Thursday, June 12, 2014

We were warned, you just didn't hear it

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 12, 2014

The earth was always round and always circled the sun even though people believed it was flat and the sun circled the earth. People are strange like that. If they hear something often enough, they just believe it. They never ask for proof. After all, why would so many people just pass on a lie?

Right now the same thing is going on and most will be shocked to discover everything happening with our veterans was known ahead of time, but too few knew.

After the Vietnam War the government knew what the numbers were. By 1978 there were 500,000 Vietnam veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ten years later, a study put the number of their suicides at 150,000 with another study finding 200,000 had taken their own lives. Yet the report two years ago was this. "Suicide Rate Spikes in Vietnam Vets Who Won't Seek Help"
But suicide rates among Vietnam veterans are the highest of any particular group, according to John Draper, project director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

In 2007 we knew what they were facing but did nothing.
148,000 Vietnam Vets sought help in last 18 months In the past 18 months, 148,000 Vietnam veterans have gone to VA centers reporting symptoms of PTSD "30 years after the war," said Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, deputy commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He recently visited El Paso.
Two-tiered system of healthcare puts veterans of the war on terror at the top and makes everyone else -- from World War I to the first Gulf War -- "second-class veterans"

This was true and they knew it would happen.
Unable to completely absorb this increase, VA began 2003 with more than 280,000 veterans on waiting lists to receive medical care. In addition, a new regulation giving priority access for severely disabled veterans was implemented for those veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 50 percent or greater. This new priority includes hospitalization and outpatient care for both service-connected and nonservice-connected treatment. In 2004, VA will provide priority access to other veterans for their service-connected conditions.

They knew it would happen to redeployed troops going in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

What good did it do to try and warn people that veterans were falling off the earth because Congress did not make sure they were taken care of? No one in congress thought about the wounded coming home when troops were sent into Afghanistan in 2001. No one thought about the wounded when troops were sent into Iraq.
The VA admits its disability system was overburdened even before the administration invaded Iraq; and, by 2004, it had a backlog of 300,000 disability claims. Now, the VA reports that the backlog has reached 540,122. By April 2006, 25% of rating claims took six months to process -- no small thing for a veteran wounded badly enough to be unable to work. An appeal of a rejected claim frequently takes years to settle. One hundred twenty-three thousand disability claims have been filed already by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, in its budget requests, the administration has constantly resisted congressional demands to increase the number of VA staffers processing such claims.

Just because the members of the 113th Congress want to pretend they discovered the truth, the fact is, so did all the others. They spent money by the billions but fixed little. We talk about the fact far too many politicians have been trying to privatize the VA for decades. We also talk about how it seems they were hell bent on doing just that and let the VA fall apart even though it meant veterans suffered. How could they turn the care of our veterans over to for profit conglomerates if the VA was doing right by veterans? They couldn't. Veterans had to suffer so much that it become a public outcry to hand their care over to vultures.

Reporters don't remember what they reported on last year so they never ask politicians to explain what they already knew or hold any of them accountable. Politicians just keep repeating their story as fact often enough people just believe it without demanding proof.

When do we get that repeating the same mistakes over and over again while expecting a different result is just as insane as believing other people were falling off the earth?

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