Sunday, February 10, 2008

Call, write, send smoke signals, telegrams, whatever…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:54 PM Permalink

…to your elected representatives about the article below by the Sailor detailing how the bush administration is attempting to avoid its responsibilities to veterans returning from the Iraqi Oil War and the fight against terror in Afghanistan, please. My mind crawled into some of the holes still there and froze me into inaction at the thought that even bush would have the chutzpah to do this to our troops. Well, I've shaken that off and now I'm just pissed.

This I sent to Barbara Boxer, you may couch your contact more succinctly, diplomatically, pro forma, more eloquently, or whatever:
Dear Senator Boxer,

Thank you for your service to our nation, but the Bush Administration is once again in court fighting to stop money allocated to veteran's care for mental health issues (PTSD), something I understand myself.

Please read this excerpt:

Veterans not entitled to mental health care, U.S. lawyers argue

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.
A federal law providing five years of care for veterans from the date of their discharge establishes "veterans' eligibility for health care, but it does not create an entitlement to any particular medical service," government lawyers said.
In his Jan. 10 ruling that allowed the suit to proceed, Conti said federal law entitles veterans to health care for a specific period after leaving the service, rejecting the government's argument that it was required to provide only as much care as the VA's budget allowed in a given year. A law that President Bush signed last week extended the period from two to five years.

In its latest filing, however, the Justice Department reiterated that Congress had intended "to authorize, but not require, medical care for veterans."

"This court should not interfere with the political branches' design, oversight and modification of VA programs," the government lawyers argued.
"Nowhere do I see any explanation of what kind of systems they have in place that deal with suicidal veterans," [Erspamer, the plaintiffs' lawyer said]. "There's no excuse for not spending the money Congress told them to spend on mental health care and leaving $60 million on the table when people are going out and killing themselves." End excerpt.

This is outrageous, that Congress would authorize funds for veteran's care and Bush's Justice Department is arguing that the money being allocated doesn't mean that a veteran can get treatment for PTSD, by far one of the most common problems from which troops coming back from the Iraq Oil Wars and the terrorist fight in Afghanistan suffer.

I do not know why Bush and the Justice Department seem to hate veterans, but continuing this fight against veterans simply means that America will no longer have veterans someday, because they will feel that having given so much to their country and received this type of treatment afterwards, many veteran/parents will do just as I have done and discouraged their sons and daughters entering this "new military" that no longer takes care of the troops when they return home with severe problems.

If Congress didn't want to spend the $60 million mentioned in the article for the precise health problem most prevalent, why was the money allocated at all?

I am almost never objective when it comes to the treatment of our veterans. I personally waged a twelve year battle for the benefits I now receive and I had TWO CANCERS from Agent Orange exposure as well as severe mental difficulties with which aI am still dealing.

Call, write, send smoke signals, telegrams, whatever…it's important, and every citizen should speak, no, SHOUT OUT that this is NOT ACCEPTABLE TREATMENT OF OUR VETERANS.

And to everyone who does contact their representatives and senators I extend my personal thanks. IT'S IMPORTANT! HELP NOW!

And thank you, Sailor, for bringing attention to this as I had missed this somehow.

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