Monday, October 8, 2007

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"
by Chris Roberts, El Paso Times
An internal directive from a high-ranking Veterans Affairs official creates a two-tiered system of veterans health care, putting veterans of the global war on terror at the top and making every one else -- from World War I to the first Gulf War -- "second-class veterans," according to some veterans advocates.

"I think they're ever pushing us to the side," said former Marine Ron Holmes, an El Paso resident who founded Veterans Advocates. "We are still in need. We still have our problems, and our cases are being handled more slowly."

Vice Adm. Daniel L. Cooper, undersecretary for benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs -- in a memo obtained by the El Paso Times -- instructs the department's employees to put Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans at the head of the line when processing claims for medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, employment and education benefits...

Veterans Affairs officials say prioritizing war-on-terror veterans is necessary because many of them face serious health challenges. But they don't agree that other veterans will suffer, saying that they are hiring thousands of new employees, finding ways to train them more quickly and streamlining the process of moving troops from active duty to veteran status.

"We are concerned about it, and it's something we are watching carefully," said Jerry Manar, deputy director national veterans service for Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington, D.C. "We'll learn quickly enough from talking with our veterans service officers whether they're seeing a dramatic slowdown in the processing of claims."

Manar and Holmes said Afghanistan and Iraq veterans deserve the best care possible, but so do all other veterans.
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148,000 in 18 months. This tells me the outreach workers around the country are beginning to get through to them. It tells me the media paying attention to this is beginning to get through to them. The battles being fought for Vietnam Veterans are being won, but unless the funding is there to take care of all the combat wounded, we will lose the war.

I've spent the last 25 years trying to get through to them and so have an army of volunteers across the country. We don't use anything but compassion and facts. Sooner or later, if we keep trying, we will reach all the veterans with Post Traumatic Stress from this generation and beyond to all veterans, but what good will it do if the help they need is not there?

I started doing videos in February of 2006. Is this a coincidence? From the emails I get, it is part of it. It was the goal anyway.

When War Comes Home PTSD

Veterans and PTSD version 1
All time views:14,283

Wounded Minds Veterans and PTSD version 2

Wounded Minds PTSD and Veterans version 3

PTSD After Trauma on Google

End The Silence of PTSD on Youtube

Views: 2,919

Hero After War Combat Vets and PTSD on Google

Views: 1,772 on Youtube

Coming Out of The Dark of PTSD on Google

Coming Out Of The Dark-PTSD&Veterans on Youtube

Views: 4,304

Death Because They Served PTSD Suicides

Nothing else seemed to work as well as these videos did. They are being used in colleges, by service organizations and individuals all across the country as well as other nations. This wound does not know national borders.

After reading this, and knowing from personal experience, I wonder what good it does if the help is not being addressed as actively?

What good does it do the veterans if I can talk them into going for help, but they can't get to it? I'm working between 10 to 12 hours a day now on this 7 days a week. Where is the dedication of the people who have the power to make sure the help is there? The people working for the VA and service organizations have that dedication but the politicians don't seem as focused and certainly Bush is not when he threatened congress to not fund the VA unless they found the way to pay for it.

We keep getting promised the problems with the VA will be corrected but we don't know when that will happen. Someday will not make things easier on them! Yesterday would have! Last year would have! Twenty five years ago it would have!

Kathie Costos