Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Despicable Treatment of Disabled Vets

The Ground Truth (2006)

By the Bush Administration, of course. They ordered the VA to stop helping disabled veterans with their paperwork applying for disability benefits, because too many veterans were getting the disability payments they deserved. Despicable, but entirely predictable from the shallow chickenhawks sending others to die, for profit, for legacy, for ideology, but for no good reason.

NPR: Army Blocks Disability Paperwork Aid at Fort Drum

Army officials in upstate New York instructed representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs not to help disabled soldiers at Fort Drum Army base with their military disability paperwork last year. That paperwork can be crucial because it helps determine whether soldiers will get annual disability payments and health care after they're discharged.

Now soldiers at Fort Drum say they feel betrayed by the institutions that are supposed to support them. The soldiers want to know why the Army would want to stop them from getting help with their disability paperwork and why the VA— whose mission is to help veterans — would agree to the Army's request.

'A Worn Pair of Boots'

One disabled soldier, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he fears retaliation from the military, says it feels like a slap in the face.

"To be tossed aside like a worn-out pair of boots is pretty disheartening," the soldier says. "I always believed the Army would take care of me if I did the best I could, and I've done that."

At a restaurant near Fort Drum, the soldier described his first briefing with the VA office on base. According to the soldier, the VA official told a classroom full of injured troops, "We cannot help you review the narrative summaries of your medical problems." The official said the VA used to help soldiers with the paperwork, but Army officials saw soldiers from Fort Drum getting higher disability ratings with the VA's help than soldiers from other bases. The Army told the VA to stop helping Fort Drum soldiers describe their army injuries, and the VA did as it was told.

hat tip to Jimstaro at dailykos.

1 comment:

lovable liberal said...

Not only are the wealthies who own and run the Republican party using the fundies, they're also using the bullies, who are the third main base constituency of the GOP. For the wealthies, it's all about tax cuts; they don't mind throwing away a few soldiers.