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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pentagon Denies Benefits to Service Men and Women Wounded in Iraq

I know we're in an economic downturn and I know that we should be careful with military expenses just like every other category of spending and I'm all for that. But I am also soooooo tired of our politicos AND the military establishment paying lip service to our heroes and then seemingly doing what they can to give them the shaft when they are most in need.

Tuesday, Nov. 25, the LA Times's front page headline read, The Pentagon narrows what constitutes a combat disability." That doesn't sound too bad but the next line in the deck read "The result is lost benefits." The Times calls it an "Open Wound for hurt veterans." Mmmmmm. That is closer the truth.

Then reporter David Zucchino gives us a couple of examples of wounded and maimed solders, hurt in Iraq while ON DUTY but are being denied benefits. They they must fight for every shred of help they can get at a time when they have the least strength to do it is nothing short of shameful.

The Pentagon blames Congress saying the new rulings are "consistent with Congress's intent when it passed a "wounded warrior" law in January." Chairman of the Armed Services Committee says that these results were not the intent of the law-making body.

That's quibbling. That means it's time to write you Congress person--again. While you're at it, fire a couple of salvos at the brass, and at the White House. The Disabled American Veterans group calls this new policy a "shocking level of disrespect for those who stood in harm's way" and is lobbying strenuously. They need our support.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry, Tracings, won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence. Find it at


May said...

My husband has minimum VA benefits because although he was in Germany during Viet Nam, he saw no combat.

He has high BP and a few other things, but has recently been diagnosed a type 2 diabetic.

It takes so long to get an appointment. You just can't call and tell them you're ill. There is no VA hospital nearby - one is in Tallahassee and one is in Pensacola, another in Biloxi.

They sent him his BP+ meds in the mail and it was the wrong dosage.
It was time-controlled and had he cut it, it would not have met his needs.

This, in the big picture, is a small thing, but vital to him.

He is having a terrible time with the new diabetes medicine and has crashed twice in three days.

Still, the doctors, PAs, NPs are very good.

But IF you have problems, and IF you feel strongly enough about them to talk to someone in Congress, these two numbers are toll-free and will get you to the Capital switchboard. From there you can ask to speak to any Representative or Senator.

Speak to the aide who handles VA matters and not to an intern.

1-877-851-6437 or 1-866-340-9281

bdsdude said...

I have great hopes for a much better Department of Veterans Affairs under General Shinseki. He genuinely cares and was a fabulous leader. His example of standing up for what he believed to be right (his estimates of troops needed for Iraq) in the face of an absolute bully (Rumsfeld) and all of Rumsfeld's taody generals, stands as a testament to his moral fibre. Veterans will have a real champion now, not a political taody.