Monday, February 15, 2010

Why do we make our vets suffer?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 1:14 PM

That's a good damn question. We lure them into service with big signing bonuses, promises of college tuition and then, when they return broken and bruised — mentally and physically — we torture them with bureaucratic bullshit, deny benefits and turn our faces when we hear of their suicides or life on the street.

No, of course not every veteran falls through the cracks. But, a lot of them do. Too many of them do.

Just this weekend, I ran into a homeless man in fatigues, a weathered metal pinned to his jacket. He was sleeping in the corner of a Burger King in Virginia, trying to stay warm on a cold day. I touched his shoulder, he jumped. I asked him if he could use the cash I was holding out to him. He nodded, looked at the floor and tried to hide his right arm -- which was missing a hand.

What's wrong with our society?

Here's one example of our ridiculousness:

North Carolina's members of Congress have grown increasingly impatient with the military over its role in water contamination more than 30years ago at Camp Lejeune.

The Department of theNavy has refused to pay for a $1.6million mortality study that could indicate a trend in deaths among former residents of Camp Lejeune.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, has blocked two Navy presidential appointees and vowed that he'll stop every nominee until the department ends its "continued intransigence" on funding the study.

Burr and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, have vowed to push legislation on health care for the affected families despite a recent setback in the Senate.

And over in the House, U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat, has gathered nearly 20 co-sponsors for identical legislation that he hopes will have better success.

Some estimates are thatover a 30-year period, as many as 1million people were exposed to well water that contained trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene and vinyl chloride.

Read the rest of this Raleigh News and Observer article, by Barbara Barret, here.

Read on, from the Washington Post: Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility

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