Our Veterans Are Dying…

Not from the war, they managed to make it home from that, but because they are treated so badly by the government they served so well and with all their heart that they choose death in order to stop the pain of living another day.

This is unacceptable.

How can a government that asks our young men and women to fight and die for us/it then turn such a cold shoulder to those that risk everything in service to their country that these same young men and women feel they have nothing else they can do but to take their own lives?

IPSNews.net reported today that over 1,000 vets a month try to kill themselves. Can someone PLEASE explain to me what excuse the government can possibly have that would justify this? I cannot come up with a good one for even one attempted suicide, let alone 1,000 PER MONTH! That is 12,000 men and women a year!!! The atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are taking a toll on this country in far worse ways than just whether or not the United States of America can win a war on terror. We are loosing our future in the loss of these youths.

Things have gotten so bad that the veterans have finally gone to court over the matter in order to try to get something done about it. Since the government will not do anything on its own to help these veterans, they are trying to do whatever they can to get the help they need. Two groups involved are Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth who have brought a class action suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In one e-mail made public during the trial, the head of the VA’s Mental Health division, Dr. Ira Katz, advised a media spokesperson not to tell reporters 1,000 veterans receiving care at the VA try to kill themselves every month.

“Shh!” the e-mail begins.

“Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities. Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?” the e-mail concludes.

That averages out to be 18 veterans per week. One reported suicide happened when a man hung himself on a frame attached to his wheelchair. Another used the door frame, attaching a sheet to the lower part and making a noose and throwing that over the top of the door frame to hang himself on. Two other men hung themselves within days of being released from the VA.

The VA reported that there were 790 total attempted suicides in all of 2007. It is obvious that that is far below the actual number of attempts and deaths of veterans.

Watch this video from CBS:

To read the memo for yourself, click HERE:

Dr. Ira Katz has also attacked CBS for exposing this problem before. However, he is still in charge at the VA. Can you say more government intelligence? (substitute incompetence here) It is getting to the point where it is time to knock some heads together… Dr. Katz seems to be totally ineffective, if not indifferent, to doing anything for our Veterans but exceptionally good at doing what the government wants, nothing.

The paperwork for veterans for disability benefits is so convoluted and takes so much time that years can go by while a veteran waits for an answer to an application. According to the VA, that wait time is only 185 days, but according to those waiting for answers, at least 3 years have gone by for one family. The veterans group also said that 526 veterans have died waiting for answers on their paperwork. This is criminal if you ask me.

Kelly Conklin of Chunchula, Alabama is still waiting for answers from the VA after her husband experienced a negative reaction to the anthrax vaccine in 2003 and was reduced to a wheelchair. When it became clear in 2005 that the steroids and things the doctors were pumping him full of were not going to return her husband to his former self, she filed the papers necessary for his disability. She is STILL waiting for an answer…

It’s an every day battle,” Kelly Conklin told IPS. “We’re having grits and eggs for supper tonight and a lot of nights. Sometimes we don’t eat anything but lima beans for supper — it depends on what we have.”

In the absence of a regular paycheque or a disability cheque, Conklin says her family of four is now living almost completely off charity, with much of the food they eat coming from the local food bank.

She said she used to be proud of her husband for his service in the Navy, but has now forbidden her youngest son from joining the Armed Forces.

“If it sounds like I’m down, yes I am down,” she told IPS. “If I sound like I’m bitter, you got that right. They’ve taken everything away from me. The only thing left for them to take from me is my birthday.”

If the military can spend billions of dollars on tanker contracts why can’t it spend enough money to take care of those who come back from these Godforsaken wars in need of care?

I’ve a better idea, bring our men and women home TODAY, no more bloody war, save the billions of dollars and we will have the money to care for these vets who gave EVERYTHING for their country! It is time for the government to take care of the PEOPLE who gave their all for it!

We have a president with delusions of grandeur and world domination fantasies but we can’t take care of those who have fought and come home? I must be stupid cuz I just don’t understand this one. There should be no higher priority than taking care of these heroes. They have given their all for us, for their country, how can we do any less for them or their families? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.


~ by justmytruth on April 26, 2008.

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