Showing posts with label Senate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senate. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Senate passed 9 11 responders fund forever

'Put down your swords': Senate passes bill ensuring 9/11 victims fund will never run out of money

NBC News
By Dareh Gregorian and Frank Thorp V
July 23, 2019

"I'm going to ask my team now to put down your swords and pick up your rakes and go home, and hopefully, we don't have to come back," victims' advocate John Feal told his fellow first responders at a news conference later. "What I'm going to miss the most about D.C. is — nothing."

Jon Stewart embraces a crying John Feal, the Sept. 11, 2001, first responder who led the organization pushing for the full extension of the victim compensation fund, just after the bill passed in the Senate on July 23, 2019.Frank Thorp V / NBC News

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to ensure a fund to compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks never runs out of money — and that first responders won't have to return to Congress to plead for more funding.

The vote came after intense lobbying from ailing 9/11 first responders — including one who died shortly after testifying before Congress last month.

The bill, which was passed by a vote of 97-2, would authorize money for the fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent.

Before the bill's final passage, the chamber defeated two proposed amendments: One, from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would have restricted the authorization to 10 years; the other, from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, would have required offsets for the money spent on the fund.
read it here

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sen. Donna Campbell lied about PTSD and pot

Did study show that 70% of veterans who committed suicide had THC in their system?
By Taylor Goldenstein
July 15th
But the study Campbell cited doesn’t seem to exist. Some research does exist on this topic, but experts questioned the validity of drawing a conclusion about the connection between marijuana use and suicide generally — let alone among veterans.
🤬We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Texas lawmakers this year voted to broaden the state’s medical marijuana program to include more qualifying conditions than just intractable epilepsy.

Under the bill, which was signed into law, patients with several more conditions, including terminal cancers, autism and multiple sclerosis, will now be eligible to participate in the program.

During a debate in the Senate over the proposal, state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, argued against including post-traumatic stress disorder in the bill. The disorder was ultimately not included in the bill that passed.

"A study was done, a post-mortem, so a retrospective study done, looking at autopsies and drug levels, what drugs were in the blood of veterans that committed suicide, and 70 percent had THC," Campbell said.

We decided to take a look at Campbell’s claim to see if a study of this nature existed and whether there’s a connection between veterans, marijuana use and suicide.
read it here

Friday, June 21, 2019

Sen. Martha McSally bought uniform for Ret. Air Force Colonel

Sen. Martha McSally buys retired Air Force colonel a new uniform so he can swear son into Navy

Arizona Republic
Jeannette Hinkle
June 20, 2019

Luse said he hopes to one day thank McSally in person for her gift. He might get the chance at Arturo’s swearing-in, which likely will happen in Phoenix this August. McSally told The Republic she’ll attend if her schedule allows.

Retired Air Force Col. Charlie Luse, a Casa Grande resident, needed a new uniform for his son's swearing-in to the Navy. Sen. Martha McSally bought him one. Jeannette Hinkle, Arizona Republic

A button had popped off retired Air Force Col. Charlie Luse’s dress uniform.

The material was outdated, a shade lighter than the uniforms of today. The shoes he needed were long gone.

Luse, 85, never thought its condition would matter, until a Navy recruiter knocked on his son Arturo Luse’s door.

When Luse learned Arturo, 19, had decided to enlist, he filled out a form requesting to conduct his son’s swearing-in ceremony and was approved. But Luse couldn’t read the oath in civilian clothes. He needed a new uniform.

Luse posted on the neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor from his home in Casa Grande, hoping a fellow Air Force officer could lend or sell him the Class A dress uniform he needed.

Seamstresses responded, offering to alter his old uniform, but Luse told them, jokingly, that the uniform had shrunk beyond alteration. He’d gained some weight since retiring from the Air Force in 1982.

Then Luse opened his email inbox to a message informing him that Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., had seen an article about his predicament in the Casa Grande Dispatch and wanted to buy the fellow retired Air Force colonel a new uniform.

McSally, a retired Air Force combat pilot, told The Arizona Republic she was happy to dip into the money she sets aside for good causes to buy the uniform, which cost about $450. The connection between service members transcends period or place of service, she added.

“It’s difficult to describe, but we know it on a deep and personal level,” McSally said.

Luse said he was thankful for McSally’s gesture as a member of what he calls the greatest fraternity in the world.

“We're both retired colonels. We're both pilots. We both went to the Air War College. We both had very similar Air Force careers, except she's in politics and I'm not,” said Luse, whose Air Force career stretched from 1956 to 1982 and took him everywhere from Greece to Thailand, where, as an officer, he scheduled bombings during the Vietnam War.
read more here

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Military sexual assault victims, now lead in the Senate

Sen. McSally, ex-Air Force pilot, says officer raped her

Associated Press
Coleen Long
March 6, 2019
McSally's revelation comes not long after Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, detailed her own abuse and assault, and at a time of increased awareness over the problem of harassment and assault in the armed forces.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, said Wednesday that she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer.

The Arizona Republican, a 26-year military veteran, made the disclosure at a Senate hearing on the armed services' efforts to prevent sexual assaults and improve the response when they occur.

McSally said she did not report being sexually assaulted because she did not trust the system, and she said she was ashamed and confused. McSally did not name the officer who she says raped her.

"I stayed silent for many years, but later in my career, as the military grappled with the scandals, and their wholly inadequate responses, I felt the need to let some people know I too was a survivor," she said, choking up as she detailed what had happened to her. "I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences was handled. I almost separated from the Air Force at 18 years of service over my despair. Like many victims, I felt like the system was raping me all over again."
read more here

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Veterans College Bills part of the broken deal still

UPDATE 11/20, 2018

Veterans Affairs unexpectedly canceled overtime work to address GI Bill claim backlog

UPDATE: Can someone please update POTUS on what has happened to the GI Bill? This is from Stars and Stripes
Trump also said his administration has improved access to education benefits for veterans. 
Read the rest for yourself. It is too depressing to know the rest of the story.

It appears that reporters forgot how to LOOK UP WHAT THEY ALREADY REPORTED ON!

Veterans Affairs official reassigned after House hearing over delayed GI Bill benefits

NBC News
By Phil McCausland
November 14, 2018

A House committee will hear testimony Thursday from Department of Veterans Affairs officials over delayed GI Bill payments potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of veterans. NBC News reported Sunday that computer problems at VA have caused GI Bill benefit payments covering education and housing to be delayed for months or never be delivered, forcing some veterans to face debt or even homelessness.

On Wednesday, one of the key witnesses called to testify from VA was reassigned by the federal agency to a regional office in Houston, multiple officials told NBC News.

Robert Worley, executive director of Education Service of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), based in Washington, has been appointed to serve as the executive director of the VBA’s Houston regional office, according to two sources close to the VA and an email reviewed by NBC News.

Molly Jenkins, a spokeswoman for Republicans on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, confirmed Thursday that Worley would be departing his current position to lead the VBA office in Houston.
read more here


Well, that is the way NBC reported it.  It turns out that way back in 2008, there was another report about President Bush signing the GI Bill too. In that report the "overhaul" was a long time coming.
"And, for the first time since the Vietnam War, there will be a completely free veterans' education benefit program that pay enough to fully cover the cost of getting a four-year college degree."

According to followup reports, it was going to cost and additional $100 billion over the following ten years. There were reports that "state by state benefits"were not consistent. 

By 2009, a famous student named Clay Hunt, was among those waiting for checks to pay tuition and housing, so while attending Loyola, he used $4,000 on his credit card, while the school was owed $6,000 for tuition and he owed $1,700 for housing and books.

You may remember the name Clay Hunt because Congress passed a bill in his name. The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act, because that is how his story ended. President Obama signed that one in 2015.

Back to the GI Bill, in 2009, the VA was looking for a contractor to help process claims. In 2011, 55,000 veterans were waiting for their claims, and history was repeated all over again. And in 2012, more of the same.

Senator Bernie Sanders was trying to get answers on if anyone bothered to figure out how to pay for the benefits they voted to deliver on.

Just as reporters seem think that forgiveness of Student Loans for totally disabled veterans is something new, it isn't, they seem to have forgotten that nothing that veterans face is new at all, even though it may be "new news" to reporters.

In 2015, benefits were cut for a disabled veteran in Denver, and then he was given a list of homeless shelters in the area. Why? Because he was attending gunsmith classes. No one told that before he moved into Denver to start school.

Oh, but it got worse because in 2016, the Senate voted to cut the benefits, they were still having a hard time paying out in the first place.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Press missed the biggest issue on Graham's outburst

Senator Graham has no answer for hell he added to military sexual assault survivors
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 2, 2018

After reading some of my Republican friends lash out on social media today, it made me sick to my stomach. Then again, they are letting the political haze cloud their judgment to the point where they miss the biggest point of all. 

When I think of all the female veterans I have talked with over the last 30+ years, all I could think about was what they went through after being attacked by other service members who were supposed to be ready to die for them, but used that trust to attack them.

The press has ignored the worst part about Senator Graham's outburst yesterday. That is, the message he sent every member of the military about what he thinks about sexual assaults.

When he sat there and defended a man accused of sexual assaults, after listening to the woman tell what happened to her, he sent a shock wave throughout female veterans who have been subjected to this attitude for far too long.

Was he actually trying to say that sexual assaults were not crimes? Is that what he and many other Senators think?

What makes this worse is Graham was a Colonel in the Air Force.
Before being elected to Congress, Graham compiled a distinguished record in the United States Air Force as he logged six-and-a-half years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer. From 1984-1988, he was assigned overseas and served at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany. Upon leaving active duty Air Force in 1989, Graham joined the South Carolina Air National Guard where he served until 1995. During the first Gulf War in the early 90's, Graham was called to active duty and served state-side at McEntire Air National Guard Base as Staff Judge Advocate where he prepared members for deployment to the Gulf region.

In 1995, Graham joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves. During American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Graham put his experience in military law to use pulling numerous short-term Reserve duties in both countries over congressional breaks and holidays.

Graham retired from the Air Force Reserves in June 2015 having served his country in uniform for 33 years. He retired at the rank of Colonel.
Lindsey Graham erupts during Kavanaugh hearing

When you consider the committees he serves on, it is even worse.

  This same senator serves on these committees
Lindsey Graham sits on the following committees:

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Chair, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Member, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Member, Subcommittee on Department of Defense
Member, Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
Member, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Member, Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Chair, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
Member, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution
Senate Committee on Armed Services
Member, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity
Member, Subcommittee on Personnel
Member, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Senate Committee on the Budget
And if you have not been paying attention to how huge sexual assaults are in the military, far worse than what we civilians deal with, here is a little bit more you should know.

The DOD released this

DoD Releases Annual Report on Sexual Assault in Military

The Defense Department today released its Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, which shows that service member reporting of sexual assault increased by about 10 percent in fiscal year 2017.The increase in reporting occurred across all four military services.The report for fiscal 2017 says the department received 6,769 reports of sexual assault involving service members as either victims or subjects of criminal investigation, a 9.7 percent increase over the 6,172 reports made in fiscal 2016.The department encourages reporting of sexual assaults so that service members can be connected with restorative care and that perpetrators can be held appropriately responsible, Navy Rear Adm. Ann M. Burkhardt, the director of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, told reporters."Every sexual assault in the military is a failure to protect the men and women who have entrusted us with their lives,” she said. "We will not rest until we eliminate this crime from our ranks." released this

VA Must Prove to Women Vets That They Belong

Last month, a Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General report revealed that roughly 1,300 claims for military sexual trauma were incorrectly processed and denied, leaving veterans suffering from PTSD without the benefits they deserve.
Military Times had to produce this

Sexual assault risk at your military base: Here’s a searchable database

So yes, as Senator Graham talked about the hell that he saw the accuser and the accused go through, he just added to the hell survivors of sexual assaults have been in while he had the power in the military and when he sat on the committees that were supposed to make it right for them.

They just heard him loud and clear. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

John McCain “He passed the way he lived, on his own terms"

Cindy and Meghan McCain mourn John McCain with heartbreaking tribute
Huffington Post
Aug 26th 2018
“He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long,” she wrote. “We know that his flame lives on, in each of us.
The wife and daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote heartbreaking tributes to the lawmaker hours after his death on Saturday.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s wife of 38 years, expressed her grief on Twitter.

“My heart is broken,” she wrote. “He passed the way he lived, on his own terms; surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”

Meghan McCain, the senator’s 33-year-old daughter, wrote an emotional statement thanking her father for being a hero to both her and the country.

“I was with my father at his end, as he was with me at my beginning,” she wrote. “In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me and supported me in all things.”
read more here

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Senate hearing with veterans charity got testy

Alleged altercation at US Senate hearing between VA staffer and MVP founder
WIBW 13 News
By Shawn Wheat
Jun 21, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- 13 NEWS has learned that there was an alleged physical altercation in April of 2017 during a subcommittee meeting in Washington D.C., between an employee of the VA and the founder of the Military Veterans Project.

In a recent e-mail exchange, Military Veteran Project (MVP) founder Melissa Jarboe told Joseph Burks, the Public Affairs Officer for VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, to cease and desist any communication with her.

“The physical attack, verbal abuse and intimidation you displayed on April 27, 2017 has not been forgotten, rather thoroughly documented via video, audio and written statement to appropriate parties and chain of command,” Jorboe said in the e-mail, obtained by 13 NEWS.

Jarboe declined an on camera interview, but told 13 NEWS, she was called to testify by Senator Jerry Moran, at a hearing on "Preventing Veteran Suicide".

When asked by Senator Moran if there was a partnership between the MVP program and the VA, Jarboe said, “We do not currently have a strong partnership with the Veterans Administration. We are there if they need us. We are not asked to attend any of their boards. We are not a part of their direct community approach or outreaches. But, we will still eagerly assist the Veterans Administration when they are in crisis or in need because that’s what we’re supposed to do as Americans.”
read more here

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kokomo VA Clinic designed to fail?

Sen. Donnelly asks VA to investigate new Kokomo clinic
Kokomo Tribune
By Carson Gerber
June 19, 2018

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly is asking Veterans Affairs officials to investigate the new outpatient clinic in Kokomo after local veterans expressed concerns about access to care and problems scheduling appointments.
Donnelly recently sent a letter to VA Northern Indiana Health Care System Director Michael Hershman, whose office runs the Kokomo clinic, asking him to “investigate and address these issues, consistent with U.S. law and agency policy.”

The letter comes after the clinic, which is a first-of-its-kind pilot program established by the VA, came under fire from local veterans during last month’s meeting of the Howard County Military Foundation.

Veterans said the clinic isn’t providing enough services and patients are being discouraged from going there when calling to schedule appointments.

Jimmy Shaw, a guide for UAW Local 685, said during the meeting that veterans in his union have reported the nurse practitioners and clinicians there can’t provide the kinds of services they need.

“We’ve got a lot of irate veterans,” he said. “I’m hearing that the clinic can’t do anything for them once they get in there.”
read more here

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Senators Say Something Has To Be Done on Suicides, But Nothing New

When will these elected officials ever listen? Better yet, hold themselves accountable for what they've already failed to hear!

Senators: More Must Be Done to Reduce Vet Suicides

Stars and Stripes
by Claudia Grisales
28 Sep 2017

WASHINGTON -- A boost in medical providers and resources, greater awareness of mental illness within the military and improving the treatment of exiting service members could help combat a disturbing trend of increased suicides among veterans, lawmakers said Wednesday.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., asks a question concerning suicide data during a Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 27, 2017. (Stars and Stripes/Carlos Bongioanni)
A detailed government report released earlier this month showed suicide risk is 22 percent higher among veterans compared to civilians. For female veterans, that risk was 2.5 times higher, while for male veterans the rate was 19 percent higher, according to a report released Sept. 15 by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
These findings, and others, show Congress and the VA must step up with new efforts to address the national epidemic, lawmakers and government officials said during a Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing held in the wake of the agency report.
"More needs to be done," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. "And more steps need to be taken to address suicide trends among veterans. ...What I am hearing again and again and again is the rates are increasing among vets who lack access."

Craig Bryan, executive director for the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah, said about 70 percent of veterans who have attempted suicide were already diagnosed with a mental illness. 
Tester said more funding is needed to address the concerns.
"We need to do a better job of outreach," he said. "It's going to cost money to get health professionals on the ground in urban and rural areas."

Read more here if you want to read more the same we've read over the last decade!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Senator Heller Says No to Hurting Us

Heller won't back Senate GOP health care bill 
By Eric Bradner 
June 23, 2017
(CNN)Dean Heller on Friday became the latest Senate Republican to say he opposes the current GOP health care bill. "It's simply not the answer," the Nevada Republican said at a news conference alongside Gov. Brian Sandoval in Las Vegas. "And I'm announcing today that in this form, I simply will not support it." 

Almost immediately, the pro-Trump group America First Policies decided to launch what a source with the group says will be a major television, radio and digital ad buy against Heller -- a remarkable attack on a member of Trump's own party whose seat is endangered in 2018.
Gov. Brian SandovalSandoval specifically pointed to people who were making a little more than $16,000 per year. "These are our friends, these are our families, and these are our neighbors. ... They are living healthier and happier lives because of that decision -- I don' think that can be overstated enough." read more here

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Scam of VA Budget Needs to be Castrated!

If we fail to honor the promise this country made the men and women who risked their lives, then we do not deserve to enjoy the freedom to whine about what offends us! 
"I will not be the guy to allow the administration to chip away at VA health care," said Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, pointing to a proposed VA budget that would give double-digit increases to outside care while funding for VA programs remains mostly flat. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., referring to proposed pilot programs that could lead to the closing of VA facilities, pledged to "fight them with everything I have."
This is not about Congress telling us they have no obligation to fix healthcare for our sake. It is not about Congress telling us that they have no intention of taking care of anything when the leaders are more interested in destroying everything the non-rich need to survive. 

This is about the men and women who loved this country so much, they were willing to die for it!

The same politicians telling us that the healthcare programs are terrible, want to send our veterans into that mess! Are they out of their fucking minds! Veterans are not civilians. They pre-paid for their benefits and it has been under the control of the House and Senate since 1946. Who the hell do they think they're fooling? Time to castrate this clusterfuck!

This President's budget is a cut to veterans and an increase into the pockets of private healthcare providers. What makes all of this even worse is the percentage of the compensation cut hitting senior veterans and families is going toward paying for what THEY ALREADY PAID FOR WHEN THEY SERVED! A VA that works for their sake. 

Looks like the only promise veterans can trust is that sooner or later, they'd be screwed by politicians! These are disabled veterans we're talking about!!!!

So when exactly does the rest of the country stand up and fight for our veterans? They are dying to know that one!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

"God Speed John Glenn"

John Glenn, American hero, aviation icon and former U.S. senator, dies at 95
Columbus Dispatch
Joe Hallett
December 8, 2016
Glenn recalled "many teary departures and reunions" at the airport's original terminal on Fifth Avenue during his time as a military aviator during World War II. He and his wife Annie, who had been married 73 years, later kept a small Beechcraft plane at Lane Aviation on the airport grounds for many years, and he only gave up flying his own plane at age 90.
His legend is other-worldly and now, in his 95th year, that’s where John Glenn has gone.

An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved wife of 73 years, who survives.

He, along with fellow aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright and moon-walker Neil Armstrong, truly made Ohio first in flight.
read more here

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Army Thinks They Did Nothing Wrong on Discharges?

Senators, Military Specialists Say Army Report On Dismissed Soldiers Is Troubling
Heard on Morning Edition
Daniel Zwerdling
December 1, 2016
The Army's report states that only 3,327 of the more than 22,000 soldiers who had been kicked out met that legal test. As a result, investigators ignored the rest of the soldiers — roughly 19,000 of them — who had mental health problems or brain injuries.
U.S. Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning ordered a review after an NPR
investigation found thousands of soldiers diagnosed with mental health
problems or brain injuries were dismissed for misconduct. But the new
Army report concluded that it treated the soldiers fairly.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
An Army review concludes that commanders did nothing wrong when they kicked out more than 22,000 soldiers for misconduct after they came back from Iraq or Afghanistan – even though all of those troops had been diagnosed with mental health problems or brain injuries.

The Army's report, ordered by Secretary Eric Fanning, seeks to reassure members of Congress that it's treating wounded soldiers fairly. But senators and military specialists say the report troubles them.

"I don't think the Army understands the scope of this problem," says Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. "And I don't think they've conveyed the seriousness to get it right."

The Army's report is "unbelievable," says psychiatrist Judith Broder. "It's just bizarre." Broder was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Obama for organizing the Soldiers Project, a network of hundreds of psychotherapists and others who help troops and their families.
read more here

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Is It Still Stolen Valor if Senator Does It?

Mark Kirk campaign site falsely calls senator 'veteran' of Iraq war
CNN Digital Expansion DC Manu Raju
By Manu Raju, Senior Political Reporter
Updated 1306 GMT (2106 HKT) September 21, 2016

A once public, now private webpage on Mark Kirk's official campaign website touted his record on veterans' issues, Kirk was listed as a "veteran of the Iraq war."
(CNN)Sen. Mark Kirk's campaign falsely asserted on its website that the Illinois Republican was a veteran of the Iraq war, a misstatement that comes six years after exaggerations over his military record nearly cost him his state's Senate seat.

The Republican, now battling for a second term in a tight race in Illinois, stayed in the United States during the Iraq War when he served in the Navy Reserves. But on a public webpage on his official campaign website touting his record on veterans' issues, Kirk was listed as a "veteran of the Iraq war."

While Kirk campaign officials said it was a staff error, the issue resembles the controversy that nearly caused his 2010 Senate campaign to implode. Moreover, Kirk is now running for reelection against Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a military veteran who lost both of her legs during combat in Iraq.
read more here

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Veteran Army Ranger's Suicide Gets Senator's Attention?

How many times does this have to happen before things really change and veterans get proper care? 

When do politicians actually face the families and apologize for all the years veterans have been left waiting while they make speeches? 

When does our Congress actually fix the VA instead of trying to sell our veterans to private for profit corporations?

How many more years of pain and suffering do they intend to let us go through watching our veterans suffer while they pass bill after bill that only repeat what has been proven to have already failed them?
Colorado veteran’s suicide prompts call for investigation into VA wait times
Denver Post

PUBLISHED: September 20, 2016

Specifically, the whistleblower said the situation in Colorado Springs could have contributed to the death of an Army Ranger who was awaiting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
WASHINGTON — Two U.S. senators are calling for an investigation into wait times at VA facilities in Colorado following the suicide of a 26-year-old U.S. Army Ranger who did not receive PTSD counseling in time.

The request by Republican U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin also asks that an internal watchdog at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs examine allegations that VA officials forged documents after the service member’s death and then threatened a whistleblower who raised these issues with authorities, according to a letter dated Monday.

Without specifically addressing the accusations, the VA released a statement in response that said the agency would work with Congress and investigators “to determine the facts of the situation and take appropriate action should any wrongdoing be uncovered.”
read more here

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Senator Marco Rubio Too Busy With Fundraisers To Take Care of Disabled Sergeant?

ELECTION: Murphy accuses Rubio of neglecting to help wounded warrior
News 13 Orlando

By Greg Pallone, Reporter
August 31, 2016

Riley said he thought that because Rubio was running for president and ran TV ads backing the military, his son's situation would get noticed. But instead, Rubio held at least 18 fundraisers when Sgt. Riney was being brought back to Florida in need of financial help, Murphy's campaign said.
Army veteran Tim Riney Jr. was injured in a Stryker vehicle accident in Colorado in February 2015. (Courtesy of Tim Riney)
Just hours after winning their party nominations for U.S. Senate, Rep. Patrick Murphy and Sen. Marco Rubio are both on the attack.
Murphy introduced father of wounded warrior in Rubio attack
Murphy, vet's dad accused Rubio of not helping son
Son was severely injured and paralyzed in 2015 Stryker vehicle accident
Murphy on Wednesday accused Rubio of putting his presidential bid in front of helping a wounded soldier, and introduced a wounded warrior as the face of his campaign.

Tim Riney of Safety Harbor, near Clearwater, is the father of Army veteran Timothy Riney, who was paralyzed after a military training exercise in February 2015. Riney was hurt and a fellow soldier killed after their 18-ton Stryker vehicle plunged over an embankment at Fort Carson, Colo.

“They are saying it's the worst accident with a Stryker in the history of the country, and you don't have time to help us?” the elder Riney said of Rubio.

Riney said his son needed help with medical costs, and it took five months for Rubio's office to get back to him. Meanwhile, his son was transferred to a Tampa VA hospital, and they struggled to get financial assistance for home wheelchair accessibility.

“Marco Rubio is so set on putting himself first that even when a Florida veteran is lying paralyzed in a hospital bed, he can't find the time to help out," Murphy said Wednesday.
read more here

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Not Enough Senators Aware of History of Suicides

Glad some report is paying attention to all of this.

Veteran suicide rate rose by nearly 30 percent since 2001: VA report

It is about time someone brought out the worst part of all of this proving what we already knew.

Suicide Mission
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 3, 2016
Brandon Ketchum served three tours of duty overseas. He deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. He’d been struggling with PTSD and substance abuse so he made an emergency appointment at the Iowa City VA Medical Center on July 7th. Afterward, he posted on social media about not being admitted even though he requested it and explained to a doctor that he felt his safety and health were in jeopardy. His family thinks he might still be here today had he gotten the help he was looking for.
Three Senators want answers. Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson are acting as if nothing like this happened before, even though they should all know better. Everyone should know better after all these years, but it has all gotten worse.

There were plenty of excuses when troops came home after all wars needing help to heal but after surviving combat, they could not survive being back home. We talked about all of it in whispers, that is when we were not suffering in silence.  No one understood and the media did not care, so the American public didn't either.

It is still happening now when 65% of the suicides within the veterans community end the lives of those over the age of 50. The press has younger veterans thinking it is all about their generation and all these problems never happened before. The truth is, as more and more is being done, there are more and more ending their own lives.  I know, big shocker there since the VA reported suicides at 22 a day and now they report it is 20 a day.

In the report from the VA there is a chart showing that in 1999 they had the numbers the same but once digging was done, it turned out we also had about 7 million more veterans in the country at the time according to the US Census reports.

Why aren't those Senators demanding answers from everyone? 

How about they start with the military paying billions in awareness and prevention when the younger generation of veterans commit suicide triple their civilian peer rate after all that "training" was provided to them? After all, you'd think the Senators would find it important enough considering the military also had to admit that training was not even good enough to keep non-deployed from committing suicide, so the chances of keeping those with multiple deployments alive back home were slim to none.

How about they question the fact that the Army released a study on re-deployments showing that each one increased the risk of PTSD by 50% all the way back in 2006, yet kept doing them anyway?

How about they pay attention to the fact that after all the training started, suicide increased and kept increasing even after the number of enlisted went down? Seems that would be a good thing to have answers for if they really think that "one is too many suicides."

How about they get answers from all the charities popping up all over the country raising money so they can raise awareness that veterans are still killing themselves instead of healing? How the hell can telling them something they already know do any of them any good? While we're on the subject, why should they make their living off the suicides in the first place?

Veterans are not being told what they need to know, where they can go for help and their families are still left clueless yet folks are making a lot of money for nothing getting any better.

Brandon Ketchum tried to get help from the VA and did not get it.  He turned to Facebook to say goodbye.  Why couldn't he turn to any of the charities and groups out there doing pushups, taking walks and doing interviews with the press? Why couldn't he turn to all the folks that were supposed to be made aware of what those charities claimed they were doing?

What is it going to take for this country to wake up and understand that veterans had better chances of staying alive with bullets and bombs than they do now and that is the most deplorable thing of all.

When they heal the first thing they want to do is share it with other veterans and be there for them so they can heal too.  That is after they get over being pissed off they tried to commit suicide because no one told them what they actually needed to hear so they could live and go on a stop suicide mission of their own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Senators Seek Compromise to Ban Suspected Terrorists From Buying Guns

Senators strike compromise to ban suspected terrorists from buying guns
CBS News
Rebecca Shabad
June 21, 2016

A group of nine senators on Tuesday unveiled a bipartisan compromise aimed at keeping guns out of terrorists' hands in the wake of the June 12 Orlando shooting.

The legislation spearheaded by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, would prohibit people on the government's no-fly list and the government's selectee list used for extensive screening at airports from purchasing a gun.

The bill would allow U.S. citizens and green-card holders to appeal a decision blocking his or her purchase of a firearm, and if successful, to be awarded attorney's fees. It also contains a look-back provision so that if anyone has appeared in the government's broad terrorism database over the last five years, the FBI would be immediately notified if they attempt to buy a gun.

"Our goal is simple and straightforward: We want to make America safer," Collins said at a press conference unveiling the proposal, which she said "would help keep guns out of the hands of terrorists."
read more here

Friday, June 17, 2016

John McCain Pushed for End of Veterans Preferences?

Senate votes to scale back federal job preferences for veterans
The Washington Post
By Lisa Rein
Published: June 17, 2016

But McCain and other committee members are acknowledging privately that it is time for the well-intentioned policy to be tweaked, committee aids say. Preference for veterans has caused resentment and confusion among veterans and non-veterans over whether the leg up is applied fairly and whether it is bringing the best people into government.
Congress stepped this week into a sensitive issue that’s been quietly roiling the already-challenging hiring system for federal jobs: the Obama administration’s high-profile push to give preference to veterans.

The Senate version of the vast military policy bill that now heads to conference with the House would knock out one of the advantages veterans enjoy when they apply for federal work. They would continue to get a leg up over non-veterans to get a foot in the door. But once they’re in government and want to be considered for another federal post, they would no longer go to the head of the hiring queue.

The change, approved on Tuesday by the Senate as part of its annual defense policy bill, would apply across government and affect thousands of veterans and their close relatives, who also are able to jump the line over non-veterans.
read more here