close he said he was to several blasts, from what I have learned, it is possible he could have mild TBI and not even know it. I told him to make sure the testers knew how close he had been to several IED’s. He seemed to take it all in. Maybe he was thinking, leave me alone you old fool.

When we finished our talk, I shook his hand and I told him I appreciated his service and told him to stay safe. His return response was typically military “thank you Sir”.

When we left the restroom he respectfully opened the door for me and as I walked out, I saw this pretty young “girl” standing in the hall not far from my wife. She was baby face’s wife.

When my wife and I walked away from baby face and his wife, I had to walk down a side hallway as I began to weep. I stood for about ten minutes or so trying to stop and compose myself. My wife stood behind me with her hand on my back. She didn’t say a word. She knew not to ask. She knew not to speak. She knew to simply wait until I was ready, willing and able to tell her.

I wept because of the useless waste of this “boys” life and the many, many more like him. I wept because our brave young soldiers are not fighting and dying for a just cause but rather a useless and unwinnable war. A war we should never have entered into. I wept because I had just spoken to one of the numbers we hear, 160,000 in Iraq, 4000 dead sicne spring 03. 50,000 in Afghanistan. 1.6 million in combat since spring 03. I wept because I saw his pretty girlish young wife. I wept because I felt his pain. I only had two choices, weep or choke someone. Unfortunately, neither Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld were around. I doubt they spend much time at VA hospitals, they are too busy filling them.

When I regrouped, we continued our walk to the exit. I was looking down to hide my watery eyes. I didn’t see a man coming towards us who proceeded to walk past us. As he passed, I saw his spit shined boots.

I lifted my head and turned to see what I expected, a soldier in uniform walking away from us. I firmly called out; “soldier”. He stopped and turned around as only a military person does.

We walked towards each other and when I put my hand out he also did. We shook hands and I said, “I appreciate your service.”

He looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Thank you Sir, it’s my pleasure”. My pleasure!

Filled with many emotions, my wife and I walked to our car.

I don’t know how long we drove before I could tell my wife what I was feeling. When I was able, I told her my mix of sadness, respect, empathy and disgust. I don’t know how long after I told her these feelings that they turned to pure unadulterated anger and hatred.

God damn George Bush! God damn Dick Cheney! God damn Donald Rumsfeld. God damn every conned and stupid lemming that voted to go to war in Iraq!

I went to the VA yesterday for a routine appointment and I came home changed.

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excerpt from an article by jimstaro; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

“Veterans – all their benefits are mere gratuities

Veterans have no legal right to specific types of medical care, the Bush administration argues in a lawsuit accusing the government of illegally denying mental health treatment to some troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. (redacted) The plaintiffs say that the department has a backlog of more than 600,000 disability claims and that 120 veterans a week commit suicide.

Clearly, VA’s troubling court filings are an admission by the Administration that VA lacks the funds to provide care for our newest war veterans, including those who are suicidal. This Thursday, Feb. 7, VCS will be testifying before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and expressing our outrage that VA would rather fight against veterans than ask for more money to treat our veterans. If you are a veteran and you’ve made a claim to receive veteran benefits, but have been rejected, then it might be a good idea to get a lawyer involved. Why not check out someone like these v.a. disability lawyers here to help you with your case.

(redacted)

over the past four years, many returning

Soldiers and Marines-a good number having lost arms

or legs or suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI)

or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-have run

into a bureaucratic nightmare. Confusing regulations

have mandated separate physical examinations by the

Department of Defense (DOD) and the VA, often with

differing outcomes involving a servicemember’s disability

rating. The waiting time for VA compensation

checks and other benefits frequently has ranged from

six months to two years-and appeals can prolong the

process even more. The VA’s own rulings have sometimes

been inaccurate or inconsistent. And veterans, some of them unable to battle the bureaucratic dragons, have often come out the losers. Not surprisingly, the “seamless transition” problem, as it has come to be known, has exploded into a major controversy

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Washington, DC, January 30, 2008 – (CBS) CBS News broke the story of the epidemic of suicides and attempted suicides among veterans in November.

And tonight, new Army figures illustrate how serious the problem has become among active military servicemembers. It’s part of an exclusive report that will appear in Thursday’s Washington Post and on washingtonpost.com.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin has one soldier’s harrowing story – and her struggle to get help.

Lieutenant Elizabeth Whiteside was admitted to the psychiatric lockdown ward at Walter Reed Army Medical center after trying to kill herself earlier this week, Martin reports.

“She took two weeks worth of medicines – four different medications… and she took them all at once,” her father, Tom Whiteside, said.

He holds a note she left, reading in part: “I’m very disappointed with the Army.”

He says her suicide attempt was brought on by the stress of waiting to find out if she would be court-martialed for an earlier attempt to kill herself.

“It became so distressing to my daughter, it just drove her over the edge and, um, she attempted to take her own life,” Whiteside said.

Lt. Whiteside is the latest in the epidemic of attempted suicides and self-injuries by soldiers.

According to internal Army documents, the number has gone from less than 500 in 2002 to more than 2,000 last year. The number of actual suicides is also climbing, and the Army’s suicide rate is higher than at any time in the past 25 years.

But Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside is more than just a number. Hers is a shocking story of how the Army dealt with one case of mental illness.

She first tried to kill herself a year ago while serving in Iraq.

“I had a psychotic break and shot myself,” she said. “I also … discharged my weapon twice and put two bullets in the ceiling.”

She told her story to Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, who was the first to report that the Army wanted to courtmarshall Whiteside for brandishing her weapon.

Said Priest: “Her commander said in the charges that he brought, ‘I realize that people have said that you were mentally ill, but this is an excuse for your actions.'”

The hearing officer dismissed the charges, but that ruling had to be approved up the chain of command, and the Whitesides were left dangling.

“I want them to make a decision,” Tom Whiteside said. “They have driven my daughter into suicide. I would like to get this issue resolved.”

Minutes after the interview ended, Whiteside received a call telling him the charges against his daughter have been dropped.”

“But what a God damn shame that we had to go to this extent,” he said into the telephone.

He left immediately for the hospital to give his daughter the news – although he won’t be able to see her because she’s still in lockdown.

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excerpt from Dopeman’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

“The individual has got to take personal responsibility. They have got to take responsibility for themselves and realize that they can save their own lives. It comes back to the individual.”

-Gen. Jeffrey Schloesser, Commanding General at Fort Campbell.

February 4, 2008: The stress of repeated trips to combat zones like Iraq and Afghanistan is having an effect on the troops. This can be seen by the increase in U.S. Army suicides. The rate in 2007 was 17.5 per 100,000 troops. The rate in 2006 was 12.8, and for the last decade, has fluctuated between 10-13 per 100,000. The suicide rate for troops in Iraq has always been about 40-50 percent higher than for soldiers stationed elsewhere. The suicide rate for the entire U.S. population is about 11 per 100,000.

The Vetarans Suicide Prevention Bill that Bush signed toward the end of 2007 includes funding for faith-based programs so the Christian Right has taken a postion: first, there aren’t that many soldiers committing suicide, and second, the solution can be found in… you guessed it: prayer.

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s take:

But let’s be clear on one thing: Our men and women in uniform are not jumping off cliffs like lemmings. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the suicide rate in the military is actually much lower than the rate for their civilian peers.

How you can help:

1. Pray for our troops.

2. Honor our service members any way you can. One way is to ask them how things are going “over there.”

3. Give away a copy of the Chuck Dean’s excellent book, “When the War is Over, a New one Begins – rebuilding relationships after trauma.”

I wonder which church group benefits from the sale of Chuck Dean’s books. But anyway, the good General says these soldiers need to simply man-up and get over it, the Christian right says we need to pray for them, I say we need to make sure there is funding for the psychiatric treatment they need.

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James McMurtry:

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jimstaro had this in one of his comments from this source;

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02…

Deficient Kevlar in Military Helmets

Twelve days before the settlement {note:$2mil} with the Justice Department was announced, the company, Sioux Manufacturing of Fort Totten, was given a new contract of up to $74 million to make more armor for helmets to replace the old ones, which were made from the late 1980s to last year.

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excerpt from Don Quixote’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

CBS News’ investigative unit wanted the numbers, so it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense asking for the numbers of suicides among all service members for the past 12 years.

Four months later, they sent CBS News a document, showing that between 1995 and 2007, there were almost 2,200 suicides. That’s 188 last year alone. But these numbers included only “active duty” soldiers.

CBS News went to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where Dr. Ira Katz is head of mental health.

“There is no epidemic in suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem,” he said.

Why hasn’t the VA done a national study seeking national data on how many veterans have committed suicide in this country?

“That research is ongoing,” he said.

So CBS News did an investigation – asking all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Forty-five states sent what turned out to be a mountain of information.

And what it revealed was stunning.

In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year.

That is 17 veterans committing suicide EVERY day. 17 lives lost EVERY day from war but not counted in the toll of war. 17 families shattered and broken EVERY day. Probably 50, 75, 100 or maybe more human beings EVERY day that will live with the torture of “why didn’t I see it”, “why didn’t they talk to me”. It would have been easier on those people around the 17 that committ suicide EVERY day if they had been killed in actual military combat rather than the combat of the mind.

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excerpt from Gage’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

Morning Edition, January 29, 2008 · Army officials in upstate New York instructed representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs not to help disabled soldiers at Fort Drum Army base with their military disability paperwork last year. That paperwork can be crucial because it helps determine whether soldiers will get annual disability payments and health care after they’re discharged.

(redacted)

The official said the VA used to help soldiers with the paperwork, but Army officials saw soldiers from Fort Drum getting higher disability ratings with the VA’s help than soldiers from other bases. The Army told the VA to stop helping Fort Drum soldiers describe their army injuries, and the VA did as it was told.

(redacted)

She says the officers who asked the VA to stop helping Fort Drum’s soldiers were part of what the Army calls a “Tiger Team”- an ad-hoc group assigned to investigate, in this case, medical disability benefits.

According to Army spokesman George Wright, the Tiger Team thought the VA should not be helping soldiers with their medical documents. The Army delivered that message to VA officials in Buffalo, N.Y., who went along with the request, even though the VA’s assistance complied with Army policy.

The Army declined to provide any information about the Tiger Team members’ identities or their motivations in asking the VA to stop reviewing the soldiers’ paperwork. However, private attorney Mara Hurwitt points out that the Army has a financial incentive to keep soldiers’ disability ratings low.

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excerpt from Gage’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

Later in the day, on NPR’s, The Nation, was a story on how shoddy care in the surgical unit of an Illinois VA hospital had caused the premature deaths of at least nine patients:

These three stories all appearing in a single day are indicative of the fate awaiting many of our troops should they be so unfortunate as to be dependent upon the VA after they have served or, as in the case of Lt. Whiteside, should they incur anything other than physical injury in the war.

NPR.org, January 28, 2008 · Investigators say the surgical unit at a southern Illinois veterans’ hospital was in such disarray that doctors were allowed to perform operations they weren’t qualified to perform and that hospital administrators were too slow to respond once problems surfaced, leading directly to the deaths of at least nine surgical patients and as many as 19.

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excerpt from NamGuardianAngel’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

Schweinfurt soldiers back from Iraq are facing eviction

By Mark St.Clair, Stars and Stripes

European edition, Thursday, January 24, 2008

SCHWEINFURT, Germany – They just got back from Iraq, and now they’re being evicted from their homes.

Seventeen infantrymen from Company B, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment who returned from Ramadi, Iraq, in November have been living in barracks normally occupied by soldiers who are currently deployed in Afghanistan.

All of the soldiers, who are scheduled to leave Germany next month, said the Army told them they had until Feb. 1 to vacate the barracks.

But they found out Tuesday they had have to move out of the rooms Thursday afternoon, according to Sgt. Joseph Walker, 23.




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excerpt from NamGuardianAngel’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

VA COLLECTED OVER $56,000 FROM DEAD SOLDIERS FAMILIES

First they charge wounded soldiers for their meals in the hospital. They charge them for any equipment they dare to get wounded with and not return. They charge them if they are wounded and do not live up to the time they promise to stay in when they get a bonus. Now this!

Hutchison is asking Senate leaders for quick passage of the bill, hoping to bypass the normal process in which new bills are sent to committee for consideration.

She could get high-level support. VA Secretary Dr. James Peake is expected to write a letter to the Senate endorsing her call for expedited passage of the bill, according to Senate sources.

VA officials said they supported the bill but did not confirm that Peake would write a letter.

Waiving normal procedures would require the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, on which Hutchison serves, to allow the bill to proceed without its involvement. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the veterans’ affairs committee chairman, would have to approve the move. Akaka aides said the committee staff would study the measure first.

Few people die owing VA money, but Hutchison aides found that VA has collected more than $56,000 from the families of 22 deceased soldiers, mostly National Guard and reserve members called to active duty who received overpayments of GI Bill education benefits.

go here for the rest

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excerpt from NamguardianAngel’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

Disabled Veterans being threatened with retribution from the VA

HAMILTON – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., told veterans Friday that while some good work has been accomplished, much improvement is still needed in the way this country treats those who’ve served.

(redacted)

As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester also pushed for legislation that added $6.6 billion to the VA budget.

“It was the largest increase in the history of the VA,” Skinner said. “It’s still about $12 billion short of what we need.”

$12 billion short of what they need? Then why didn’t they fund it fully? What is wrong with these people?

What is worse is that you have PTSD veterans being threatened with retribution. How is this possible?

At least Senator Tester and Ron Skinner are watching out for the veterans. If you have been threatened with retribution from anyone with the VA let him know.

Can you even come close to understanding what kind of torture it is to have your claim denied when their own doctors said what’s wrong with you is because you served the nation? Can you then understand what they go through knowing all their suffering is because the VA will not acknowledge what their service did to them, what kind of position they are in because they were willing to risk their lives and what kind of stress it adds to their life as well as their families? This is wrong and will never get right until everyone else in this nation stands up for them. We have to get the Senate to fully fund the VA no matter what it takes and get them to shut up about tax breaks for the rich when they cannot fund taking care of the men and women who were brave instead.

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excerpt from jimstaro’s article; http://sanchopress.com/showDia…

Greed, Arrogance and War Profitteering are Not Charities

There have always been Con men and women who have started, what they term, Charities. Ripping off donors and targeted recipients/causes to only enrich themselves!

Charities started to help the Nations Veterans have always been around, many running on the legit, while many fall under the ease of the Profits Wars Generate, especially Wars Of Choice, they join their breathern the War Profitteers, with No Shame!

On Thursday, the Committee held a hearing to examine whether all the charitable groups raising money for the purpose of helping our nation’s veterans are genuinely serving that need. Concerns have been raised that some charities are conducting high volume mail and telemarketing campaigns that enrich the organizations and fundraisers but fail to provide meaningful assistance to veterans. The hearing will include a discussion of what Americans can do to ensure that their contributions to veterans’ causes are being responsibly used.

on the same day another House Committee held hearings for further Investigation into Veterans’ Charities Continues

The Committee held a hearing entitled “Assessing Veteran’s Charities – Part Two.” This hearing focused on charities operated by Roger Chapin, who failed to comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony at the December 13 hearing. Over the past 40 years, Mr. Chapin has established and operated more than 20 charitable organizations, including a number of veterans’ and military-oriented charities. Questions have been raised about the practices of his current charitable organizations.

Charity groups claim to support troops but don’t fully deliver on promises.

Gen. Tommy Franks Paid $100,000 To Endorse ‘F’ Veterans Charity

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, was paid $100,000 to endorse a veterans charity that watchdog groups say is ripping off donors and wounded veterans by using only a small portion of the money raised for veterans services, according to testimony in Congress today.

Now in all fairness to Gen. Franks:

Chapin testified he approached Gen. Franks in 2005, and he agreed to let his signature be used on mass mailings seeking contributions to his charities.

“He helped us raise millions and millions of dollars more than we would have,” Chapin told the hearing, chaired by Congressman Henry Waxman, D- Calif.

Congressman Waxman said Gen. Franks had since disassociated himself from Chapin’s charities and asked that his name be removed from the solicitation.

“General Franks was paid $100,000 to lend his name. We understand he developed misgivings and asked that his name be taken off,” Congressman Waxman said.

But one wonders, where did the 100grand go, back to this charity?, to another Charity, that is legit, or was it ever even given up!

Chapin also revealed that his charity paid $5,000 a month for the endorsement of retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Arthur “Chip” Diehl.

Contacted by ABCNews.com, Gen. Diehl said he had “no comment.”

Luxury for Charity Officials, Budget Cuts for Wounded Vets

Black-Tie Dinners and Luxury Suites at Football Games for Company Officials Top Charity Foundation’s Agenda

Entrepreneur Accused Of Mismanaging Charities He Started For Vets And Enriching Himself

The head of a California-based veterans charity rebuffed accusations of mismanagement and self-dealing at a raucous congressional hearing Thursday, shouting over lawmakers to declare himself “the most honest person in this room.

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THIS CONCLUDES THE FIRST HAVE OF THIS SERIES. PLEASE CHECK OUT TOMORROW’S TO BE POSTED BETWEEN 8AM AND 8:30AM, EST.

4 comments

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    • KrisC on February 10, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve read your essay, it is…..there are just no words that can come close to being able to describe it’s beauty, it’s ugliness…all of it is shameful.  I can’t stop the tears and I hope everyone reads this.

    I will send it to every single person on my e-mail list and ask them to do the same….thank you sounds so trite compared to my gratitude to you for taking the time to put this together for us.

    Peace~Kris

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