Throwaway Soldiers

I’ve been surfing a bit lately at truthout. Today some stories at here, here, here, and here just made me absolutely see red, I was so pissed off. Soldiers are being deployed for longer and longer periods of time; and when they face medical or mental problems, there is no support when they come home.

In the last report:

Suing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans, it charges that the VA has failed warriors on several fronts – from providing prompt disability benefits, to adding staff to reduce wait times for medical care to boosting services for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit also accuses the VA of deliberately cheating some veterans by allegedly working with the Pentagon to misclassify PTSD claims as pre-existing personality disorders to avoid paying out benefits. The VA and Pentagon have generally denied such charges.

And this really made my day:

Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department also sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press raise questions of conflicts of interest or appearances of conflicts in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans’ health care.

The documents show that 21 of 32 officials who were members of VA performance review boards received more than half a million dollars in payments themselves.

Among them: nearly a dozen senior officials who devised the flawed 2005 budget. Also rewarded was the deputy undersecretary for benefits, who manages a system with severe backlogs of veterans waiting for disability benefits.

What absolute, vile hypocrisy. What a corrupt administration we have currently in the VA. Abusing a government agency in order to line their own pockets at the expense of injured veterans. Greedy bastards.

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2 Replies to “Throwaway Soldiers”

  1. I know this is an older post, but I wanted to comment. I finally received my VA compensation the same month you posted this — it took me 11 months. If I hadn't been in a medical position in the Army, I would have got zero. They lost my records twice. They tried to deny my benefits and I had to appeal.

    I was approved for 70% disability, mainly due to a surgery that went wrong. I fear that if I had not been working so closely with doctors and maintaining medical records, I would have received either a paltry rating or nothing whatsoever.

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  2. Throwaway Soldiers

    With the one hand they seem to give
    And with the other, take away
    “We always will support our Troops!”
    But, they don’t do what they say.

    They promise all those benefits
    As you Raise your hand and Swear
    To Do Your Duty, Serve Your Country
    Anytime, and Anywhere.

    You keep your end of the Bargain
    And Follow Orders to a tee
    Even lay your Life on the Line
    So that others might be Free.

    You don’t ask for a whole lot
    Just to be treated with Respect
    Promises kept and Honesty
    From those People you Protect.

    But, too often those in Power
    Will Betray you without Shame
    Break those Vows they made
    Like it was only just a Game.

    It’s called, “Throwaway Soldiers”
    And the Pawns will always lose
    Because you Play by the Rules
    While they will Play as they chose.

    Del “Abe” Jones
    03-01-2005

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