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  1. #1
    UB is offline

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    Jan 1970

    200,000 war veterans homeless in US

    200,000 war veterans homeless in US

    300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans file disability claims with US federal government.

    PACIFICA – For six years of war in Iraq, the Bush administration has done absolutely nothing to take care of the hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans coming home, said Aaron Glantz, a journalist who has been covering the stories of US military vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "We’ve had people brought into the VA, turned away, who have committed suicide after coming back from the war with post-traumatic stress disorder. We’ve had people redeployed to Iraq, even after they were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. We have 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans coming home with traumatic brain injury, physical brain damage. We have 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have filed disability claims with the federal government," Glantz told Democracy Now! on Thursday.

    "In many cases, there is no medical services at all, because remember that many people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan come from rural communities where the VA doesn’t even have a hospital," he explained.

    There are 200,000 homeless war veterans in the United States.

    "On every night, 200,000 people who have put on the uniform and served this country sleep homeless on the streets," said Glantz.

    "Imagine that you come home from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental wound, or traumatic brain injury, physical brain damage often caused by a roadside bomb. The first thing that you have to do just to get in the door at the VA is to fill out a twenty-six-page form where you substantiate exactly how you were wounded, where you get letters of support from your battle buddies, from your commanders. You subpoena your own Army records, often with the help of your congressperson. And you present to the VA a gigantic claim folder, which they then sit on for an extended period of time. And that’s just to get in the door. So we take our veterans when they’re most wounded and most vulnerable and exploit them by making them fill out a mound of paperwork just to get in the door," noted Glantz.

    "If you served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you come home and you say that you have PTSD, that the VA should assume that you got that in the war, not from a auto accident, not from some experience growing up, but perhaps your experience seeing your buddies killed or your experience killing an innocent civilian, that those might be the incidences that caused you to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder," he explained.

    But some problems date back way back to 1991.

    "We are seventeen years after the Persian Gulf War of 1991, and veterans of that war are still fighting to get disability compensation and healthcare. And for the last seventeen years, up until about two months ago, the VA had said that Gulf War syndrome simply didn’t exist, and they called it 'undiagnosed illness'. And one problem with that is if you call it undiagnosed illness, then there’s no way to treat it, because you’re pretty much throwing up your hands," said Glantz.

    "I think another question that we should be asking is, what is the 'Gulf War illness' of the war that we’re involved in right now? Is it our troops’ exposure to depleted uranium, for example? Is it our troops—the pills that our troops were forced to take before they went into this war? Might those things have long-term effects on our Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans? Shouldn’t we get ahead of the curve this time and not wait until seventeen years after the war to begin to look at how to treat and compensate people who served in it?" Asked Glantz.

    "We can’t forget about the 1.8 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who are coming back into our communities. And if we don’t deal with this now, we’re going to be looking at an increase in those statistics."

    Glantz is the author of the new book The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans and co-author of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations.
    If you ain't mad, you ain't payin' attention = Terry Anderson.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    I`m sick! But does this REALLY surprise me coming from the United States Government. I mean come on, a 150 million Inauguration is more important then helping the Veterans and the Homeless of this country. 350 billion to the Fat Cats is also more important! So what`s the message here that their sending????????? F---U Americans!
    And the followers are soooo brainwashed, they haven`t a clue. Or maybe their just like them!
    No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.
    Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Senior Member carolinamtnwoman's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Asheville, Carolina del Norte
    Toxic Injustice: What Was Done [Agent Orange]

    It took almost two decades after the end of the Vietnam war and years of litigation for the federal government to finally offer assistance to American soldiers who were victims of Agent Orange. Congress authorized financial assistance for veterans in 1991, but the government was careful in calling the link between Agent Orange and the veterans' health problems "presumptive," allowing the government to "effectively sidestep a de facto admission of guilt in Vietnam and avoid offering compensation to Vietnamese victims." The US government still maintains that "there are no conclusive links between Agent Orange and the severe health problems and birth defects that the Vietnamese attribute to dioxin."
    The United States government has used every method of denial, stonewalling, and manipulation to hide the truth about the effects of Agent Orange. Even the paltry research that has been conducted has been riddled with problems. Despite investing $140 million into an Air Force Health Study on Agent Orange, "a design flaw . . . has resulted in a quarter-century of inaccurate findings," according to two scientists who were involved in the study. There was criticism of this research from the very beginning, as the journal Science expressed concern in 1979 that "there may be a conflict of interest in having the Air Force study itself . . . "

    Many Vietnamese citizens and government officials have called upon the United States to admit wrongdoing, take responsibility, express contrition, and aid the process of reconciliation. Yet, American foreign policy is far too complex and riddled with human rights abuses for such an admittance or apology to be made without jeopardizing legal standing and ability to continue current practices. The United States could not apologize to Vietnam, for instance, while ignoring the fact that, in the same year that troops withdrew, the CIA and the Nixon administration helped orchestrate the military overthrow of democratically-elected President Salvador Allende in Chile to install Augusto Pinochet, one of the most brutal and murderous dictators of the 20th century. Nor would it be satisfactory for the US to apologize for Agent Orange, but not mention the terror-spreading Phoenix Program that resulted in the killing of up to 70,000 Vietnamese, many of whom were civilians and family of Vietcong, or the elite US Army unit, "Tiger Force," which, in the Central Highlands in 1967, committed the "longest series of atrocities in the Vietnam War," killing hundreds of unarmed civilians, as reported by the Toledo Blade. It is unclear what the US could specifically apologize for in a war in which "every returning combat soldier can tell of similar incidents [to My Lai], if on a somewhat smaller scale," according to Robert Jay Lifton, a psychologist who extensively interviewed Vietnam veterans. Even more importantly for the US, apologizing for or openly acknowledging the damage caused by Agent Orange could adversely affect current practices in Iraq, most notably the use of white phosphorus as a weapon in Fallujah.

    The use of Agent Orange was a tragedy and a crime that is recommitted everyday as Vietnamese citizens and US veterans suffer from the effects and pass them on to their children. One of the many unheeded "lessons" of Vietnam is that atrocities do not end with the war, but linger and fester. By not admitting the truth about what was done, the US allows the trauma of Vietnam to remain an open wound. By not taking steps towards justice and acknowledging what must now be done, the US allows Agent Orange to remain an open atrocity.

    The devastating effects of Agent Orange are a blemish on the US national record and an obstacle impeding true reconciliation between the US government and both Vietnamese and American victims of the toxic herbicide For this reason, issues of international law, justice, and corporate and governmental responsibility must be addressed clearly and directly. Those who are currently suffering from the poisonous effects of Agent Orange, though, have found that the struggle for justice can be as toxic.

    "I died in Vietnam, but I didn't even know it," announced veteran helicopter crew chief Paul Reutershan when he appeared on the Today show in the spring of 1978, according to Fred Wilcox in 'Waiting for an Army to Die.' Reutershan, a helicopter crew chief and self-described "health nut" who did not smoke or drink, died at the age of 28 of virulent abdominal cancer. However, before he died, he contacted a personal injury lawyer and launched the first lawsuit against the chemical manufacturers that produced Agent Orange, a lawsuit that would grow into some of the largest and most important litigation of the time. Awareness of Agent Orange spread rapidly due to this lawsuit and the data collected by Maude DeVictor, an employee in the Benefits Division of the VA's Chicago office. DeVictor began keeping track of chemical-related complaints, despite the orders of her supervisor to stop, and the data she collected became the source for the 1978 CBS documentary, Agent Orange, the Deadly Fog. By May of 1979, a class action suit filed by the lawyer Victor Yannacone against seven chemical manufacturers included 4,000 claims and continued to grow.

    The case would drag on for six tumultuous and costly years, concluding in 1984 with what was the largest tort settlement in history. According to Peter Schuck in Agent Orange on Trial, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, and five other chemical manufacturers paid $180 million to over 50,000 veterans, but still denied liability. Few of the plaintiffs ever received more than $5,000. While this was an important case with an impressive cash settlement, it did little to satisfy the afflicted veterans or to address the politics of responsibility. The corporations were never found guilty nor did they admit wrongdoing. Further, due to the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Feres/Stencel immunity doctrine, the veterans were unable to file a lawsuit against the federal government or the military. To this day, the political issues of Agent Orange have been mishandled, evaded, and ignored. ... range.html

  4. #4
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    New Jersey
    This should sicken every American. The VFW's and the American Legion should be screaming. Where is code Pink and all the anti-war groups to fight for the justice of these homeless Vets???

    Rep. Rangel should be screaming for care for the homeless Vets instead of pushing for a draft.
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