Godlike Productions - Discussion Forum
Users Online Now: 1,098 (Who's On?)Visitors Today: 90,184
Pageviews Today: 199,934Threads Today: 156Posts Today: 2,077
04:05 AM


Rate this Thread

Absolute BS Crap Reasonable Nice Amazing
 

The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs

 
.
User ID: 587522
China
01/06/2009 07:05 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?

By Aaron Glantz, New America Media. Posted January 3, 2009.

America's promise to "Support the Troops" ends the moment they take off the uniform and try to make the transition to civilian life.
Tools
email EMAIL
print PRINT
131 COMMENTS

Share and save this post:
Digg iconDelicious iconReddit iconFark iconYahoo! iconNewsvine! iconFacebook iconNewsTrust icon

Also in Election 2008

Untangling Obama's Cabinet
Matt Stoller

Rove's IT Guru Warned of Sabotage Before Fatal Plane Crash; Was Set to Testify
Amy Goodman

Leaked Obama Transcript Explains Rick Warren Decision (with Draft of Warren's Invocation)
John Aravosis, Linda Hirshman

Conservative Anti-Choice Pastor Picked for Obama's Inauguration
Sarah Posner

In This Era of Hope, Obama Must Embrace a Genuine Agenda of Peace
David Cortright
More stories by Aaron Glantz

RSS icon Election 2008 RSS Feed

RSS icon Main AlterNet RSS Feed
Get AlterNet in
your mailbox!


Advertisement

SAN FRANCISCO - Roy Lee Brantley shivers in the cold December morning as he waits in line for food outside the Ark of Refuge mission, which sits amid warehouses and artists lofts a stone's throw from the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco.

Brantley's beard is long, white and unkempt. The African-American man's skin wrinkled beyond his 62 years. He lives in squalor in a dingy residential hotel room with the bathroom down the hall. In some ways, his current situation marks an improvement. "I've slept in parks," he says, "and on the sidewalk. Now at least I have a room."

Like the hundreds of others in line for food, Brantley has worn the military uniform. Most, like Brantley, carry their service IDs and red, white and blue cards from the Department of Veterans Affairs in their wallets or around their necks. In 1967, he deployed to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army. By the time he left the military five years later, Brantley had attained the rank of sergeant and been decorated for his valor and for the wounds he sustained in combat.

"I risked my life for this democracy and got a Bronze Star," he says. "I shed blood for this country and got the Purple Heart after a mortar blast sent shrapnel into my face and leg. But when I came back home from Vietnam I was having problems. I tried to hurt my wife because she was Filipino. Every time I looked at her I thought I was in Vietnam again. So we broke up."

In 1973, Brantley filed a disability claim with the federal government for mental wounds sustained in combat overseas. Over the years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has denied his claim five separate times. "You go over there and risk your life for America and your mind's all messed up, America should take care of you, right," he says, knowing that for him and the other veterans in line for free food that promise has not been kept.

On any given night 200,000 U.S. veterans sleep homeless on the streets of America. One out of every four people -- and one out of every three men -- sleeping in a car, in front of a shop door, or under a freeway overpass has worn a military uniform. Some like Brantley have been on the streets for years. Others are young and women returning home wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, quickly slipping through the cracks.

For each of these homeless veterans, America's promise to "Support the Troops" ended the moment he or she took off the uniform and tried to make the difficult transition to civilian life. There, they encountered a hostile and cumbersome bureaucracy set up by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In a best-case scenario, a wounded veteran must wait six months to hear back from the VA. Those who appeal a denial have to wait an average of four and a half years for their answer. In the six months leading up to March 31st of this year, nearly 1,500 veterans died waiting to learn if their disability claims would be approved by the government.

There are patriotic Americans trying to solve this problem. Last month, two veterans' organizations, Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Modern Warfare, filed suit in federal court demanding the government decide disability claims brought by wounded soldiers within three months. Predictably, however, the VA is trying to block the effort. On December 17, their lawyers convinced Reggie Walton, a judge appointed by President Bush, who ruled that imposing a quicker deadline for payment of benefits was a task for Congress and the president-not the courts.

President-elect Barack Obama has the power to end this national disgrace. He has the power to ensure to streamline the VA bureaucracy so it helps rather than fights those who have been wounded in the line of duty. He can ensure that this latest generation of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan does not receive the bum rap the Vietnam generation got. Let 2008 be the last year thousands of homeless veterans stand in line for free food during the holiday season. Let it be the last year hundreds of thousands sleep homeless on the street.
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 07:08 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
thank you for posting this....

do you have an original link to this story?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 568482
United States
01/06/2009 07:09 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Veterans can have affairs, too, not just President Clinton.
. (OP)
User ID: 587522
China
01/06/2009 07:11 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
thank you for posting this....

do you have an original link to this story?
 Quoting: OneAngryMom

[link to www.alternet.org]
. (OP)
User ID: 587522
China
01/06/2009 07:18 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
This just isn't happening in the US either, Britain, Australia, and i would now suspect a lot of other coalition countries as well, its just that in the US it seems to have been turned into an artform for bureaucratic bastards.
The VA hospital debacle was horrendous, has it been turned into a modern hospital system yet? And the mental, emotional psychic scar and wounds issues, are the main reason they easily turn down help, saying no doubt " it all in your mind" as though that is some sort of panacea, and an excuse for them to ignore you.
How does the US population condone this behavior, yet i know they do, because in sit coms and movies the homeless vet has been a prop for movie makers for decades.
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 07:22 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
thank you for posting this....

do you have an original link to this story?

[link to www.alternet.org]
 Quoting: . 587522



did you read through some of the responses to this article?

WOW
. (OP)
User ID: 587522
China
01/06/2009 07:43 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
thank you for posting this....

do you have an original link to this story?

[link to www.alternet.org]



did you read through some of the responses to this article?

WOW
 Quoting: OneAngryMom

please go ahead and post some, that will keep the tread bumped into more headspace.
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 07:46 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
thank you for posting this....

do you have an original link to this story?

[link to www.alternet.org]



did you read through some of the responses to this article?

WOW

please go ahead and post some, that will keep the tread bumped into more headspace.
 Quoting: . 587522



I'll start here:

"Here's where "Change" really could do some good, BUT
it ain't going to happen, because the "Government" programming of the American Citizen is just too effective!

EVERYONE is ONLY interested in Their OWN little problem(s)! the "Let Him or Her, fight for what They want & I'll fight for Mine". The fallacy of this is lost on Our Ignorant response to it! The Truth that IF We banded TOGETHER to SOLVE ONE Major problem at a time (like ALL of Us), We COULD NOT be "managed" or "handled" by the "system"! After a VERY short period of time EVEN Our "Government" would get the message! But fear not, Our 'I'll get Mine, You get Yours' attitude will CONTINUE & Our "Government will keep on screwing Us over, one LITTLE Group at a time! "
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 07:48 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
here's another.....

"VA usually does not allow reimbursement of a veteran's health care if s/he has had to use community health care facilities. They are required to go to regional centers which often are staffed by impaired or incompetent physicians and assistants.

Despite "veterans' preference" in hiring, vets are too often seen as armed and crazy, and end up living the combat-trained life in the woods because they can't afford housing while un/underemployed.

Substance abuse levels among vets--horrifying, and because of the reimbursement problem, a substantial waiting list exists for substance abuse residential treatment. This problem is the major cause of homelessness among vets: self-medicating for PTSD and for pain from service-related injuries.

Anecdotally, an acquaintance of mine has just been diagnosed with advanced prostate CA. VA examined him for years but never bothered to run a PSA, a no-brainer basic for male patients over 50. Are the doctors impaired or just stupid?"


I'll post a few more in a bit
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 587522
China
01/06/2009 08:03 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
I'll start here:

"Here's where "Change" really could do some good, BUT
it ain't going to happen, because the "Government" programming of the American Citizen is just too effective!

EVERYONE is ONLY interested in Their OWN little problem(s)! the "Let Him or Her, fight for what They want & I'll fight for Mine". The fallacy of this is lost on Our Ignorant response to it! The Truth that IF We banded TOGETHER to SOLVE ONE Major problem at a time (like ALL of Us), We COULD NOT be "managed" or "handled" by the "system"! After a VERY short period of time EVEN Our "Government" would get the message! But fear not, Our 'I'll get Mine, You get Yours' attitude will CONTINUE & Our "Government will keep on screwing Us over, one LITTLE Group at a time! "

 Quoting: OneAngryMom

That is how, but the occasion has been squandered and wasted many times in the US, one of issues that unite are quickly forgotten once the political class appears to cave in. secondarily fearless promoters to keep sustained pressure only need look at MLKing to see what happens when you anger the hidden PTB, they will character assassinate and then move on to actual assassination. So it needs many leaders for such a sustained movement to work , with a rotating national head.

thanks for posting OAM
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 08:48 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
a few more responses from the above web site:


"Off my chest, out of my life into a finger stall for Congress' fundamental orifices!

Want to know about why survivalists are arming in your woods? Want to know why 90% of the veterans won't talk seriously about the personal depredations of war on themselves. Want to know why I and thousands of others have been homeless from time to time and Thousands of others are homeless right now? Good fucking luck finding out.

I am a Veteran and even I have not been able to find out even though I have been homeless and on the street for months. I have lived in shelters, doorways and under bridges. When I was compos mentis enough to ask why I would. I have never understood the answers! They are as many and sundry as the number of veterans in any given area.

NO VETERAN has ever answered me with what I felt was the complete truth. Most of these guys have told me in no uncertain terms that though they were treated wrongly it was because of SINGULAR individuals and not the System that was intended to serve them. Many told me it was because agency or agencies unnamed were singling them out PERSONALLY to deny them service. Some were even certain it was they who did something wrong that placed them in the predicament they find themselves in now. I was fortunate in that when I was on the street, I came to the conclusion that it was up to ME to get off it and into treatment for alcoholism and other things that had gone wrong with me.

I was a self starter in that at least! But, since I had got help by going to the Public Assistance route I was in eligible for Military service. That is now changing and is in a state of flux. The military however may NEVER decide in my favor in my case. I will not go back on the street again, this time if I fall I am headed for prison. I will not be ignored again. I will do whatever is required of me to make sure THIS time in lands in a Newspaper.
Aaron Glantz baby boy: I think you should check your sources about how many of us are on the street. Here in Washington State alone in Kitsap County there are over 20,000 veterans alone who will not even go to town to GET in the street.

I am a Nam Era Veteran, NO I personally was not in The Nam. However, in these woods out here from hells half acre in Forks to all kinds of little hidey holes are little knots of guys NOT just Nam Vet’s but Korea, Gulf war, Desert storm, Panama Invasion you name we got! What about them? These people are totally off the radar. Then God Help us there are the Survivalists! "
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 512968
United States
01/06/2009 08:58 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?

 Quoting: . 587522

How about a qualified source other than your own post on alter.net?


Suicide: I'll start getting concerned when Combat Arms (the shooters and looters) Vet suicide climbs above freshman college student levels (per capita)

Don't pretend you care about us (combat veterans). You are the worst kind of shit.
Enlilson

User ID: 578302
United States
01/06/2009 09:01 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
You can thank Bush and Co for this as they have gone out of their way to ruin the VA's medical systems so it could be privitized and then run even worse by one of their buddies.

I was involved in a job programs, Coming Home, in 2005 and even spoke at a the meeting in Washington after which I sat at the table table with the numbnut Nicholson running the VA. Once he found out that I was not one of em I pretty much talked to my salad the rest of the meal while he and former Gov. Keating just when on about their plans.
It doesn't matter who I m it's who U R so ChoOse
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 09:04 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
now HERE is where THIS "Angry Mom" gets involved.

If anyone, after you read THIS post, wants to do something to help with THIS problem, contact me. PM me or let me know and I'll get you an e-mail address.

I have MANY reasons to be involved with this, and have many ideas. If you're in the Kansas City to Colorado area and want to talk....let's do!

Many of the troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back with TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY or TBI . The big shots at the VA are calling TBI other names to indicate there is treatment toward a cure. But there is NO CURE. When the frontal lobe of the brain is slammed into the spiny inside skull and unconscious’s occurs THAT’S IT.

The brain will swell and in doing COGNITIVE REASONING LESSENS if NOT DISAPPEARS. Not only that but temperament changes for the worse sometimes even leading to hurting others or committing suicide.

To help our troops returning the right way is to have an area in America where the pace is somewhat slower and most of the work in that area is service related. An area where housing can be had for less than large cities. Then they would begin a re-training of their COGNITIVE REASONING in a school environment daily. Along with getting appraised by NEURO PSYCHOLOGIST that have training with TBI.

That could last from 2 to 20 years depending on the injury sustained. Then once they can make the leap of faith to accept their lack of doing what they did before the injury then entry back into a smaller society to work in the service sector will get them included again in our GREAT AMERICAN DREAM.

SO YOU KNOW NOW ---- why and what and ----that the VA is still lying.

DO WHAT YOU CAN ---- TO HELP THOSE that have not got a clue what is really wrong with them.


In addition to the above information, folks should know that there have been 30,000 of our returning soldiers with some form of TBI. The VA is TRYING to get their head around the problem but it seems these soldiers are just being sent back into combat....don't make me express an opinion about THAT! THIRTY THOUSAND SOLDIERS!!! that are DIAGNOSED!
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 09:09 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?


How about a qualified source other than your own post on alter.net?


Suicide: I'll start getting concerned when Combat Arms (the shooters and looters) Vet suicide climbs above freshman college student levels (per capita)

Don't pretend you care about us (combat veterans). You are the worst kind of shit.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 512968



I'm sure there are other qualified sources....I was just posting some of the responses to the initial article.
Douggie

User ID: 582766
United States
01/06/2009 09:16 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
I would say the 200,000 number is real light. It doesnt include the ones that have to live with friends and relatives.
They have the power to create reality

I could explain it better but I would need charts, graphs and an easel.

By the way....which ones pink?
. (OP)
User ID: 587522
China
01/06/2009 09:20 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?


How about a qualified source other than your own post on alter.net?


Suicide: I'll start getting concerned when Combat Arms (the shooters and looters) Vet suicide climbs above freshman college student levels (per capita)

Don't pretend you care about us (combat veterans). You are the worst kind of shit.



I'm sure there are other qualified sources....I was just posting some of the responses to the initial article.
 Quoting: OneAngryMom

Dont worry OAM, exposure to street level emotional reality here at GLP, will make you mentally tougher and more able to handle yourself in real life, as long as you don't become infatuated with self importance.
So make a difference, and God bless you, amen.
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/06/2009 09:34 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?


How about a qualified source other than your own post on alter.net?

Don't pretend you care about us (combat veterans). You are the worst kind of shit.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 512968


AC 968....
It may have had to be pointed out to me, but was that last comment directed AT me?....or were you just repeating it from something else?..........
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 587925
China
01/07/2009 09:32 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
bump
FHL(C)

User ID: 588325
China
01/07/2009 08:33 PM

Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
FU&FW

[link to www.middle-east-online.com]

Bush Spins Scandalous Neglect of Vets

Of the 84,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder only half had their disability claim approved. Bush's political appointees at VA actively fought against mental health claims. As costly as the treatment of the veterans already has become, Bush is leaving an even greater budget hole for his successors, notes Jason Leopold.
YAHshua is the sound of His Name in English, YAH is short form of YHVH, Name above all names.
OneAngryMom

User ID: 506709
United States
01/07/2009 11:24 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
FU&FW

[link to www.middle-east-online.com]

Bush Spins Scandalous Neglect of Vets

Of the 84,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder only half had their disability claim approved. Bush's political appointees at VA actively fought against mental health claims. As costly as the treatment of the veterans already has become, Bush is leaving an even greater budget hole for his successors, notes Jason Leopold.
 Quoting: FHL(C)



I wonder if there is anyone from the VA that regularly posts here that could comment on this.

I don't know that I could lay the blame on Bushco as much as a completely incompetent system that is reticent to any real proactive change that actually treats military related issues.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 515251
United States
01/08/2009 11:35 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
It's what I've said all along..soldiers don't fight for freedom..they're fighting and dying for the elite to fill their pockets.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 995876
United States
06/08/2010 11:56 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
There is a host of reasons as to why Vets go without help when they return from the field. I cannot speak for times gone by, but I can speak for today to some extent. I work at the VA and I can tell you that ANYBODY who has a DD214 that shows they were in theatre in the past 5 years can walk into any VA and start being seen as appointment times permit. There isn't even an approval process. So...for 5 years the Vet can get help no questions asked.

Its when Vets take a long time to report into the VA that the process for approval can take time. This is VERY common among Vietnam vets. The first mindset by many returning vets was "We are men, we are tough, we don't need freaking doctors and medicine and crap." Now, 35 years later, as America has learned to embrace their Vets, many of the vietnam guys are looking back at their adult lives since the war and they see drug use, broken marriages, jail time, drugs, etc. So...they're seeking help. But...after 35 years, military records have to be researched, injuries have to be confirmed, and it's not easy.

Lastly, the process to hear back from the VA is based totally on which VA you apply at. If you're in a small town you're likely to hear from your VA faster than if you apply at a big Metro VA like Sacramento or Los Angeles. I would suggest doing as much leg work as possible before you apply...get records, get phone numbers, dates, times, etc...to help the researchers from the VA know where to gather your information. Otherwise, you'll be placed on the shelf with thousands of other files waiting for responses from old CO's, old units, old wartime records services, etc.

And...don't let it go unsaid that there is a tremendous amount of fraud in the VA. Veterans like everybody else are subject to the temptations of lying and stealing and taking more than they should. So...when those cases show red flags and people lie about service they never actually performed, it causes the qualifications process to be more strict, therefore taking more time.

I am a Vet, I work at the VA, and I know it could be better...but they're working on it. There are incidents where some good guys are turned away...that's unfortunate and they're working on it.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 995876
United States
06/14/2010 06:28 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: The Shameful DISGRACE calling itself Veteran Affairs
Bump

bump





GLP