Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When will this country stand up for veterans?

When will this country stand up for veterans?
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
January 8, 2013

When Veterans for Common Sense forced Dr. Ira Katz to release the information on veterans committing suicide, that should have been enough for this country to do what it had to do to make it right. That was in 2008 but in 2009, Dr. Katz was given an award from NAMI.

The years that have passed since what should have been the dawn of a new age, left veterans lingering in the dark ages of needing help but getting buried in a landfill of claims made by the DOD and the VA saying they were working on it and members of more interested in holding hearings than hearing the anguished cries from thousands of families every year when they had to fill a grave for someone they loved.

One of the plaintiffs' organizations, Veterans for Common Sense, said Monday that the department has made some improvements, including establishing a suicide-prevention hotline, but "remains in deep crisis due to decades of underfunding and a lack of significant congressional oversight."

$677,000 to find out how families feel after suicide?

Congress allocates funds but the military had a Suicide Prevention Fund surplus in September. Some members of congress were clearly upset by this but honestly the families were more upset when they thought about the son or daughter they had to bury. For all the money spent on getting service members the help they needed, followed by deplorable results, congress just tossed more money at it without holding anyone accountable for it.

Veterans for Common Sense tried to do the right thing in 2007 but no matter how hard they try to force this country to finally get it right, they have been beaten down. If you are looking for some place to donate your money to (other than to me) they are in need of support so they can fight for all veterans. If you donate to another group, ask them what they are doing to save the lives of our veterans and give them the justice they should have had all along. This has to stop but the only way it will is if YOU get involved!
Veterans lose health suit against VA
Bob Egelko
January 7, 2013

A San Francisco-based legal challenge to the health care system for the nation's veterans, whose benefits take years to process and whose suicide rate remains high, died in the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

The justices, without comment, denied review of an appellate court's ruling in May that said federal judges have no power to order systemwide changes in veterans' health care.

Advocacy groups for veterans filed the suit in 2007. At a trial in San Francisco in 2008, Department of Veterans Affairs documents showed that the agency took an average of 4.4 years to review veterans' health care claims and that more than 1,400 veterans who had been denied coverage died in one six-month period while their appeals were pending.

The same records showed that 18 veterans were committing suicide each day, much higher than the rate among the general population.

The suit said the VA had made mental health care virtually unavailable to thousands of discharged soldiers through long waits for referrals and treatment.
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