Once again it’s come around to that time of year, one of the issues that I consider (as Impish has already stated in the St. Patrick’s Day Issue) one of the big 5 or 6 we do every year. Arguably for me, this is one of the top 3 issues with Independence Day and St Patrick’s Day rounding out the hat trick, though not in that order.
Of this day, John M. McHugh wrote:
“As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.”
For us here at DL & LL Electronic Media this is an important and weighty responsibility we take extremely seriously and not just because we have both served our country. We ask your indulgence and assistance as we on this day of remembrance
The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross
This image is known as the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross or Battle Cross or simply, Helmet Rifle Boots.
It is made up of the fallen soldier’s rifle with bayonet attached and stuck into the ground with the soldier’s dog tags hanging, helmet on top of the rifle and the boots of the fallen soldier beneath.
This tradition began during the American Civil War as a means of identifying the bodies on the battlefield. Today it is used to show respect for the fallen and as a means to allow fellow troop members to mourn as attending a funeral or memorial service is not always possible for soldiers still engaged in battle.
Ladies and Gentleman, Please rise for the raising of our National Colors.
Ladies and Gentleman, Please remain standing for our National Anthem… all of it, as sung by a gifted retired Marine.
If You would all please bow your heads, Sargent at Wings Impish Dragon will now lead us in a prayer for out Troops.
A Memorial Day Prayer
Heavenly Father, as our nation pauses today to remember those in the military who have given their lives for freedoms we enjoy, we pray you would have us all look to you for strength, comfort and guidance. Be with all who serve in our Armed Forces. Bless them and their families. Grant your loving protection. Let peace prevail among all the nations, O God. Especially let your mercy rest upon our land, even as we acknowledge with thanksgiving your past goodness on this country. If it is your will, preserve the lives of the men and women in uniform as they defend our citizenry. Most of all, we pray that you would turn the hearts of all – military and civilian – to your holy Word where we find the true peace for our sinful souls that surpasses all understanding. Keep us repentant of sin. Move us to know, take hold and treasure your saving grace. Amen.
At ease, you may be seated. Smoking lamp is lit, slurp it if you got it.
“…gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime….let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,–the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” –General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868
Isn’t life strange? I never met one Veteran who enlisted to fight for Socialism!
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
If I Die Young (Dedicated To The Fallen Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors)
They too served, they too are Fallen Heroes! Remember them and honor them by demanding the truth be told and the culpable punished!
Tim McGraw If You’re Reading This
Human Life International: On Memorial Day, We Should Honor Our Fallen Heroes And What They Died For …
“The whole world should stop and honor America’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day,” commented Father Richard Welch, CSSR, JCD, President of Human Life International, the world’s largest pro-life, pro-faith, pro-family apostolate. “Not as a gesture endorsing any nation and its current political or economic policy, but in honor of brave men and women who gave their lives for others.”
“Memorial Day is not about picnics and ballgames. But neither is it an unqualified endorsement of American society as we know it. These brave soldiers, sailors, fliers and marines died protecting their country and what it stood for. They died defending a way of life that they felt was worth dying for … families, children, freedom, morality, values, responsibility.”
“We should each take a moment and look into our souls to see what we are doing with the bloodstained legacy they have left behind. Did those valiant Marines at Iwo Jima make their sacrifice so that sacramental union could be redefined as same sex marriage? Did our Revolutionary War heroes go into battle for the right of mothers to kill their unborn children? Did men die in the trenches at Argonne so that man-boy love could be protected?”
“Today, America is busy finding new ways to pleasure itself, new ways to avoid responsibility, new ways to destroy the family and isolate and marginalize those who call for morality and personal responsibility,” concluded Father Welch. “On this most solemn holiday, we must stop and consider the great sacrifices that others have made so that we may have the freedom and prosperity we enjoy. Let us consider what those valiant warriors were fighting for…and let us honor each and every one of them…with a prayer, and a pledge to restore to this nation the honor, morality, values and love of God for which they gave their lives.”
“Their true memorial is the nation and culture we create from their sacrifice. Are we really doing them the recognition they deserve?,” said Father Welch in conclusion.
Founded in 1981, Human Life International (http://www.hli.org, (1-800-549- LIFE) is the world’s largest pro-life, pro-faith, pro-family educational apostolate, with chapters in the United States and a network of international branches and affiliates around the world.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. -Mark Twain
I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.- James A. Baldwin
These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror. – Michael N. Castle
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America. – William J. Clinton
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.– George Washington
They defend us should they not be able to defend themselves? What does our Government fear about our military and why? Why are they desperate to disarm our military on US soil?
Thank You For Your Service (A Moment of Truth)
Don’t just remember the missing and the dead, remember those who fought a war they never wanted to be in, and then came home to a country that didn’t want them. We owe them more than a debt of gratitude and our respect, as a Nation and a Society we owe them an apology.
American Soldier- Toby Keith (Tribute)
The “Memorial” in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice:
- by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
- by visiting memorials.
- by flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.
- by flying the ‘POW/MIA Flag’ as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).
- by participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance“: at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.
- by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.
Also, please consider adding your voice in support of the efforts to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th (instead of “the last Monday in May”). This would help greatly to return the solemn meaning back to the day, and to help return minds and hearts to think upon the ultimate sacrifices made by those in service to our country. Just one day out of the year to honor our loved ones, our ancestors, our friends who died in conflicts and wars — not to honor war, but those that died in those conflicts and wars.
Many times you have heard Impish and I use the phrase-
“A soldier is someone, who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. “
While to those of us who have written that check and served this is an honor, sadly there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand that fact. Nor do they understand that when payment comes due on such a check, it is not just the soldier that pays the full amount due, but his family as well.
If more people understood the terrible and awful cost of defending their right to ambivalence, disrespect and indifference towards our military, way of life and benefits of US citizenship, I suspect there would be far less of it and far more support for the military, its budget and its service men and women, and we would as a people all be far better Americans.
We here at DL/LL Electronic Media Enterprises are dedicated to raising awareness of the realities of what being an American citizen means and at what price that is achieved. Ladies and Gentleman school is now in session!
This is the honor done the fallen hero, who is never alone on his long journey home. The binder on that blank check has been collected already on the battlefield. But now the final payment, in the currency of anguish and grief over the loss of a loved one by his family, friends and brothers in arms comes due.
In The Arms Of An Angel-American Soldiers Tribute
Coast Guard leader champions Connecticut museum
HARTFORD CT. >> As commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. has made it a priority to develop a national museum dedicated to the maritime service. After years of discussion, developers have committed to a location in New London, but as Papp prepares to retire next month, the project still has a long way to go to raise enough money for construction to begin on the $80 million museum.
A ceremonial groundbreaking is planned for May 2 so that Papp can be recognized, and hoist a shovel, while he is still leading the Coast Guard. Papp has pledged to remain involved after he leaves the service.
“I’ll even sweep the floors and take the tickets if I have to,” he said in an interview. “We’re going to get this thing built.”
The commandant, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and New London Mayor Daryl Finizio signed an agreement in February pledging support for the museum, a four-story, 54,000-square-foot building proposed for the New London waterfront. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, also in New London, has a museum, but backers say the new project will be the first national museum to honor the service’s 224-year history.
<truncated for brevity use link above to read full article>
The association hopes the federal government will contribute as much as $30 million, but the law that authorized the museum more than a decade ago prohibited the use of federal money for its design and construction. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents eastern Connecticut, said that treats the Coast Guard project differently from national museums for other service branches, and he has had discussions with House colleagues to pursue federal funding opportunities.
Courtney also said he has 276 of the 290 co-sponsors he needs for legislation that would require the U.S. Mint to create a commemorative coin that honors the Coast Guard, with proceeds benefiting the museum.
The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the U.S. Department of the Navy by the U.S. President at any time, or by the U.S. Congress during times of war. To date, this has happened twice, in 1917 and 1941, during World War I and World War II, respectively.-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Coast_Guard
IMHO the Coasties are always on the short end of the stick. They are treated (unfairly) like the poor orphan foster sibling of every other service. They get the bottom of the barrel in regards to the military’s budget, often making due with recycled cast offs from other services who have moved on to newer better more technologically current equipment. They don’t complain, they simply make due and do an extraordinary job at living up to their motto Semper Paratus – Always Ready. IMHO this sort of recognition of an ever changing and evolving job well done and always done well is long over due
America’s – New Song! WOW!!!!
My Name is America by Todd Allen Herendeen
They too serve. They too are heroes. They too protect us. They too fight the war on terror. They too know the anguish and heart break of losing a brother in arms. They too write the blank check to our Country, States and Municipalities.
For many, (like Impish) they are writing it for the second time, having already served in the military. They too deserve our thanks and remembrance this day.
Since we try to make these special issues a joint effort with both our names on them (not that it always works out that way) Impish was tasked with providing a Last Word for the issue as opposed to my Parting Shot. In truth I was grateful when he agreed as this is always a difficult issue for me to author for multiple reasons. I suggested to the always supportive during the process of writing this issue Impish a subject he might well find worthy of writing about for the issue based on the subject matter of the rest of the issue and sent him a single link to an article that appeared in the Houston Chronicle which had me wound up pretty good.
Well if what I was was euphemistically termed ‘wound up’ then after doing slightly more reading on the issue Impish became outright pissed off, something that you folks rarely see here.
I’ll catch you at the tail end of Impish’s unloading.
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” -G.K. Chesterton
Many of us have written that check to Uncle Sam and the people of the United States of America. You know the one. That blank check that says, “up to and including my very life.” To be cashed when necessary. We promised to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…
Many of us have had that check cashed for the ultimate price. Many more of us have had that check cashed for a substantial, but lesser amount. And let me make it abundantly clear to those of you who have never held up your right hand and sworn that oath that, even though we now no longer wear the uniform, our check is still good and our oath is still valid. We swore to defend the Constitution; there was no time limit stated nor implied; there was no “use by date” or expiration.
I just passed my twenty-first year of military service; my twenty-fifth year of public service and I have seen the treatment of our veterans go from poor to fair to deplorable in the years since I first joined the Air Force in 1977. Yes, I know the years don’t add up, I had a twelve year period in there during which I was a straight civilian, working for a living, making a decent wage until I decided to (with the help of the company that “down-sized” me) return to serving my state and my country.
In 1977, vets were mostly of the Vietnam war and some of the Korean war who required our help and assistance in returning to the normalcy of home, getting medical care for the wounds they received in combat and turning from a military lifestyle to the far less structured and disciplined one of the civilian. Most vets were treated poorly, called baby killers or war-mongers, but the care they received from the government entities wasn’t horrible. The military was still given enough money to do its job properly and the VA kind of had its act together.
Over the next couple of years, through the 80’s and 90’s it got a bit better with fewer vets needing assistance and enough money being available. Don’t get me wrong. VA assistance was never great. A civilian normally got a better deal out of the unemployment services and Medicare than a returning vet did with his pension and VA care. But the one thing the VA was VERY good at was taking care of those types of war-related injuries that are so specific and specialized to the military veteran.
Then came the downsizing of our military. Bases all over the world were closed. Money was cut off; we were forced to do more and more with less and less. And the Veterans Administration was hit hard, like all the rest. Through the Bush years and now the Obama fiasco, our courageous and honorable Veterans were treated worse and worse.
Here’s an article printed last year near Memorial Day on the shameful treatment of our Military Veterans by the Obama Administration:
25 Signs That Military Veterans Are Being Treated Like Absolute Trash Under The Obama Administration
May 31, 2013
Why does the Obama administration treat our military veterans like human garbage? Every year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Barack Obama and our other politicians make very nice speeches, but the truth about how they feel about our veterans can be seen in how they are treated every single day. In the United States today, there are well over half a million veterans that have been waiting for at least 125 days to have their benefit claims processed. Many of them will ultimately have their claims sent back or denied just so a government employee somewhere can get a bigger bonus. Meanwhile, conditions at VA facilities all over the country are absolutely abysmal, and many veterans have to wait more than half a year just to get an appointment at one of those facilities.
Once you start looking into how this country really treats military veterans, it becomes easier to understand why 22 military veterans commit suicide in America every single day. Our vets have a higher rate of unemployment, a higher rate of poverty, a higher rate of homelessness, a higher rate of depression and a higher rate of divorce then the general population. It is a crying shame. One of the ways that any society is judged is by how it treats military veterans, and the truth is that America has failed miserably. This has been particularly true since Barack Obama has been in the White House.
The following are 25 signs that military veterans are being treated like absolute trash under the Obama administration…
1. The average claim for veteran benefits takes more than half a year to be processed.
2. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a backlog of more than half a million overdue claims for benefits that are at least 125 days old.
4. Thousands upon thousands of military veterans that are waiting for their claims to be processed are dealing with absolutely horrible injuries…
Of those who have sought VA care:
• More than 1,600 of them lost a limb; many others lost fingers or toes.
• At least 156 are blind, and thousands of others have impaired vision.
• More than 177,000 have hearing loss, and more than 350,000 report tinnitus — noise or ringing in the ears.
• Thousands are disfigured, as many as 200 of them so badly that they may need face transplants. One-quarter of battlefield injuries requiring evacuation included wounds to the face or jaw, one study found.
5. At one VA hospital in Wisconsin, one military veteran with a broken jaw that was seeking treatment still had not had his jaw fixed after a month and a half.
6. Today, it takes military vets an average of seven months to get an appointment at a VA facility.
7. Many VA facilities are in absolutely horrific condition. A while back, ABC News conducted an investigation of conditions at VA facilities across the United States. What ABC News discovered was absolutely shocking. The following are just a few of the things that they found during the course of their investigation…
*Bathrooms filthy with what appeared to be human excrement
*Dirty linens from some patients mixed in with clean supplies
*Examining tables that had dried blood and medications still on them
*Equipment used to sterilize surgical instruments that had broken down
*Some patients were forced to beg for food and water
*Veterans that were neglected so badly that they developed horrific bedsores and dangerous infections
8. As I have written about previously, applying for veteran benefits is extremely complicated, and VA employees are actually paid bonuses for denying claims…
The truth is that we have made it extremely difficult for our military veterans to claim the benefits that we have promised them. Vets have to fill out an absurdly complicated 23 page application and if they make even one small mistake their applications can be stonewalled for years. The U.S. Veterans Administration actually has a policy under which they pay large bonuses to employees that meet certain application processing goals. This explains why approximately 70% of the claims submitted to the Veterans Administration are refused or sent back to be redone. In fact, using the Freedom of Information Act, one local NBC station was able to learn that $250,000 was paid in bonuses to VA employees who work inside the Poff Federal Building in Roanoke, Virginia in just one year alone.
9. Large numbers of military veterans that legitimately should be getting benefits are having their claims denied by the federal government. Just check out the following example from a Veterans Today article…
In one case, we found a veteran with 40 percent of his brain removed found to be healthy and employable. He was also missing his right arm. The physician who examined him over looked the arm and failed to note the cognitive degeneration the traumatic brain injury had caused.
10. Last year, more than 85,000 military veterans were treated for sexual abuse that they suffered while serving in the military. 40 percent of them were men.
11. According to a recent Defense Department survey, approximately 14,000 men in the U.S. military were sexually assaulted by other men during 2012.
12. According to the Washington Post, there is an epidemic of sexual assaults being committed by military recruiters. The Pentagon is pledging to do something about the problem…
“The secretary has made it clear that we will spare no effort to rid our military of sexual abuse,” said George Little, the Pentagon press secretary. “The fact that there have been problems of sexual abuse during the recruiting process is simply intolerable.”
13. The number of active members of the U.S. military that are killing themselves now exceeds the number that are dying on the battlefield.
14. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, twice as many members of the Texas National Guard have killed themselves as have been killed in combat.
15. According to one recent study, 22 military veterans kill themselves in the United States every single day.
16. At this point, combat veterans account for about 20 percent of all suicides in the United States.
17. The unemployment rate for military veterans is significantly higher than for the population as a whole. This is especially true for younger veterans.
18. On any given night, approximately 200,000 military veterans are homeless in the United States.
19. All over America, monuments that honor military veterans are crumbling and falling apart. For much more on this, please see this article.
20. Under the Obama administration, many military veterans have had to pay to have their medals shipped to them. For example, one soldier actually had to pay a 21 dollar shipping fee to get his Purple Heart. The following is from the Huffington Post…
War comes with an incalculable human cost. And apparently a shipping fee of about $21.
Retired Sgt. Major Rob Dickerson says that’s the price he was forced to pay when his Purple Heart — the medal issued to soldiers wounded in action — arrived at his door, C.O.D.
Instead of being awarded the military honor in a formal ceremony, the vet with 29 years in the service was handed his award, and a shipping invoice, by a FedEx deliveryman outside his Sioux Falls, S.D., home.
21. In some areas of the country the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been caught banning the words “God” and “Jesus” during funeral services for veterans.
22. Today, the federal government provides “end of life” literature to veterans that helps them to determine when their lives are “no longer worth living“…
“Your Life, Your Choices” presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political “push poll.” For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be “not worth living.”
The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to “shake the blues.” There is a section which provocatively asks, “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘If I’m a vegetable, pull the plug’?” There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family” and that the vet’s situation “causes severe emotional burden for my family.”When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?
23. One study discovered that approximately one-third of all military veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq were officially determined to be mentally ill by government officials.
24. All over America, “mental illness” is being used as a reason to take guns away from military veterans.
25. The federal government is increasingly labeling military veterans as “potential domestic terrorists” if they express viewpoints that are critical of the government. The following is from a recent article by John Whitehead…
Making matters worse, thanks to Operation Vigilant Eagle, a program launched by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009, military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are also being characterized as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.” As a result, these servicemen and women–many of whom are decorated–are finding themselves under surveillance, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, or arrested, all for daring to voice their concerns about the alarming state of our union and the erosion of our freedoms.
An important point to consider, however, is that the government is not merely targeting individuals who are voicing their discontent so much as it is locking up individuals trained in military warfare who are voicing feelings of discontent. Under the guise of mental-health treatment and with the complicity of government psychiatrists and law-enforcement officials, these veterans are increasingly being portrayed as ticking time bombs in need of intervention.
Are you upset yet?
You should be.
The way that the federal government is treating military veterans is absolutely shameful.
That was a year ago. Now this year, we have even more problems. Promises were made to fix things and apparently, the transparent administration of Mr. Obama’s isn’t as transparent at all.
Obama backs Shinseki, pledges to fix VA woes
26 VA facilities under investigation
Author: By Scott Bronstein and Tom Cohen CNN
(CNN) – President Barack Obama promised accountability, but he made clear Wednesday he won’t fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki — yet — over excessive and sometimes deadly waiting times faced by veterans seeking government health care.
The controversy has mushroomed since CNN first reported the problem last November in a detailed investigation examining several VA hospitals.
After meeting with Shinseki at the White House, Obama held a hastily arranged news conference in which he said he needed more time to review what was going on.
The rest of this article is available here, but you can find it repeated by many news stations all over the country. In NONE of the articles that I read (an impressively large amount of written material) did I see where the 26 VA facilities under investigation were named. Why is this list being withheld? Wouldn’t YOU want to know if YOUR doctor’s office was under investigation from the government? Oh the articles give little snippets and hints as to the facilities that are on the list. Some of the places listed were Phoenix (fraudulent record-keeping and secret waiting lists where at least 40 vets have died waiting on care), the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida (more secret lists and bad record keeping), and facilities in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Georgia, Missouri, Texas, Florida and elsewhere.
That doesn’t sound very forthcoming to me. And I’m willing to bet that as these articles go further and further afield, more and more facilities will be added to that list of 26 (or covered up) and Mr. Obama still backs up VA Secretary Eric BullShitski, who must have known about the problems and has been approving and paying out bonuses to the VA employees based on bullshit information. These problems were pointed out AT LEAST as early as 2010 and we still haven’t seen any improvement, in point of fact, it has gotten worse!
Many vets are opting to go the route of Medicare and paying their medical expenses out of their own pockets so they don’t have to deal with the VA and the benefits they were PROMISED.
It’s pure BullShitSki that on Memorial Day, when we should be honoring the men and women who have died in the protection of our country and our freedoms, the people who have cashed that check, that we, as a country, are still killing them off through neglect, bureaucratic bullshit and greed.
To Mr. Obama, Mr. Shinseki, the United States Congress and Senate and any other members of the administration or the VA who were involved in this horrendous debacle and treatment of our heroes, how can you look at yourselves in the mirror? You should be ashamed; you should all do the honorable thing and resign. But, what am I thinking? If there was even an ounce of honor in any of you, this would never have been allowed to happen in the first place
I had the opportunity to read Impish’s Last Word, previous to publish the issue and like it very much. Rarely have I seen him that fired up or long winded about anything not directly related to his penchant for conspicuous consumption (with the possible protesting of his innocence whenever he winds up in trouble) but think he missed a few key issue with regard to Obama , liberals and the shit they (apparently) live to smear on Vets as there way of ‘honoring & thanking them’ for their service, to say nothing of administering the Congressionally assured Veteran’s benefits for having written that blank check and serving with honor and distinction.
I’d dearly love to know why the list of those 26 facilities under investigation has not been made public. Seems to me the Vets would have a vested interest in knowing/ right to know if the place they are depending on for their medical care is under investigation for screwing them over and possibly delaying treatment so long that it’s caused the death(s) of other Vets.
Whatever happened to the open and clear look inside this administration you ask?
(CNN) – He promised accountability, but he’s not firing Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki – yet.
My guess is he’s pulling a Clinton “I didn’t have sex” distinction- His Administration’s definition of the terms “Transparency in Government” & “Accountability” apparently doesn’t extend to include Cabinet Departments, their Directors, Asst Director, Regional Directors or Janitors which are under continual fire for being monumentally screwed up.
Obama when he was campaigning for the Presidency jumped ALL OVER the Walter Reed Deplorable Conditions fiasco before he ever even got in office a full 7 years ago and vowed their would be changes within the VA. Seems to me the ONLY change has been in the VA fiasco being focused on at any given time.
Antiquated equipment and facilities -no appreciable change
Antiquated record keeping and processing methods – no appreciable change
Outrageous delays in software and custom operating system conflict resolution resulting in a stagnant situation with regard to digitizing applications and reducing an unacceptable waiting time for applicants to receive much needed benefits and medical attention – 50% decrease in the number of records awaiting processing in the last 7 years. (that means 125,00 injured Vets still wait and average of 18 months for their benefits application to be processed 7 years after a concerted effort was undertaken to reduce this number to zero)- unacceptable level of change given the length of time required to affect it
Then there is the VA controlled Cemeteries and their vendetta against religion (I’ve covered this subject more than once) which is another grave insult, not only to those families seeking burial of their Vet, but to those who served, who preform final honors AND to those fighting now to protect freedom of religion – National outrage by Veteran’s Groups, nearly all religious denominations and just plain folk got this nipped in the bud…twice with one resignation and one horizontal promotion
I want to point out that its shit experiences like these that cause many Vets to avoid the VA all together and pay their bills out of pocket at great expense just to get timely medical help despite being entitled to it and damned well deserving of it. These men, who have proven themselves fearless in the face of the enemy, are literally fearful of depending on the VA for the medical needs to the point of being willing to bankrupt themselves to avoid being the subject of a newspaper article like this one:
Veteran dies waiting for VA appointment in Houston, family says
Family: Vietnam War veteran dies waiting for appointment at VA Medical Center
HOUSTON – George Barraza love two things in this life: playing the electric guitar with all his heart and this country.
During the Vietnam War, Barraza proudly served in the U.S. Army.
But on April 16, Barraza, a father of three girls, a chef and an American veteran, died waiting for an appointment at the VA Medical Center in Houston.
At the time of his death, Barraza was battling heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. But his problems became much worse in September when he went to the Michael Debakey VA Medical Center in terrible pain and unable to move his hands at all.
“They said, ‘Oh, that looks like it hurts, let me give you some pain medication and send you on home,'” said Barraza’s daughter, Georgia Barraza who complains the VA staff did not treat her father’s problem that day by admitting him and caring for him, but instead gave him pain medication and an appointment to come back.
The very next day, she said Barraza had to be rushed to another hospital outside the VA system to Methodist Hospital Sugar Land, where he was immediately admitted and treated for close to a week.
Over the next several months, family members said Barraza began to decline physically and he did go to the VA for various tests and other help.
But in March family members said Barraza was suddenly rushed to Methodist Hospital again. This time he was vomiting blood and doctors told him he had a tumor or growth on his liver.
Barraza’s family said doctors at that hospital told Barraza he had to get to the VA right away, it was very serious and he needed treatment.
But the very next day, when they took him to the VA Hospital, they said again Barraza was not treated or admitted to the hospital. Instead he was given more prescription medicines and given an appointment more than a month away on May 5.
Barraza died April 16.
Local 2 asked Dr. James Scheurich, deputy chief of staff at the VA Medical Center in Houston, why Barraza was not treated.
“It’s within the guidelines and we do the best we can, that was the open appointment,” said Scheurich. “A lot of our staff are veterans and our whole mission is taking care of veterans, and we do the best we can for every one of them.”
Let me translate the highlighted red text passage for you from Deputy Chief of Staff Dr James Scheurichshitzonyou-
“It’s within the guidelines and we do the best we can, that was the open appointment,”
We could give a shit less you problem is life threatening and you require urgent care pal, it is after all, your problem. Didn’t the military teach you to hurry up and wait?! People like you with unscheduled emergencies mess with my appointment flow and I might not get my (undeserved) quarterly bonus if that happens. However if you co-operate and just die that won’t effect my bonus at all
Personally Impish and I think there should be a voucher approach just like they do with education and schools along the lines of an HMO allowing you to choose from Providers who will accept government payment to treat you for compensation comparable to what it costs the VA when they get damned good and ready to get around to providing it to you.
Certainly with the exception of initial applications for benefits this would have the appearance of taking some of the load off the VA while simultaneously providing better quality and more immediate care for Vet’s because to survive a war and come home only to be killed by the bureaucracy sole sole purpose of is to over see providing you access to the medical care and other benefits you were promised for your service is simply not <ED: multiple expletives deleted> right and certainly should be considered <ED: salty Marine speak removed> unacceptable to the point of absurdity and even possibly rise to the level of criminal charges or Depraved Indifference at the very least!
Finally in light of my summarizing all the short comings of the VA and the overall craptacular way Eric Bullshitski and all his legion of undershitlings treat Veteran’s it occurs to me I now understand the liberals motivation for disarming our troops on bases on US soil- outright fear.
They are fearful of backlash from the very people they will soon be mistreating and if you ask me, with damned good reason because that mistreatment is apparently over due and bloody well justified! Especially since Congress doesn’t seem interesting in hearings to identify and punish those responsible for this grievous insult to our men and women in uniform.
Twenty-four notes. It’s a simple melody, 150 years old, that can express our gratitude when words fail. Taps honors the men and women who have laid down their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom.
May it become a reality in our children’s life time