Saturday, August 23, 2008

Disabled vets muster at business boot camp

Disabled vets muster at business boot camp

COLLEGE STATION — Orlando Castaneda should have been exhausted — he had been up all night making a shirt to showcase his design business — but he shrugged it off and leaped to the front of the room.

''Hello, everyone," he said, taking the microphone. ''My name is Orlando Castaneda, and I am a combat veteran."

If the work of the past week is any indication, he may soon be a thriving entrepreneur, as well.

Castaneda and 15 other military veterans, all with lasting physical or emotional damage from their time in battle, concluded a weeklong session at Texas A&M University, designed to turn disabled veterans into successful business owners.

The program, officially called the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, began at Syracuse University in New York last summer. This year, it spread to A&M, Florida State University and the University of California at Los Angeles.

The program ended at A&M on Saturday with Castaneda and other participants pitching their ideas to a panel of business people from Bryan-College Station and elsewhere in Texas.

"It's been awesome," Keith Wright of Sacramento, Calif., said as he began to describe his idea, a Web site that would link veterans with a variety of services and programs.

Even more than the crash course in business, Wright said he was inspired by the time spent with other former service members.

Richard Lester, director of academic entrepreneurship programs at A&M, heard about the program last year. "I was just, 'That program was made for Texas A&M.' We have an extremely strong military tradition here, with the Corps of Cadets. It is in our fabric."

The group — 13 men and three women, with injuries including hearing loss, burns and brain injuries — spent the week learning the essentials of running a business from A&M's business faculty. But the program didn't end with the final class on Saturday. Once they return home and start work in earnest, "they can send their business plan to me," Lester said. "I'll vet it or send it to other faculty."

The ideas included a school for at-risk children and a speciality sneaker store. But many were intended to help those still in the service or who have served in the past. Erik Dimmett, 28, said he wanted to make it easier for Navy bomb technicians to order the equipment they need.

"To get my gear, I wound up going to about 30 different companies," Dimmett said. "No one caters to bomb techs."

Maybe someday, his Tech Supply Co. will.

Dimmett, a native of Marietta, Ga., enlisted in the Navy soon after graduating from high school. He was badly burned two years ago when a roadside bomb exploded. He was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio for treatment. He now lives in a nearby suburb with his wife and two children as he continues to receive care as an outpatient. He will likely receive a medical discharge soon but hopes to continue supporting the cause with his new business.

"I can't be a bomb tech anymore," he said. "But I want to see how else I can help out."

Castaneda echoed that sentiment. "There's more to supporting your troops than putting up a little decal," the 27-year-old said.

From 2003 until his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Baghdad in 2006, Castaneda served his country as a corporal in the Army.

He was sent to Germany for treatment and eventually to the Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas.

Castaneda continues outpatient treatment for a brain injury suffered in the blast, supporting his wife and three children with his disability payments. He said his business, Gaijin Global Artist Products, would allow him to support another cause close to his heart — helping veterans.

Castaneda volunteers at the Dallas VA hospital. "I'm a big believer in veterans helping veterans," he said. "I believe it's my responsibility to make sure other soldiers are OK.

"Soldiers do need a lot of help," he said. "There's not many people that stick up for soldiers."

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John McCain should be ashamed for lying

I am ashamed I have to write this about an American Senator and a fellow veteran. Especially an honored POW, but as LT General Gard explained a few days ago in this">diary by LT General Robert Gard he has abused his POW status.

Now he had broken the code of honor expected by an Officer, in the military we lived by a Code of Conduct and Officers are not supposed to lie, their word is their bond as an Officer and gentlemen. So this saddens me but it must be done. He has again slandered Senator Obama and I must call him on it.

Flummoxed By Vietnam Vet, McCain Falsely Claims He ‘Received Every Award From Every Vets Organization’»

MCCAIN: I’ve received every award from every major veteran’s organization in America. I received every organization in America their awards. ... The reason why I have a perfect voting record from organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and all the other veterans service organizations is because of my support of them. [...]

VETERAN: You do not have a perfect voting record by the DAV and the VFW. That’s where these votes were recorded. These votes were proposals by your colleagues in the Senate to increase health care of the VA in 2003, 4, 5, and 6 for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. And you voted against those proposals. [...]

MCCAIN: I’ve been endorsed in every election by every veterans organization that do that, I’ve been supported by them, and I’ve received their highest awards from all of those organizations. So I guess they don’t know something you know.

I suggest you go to the website and watch the video they have their, it is self explanatory">courtesy of Think Progress

Then in the debate about the new G.I. Bill this exchange on Think Progress from May 2008 shows the truth between Senator Mccains position then and what he is claiming now

From">Think Progress

This video from May 23, 2008 has Senator McCain questioning Senator Obama's judgement on veterans issue's, from my personal experience and checking the voting records of the 2 Senators, Senator Obama is head and shoulders above John McCain on veterans issue's his voting record is excellent and is supported by the Congressional record, while Senator McCains Congressional Record shows he disapproves of legislation that costs money for veterans issue's. (please click on the link and see the short video)

The Senator has taken the ability to lie to new heights, veterans trust other veterans when they say they are taking care of them, very few veterans would question a POW, a war hero, and never question that he was voting against them and their families. It is just unthinkable, he was an Officer, we were taught an Officers word was his bond, Officers did not lie, they are honor bound to tell the truth. You know those silly little three words Duty, Honor and Country?

They mean something to military and veterans, Senator McCain has tossed that trust and honor out of the window and NO veteran or active duty military should ever trust him again. He has been caught lying about his voting record on the benefits of veterans, there is nothing more despicable than that. Then to have the audacity to question Senator Obama's excellent record on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to help this nations veterans, and his votes on the Senate floor, Senator McCain you owe Senator Obama an apology and this nations veterans an apology and quit lying to them and start voting for them and the benefits they have earned.

Now we come to the recent lies about the new G.I. Bill

The G.I Bill squabble:

Here's what Obama said:

I respect sen. John McCain's service to our country. He is one of those heroes of which I speak. But I can't understand why he would line up behind the President in his opposition to this GI bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans. I could not disagree with him and the President more on this issue. There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them.

Here is part of Senator McCains response, you will have to go to this website to read the rest">this is McCains remarks about the GI Bill

"The most important difference between our two approaches is that Senator Webb offers veterans who served one enlistment the same benefits as those offered veterans who have re-enlisted several times. Our bill has a sliding scale that offers generous benefits to all veterans, but increases those benefits according to the veteran's length of service.

I think it is important to do that because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to leave the military after they have completed one enlistment. At a time when the United States military is fighting in two wars, and as we finally are beginning the long overdue and very urgent necessity of increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, one study estimates that Senator Webb's bill will reduce retention rates by 16%.

The problem with Senator Mccains statements on this issue, is that during the Vietnam War and we all got the old GI Bill benefits we served 3 years active duty and got full education benefits and officers who attended military Academies spent 6 years of active duty to repay the government for their 4 years of college and higher pay as officers.

The new GI Bill will also be used as a recruiting tool to encourage young people into the military to obtain the GI Bill benefits.

You decide who is blowing smoke.

As for the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars — with whom McCain claims to have a “perfect voting record” — both groups vigorously supported Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) GI Bill that McCain tirelessly opposed.

Later in the town hall, McCain admitted he does “not have a perfect voting record,” but then declared that questions about veterans issues were off limits: “I will be glad to debate a lot of things, but not that one,” McCain said.

You can read the comments">here or you can go to the VA">Obama and McCains veterans voting record see it for yourself and make your own mind up, no twisted words just your own lying eyes.

Senator McCain you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself, as a Senator, as a veteran and as a POW, you have used them all to advance your political career and have tarnished them all.

Sorry not a Joe Biden diary.......

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Military Update: VA care for ‘Priority 8’ veterans tied to reform

Military Update: VA care for ‘Priority 8’ veterans tied to reform
By Tom Philpot, Special to Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Saturday, August 23, 2008

Congress is moving to reopen the VA health care system to many more thousands of Priority Group 8 veterans – those who aren’t poor, at least by government standards, and have no service-related ailments.

Disabled American Veterans and some partner organizations support such a move but with two caveats, explained DAV representatives.

First, accepting new “Priority 8” enrollees should be gradual to protect access to care for service-disabled veterans and all other current enrollees.

Second, resumption of Group 8 enrollments, which were suspended in 2003, should not occur without reform of VA health care budgeting to ensure that VA health budgets, year after year, finally become “sufficient, timely and predictable,” said Joseph A. Violante, DAV’s legislative director.

Congress has refused to pass a law that would mandate full funding of VA health care based on number of enrollees. But Violante said DAV has joined with eight other veterans’ service organizations to back an alternative to mandatory funding that lawmakers are more likely to embrace.

With the House having voted this month for a 10 percent rise in Priority 8 enrollments starting Oct. 1, and with Democratic senators also supporting for such a move, DAV and its partners believe VA budgeting reform has a new urgency to protect enrolled veterans’ access to care.

The Veterans’ Health Care Budget Reform Act, to be introduced after lawmakers return from recess in September, has two parts. One would put VA health care under an “advance appropriation” schedule. If it were in effect already, Congress this year would be passing a VA health budget that would take effect in fiscal 2010, a year ahead of the current schedule.

The goal, said Violante, is to end a crippling pattern by lawmakers of failing to pass VA health budgets before the fiscal year begins Oct. 1. These budget delays, which last two to three months, force VA medical facilities to operate under “continuing resolutions” which freeze spending at previous year levels until a new appropriations bill finally is passed and signed.

A man who understands the effect of such delays on facilities and patients is Bob Perrault who served as director of VA medical centers in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Charleston before retiring from the Veterans Health Administration in 2004 as VHA’s chief business officer.

Every year he can remember, Perrault said, the budget year would begin without a budget which meant no money to keep pace with medical inflation or rising VA enrollments. Hospitals and clinics would see their inventories of drugs and other medical supplies fall.

“We’d stopped buying equipment. We’d stopped doing maintenance just to try to maintain [staff] as long as we could. But even then we’d reach a crucial point where we would have to freeze hiring though we needed the staff to treat increasing demands from patient populations,” Perrault said.

“We had clinics stacked up, backlogs in getting patients seen and big waiting lists. We were criticized for being poor administrators when the real issue was the budget,” Perrault said.

“VA right now,” Violante added later, “should have already hired the doctors, nurses and clinicians they need [for fiscal 2009] because medical and nursing schools graduate their students in May and June. They are out looking for jobs. But VA can’t do that because they don’t know when their budget is going to be in place. So it has that impact.”

Adopting an “advanced appropriations” process would restore timeliness and predictability to VA health care budgets, Violante said.

Part two of the reform package would seek to keep funding levels for VA health care sufficient. Until very recently, VA health budgets were sharply under funded, Violante said. Yet Congress declines to support a mandatory full funding law, arguing that it limits congressional prerogatives. It also is an expansion of VA entitlements which triggers a “pay-go” budget rule. That rule requires that any new entitlement spending either be offset by an entitlement reduction or paid for with tax increases.

What DAV and fellow organizations in the Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform now propose is that VA be directed to use a new actuarial model it has developed which very accurately can project the per capita cost of providing health care to its enrolled patient population.

The Partnership's proposal would require the Government Accountability Office to verify annually the accuracy of these VA health cost projections so everyone knows the cost of continuing to provide current services to enrolled beneficiaries. If the administration then were to seek a budget that fell short of covering those projected costs, the White House would have to explain why both to Congress and to veterans, and the political heat could be severe.

VA now won’t share what its actuarial model shows about proper funding of VA health care, said Peter Dickinson, a consultant to DAV and former professional staff member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

“It’s sort of behind the curtain, inside the black box. Instead they put forward a number that may or may not be based on that but also reflects other [spending] priorities” of the administration, Dickinson said.

Requiring an annual audit to force VA to reveal what health care spending must be to support full services to all VA patients would make it politically difficult to short these budgets in the future, Dickinson said.

“If we can get a budget process that’s a year in advance and based on numbers we can look at,” Dickinson said, the cost of re-opening enrollment to Group 8s veterans would be known and presumably fully funded.

If health budgeting isn’t reformed, and enrollment doors swing open, “we could be in danger of returning to the days of ‘03 and ’04 when more than 300,000 veterans waited six months or longer to get an appointment.”

To comment, e-mail, write to Military Update, P.O. Box 231111, Centreville, VA, 20120-1111 or visit:
Military Update: VA care for ‘Priority 8’ veterans tied to reform

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Mystery surrounds Medal of Honor recipient

Mystery surrounds Medal of Honor recipient

By DEBRA MAYEUX The Daily Times
Article Launched: 08/22/2008 02:02:20 AM MDT

FARMINGTON, N.M.—A name on a wall without military rank or recognition of honors—that is how Farmington recognizes its only Medal of Honor recipient.
Like many Vietnam veterans, Lance Cpl. Kenneth Worley was not honored with a parade or celebration upon the return of his body to the United States. It even took the U.S. military two years before awarding the medal to Worley, presenting it to his son and foster family.

"Worley died Aug. 12, 1968, in Bo Ban Hamlet, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam in a valiant act of heroism, (he) instantly threw himself upon the grenade nearest him and his comrades, absorbing with his body, the full and tremendous force of the explosion," his medal's citation states.

Worley, 20 at the time of his death, saved his fellow Marines, gallantly giving his life for his country, the citation added. He is one of 297 Marines and 3,467 service members to receive the medal since it was established during the Civil War. He is the only Marine from New Mexico to earn the award.

But who was Kenneth Worley? This Marine and his life remain shrouded in mystery.

Worley was born April 27, 1948, in Farmington. He was raised by a poor family, said Bruce Salisbury, an Aztec resident



who has spent the past five years investigating Worley.
"My sister, Ann, went to school with his sister," Salisbury said.

Worley's military record stated he graduated the eighth grade from Farmington Elementary School and moved for a short time to Truth or Consequences after being orphaned. It's not known what happened to his parents.

At 16, he moved to Modesto, Calif., where he lived with an aunt and worked as a trucker, hauling Christmas trees out of the mountains, according to a study on Worley's life completed by Terence W. Barrett, a doctor of psychology at North Dakota State University.

"I was doing a study of bravery when I came across Ken," Barrett said in a telephone interview. Barrett works with people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder. "The idea (of the study) was to have examples of actions that people take that are brave."

Barrett, finding little to no history on Worley, became intrigued by the young man.

"There was so little public information, and I wanted more than their citations. I wanted personal background," Barrett said.

He did research and was surprised to find that few, if any, people knew who Worley was. Residents here did not realize a Farmington native received the Medal of Honor.

"I found Worley Field and wondered if it was named after him," Barrett said.

He contacted the city's parks and recreation department, but there were no records as to when or how the park was named.

Local baseball historian Jim Clay said the field was named after an El Paso Natural Gas employee. It is not known if the Mr. Worley the field was named after was related to Kenneth Worley.

Barrett discovered there are 25,000 Worleys accounted for in the 1990 Census and no Worley has publicly claimed to be related to the Marine. No one seems to have any knowledge of his biological lineage, Barrett said.

Worley did have a foster mother and father, the late Don and Rose Feyerman, of Modesto, Calif.

At the time, Worley was not going to school and was living in a camper trailer with no running water, electricity or heat, Barrett said. The Feyermans liked Worley and considered him to be their ninth child.

In August 1967, Worley enlisted in the Marines. He trained at Camp Pendelton and was sent to Vietnam, arriving there Nov. 24, 1967, at the age of 19. He was a machine gunner and rifleman.

He died the following August, Barrett said. He saved five of his comrades when he threw his body on the grenade.

He was doing any number of things before his death that credit him with valor, Barrett said. Worley had four bronze campaign stars attached to his Vietnam Service Medal for other actions of bravery.

"There's nothing named after him (in Farmington), which is really unfortunate. Most Medal of Honor recipients have highways or buildings named in honor of them, but there was no public dedication made in honor of him," Barrett said.

Salisbury has worked on that for the past five years.

"All I want is for that kid who spent 16 years of his life here to be honored," Salisbury said. "My heart went out to Worley. ... I hope that after all of this comes out this kid will be recognized as somebody really important."

There is another Medal of Honor recipient from San Juan County.

U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class Jose Valdez was born in Gobernador. He received the medal posthumously for service in World War II. A 106-mile stretch of U.S. 64 from Tierra Amarilla to Bloomfield is named in his honor.

Mayor Bill Standley said he needed more information about Worley before pushing for a memorial.

"I don't feel I can do it, until I find out more information, and if he's got strong ties or roots (to the community)," Standley said.

There are memorials to him in California and Seattle, Barrett said. There is a Medal of Honor plaque on his grave at Westminster Memorial Gardens in Westminster, Calif.

There also is the Lance Cpl. Kenneth L. Worley Young Marine unit based in Bellflower, Calif., a nonprofit organization open to all children ages 8 to 18.

Worley's only recognition in Farmington is his engraved name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Salisbury's hope is to have a memorial statue dedicated to Worley that would be a bronze depicting Worley in his military uniform, looking down at one of the young Marines.

Maybe those young Marines will find that Farmington has a heart and it cares, Salisbury said.

It's time for New Mexico to honor this Medal of Honor awardee, he gave his life so others could live, I am sure they would like to see him honored by his hometown.

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Experiences similar, but views of war couldn’t be more different

Experiences similar, but views of war couldn’t be more different

Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Anthony Garcia sits outside his home on the outskirts of Albuquerque. Garcia, a 24-year Navy veteran, relieves some symptoms of his post-traumatic stress disorder out on his porch. “The best thing for me is sitting outside listening to the birds,” said Garcia, who retired as a chief petty officer. Garcia is now openly against the war.

By J. Patrick Coolican

Fri, Aug 22, 2008 (2 a.m.)

Leila Navidi

Iraq veteran Shawn Bryan served as a Marine in Al Anbar province in Iraq in 2005. Bryan owns a used car dealership and auto repair shop in Albuquerque and still supports the war.
In Today's Sun
Sun Expanded Coverage
Winning the West
Albuquerque — They are both warriors, and they fought in the same war. But as in some geopolitical “Rashomon,” the events in question look completely different through different eyes.

Shawn Bryan and Anthony Garcia, who both live in the Albuquerque area, served in the Iraq war, and saw some of the worst of it.

One is a peace activist who detests the war and those who conceived it.

The other believes the effort has been honorable and worth continuing.

Their stories:

Shawn Bryan could be on a magazine cover and has a life many young American men would dream to have. He proclaims true brotherhood with his fellow Marines. He owns several businesses. He’s married to a tall and striking former news anchor. He gets an audience with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, and occasionally — like this weekend — takes a fistful of dollars to Las Vegas to play roulette and party with the Maloof brothers, pals whose New Mexico roots go back more than century.

To protect this blessed life and the future of his five children, America must engage in wars, and lots of them, Bryan believes. And he’s willing to fight in them when called.

After the terrorist attacks in 2001, Bryan reactivated as a Marine. “I felt like I needed to be there for the guys.” He went to Iraq in 2005 and was in Al Anbar province, among the most violent in the country then. The casualties were relentless: “Things blew up every day for us.”

He has a tattoo on his arm commemorating fallen men and women, 48 in all from Third Battalion, 25th Marines. “We lost a lot of great guys. A lot of friends,” he said.

He earned a Purple Heart, but never disclosed it in the interview.

Bryan is helping raise money to build a war memorial in Albuquerque and is a leader of Vets for Freedom, a nationwide group of 27,000 veterans who oppose withdrawal from Iraq until absolute victory is achieved, defined as a free and stable Iraq.

He recently returned from about two weeks in Iraq, where he observed progress. “The changes I saw were astounding.” The increase in American troop levels has worked, he said.

“There’s a smell of success in the air.”

With added troops, he said, “When they ran out of the cities, we were waiting for them in the villages.”

Bryan said the media have failed to report on markets and schools opening, infrastructure being rebuilt.

He favors permanent military bases, with the kind of presence America has maintained in Europe and Japan since World War II. The United States would then be strategically well-positioned, able to project force in a region filled with enemies. “We’ve earned the right to have an installation there.”

America must now focus seriously on Afghanistan, he said.

“I say we make a parking lot out of the whole place. I say we level the place.” Give friendlies time to leave the country, and then begin carpet-bombing.

This may sound harsh, but it is consistent with Bryan’s world view and interpretation of American history: “One thing that’s guaranteed since our creation — we fight wars.”

As for critics of the war in Iraq, including those in the military who say the war is stretching U.S. military resources, he called them “whiners” and said he always questions these doubters and how genuine their motives are.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is real, he said. “There are nights when I wake up in the middle of the night and my wife has to have a chat with me.”

There are still problems in Iraq, he allowed. He compared the country to an abused child now in foster care, still adjusting to life without the abusive parent.

Bryan is in Las Vegas this weekend, celebrating his 38th birthday at the Palms, where he’ll take in a Poison and Dokken concert and party at Ghost Bar.


Anthony Garcia was a Navy corpsman attached to the Marines in the initial invasion of Iraq. On March 23, 2003, they encountered vicious resistance at Nasiriyah. In a now famous battle for a bridge in the northern part of the city, 18 Marines were killed.

“When we first saw death — I don’t know if you can fathom that kind of violence and trauma,” he said.

After that, he said, the Marines operated with a different set of rules as they speared toward Baghdad. “If you were in the way, you were gone,” he said.

Garcia also served in Afghanistan. He was in the Navy 24 years before leaving in 2004. He loves the military but hates this war and the government that is prosecuting it.

“They lied to us,” he said.

Garcia cited the failure to find weapons of mass destruction. He also said the mission had been to take out Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. “Well, we got Saddam,” he said, questioning the need to stay. Finally, he said, the notion of spreading democracy is a farce.

The real reason for the war, Garcia believes, is oil, and even more fundamentally, money.

“There are still people dying because of oil, man!”

The conflict in Iraq will continue as long as Americans are there because Iraqis will always resent the U.S. presence, he said.

He referred to Marine General Smedley Butler, a famous maverick of the early 20th century who wrote “War is a Racket” and said he had been little more than a mercenary for American corporate interests.

Moreover, Garcia said, he knows too many veterans who haven’t gotten help for lingering injuries or psychiatric illness.

Garcia knows about this subject intimately. He suffers from the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s hypervigilant, with his eyes on doors and windows. He suffers nightmares and rarely sleeps.

“I would give up everything in a heartbeat for a day of sanity,” he said.

His relationships became strained: “The people who suffer the most from PTSD are the people closest to you,” he said.

When he first started suffering the symptoms, he self-medicated, beginning his days with a handful of painkillers and some vodka.

Garcia is doing better now, though. He lives with his girlfriend in a house where urban Albuquerque runs into rural New Mexico. They have a garden, and chickens and horses roam, and his dog Malo’s tongue lolls about.

“The best thing for me is sitting outside, listening to the birds,” he said.

His son, who is in the Army, just returned from Iraq.

Garcia goes to high schools and speaks about what he’s seen.

He said what he longs for more than anything is money for outreach programs, so Veterans Affairs can help the many veterans he fears are suffering silently.

He said he hopes his activism will lead to a change in policy: “That’s the beauty of this country. It can change if enough people stand up.”

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Wife’s persistence helps save Private Ryan

Wife’s persistence helps save Private Ryan

By JODI RAVE - 08/22/08
As an active duty soldier, Ryan LeCompte spends most of his days sleeping at his home on the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota.

“He’s not the same kid who left,” said Orville “Red” Langdeau, a Lakota and uncle to the war-injured LeCompte. “He’s different. He came back damaged.”

LeCompte, who was an Army scout with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Carson, Colo., served two tours in Iraq before coming home physically and mentally wounded after participating in more than 160 combat missions.

He is now among the thousands of military men and women suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder after performing their military duties of war.

Since returning to their home units, soldiers like LeCompte have faced new dangers — dishonorable discharges and the loss of all military benefits. Mistreatment of Fort Carson soldiers, in particular, has been the subject of several federal investigations.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., is among a group of Congressmen and their staffs working to help soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. They have met with Tammie LeCompte, Ryan’s wife.

They’ve since been “pushing on the bureaucracy and the leadership at Fort Carson and the Pentagon to help the family,” said Shana Marchio, Bond’s communications director.

After LeCompte’s military commanders failed to acknowledge his war injuries, Tammie LeCompte picked up her own weapons — faith and perseverance.

“Tammie was the most instrumental person in making sure Ryan got the care he needed,” said Marchio.

“She’s really a fighter. She refused to give in and accept the poor treatment her husband was getting.”

In 2003, Ryan LeCompte completed his first tour in Iraq. But the Thunder Squadron soldier is no longer the “unstoppable force,” once praised by his commanders.

He sought medical attention within four months of returning to Fort Carson after his second tour in 2006.

Tammie LeCompte took up her husband’s battle once military commanders started to punish him for what they called misconduct, busting him down in rank from specialist to private.

In 2007, they started paperwork to discharge him from the Army. But his wife’s outspokenness made a difference.

On May 15, Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, commanding general at Fort Carson, signed a memorandum acknowledging Ryan’s diagnoses of “mental health problems due to a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder from two tours in Iraq.”

The general restored Ryan LeCompte’s rank to specialist, gave him back pay and agreed to remove the soldier’s Article 15 punishments from his military record.

The final step to his recovery will be full medical discharge, including all military benefits.

The LeCompte family is waiting for the Army to approve his medical discharge packet, in which the Veterans Administration is calling for 100 percent disability pay.

“I’m ready for things to stop, for them to make their decision, whatever it’s going to be, so we can move forward,” said Tammie LeCompte from the couple’s home in South Dakota, her voice tinged with weariness and exasperation.

Medical reports note her husband as “being extremely somnolent, falling asleep when not actively engaged.”

Encino, Calif., film producer Ronnie Clemmer described the LeComptes’ military saga as “precious cargo,” a narrative he aims to turn into a feature length film.

The story is filled with “steps and missteps, progress and regress, triumphs and failures,” he said. “Not giving up in the face of failure.”

He also assigned Tammie LeCompte a hero’s status for helping her husband, who is “unable to help himself at that moment. He’s a returning hero who is now incapacitated.”

Last December, Ryan LeCompte was admitted to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

A report from the four-month medical evaluation described a patient suffering from post-combat anxiety, depression and memory deficits — he was “near non-communicative” and “required constant attending for daily activities from his spouse.”

Maj. Christopher Lange of Walter Reed said a “prominent theme” and concern of the patient was his diminished role as father and husband. When doctors told him his war symptoms might contribute to his feelings of inadequacy, he cried.

He told the doctors: “Yes … but if I sleep, I don’t have to worry about yelling at them.”

The soldier was told if he continued to sleep, it would likely prevent him from connecting to his wife and kids.

He cried more.

“No matter … they do not have to get yelled at anymore,” he said.” target=”_blank”>Click here to read an earlier story about Ryan LeCompte.

SALUTE to the perserverance of Mrs. Lecompte

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Thursday, August 21, 2008



Especially in today's economy,

people are facing foreclosure, and I'm glad in this

case, we were able to prevent it."

Congressman John Hall (D-NY) and Rosemarie Greene, widow of World War II veteran Bud Greene.

Story here... http://www.midhudsonnew

Story below:


Hall aids WWII vet’s widow regain benefits

NEW WINDSOR - Rosemarie Greene lives at the end of a tree-lined driveway between routes 94 and 9w in New Windsor, and traffic noise does not ruin the tranquility that she and her late husband, Bud, enjoyed here for many years.

But when Bud, a WWII vet, died of pneumonia in February, Mrs. Greene lost his service-connected VA benefits, and she was in danger of losing her home.

“I was in free fall – and nothing was catching me,” she said.

And then she contacted Congressman John Hall, D-Dover Plains, and he helped restore those benefits. Hall, a freshman lawmaker who chairs a veteran’s house subcommittee, was able to restore those benefits, and he met with Greene at her home Wednesday with the paperwork granting those benefits, which are retroactive.

The VA made an error when they denied the benefits, claiming that he did not die of a service-connected injury, which was true. But he was disabled for more than 20 years with a service-connected injury – and she was in fact entitled to those benefits.

“During an obvious time of grief, when one loses one’s spouse, Rosemarie was forced to appeal the decision of the VA and contacted us for help,” said Hall, as Rosemarie and he sat crowded on her living room couch, facing a gaggle of television news cameras.

“Especially in today’s economy, people are facing foreclosure,” said Hall, “and I’m glad in this case, we were able to prevent it.”

Greene could have appealed and may have waited as long as two years to have her case heard.

“I was willing to wait, but they refused me,” she said. “It was very, very, frightening.”

But now Greene can stay in her house, still volunteer in the community and not be forced to move to Arizona or Kansas, where her sons live.

“I’m totally delighted that I can live here.”

Hall recently gained passage of a bill he sponsored in the House to bolster the VA claims process for disabled vets and their families. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the legislation would create a department within the VA for family survivors of those benefits and help ensure those families are not subjected to extended waiting while a claim is being filed when a vet dies during the process.

posted by Larry Scott
Founder and Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org


It is great to see an elected official go the distance for a constituent, especially when a government agency has made a decision that is going to cause financial hardship for a veterans family. The rule is that if a veteran has been service connected for at least 10 years it doesn not matter what was the cause of death the spouse is entitled to the DIC benefits, less than 10 years the cause of death must be a service related cause or the benefits end.

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Whistle Blower states VA Brain Trauma study fraught with VA fraud

Whistle Blower states VA Brain Trauma study fraught with VA fraud

Thanks to Larry Scott’s VA Watchdog and Dr. Robert Van Boven.

See fraud link at Larry’s site at:

This type of VA activity in this brain traumatic damage study is not atypical but typical of what our Veterans Administration gets away with. Congress has never punished anyone in VA for this type of fraudulent science that is supposed to help Veterans. If it were a pharmaceutical company folks would be charged with scientific misconduct intent on doing harm.

You can go back to mustard gas and the same type of behavior has been prevalent within VA, DoD, and Executive Branch Philosophy. To include of course the herbicide Veterans, the Gulf War Veterans, and all the other guinea pig usage of our Veterans denied until denial was no longer prudent.

Command influence, protocol violations, changing of medical outcomes before publishing, and as this case demonstrates totally useless medical information are all part of VA philosophy and tools used to deny or stall the medical data.

In comparison just think about how much time the Senate has spent on the eight federal prosecutor appointees how many millions of dollars spent with records of meeting subpoenaed and e-mails and on and on trying to find someone to punish for political reasons not death and disability that has been covered up for millions of Veterans.

Yet Congress in its entirety, not just the VAC’s, but Judiciary and Government Oversight just set back and yawn at what Veterans Affairs and its contractors are allowed to fraudulently present as facts paid for by taxpayer money.

Why congress cannot fix or even make an attempt to fix this FUBAR federal agency with some form of punishment for those who participate in these kinds of fraud is beyond my comprehension. It is difficult to understand why eight appointees are more important than the Veterans that keep this politicians able to even run for office and they do nothing or very little to correct this run amok agency that even the courts cannot challenge.

What to join the military and become a Veteran you better think about it first with this kind of treatment by your own government.

Changes are needed and now.


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VS changes rules on DR statements

I Wonder if Congress Knows About This VA Directive on Veterans Medical Records?

“VHA Directive 2007-024, dated September 11, 2007 restricts the VA physician to providing a descriptive statement in the medical record regarding the current status of the veteran’s existing medical condition, disease or injury, including prognosis and degree of function.”

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

White House missing as many as 225 days of e-mail

White House missing as many as 225 days of e-mail

The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2008; 4:09 PM

WASHINGTON -- The White House is missing as many as 225 days of e-mail dating back to 2003 and there is little if any likelihood a recovery effort will be completed by the time the Bush administration leaves office, according to an internal White House draft document obtained by The Associated Press.

The nine-page outline of the White House's e-mail problems invites companies to bid on a project to recover the missing electronic messages.

The work would be carried out through April 19, 2009, according to the Office of Administration request for contractors' proposals, which was dated June 20.

Last week, the White House declined to comment on the document.

On Wednesday, the White House refused to talk about internal White House contracting procedures, but said the information is "outdated and seriously inaccurate." It would not elaborate. The White House also declined to say whether it has hired a contractor for the work yet.

"With an eye on the clock, the White House continues to drag its feet and do everything possible to postpone public access to the records of this presidency," said Anne Weismann, chief counsel to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a private watchdog group.

The draft document outlines a process in which private contractors would attempt to retrieve lost e-mail from 35,000 disaster recovery backup tapes dating back to October 2003, a period covering such events as growing violence in Iraq, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the criminal probe into the disclosure that Valerie Plame had worked for the CIA.

The recovery project would not use backup tapes going back to March 2003, according to the draft document, even though an earlier White House assessment suggested e-mails were missing from that period as well.

Industry experts point out that relying on the backup system to ensure accurate retention, preservation and retrieval of all e-mails is problematic because it does not take into account deleted e-mails.

"A backup system isn't designed to be a 100 percent complete inventory of all e-mails," says William P. Lyons, chairman and chief executive of AXS-One, a provider of records compliance management solutions.

"It's designed to make a copy of data at a specific point-in-time," said Lyons. "Data is backed up on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as part of a disaster recovery strategy, to ensure to protect the organization from data loss."

The White House draft document says that the number of days of missing e-mail ranges from 25 to 225, a range that industry experts say would make it difficult to bid on a recovery project.

"Generally, when the scope of the work is expected to fluctuate by a factor of nearly ten, I can only take you so seriously," said Steve Schooner, co-director of the Government Procurement program at George Washington University.

"Contractors cannot accurately plan for or staff based on such an estimate," said Schooner.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill in February, the White House told Congress it was trying to determine how many e-mails were missing. An earlier analysis from 2005 estimated the number of days of missing e-mails at 473 over a period of 20 months.

While the higher number would appear to suggest the White House has found a large amount of previously missing e-mail, that may not necessarily be the case. Industry experts say it is unclear from the brief description in the draft document whether the missing-day measurements in that document and those in the earlier analysis can be compared.

"We will continue to work with members of Congress and the National Archives and will communicate the results of our accounting effort at an appropriate time," White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has said the White House's failure to properly archive e-mails violated the Presidential Records Act. The top lawyer for the National Archives has expressed disappointment the White House did not have a formal records management system in place.


The WAPO does not have their normal comment section on this article, I guess they knew the amount of negative comments would be in the hundreds, the White House can spy on every phone and computer in America, but they can't find 225 days of their own e mail hmmmmmmm call me cynical but all I can say is bullshit.

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Obama's new ad

Baracks new ad

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QTC Management is

headed by former VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi.

Current Secretary James Peake was top executive at firm.

Story below:


Yesterday we reported that the VA is going to outsource management of G.I. Bill benefits. That story here...
That move would cost VA jobs ... and cost the taxpayers a load of money. And, some private company would end up with a huge contract to perform the services already being done by VA employees.

Now, a number of sources in the VA have told me that one of the companies seeking this contract is QTC Management, Inc. This has been discussed in a number of management-level VA meetings.

QTC is headed by former VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi. Current VA Secretary James Peake was a top executive at QTC. I think you see where this all could lead.

QTC currently has a contract with the VA to perform Compensation & Pension (C&P) examinations. This contract could bring in over a billion dollars. QTC web site is here...

One source has told me that they feel the QTC / G.I. Bill contract is a done deal.

We'll have to wait and see on that.

But, if it happens, we will have to question the influence of former Secretary Principi and the integrity of current Secretary Peake.

More to come on this............

For more about QTC and Principi, use the VA Watchdog search engine ... click here ...

For more about QTC and Peake, use the VA Watchdog search engine ... click here ...

For more about QTC without the individual associations, use the VA Watchdog search engine ... click here ...


posted by Larry Scott
Founder and Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org


That large sucking sound you hear is QTC pulling more money out of your grand dhildrens future to administer the new G.I. Bill, they already have a renewable contract to do C&P exams on veterans that make claims to the Veteran Administration for medical problems related to military service, due to incomplete exams or full instructions from the VA Regional Office's some of these C&P exams have to be done over and over again, myself I just had my 5th C&P since 2003 on my cardiovascular problems that should be secondary to my 100% P&T service connected PTSD. They have used non cardiac doctors to write opinions, nurse practitioners, and doctors with other specialties other than cardiovascular backgrounds and these doctors refuse to even look at the VA Center for PTSD National Center for PTSD a VA owned and operated web site.

this simple search on their "PILOTS" system shows 37 research papers under the term "PTSD and cardiovascular" yet the South Carolina Regional Office and the C&P doctors from QTC keep stating there is no research that shows a relationship between PTSD and veterans with cardiovascular problems. Say what? Am I stupid or are they?PTSD and Cardiovascular problems.

Database PILOTS Database

Title A prospective study of PTSD and early-age heart disease mortality among Vietnam veterans: implications for surveillance and prevention

Author Boscarino, Joseph A

Affiliation Center for Health Research, Geisinger Clinic, Danville PA, USA ; Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York NY, USA

ISSN 0033-3174

Descriptors PTSD (DSM-III) Veterans Vietnam War Middle Aged Americans Cardiovascular Symptoms Epidemiology Mortality Depressive Disorders Comorbidity Alcohol Abuse Antisocial Personality Disorder Nicotine Abuse Obesity

New Search Using Marked Terms: Use AND to narrow Use OR to broaden
Add to Current Search: Use AND to narrow Use OR to broaden

Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine prospectively early-age heart disease (HD) among a national random sample of 4328 male Vietnam veterans, who did not have HD at baseline in 1985. Studies have suggested that PTSD may result in cardiovascular disease. However, many past studies had important methodological limitations to their designs.METHOD: Using Cox regressions, we assessed PTSD, age, race, intelligence, family history, obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, antisocial personality, and depression in predicting HD mortality at follow-up in December 31, 2000. The men were < 65 years old at follow-up. RESULTS: Using two PTSD measures, a DSM-III measure (D-PTSD) and one developed by Keane (K-PTSD), we found that among Vietnam theater and era veterans combined (era veterans had no Vietnam service), having PTSD was associated with HD mortality for D-PTSD (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.25, p = .045) and approached significance for K-PTSD (HR = 2.16, p = .066). However, having higher PTSD symptoms on either scale was associated with mortality, with a 5-point increase associated with approximately 20% increase in mortality risk (all p < .05). Controlling for lifetime depression only slightly altered the results. The effects for theater veterans alone were stronger (D-PTSD: HR = 2.58, p = .025; K-PTSD: HR = 2.73, p = .022). Among theater veterans, controlling for lifetime depression or combat exposure made little difference. CONCLUSION: PTSD was prospectively associated with HD mortality among veterans free of HD at baseline. This study suggests that early-age HD may be an outcome after military service among PTSD-positive veterans. [Author Abstract]

Resource Location

Notes A version of this paper was presented at the American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, March 2008.

Language English

Publication Year 2008

Publication Type Journl Article

Update 20080801

Accession Number 31053

Test and Measures Minnesota Code Manual of Electrocardiographic Findings ; NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule (Robins et al) ; PTSD Checklist (Kulka and Schlesinger) ; MMPI-PTSD Subscale (Keane et al)

Doctor Boscarino's PTSD and cardiovascular studies have been accepted by the Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA) for at least the past 3 years, and it also led Secretary Principi to make cardiovascular problems presumptive for all POWs. Yet, VA doctors and QTC doctors continue to claim there is no research available to show the nexus between PTSD and heart disease.

My claim was filed in November 2002 and is still currently on appeal, eventually I am going to find someone at the VA Regional Office or the BVA that can read.

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DAV and VFW both

reject concept of privatizing VA healthcare by issuing

a "VA Card" for veterans to use outside system.

Some thoughts below:

Be sure to use the VA Watchdog search engine to find out more about any topic of interest to veterans and to find archived articles ... click here ...


The push continues for a "VA Card" that veterans can use to get healthcare in the private sector.
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) wants to do it. Story here ...

Others have bought in to the idea, at least part of the way. That includes Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Story here ...

Presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants to do it and has been pushing the concept at veterans' conventions. Stories here ...

The two links above are stories about McCain at the 2008 DAV and VFW conventions. His "VA Card" proposal was met with what can only be described as indifference by the veterans, and something close to hostility by the brass of the service orgs.

But, McCain and others keep pushing.

And, the service orgs keep pushing back and saying it's a bad idea.

Both the DAV and VFW are to be congratulated for their strong stand on this issue. The DAV says, "Veterans are better served at VA." The VFW talks of "undermining the entire system."

It should be a no-brainer: Private healthcare costs more than VA healthcare. So why is this being pushed so hard?

We need to think like a reporter, who, when confronted with a story like this where there are two conflicting interests and lots of money is involved, asks the question:

"Who stands to profit?"

Not the veterans. Certainly not the VA who would lose employees and have to close facilities, which is another loss for veterans.

So, that leaves private healthcare providers.

Now you know "Who stands to profit?" from the "VA Card" concept.


posted by Larry Scott
Founder and Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org

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CONVENTION -- "...It's time to fully fund VA health care,

and...we need to get rid of means-testing -- every

veteran should be allowed into the VA system."

Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 109th National Convention, Tuesday, August 19, 2008, in Orlando, Florida. (photo: Joe Burbank)

Presidential Candidates information page is here ...

For more about Barack Obama, use the VA Watchdog search engine ... click here ...

Speech here...

Speech below:


Remarks of Senator Barack Obama—as prepared for delivery

VFW National Convention

August 19, 2008

Thank you, Commander Lisicki, for your leadership. Let me also acknowledge the leadership of Virginia Carman, the president of the VFW ladies auxiliary, as well as my friend Jim Webb who will be speaking here later today. Finally, let me thank all of the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America for inviting me back to this convention. It is a privilege to be among so many who have given so much for our country.

I stand before you today at a defining moment in our history. We are in the midst of two wars. The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large. Russia has invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia. Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. The next Commander-in-Chief is going to have to exercise the best possible judgment in getting us through these difficult times.

Yesterday, Senator McCain came before you. He is a man who has served this nation honorably, and he correctly stated that one of the chief criteria for the American people in this election is going to be who can exercise the best judgment as Commander in Chief. But instead of just offering policy answers, he turned to a typical laundry list of political attacks. He said that I have changed my position on Iraq when I have not. He said that I am for a path of “retreat and failure.” And he declared, “Behind all of these claims and positions by Senator Obama lies the ambition to be president” – suggesting, as he has so many times, that I put personal ambition before my country.

That is John McCain’s prerogative. He can run that kind of campaign, and – frankly – that’s how political campaigns have been run in recent years. But I believe the American people are better than that. I believe that this defining moment demands something more of us.

If we think that we can secure our country by just talking tough without acting tough and smart, then we will misunderstand this moment and miss its opportunities. If we think that we can use the same partisan playbook where we just challenge our opponent’s patriotism to win an election, then the American people will lose. The times are too serious for this kind of politics. The calamity left behind by the last eight years is too great. So let me begin by offering my judgment about what we’ve done, where we are, and where we need to go.

Six years ago, I stood up at a time when it was politically difficult to oppose going to war in Iraq, and argued that our first priority had to be finishing the fight against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Senator McCain was already turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, and he became a leading supporter of an invasion and occupation of a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and that – as despicable as Saddam Hussein was – posed no imminent threat to the American people. Two of the biggest beneficiaries of that decision were al Qaeda’s leadership, which no longer faced the pressure of America’s focused attention; and Iran, which has advanced its nuclear program, continued its support for terror, and increased its influence in Iraq and the region.

In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, I warned that war would fan the flames of extremism in the Middle East, create new centers of terrorism, and tie us down in a costly and open-ended occupation. Senator McCain predicted that we’d be greeted as liberators, and that the Iraqis would bear the cost of rebuilding through their bountiful oil revenues. For the good of our country, I wish he had been right, and I had been wrong. But that’s not what history shows.

Senator McCain now argues that despite these costly strategic errors, his judgment has been vindicated due to the results of the surge. Let me once again praise General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker – they are outstanding Americans. In Iraq, gains have been made in lowering the level of violence thanks to the outstanding efforts of our military, the increasing capability of Iraq’s Security Forces, the ceasefire of Shiite militias, and the decision taken by Sunni tribes to take the fight to al Qaeda. Those are the facts, and all Americans welcome them.

But understand what the essential argument was about. Before the surge, I argued that the long-term solution in Iraq is political – the Iraqi government must reconcile its differences and take responsibility for its future. That holds true today. We have lost over a thousand American lives and spent hundreds of billions of dollars since the surge began, but Iraq’s leaders still haven’t made hard compromises or substantial investments in rebuilding their country. Our military is badly overstretched – a fact that has surely been noted in capitals around the world. And while we pay a heavy price in Iraq – and Americans pay record prices at the pump – Iraq’s government is sitting on a $79 billion dollar budget surplus from windfall oil profits.

Let’s be clear: our troops have completed every mission they’ve been given. They have created the space for political reconciliation. Now it must be filled by an Iraqi government that reconciles its differences and spends its oil profits to meet the needs of its people. Iraqi inaction threatens the progress we’ve made and creates an opening for Iran and the “special groups” it supports. It’s time to press the Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. The best way to do that is a responsible redeployment of our combat brigades, carried out in close consultation with commanders on the ground. We can safely redeploy at a pace that removes our combat brigades in 16 months. That would be well into 2010 – seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, we’ll keep a residual force to target remnants of al Qaeda; to protect our service members and diplomats; and to train Iraq's Security Forces if the Iraqis make political progress.

Iraq’s democratically-elected Prime Minister has embraced this timeframe. Now it’s time to succeed in Iraq by turning Iraq over to its sovereign government. We should not keep sending our troops to fight tour after tour of duty while our military is overstretched. We should not keep spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while Americans struggle in a sluggish economy. Ending the war will allow us to invest in America, to strengthen our military, and to finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and the border region of Pakistan.

This is the central front in the war on terrorism. This is where the Taliban is gaining strength and launching new attacks, including one that just took the life of ten French soldiers. This is where Osama bin Laden and the same terrorists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans on our own soil are hiding and plotting seven years after 9/11. This is a war that we have to win. And as Commander-in-Chief, I will have no greater priority than taking out these terrorists who threaten America, and finishing the job against the Taliban.

For years, I have called for more resources and more troops to finish the fight in Afghanistan. With his overwhelming focus on Iraq, Senator McCain argued that we could just “muddle through” in Afghanistan, and only came around to supporting my call for more troops last month. Now, we need a policy of “more for more” – more from America and our NATO allies, and more from the Afghan government. That's why I've called for at least two additional U.S. combat brigades and an additional $1 billion in non-military assistance for Afghanistan, with a demand for more action from the Afghan government to take on corruption and counternarcotics, and to improve the lives of the Afghan people.

We must also recognize that we cannot succeed in Afghanistan or secure America as long as there is a terrorist safe-haven in northwest Pakistan. A year ago, I said that we must take action against bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights and Pakistan cannot or will not act. Senator McCain criticized me and claimed that I was for “bombing our ally.” So for all of his talk about following Osama bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, Senator McCain refused to join my call to take out bin Laden across the Afghan border. Instead, he spent years backing a dictator in Pakistan who failed to serve the interests of his own people.

I argued for years that we need to move from a “Musharraf policy” to a “Pakistan policy.” We must move beyond an alliance built on mere convenience or a relationship with one man. Now, with President Musharraf’s resignation, we have the opportunity to do just that. That’s why I’ve cosponsored a bill to triple non-military aid to the Pakistani people, while ensuring that the military assistance we do provide is used to take the fight to the Taliban and al Qaeda in the tribal regions of Pakistan.

Today, our attention is also on the Republic of Georgia, and Senator McCain and I both strongly support the people of Georgia and the Americans delivering humanitarian aid. There is no possible justification for Russia’s actions. Russian troops have yet to begin the withdrawal required by the cease-fire signed by their president, and we are hearing reports of Russian atrocities: burning wheat fields, brutal killing, and the destruction of Georgia’s infrastructure and military assets.

This crisis underscores the need for engaged U.S. leadership in the world. We failed to head off this conflict and lost leverage in our ability to contain it because our leaders have been distracted, our resources overstretched, and our alliances frayed. American leadership means getting engaged earlier to shape events so that we’re not merely responding to them. That’s why I’m committed to renewing our leadership and rebuilding our alliances as President of the United States.

For months, I have called for active international engagement to resolve the disputes over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. I made it crystal clear before, at the beginning of, and during this conflict that Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected, and that Georgia should be integrated into transatlantic institutions. I have condemned Russian aggression, and today I reiterate my demand that Russia abide by the cease-fire. Russia must know that its actions will have consequences. They will imperil the Civil Nuclear Agreement, and Russia’s standing in the international community – including the NATO-Russia Council, and Russia’s desire to participate in organizations like the WTO and the OECD. Finally, we must help Georgia rebuild what has been destroyed. That is why I’m proud to join my friend, Senator Joe Biden, in calling for an additional $1 billion in reconstruction assistance for the people of Georgia.

These are the judgments I’ve made and the policies that we have to debate, because we do have differences in this election. But one of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can’t disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.

Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country. I love America, so do you, and so does John McCain. When I look out at this audience, I see people of different political views. You are Democrats and Republicans and Independents. But you all served together, and fought together, and bled together under the same proud flag. You did not serve a Red America or a Blue America – you served the United States of America.

So let’s have a serious debate, and let’s debate our disagreements on the merits of policy – not personal attacks. And no matter how heated it gets or what kind of campaign he chooses to run, I will honor Senator McCain’s service, just like I honor the service of every veteran in this room, and every American who has worn the uniform of the United States.

One of those Americans was my grandfather, Stanley Dunham.

My father left when I was 2, so my grandfather was the man who helped raise me. He grew up in El Dorado, Kansas – a town too small to warrant boldface on a road map. He worked on oil rigs and drifted from town to town during the Depression. Then he met my grandmother and enlisted after Pearl Harbor. He would go on to march across Europe in Patton’s Army, while my great uncle fought with the 89th Infantry Division to liberate Buchenwald, my grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, and my mother was born at Fort Leavenworth. After my grandfather left the Army, he went to college on the GI Bill, bought his home with help from the Federal Housing Authority, and he and my grandmother moved west in a restless pursuit of their dreams.

They were among the men and women of our Greatest Generation. They came from ordinary places, and went on to do extraordinary things. They survived a Depression and faced down fascism. And when the guns fell silent, America stood by them, because they had a government that didn’t just ask them to win a war – it helped them to live their dreams in peace, and to become the backbone of the largest middle class that the world has ever known. In the five years after World War II, the GI Bill helped 15 million veterans get an education. Two million went to college. Millions more learned a trade in factories or on farms. Four million veterans received help in buying a home, leading to the biggest home construction boom in our history.

And these veterans didn’t just receive a hand from Washington – they did their part to lift up America, just as they’d done their duty in defending it. They became teachers and doctors, cops and firefighters who were the foundation of our communities. They became the innovators and small business owners who helped drive the American economy. They became the scientists and engineers who helped us win the space race against the Soviets. They won a Cold War, and left a legacy to their children and grandchildren who reached new horizons of opportunity.

I am a part of that legacy. Without it, I would not be standing on this stage today. And as President, I will do everything that I can to keep the promise, to advance the American Dream for all our veterans, and to enlist them in the cause of building a stronger America.

Our young men and women in uniform have proven that they are the equal of the Greatest Generation on the battlefield. Now, we must ensure that our brave troops serving abroad today become the backbone of our middle class at home tomorrow. Those who fight to defend America abroad must have the chance to live their dreams at home – through education and their ability to make a good living; through affordable health care; and through a retirement that is dignified and secure. That is the promise that we must keep with all who serve.

It starts with those who choose to remain in uniform, as well as their families. My wife Michelle has net with military families in North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia over the last several months. Every time, she passes on their stories – stories of lives filled with patriotism and purpose, but also stories of spouses struggling to pay the bills, kids dealing with an absent parent, and the unique burden of multiple deployments. The message that Michelle has heard is what you all know and have lived: when a loved one is deployed, the whole family goes to war.

The VFW has done an extraordinary job of standing by our military families – helping out with everything from a phone card for a soldier who is overseas, to an extra hand around the house. As President, I will stand with you. We need a Military Families Advisory Board to identify new ways to ease the burden. We need more official support for the volunteer networks that help military spouses get by. And we need to make sure that military pay does not lag behind the private sector, so that those who serve can raise their families and live the life they’ve earned.

For those who return to civilian life, I will support their American Dream in this 21st century just as we supported generations of veterans in the 20th. That starts with education. Everyone who serves this country should have the same opportunity that my grandfather had under the GI Bill. That’s why, unlike my opponent, I was a strong and early supporter of Jim Webb’s GI Bill for the 21st Century – a bill that Senator McCain called too generous. At a time when the skyrocketing cost of tuition is pricing thousands of Americans out of a college education, this bill provides every veteran with a real chance to afford a world-class college education. And that’s what I’ll continue to stand up for as President.

We must also stand up for affordable health care for every single veteran. That's why I've pledged to build a 21st century VA. We need to cut through the red tape – every service-member should get electronic copies of medical and service records upon discharge. We need to close shortfalls – it’s time to fully fund VA health care, and to add more Vet Centers. We need to get rid of means-testing - every veteran should be allowed into the VA system. My opponent takes a different view. He wants to ration care so the VA only serves combat injuries, while everyone else gets an insurance card. While the VA needs some real reform to better serve those who have worn the uniform, privatization is just not the answer. We cannot risk our veterans’ health care by turning the VA into just another health insurer. We need to make sure the VA is strong enough to treat every veteran who depends on it. That’s what I’ll do as President.

And we must expand and enhance our ability to identify and treat PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury at all levels: from enlistment, to deployment, to civilian life. No one should suffer in silence, or slip through the cracks in the system. That's why I've passed measures to increase screening for these unseen wounds, and helped lead a bipartisan effort to stop the unfair practice of kicking out troops who suffer from them. This is something I’ve fought for in the Senate, and it’s something that I’ll make a priority as President.

Economic security for our veterans also depends on revamping an overburdened benefits system. I congratulate the VFW for what you’ve done to help veterans navigate a broken VBA bureaucracy. Now it’s time for the government to do a better job. We need more workers, and a 21st century electronic system that is fully linked up to military records and the VA’s health network. It’s time to ensure that those who’ve served get the benefits that they’ve earned.

Just as we give veterans the support they deserve, we must also engage them and all Americans in a new cause: renewing America. I am running for President because I believe that there is no challenge too great for the American people to meet if they are called upon to come together. In America, each of us is free to seek our dreams, but we must also serve a common purpose, a higher purpose. No one embodies that commitment like a veteran.

Just think of the skills that our troops have developed through their service. They have not simply waged war in Afghanistan and Iraq – they have rebuilt infrastructure, supported new agriculture, trained police forces, and developed health care systems. For those leaving military service, it’s time to apply those skills to our great national challenges here at home.

That means expanding programs like Troops-to-Teachers that put veterans at the front of the classroom. That means tapping the talent of engineers who’ve served as we make a substantial investment to rebuild our infrastructure and create millions of new jobs. That means dramatically expanding national service programs to give Americans of all ages, skills and stations the chance to give back to their communities and their country. I’ll also enlist veterans in forging a new American energy economy. That’s why I’ve proposed a Green Veterans initiative to give our veterans the training they need to succeed in the Green Jobs of the future – so that they put themselves on a pathway to a successful career, while ensuring that our national security is never held hostage to hostile nations.

This is how we can help our veterans live their dreams while helping our country meet the challenges of the 21st century. And this is what we have learned from so many generations of veterans, including those of you here today – that your contribution to the American story does not end when the uniform comes off. We need those who serve in our military to live their dreams – and to continue serving the cause of America – when the guns fall silent. That’s what the VFW stands for, and if I have the honor of being your President, that’s what my Administration will work for every single day. Because I believe that we have a sacred trust with those who serve in our military. That trust is simple: America will be there for you just as you have been there for America. It’s a trust that begins at enlistment, and it never ends.

I thought of that trust last week when I visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial. I saw where the bombs fell on the USS Arizona, and where a war began that would reshape the world order while reshaping the lives of all who served in it – from our great generals and admirals, to the enlisted men like my grandfather. Then I visited his grave at the Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

I still remember the day that we laid my grandfather to rest. In a cemetery lined with the graves of Americans who have sacrificed for our country, we heard the solemn notes of Taps and the crack of guns fired in salute; we watched as a folded flag was handed to my grandmother and my grandfather was laid to rest. It was a nation's final act of service and gratitude to Stanley Dunham - an America that stood by my grandfather when he took off the uniform, and never left his side.

This is what we owe our troops and our veterans. Because in every note of Taps and in every folded flag, we hear and see an unwavering belief in the idea of America. The idea that no matter where you come from, or what you look like, or who your parents are, this is a place where anything is possible; where anyone can make it; where we look out for each other, and take care of each other; where we rise and fall as one nation - as one people. It's an idea that's worth fighting for - an idea for which so many Americans have given that last full measure of devotion. Now it falls to us to advance that idea just as so many generations have before.

posted by Larry Scott
Founder and Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org

Senator Obama's remarks to the VFW on 19 August 2008

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my "electoral map" for November

<p><strong>><a href=''>2008 Election Contest: Pick Your President</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election and enter to win a $500 prize.</p>

This is from the Washington Post Contest

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

VA Hospitals Investigation
Disability Rights Advocates has been conducting an investigation into VA hospital access.

While their investigation is being targeted on the Veterans Care issue with the below recent report we can see that the Military Care issue, i.e. Walter Reed and More, is still having the same problems that finally came forward through great investigative reporting and shouldn't have existed nor still exist as to care for the returning active duty Military Personal especially from these theaters of occupations.

Mold infests Okla. barracks for wounded

LAWTON, Okla. — Mold infests the barracks that were set up here a year ago for wounded soldiers after poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center triggered a system wide overhaul, soldiers say.

Military and Veterans Care were a major issue for us returning Vietnam Veterans, a Major Issue!

While things improved, through the fights for change that the veterans brought to the Veterans Administration they've never changed enough for those who sacrifice their years and lives for service to the country. And far to often those changes have slipped back into the problems that existed before and the need to fight for the improvements is once again waged, over and over and over................., as we Veterans are finding we are Re-Fighting the battles once again for another generation of Military Personal and Military Veteran, with the help of caring civilians, caring civilians who's numbers are way to small in a society that owes much more to those who serve it for it's National Security.

When this country supposedly switched to a Professional Military many thought every facet would be Professional, especially as to care, we're once again finding a failed system, a failed system lacking the funding and administration that still stays a political tool of party politics and apathy of the civilian population.

In these present times All of this should have been set into place, starting to upgrade the Military and Veterans hospitals and clinics, well before Any Invasion of anothers country, and we have two long running occupations, was started, by the Previous Congresses who were beating the Drums Of War, and the Civilian Population should have Sacrificed and Supported these upgrades as they were Supporting the coming Invasions and occupations.

The problems Finally coming to light in the present Congress, that are Finally conducting the Investigations and Over site, we hire our representatives to do, are once again being shown as they were before, Failed Civilian and Military Leadership playing the same Political Games with those who serve this country and the country not willing to support the military personal and demand these problems are correctly fixed. They are coming about due to the Privatizing of the 'Preventive Maintenance', once taken care of with the ranks of the military, but now farmed out to private firms for profit, many publicly owned. They are happening because of the Political Appointed leadership and hiring of political personal in the administrations under them, not being hired due to knowledge of how to administer the government programs but on political ideology.

If still active duty and under the military physical and mental care, especially from either theater of occupation, and find problems with or difficulties in yours and others care, and your chain of command doesn't seem to be taking care of these problems, you should also contact DRA to help in their investigation, the above report shows the need!

This Country Owes It's Military and Veterans of!

Now to the battle, Again, and the DRA information:

As background, DRA is one of the two law firms that challenged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) practices in failing to adequately treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and we also have a longstanding interest hospital access for individuals with disabilities. We have brought and successfully settled several lawsuits addressing hospital access, including an action against Kaiser and one against Sutter Health, which runs a large hospital chain in Northern California. We are also working on hospital access issues in other parts of the country. Now, Disability Rights Advocates is conducting an investigation of whether or not VA hospitals and clinics are accessible to patients with physical disabilities, specifically those who use a wheelchair or have other mobility limitations, and those who are blind or deaf. We would like to hear from disabled veterans who use VA hospitals and clinics about their experiences at these facilities.

We have come up with a list of the features that are part of this investigation. This list will provide veterans with more information about us and what we are looking for. We are asking for your help by posting this flier on your website and distributing it to your membership.

Please post and email as you see fit, and feel free to encourage others to forward the notice as they think appropriate.

I'm happy to discuss the investigation in greater detail with you or anyone else, both to clarify any questions and to discuss potential additional involvement. You can reach either me or Melissa at the number below. We really appreciate your help.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with our outreach.


Stephanie A. Biedermann

Arthur Liman Fellowship Attorney

Disability Rights Advocates
2001 Center Street, Third Floor
Berkeley, California 94704-1204
510.665.8716 (TTY)
510.665.8511 (Fax)
Stephanie A. Biedermann

The following is the most recent file that I recieved from DRA and Stephanie and Melissa.


What: Disability Rights Advocates is conducting an investigation into the accessibility of VA hospitals and clinics around the country.

Who: If you have a mobility disability, a vision disability, a hearing disability, and/or a Traumatic Brain Injury, we would like to hear about your experiences.

Why: You are entitled to full access to VA hospitals and clinics and reasonable accommodations, whether or not your disability is service connected. We want to make sure that you are able to access VA medical facilities and services.

Architectural Barriers: Can you access VA hospitals and clinics? This includes all physical access to buildings, including entrances, parking lots, elevators, restrooms, waiting rooms, exam or treatment rooms, laboratories and pharmacies.

Access to Medical Equipment: Can you independently access medical equipment? This includes exam tables, exam chairs, scales, diagnostic testing equipment (such as x-ray machines, MRI machines, CT scans or Pet Scans), rehabilitation equipment, and other diagnostic treatment devices.

Experiences with the Staff: Have the people staffing VA hospitals and clinics been able to respond to your needs as a person with a disability? This includes information about whether the staff was knowledgeable and helpful in responding to any obstacles you may have faced due to your disability, whether architectural, communication related, or otherwise.

To set up at time to talk about your experiences at VA hospitals and/or clinics, please email VA Access, or call toll-free at 800/332-6177 (or TTY at 510/665-8716). None of the information you provide us will be disclosed without your permission.

DRA is one of the two law firms that is challenging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) practices in failing to adequately treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and we also have a longstanding interest in ensuring disabled individuals’ equal access to medical care. For more information about DRA, please visit DRA Legal.

I have uploaded the files I've received from DRA to an online file sharing site, you will find the links to each below. You can download these files to your computers and use them yourself or to pass along to others who might aid in DRA's research and investigation.

This link will give you the most recent file, posted above in the quote box.

This link gives you a PDFile previously received and passed along

This link gives you a RTFile also previously received and passed along

Please use the files above to help in the DRA research and investigation, not only meant for Veterans and Military personal, and their families, but also in seeking the help of the civilian population who may observe problems that Disabled Veterans and Military personal might be experiencing in their care that the country owes them.

Improving Military and Veterans care, as it should have always been, will help in the Improvements needed in the countries population as a whole and care of!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

I call Cow paddies on Senator McCain on Veteran issues & Poll

Today the presumptive nominee for the Republican party addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention and expounded on his deceptive assertions against Senator Obama, then he took it a step further he lied about his committment to this nations veterans, especially the disabled in service while in uniform.

Short of giving their life, these men and women have paid as much of a price as a citizen can be asked to give to their nation. I wrote Senator McCain for help with my problems with the Veterans Administration about 3 years ago, he told me there was nothing he could do, as I was not from Arizona, excuse me I am an American veteran, I served the US Army not the Arizona National Guard, he is a US Senator, and now he wants to be the American President. He should be accountable to all of this nations citizens.

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long.
Today the presumptive nominee for the Republican party addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention and expounded on his deceptive assertions against Senator Obama, then he took it a step further he lied about his committment to this nations veterans, especially the disabled in service while in uniform.

Short of giving their life, these men and women have paid as much of a price as a citizen can be asked to give to their nation. I wrote Senator McCain for help with my problems with the Veterans Administration about 3 years ago, he told me there was nothing he could do, as I was not from Arizona, excuse me I am an American veteran, I served the US Army not the Arizona National Guard, he is a US Senator, and now he wants to be the American President. He should be accountable to all of this nations citizens.

In todays address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Senator McCain made several statements I took umbrage with.

here are the transcripts of his remarks

Through decades of struggle, free nations prevailed over tyranny in large measure because of the sacrifices of the men and women of the United States armed forces. And it will fall to the next commander in chief to make good on the obligation our government accepts every time any man or woman enters the military, and again when they receive their DD 214. Those we depend on as troops should know, when they become veterans, that they can depend on us. Honoring this obligation will require leadership. And I pledge to you that as president I will lead -- from the front -- to reform our VA system and make sure that veterans receive the respect and care they have earned.

The Walter Reed scandal was a disgrace unworthy of this nation -- and I intend to make sure that nothing like it is ever repeated. There are other problems as well that have not received as much media attention. And my administration will do the hard and necessary work of fixing them, even when the press and the public are not watching.

Reform begins with appointing a Secretary of Veterans Affairs who is a leader of the highest caliber, and who listens to veterans and veterans' service organizations. My VA secretary must be a forceful advocate for veterans and forthright advisor to me, so we can make the right choices about budgeting, health care, and other veterans' benefit issues. He or she will also need to be a high-energy leader, too, because we'll have a lot of work to do in improving service to veterans.

Veterans must be treated fairly and expeditiously as they seek compensation for disability or illness. We owe them compassion and hands-on care in their transition to civilian life. We owe them training, rehabilitation, and education. We owe their families, parents and caregivers our concern and support. Veterans should never be deprived of quality medical care and mental health care coverage for illness or injury incurred as a result of their service to our country.

As president, I will do all that is in my power to ensure that those who serve today, and those who have served in the past, have access to the highest quality health, mental health and rehabilitative care in the world. And I will not accept a situation in which veterans are denied access to care on account of travel distances, backlogs of appointments, and years of pending disability evaluation and claims. We should no longer tolerate requiring veterans to make an appointment to stand in one line for a ticket to stand in another.

I'm not here to tell you that there is a cost that is too high to be paid in the care of our nation's veterans. I will make sure that Congress funds the VA health care budget in a sufficient, timely, and predictable manner. But I will say that every increase in funding must be matched by increases in accountability, both at the VA and in Congress. And this requires an end to certain practices and abuses that serve neither our veterans, our country, nor the reputation of Congress itself.

Senator McCain was given the data that of the 7120 men used at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland in the Cold War human experiments using chemical weapons, biological weapons and drugs have a 40% death rate and a disability rate of 54% of the 4022 survivors which combine for a 75% death and disability rate, and was given copies of the medical studies that show that there are links to the exposures of the weapons and the veterans illnesses, the Jan 1994 NIH Report Toxicity of the Organophosphate Chemical Warfare Agents GA, GB, and VX: Implications for Public Protection and the thirty year study of Wermacht soldiers used in WW2 Germanys, chemical weapons program and the health problems they incurred Delayed Toxic Effects of

known medical problems which the VA and DOD refuse to recognize for the 7120 American soldiers used in the Cold War experiments at Edgewood Arsenal from 1955 thru 1975.

To conclude this section, the closing observations from Spiegelberg’s monograph
will be cited (these remarks do not refer exclusively to organophosphorus
CW agents) [2]:
A psychiatric delayed-effect syndrome was found as a result of systematic investigations
on former members of CW production and testing stations for the Wehrmacht. In
terms of frequency, two groups of symptoms can be distinguished–each consisting of
four separate symptoms or signs.
(1) The great majority of persons examined showed:
(a) persistently lowered vitality accompanied by marked diminution in drive;
(b) defective autonomic regulation leading to cephalalgia, gastrointestinal and
cardiovascular symptoms, and premature decline in libido and potency;
(c) intolerance symptoms (alcohol, nicotine, medicines);
(d) impression of premature aging.
(2) Further, one or more symptoms of the second group were found:
(a) depressive or subdepressive disorders of vital functions;
(b) cerebral vegetative (syncopal) attacks;
(c) slight or moderate amnestic and demential defects;
(d) slight organoneurological defects (predominantly microsymptoms and singular
signs of extrapyramidal character).
Our results are a contribution to the general question of psychopathological delayed
and permanent lesions caused by industrial poisoning. On the basis of our studies of
the etiologically different manifestations of toxication, the possibility of a relatively
uniform–though equally unspecific–cerebro-organic delayed effect syndrome is conceivable.

So for Senator McCain to proclaim he supports veterans for medical problems caused by their military service is Bullshit. He has seperated himself from this problem and ignores like it doesn't exist, how does this show support for his fellow veterans?

More of Senator McCains quotes from todays speech:

I suppose from my opponent's vantage point, veterans concerns are just one more issue to be spun or worked to advantage. This would explain why he has also taken liberties with my position on the GI Bill. In its initial version, that bill failed to address the number one education request that I've heard from career service members and their families -- the freedom to transfer their benefits to a spouse or a child. The bill also did nothing to retain the young officer and enlisted leaders who form the backbone of our all-volunteer force.

As a political proposition, it would have much easier for me to have just signed on to what I considered flawed legislation. But the people of Arizona, and of all America, expect more from their representatives than that, and instead I sought a better bill. I'm proud to say that the result is a law that better serves our military, better serves military families, and better serves the interests of our country.

No one who has worn the uniform of his or her country can ever take these matters lightly. We all learned an ethic in the service of looking after one another, of leaving no one behind, and this commitment did not end when we left the service. As a matter of duty and of honor, whatever our commitments to veterans cost, if I am president those commitments will be kept.

Unlike Senator McCain, Senator Obama is not spinning veterans issues to adavance his campaign, I have spent the last few years watching Senator Obama do his work and his homework in the Veterans Affairs Committee and push for the veterans beenfits to be increased and to make the then majority party Republicans do the right thing and stop the immoral review of the PTSD claims awards that were causing disabled veteransd to committ suicide from the stress.

Senator Obama, like Senator Patty Murray and Senator Bernie Sanders actually has the veterans best interests at heart, not a political position, he has shown thru his deeds that he is for the veterans and their families, and has the voting record to match it on veterans issues, he ranks above 80% on all votes for veterans issues, where Senator McCain has a career average of less than 30% voting for veterans issues.

Yet Senator McCain dares to claim that the veterans service organizations support him for President, BS, by law they can not endorse anyone due to their Congressional charters as non-partisian veterans service organizations, and if they did take a vote among their members based on the Senators voting records for veterans and their families, I don't see how Senator McCain could win that election versus Senator Barack Obama.

By the way I saw today where military member overseas support Obama over McCain by 6-1. So much for the solid republican vote.

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