Today President Obama spoke at the Arlington National Cemetery for the veterans on Veteran’s Day.
This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq. After a decade of war, our heroes are coming home. Over the next few years, more than a million service members will transition to civilian life.
Wrong, troops requiring such care have not received promised care and benefits. For example, it took ten years for the government to finally recognize so-called Gulf War Syndrome – a combination of environment and the administering of an undocumented and mysterious two-stage vaccine (“A” and “B”) that Congress, even after sending copy of proof did NOT respond nor address the issue or investigate. I know because I was part of the medical team administering to our brigade and made the recordings.
When the government finally decided to approve benefits for previously mentioned maladies, they screwed over veterans by not paying them over the ten years they had to wait, stating it was past the cutoff date. In addition, in 1996, after there were so many medical issues of all sorts from the Gulf War, Congress decided to put retirement funds received into the medical compensation basket; thus the retirement benefits were deducted from the medical compensation. Those who accepted the early-out program with severance pay were also included, despite NOT being retirement benefits. In every state, VA hospitals are located in a major city, usually the capital of that state; which means that veterans must travel far to get medical treatment. Despite requests to close state VA hospitals and liaison with local hospitals via VA administration and only keeping the Michael Reese Hospital complex in Washington for troops recovering from wounds and requiring special medical and surgical needs – Congress has ignored the idea despite its cost-saving planning. Of course, veterans are provided travel compensation who live over 50 miles from a VA medical facility, but that would not have to be paid if VA hospitals were not operating and veterans could just visit their liaison officials and go to their own doctor or one appointed by a local hospital. The complaint that people would lose their jobs if VA hospitals closed their doors and the real estate sold, is incorrect. Those personnel would be required to be employed at local hospitals to alleviate the increased patient load of veterans. But all of this is common sense. Another concept is that only VA doctors understand war wounds and other injuries and diseases. That is false. Doctors in major cities take care of knife and bullet wounds regularly, and are knowledgeable about everything a VA doctor knows, except for being aware of the bureaucratic procedures of the VA department – and that can be learned.
No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.