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  • 'Veterans for Welfare'

    From the comments on the so called Webb GI Bill:

    I am an active duty military officer with multiple Iraq deployments and continuing an active duty career.

    It is time for veterans to be intellectually and philosophically honest and oppose this new brand of federal welfare sweeping through Congress in the name of patriotism and “serving those who have served” and all the other platitudes that are greasing the skids of the rapidly expanding welfare state. The left, intentionally or not, is scoring a huge government expansion win by targeting traditionally conservative, limited-government constituencies, with the federal largess.

    When do the expansive benefits of the military become the modern equivalent of the Quartering Act of 1765? Perhaps it is time to take a liberal weapon — the expansive and malleable interpretation of the Constitution — and launch some Third Amendment challenges to the bloated veteran and military benefit programs out there.

    As a mid-career junior officer, I was paid the taxable equivalent of more than $169,000 last year (about the same as a Congressman). Enlistment goals remain consistently met in excess of 100%. But we keep expanding pay and benefits and finance our bloated bureaucracy by borrowing from Red China.

    I canceled my VFW lifetime membership, because I now see that organization is “Veterans For Welfare”.

    Stop the expansion of the federal welfare state, stop the federal dollar domination of the academy that is fueling sky-rocketing tuitions.

    Let me tell you a dirty little secret. This is note the “next greatest generation”. After years of warfare, wee are still barely scratching mere hours of World War II combat casualties.

    Be honest. Starting with yourself.

    - Publius, Washington D.C.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to 'Veterans for Welfare'

    1. Ed Smithe, Virginia says:

      With all due respect to Publius, I watched a good friend of my family's, a veteran in the care of the VA, completely neglected (in the VA retirement facility next to Catholic University) to the point where he was eventually placed in the care of the Washington DC VA medical center and died within a week (3 months overall in the retirement system).

      There was one episode in particular that continues to stick in my mind, where my wife and I went to visit him in the retirement facility and found him confused, disoriented and covered in his own excrement (it had obviously been a number of hours if not a day that he was in this state). When we tried to muster a nurse to help him, it took nearly 30 minutes before someone showed up and pleaded that they had no idea that this man needed help (despite his roommate having complained about it hours earlier).

      This individual, before he entered the VA retirement system was of sound mind and good health. Indeed, just months prior, he had been flown to the Pentagon to participate in a briefing on a matter that he would not divulge for national security reasons. In other words, it wasn't old age that did this to him. And after seeing the way in which the nurse(s) reacted to the above episode (brushing it off), there is not a doubt in my mind that they did not take care of this man. Welfare indeed.

      While I accept Publius's argument (to a degree) that the VA system is a disaster, what I do not accept is that the perception that veterans are properly cared for in this country. When one considers the horror stories about our returning veterans of the Iraq war (especially with respect to mental health) it is unbelievable to me that Publius can't find a moment in his rather brave statement to draw attention to the reality that there are some vets out there that still need help. Granted, the system is broken…but let's at least try to fix it in such a way that it takes care of those that have sacrificed so much for our nation.

      The other day I commented on a post that the Heritage Foundation wrote about President Obama and his plans to dramatically alter the "Faith Based Initiatives Program." I'm glad to see that Heritage chooses to use its donors money in advancing the principle of welfare, or even defending its static Iraq position (all is well)–yet when it comes to Veterans, they are apparently left to defend themselves against fellow veterans that have fortunately been spared some of the more acute horrors of war.

      If this is the new face of conservatism, it is no wonder that we've lost the Congress and have decided on John McCain as our standard-bearer.

    2. St. Louis, MO says:

      Publius,

      Rather than attacking veterans and their benefits because you feel it's a drag on the system, why don't you write about the billions being wasted in Iraq. If we were getting something back, that would be one thing but we're not. And, it's NOT about protecing our shores, that's BS. And by the by, where is nation building in the Constitution?

      Junior officer? Let me guess, you are a logistics or intel puke, right? In the rear with the gear. That's good, keep waving your flag and let the soldiers do the fighting.

    3. Bill Teveri, Arlingt says:

      As a Vietnam era veteran who worked for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and who now represents veterans in their claims I must first write that Mr. "Publius" doesn't even have the guts to provide his real name with his diatribe. This isn't surprising for someone who would write something obviously meant to be derogatory to veterans, but which makes no sense whatsoever. Isn't a "mid-career junior officer … paid the taxable equivalent of more than $169,000" last year just the least bit ashamed of accusing enlisted people who have been paid much less and nevertheless have put their lives on the line for America of wanting to be on welfare? Mr. "Publius" owes all veterans an apology.

    4. Richard Vernon says:

      Lets talk about the 122thousand vets dead after vietnam from suicide or unexplained death .And thats when i quit counting deaths didnt quit .And the govt now wants to sweep ptsd under the rug and hide it from the american people its always been their policy to deny deny deny and never give the men and women defending this country anything this country makes a promise to its men and women when enlisting but fails completely to deliver .this country doesnt deserve haveing the finest military in the world

    5. Larry Denman, Califo says:

      Publius:

      Having had the oportunity to serve in the military, with the VA, and with 3 separate US Congressmen, I have seen this issue from all points.

      President Abraham Lincoln in his infinite wisdom penned this Passage at his second inauguration “With malice toward none,with charity for all,with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,let us strive on to finish the work we are in,to bind up the nation’s wounds,to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

      "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, became the motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency tasked with taking care of our veterans.

      There should NEVER BE A QUESTION OF ENTITLEMENT for any man or woman who has defended the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of his countrymen/women. They have made it possible for even people like you to have and post an opinion, without the worry of being found and then shot. There are still some places in the world where this does happen and I daresay you would want to live there.

      The light of day has dawned on the Department of Veterans Affairs, and DVA has been shone as wanting and not treating its veterans with the respect they are due.

      Politicians and some political blogs have also taken your position, forgetting that the very people they are denigrating have been the ones that defended your right to say it.

      Shame on you Mr. Publius. If you feel so strongly, then publically opt out of military retirement, and heaven forbid you have a service connected or related condition. But then, you can opt out of VA compensation also.

    6. Larry Denman, Califo says:

      By the way, The Quartering Act of 1765 was British legislation wasn't it?

    7. Jeff Bordeaux, Texas says:

      Publius claims to be a mid-career junior officer who was paid the 'taxable equivalent' of more than $169,000 last year (about the same as a Congressman). NOT LIKELY!

      Search (google, etc) for 'Military Pay Scales'. DFAS, for example, has downloadable PDF charts that state current military pay scales.

      What he MIGHT be doing is attempting to factor in 'all possible benefits' of an active duty military person (housing, transportation, the cost of food in a dining facility, medical care, etc.) into a 'financial equivalent', which is misleading at best.

      I am a retired NCO (Army, SIGINT, 22 years), and I can state from experience that agencies such as the VA are corrupt, inefficient and incompetent much of the time. Some veterans receive the benefits that they have EARNED from these agencies, many others have not. In my case, I feel betrayed by the VA, and ignored by congress.

      Don't let the rhetoric from this guy 'Publius' mislead you.

      http://www.vawatchdog.com

    8. Rick Davis, Texas says:

      Yeah, I made the smart move and gave up my 120k+ a year job in the private sector so and took a substantial pay cut so that I could enjoy the life of lesiure I now live as a disabled Veteran living from doctors appointment to doctors appointment for service connected medical conditions…some Vets get to leave the service others get to live with it the rest of their lives.

      Not complaining, it's an occupational hazard. However, if you are going to slam Vets get your facts straight first. Perhaps tour the rat infested Walter Reed hospital and walk among some of the men who weren't as fortunate as you as guard the rear in some cushy logistics command…that is if you are or were ever actually a member of the Armed Forces or for that matter an officer…for I don't know too many officers that have shared combat with their men and seen them shed their blood who would regard them with such disdain and contempt.

    9. Boobster says:

      What an insult to veterans. First, be honest with yourself Publius. Afterall, you are also a welfare recipient. The military is viewed by many as nothing but uniformed welfare with a pecking order of rank.

    10. David A. White says:

      I will agree with you that our goverment is bloated, but i don't believe that the veterans have anything to do the bloating. Veterans are a special interest group, that would have nothing if not for unity. I think you need to stick with something you know about, nothing. I was wounded twice in Vietnam, the officers and senior enlisted that i served under were the best men i have ever known.I still keep in touch with them, but i have a feeling that that will not apply to you and your men.

    11. Hubert Smart, Texas says:

      For the mid-career junior officer that makes $169,000. I'm glad you are so overpaid, perhaps you would like to donate some of your overpayments to a VA hospital recreation program. I joined the military in 1960 and was getting about $79 per month. I retired as an E-8 after 28 years of service and I have my doubts about your statement of making that much per year as a junior officer, i.e. O1-04.

      I do not view my retirement as a welfare handout as you so rudely called it. I earned my retirement, if you feel that you are not earning your money then you are not doing your job! Get out and quit wasting taxpayer money!

    12. Bobby Price, LT USN, says:

      Publius is not on active duty nor is he/she a veteran of any war. If he/she were, as the point of view portreyed sounds like something Mike Moore would say. Additionally, this sounds like much of the stuff Rep. Buyer (R) of Ind was saying during his tour as House VA Committee Chair and somewhat contiues to say today….Hmm, I wonder?

    13. A HomeSchool Dad, Te says:

      We need to honor our vets like Jimmy Gentry. Here is a powerful trailer of his biography on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbBygLCsm1g

      Never forget the sacrifice!

    14. Bob, Florida says:

      Publius, alas you are floundering in an apparant life of luxury with the rich and wealthy. You have too much time on your hands there in Washington. Request a tranfer to where the action is. Then come back and blog about being overpaid!

    15. Steve Wheeler Ohio says:

      Iam a 100% disabled Vietnam veteran,gosh I have so much money left over at the end of each month from my huge bloated monthly check and dont know if I should jet to the paris or greece,I remember my over bloated pay when I entered the service of $85 a month.Perhaps Publius would feel better if us veterans all lived in cardboard boxs and begged for loose change,maybe with him earning $169,000,he could throw us some loose change.I dont think this guy is anything but sad man trying to get some attention and doubt he is an officer now or ever

    16. Brian - Boise, ID says:

      Dear Publius,

      I'm not surprised to see one Vet attacking other Vets. I see it all the time, especially when the subject is politics.

      However, for your clarification, the new GI Bill which you seem to be so upset about is nothing more than the reinstating the Nam ERA GI Bill which was taken away around 1975 or so. I know, because I entered the service in 1979 and it wasn't there for me.

      I question your math on the $169,000. I did the math assuming you were an O4 with 10 years, married, and the best I could come up with is about half that amount. This of course did not take into special pays for such things as Dr's or other special pays.

      My best guess is that you arrived at that number by receiving the Pentagon's annual propaganda statement of how much you actually make. If I am correct and you actually believe that statement, I encourage you to do your own research.

      Also, consider that the majority of Vets are Enlisted and lived and are living on about a quarter to a third of what you get paid.

    17. Scott Lee says:

      I feel compelled to say some really negative and harsh words to the person writing this post. But, I will not because I believe that is exactly what he or she wants. I am a Army veteran of the Gulf War, I was a driver of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. My unit fought the Iraqi Republican Guard in three campaigns and my vehicle was point for the brigade. I drove for 172 hours straight, engaged in 100 hours of sustained combat and witnessed literally thousands of enemy combatants die in that short span of time. Since being honorably discharged from the service of my country I have struggled with PTSD, depression, substance use disorder, homelessness, social and health issues. It took me 7 tries and 15 years to go through the VA bureaucracy to get the help that I needed. Nothing has been given to me that I have not fought for with my life, either in the Gulf War or with the VA. I gave freely of my time and service, the same was not done for me.

      I have begun to write a blog about my struggle with PTSD and my life in,

      PTSD, A soldier's Perspective

      We tell a soldier or veteran of war "welcome home" because the battle never leaves us, as we return from conflict everyday of our lives. This is my story and struggle with PTSD, it affects every aspect of my life. I want people to know what a combat veteran goes through after the media and people forget.

      http://ptsdasoldiersperspective.blogspot.com/

    18. David TEXAS says:

      You sir have to be joking… These young warriors need all the help they can get to overcome exactly what they have been through. Rants like yours remind me of the hippie syndrome which you most likely also contracted in D.C. Get real, you are most likely suffering from PTSD yourself judging by your rant, and are bin denial of the problems combat Veterans suffer from.

      Also I as a 100% P&T Disabled service connected Veteran am outraged at the welfare comment. Get help while you can.

    19. Steve, Florida says:

      Publius,

      The name you enter as a name of reference is a contradiction of what you are saying….So maybe your log is not really accurate depiction of your life in the military and you are not as noble as you want the readers to believe.

      Your assertion that the military provides soldiers with welfare is not accurate and as an officer and gentleman you should be ashamed and if you do believe that the military suppports welfare why are you continuing as an officer?

      I too am 100% disabled from the wounds received in Vietnam. I guess with the 2 or more tours in a combat zone you were lucky if you were an infantryman or someone who had direct contact to a well known enemy.

      If you want to start commotion with your post i can assure you it has so say something positive next time and keep your negative feelings to the blogs to a community of communists.

      We differ in several ways and the one that is most disturbing is that you complain in hopes your complaining is heard…I support and help our local and state to improve the benefits ot our brave soldiers. I guess you also believe that freedom is really free…Good luck in your career because I think you will need it.

    20. beachgranny, TX says:

      I probably shouldn't bother to comment, I'm certain it will make a difference in your thought process, but I feel the need to vent.

      My husband of thirty years was an "in country, in combact Vietnam vet", for forty years he tried to get his medical records. For the same forty years he tried to hold a job for more than a year. He was unable to prove his injuries were combat related. There are a lot of fellows out there that have the same problem.

      You call it welfare, he takes constant care now, so I can no longer work. We are not talking small injuries, diabetic, incomplete quad, high blood pressure, vision and hearing problems. He got all of these injuries being where he was ordered to be, doing what he was told. If he had been injured in the civilian work force he would have gotten a multi-million dollar settlement.

      Every male member of my family has been in the military since the Revelutionary War including one died in the Alamo. I now have two grandsons in and one is on his second tour in Iraq.

      What is it you don't understand about "all gave some, some gave all"? If you are thinking VA disability benefits are a gift, I don't think you were ever outside your air conditioned office in Iraq.

    21. Willaim Cutshall (Us says:

      I like many other who have posted sadly disagree with you. At the end of the month when my overinflated retirement and disability payments hit the bank, it is barely enough to make it through the month.

      My failing health from serving duty in Iraq (Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm)and serving time in the 82nd Airborne Division has taken it toll both on my body and on my spirit.

      I have numerous conditions that I will not post here as you being an educated so called Officer may feel that I am also getting over, but let me assure you "Sir" I am not.

      Within the next couple of months I have to endure surgeries that I did not ask for due to spending time in the 82nd and beating my body down.

      I spent 22 years as an Infantry soldier so please do not come on here and ridicule myself or the greatest american soldier who sacrifice themselves on a daily basis.

      And by the way if you are an officer, you need to re-read your posting and correct your spelling errors, I believe they taught you how to effectively write while you were in OCS or are you another one of those pompus ass West Pointers?

      Anyhow, if you would like to waste your time in a very smart fashion, why don't you spend a little of your time and effort and write to your senator's and congressman and see if you can get them to stop these multi front wars that are sacrificing the very sole and spirit of every AMERICAN SOLDIER serving.

      And then go to a VA facility and spend some quality time with the soldiers both past and present who are in there healing there broken bodies and attempting to heal their sole's and minds from the tragedies they experienced while serving in COMBAT.

    22. Troy, PNW says:

      First off this nameless/faceless writer is from Washington DC. IF that doesn't scream COWARD, I don't know what else would.

      Second, he is nameless/faceless…hence, he lacks conviction behind his vitriolic drivel towards veterans.

      Last but not least, his argument is prima facie fallacious. I mean really, talk about speaking out the other end and making a jackarse out of oneself.

      The men and women who fight in defense of freedom and liberty for this country deserve more than a cold shoulder and a lot more than a skimpy GI Bill that barely covers the cost of 2 years of education at a COMMUNITY COLLEGE and NOT a full 4-year university.

      Those injured in batter are no different than the employee who gets hurt on the job. Both are deserving of compensation; so if you argue disability compensation for veterans is welfare, so is workman's compensation. So the next time you get hurt on the job, don't even bother filing a claim…less you turncoat and become a HYPOCRITE!

      Fact is the men and women who go into the service healthy COME OUT INJURED in one form or another. And it is those injuries that curb their potential to get certain employment BUT FOR their injuries (i.e. if they were healthy there wouldn't be a problem getting it). Disability compensation is as the law/reason why it was established…to offset that curb potential (hindrance) BUT FOR their service to their country.

      So why don't you get off your stick of a soap box and come back down to REALITY!

      You know NOTHING until you've walked a mile in another person's shoes.

      Troy

      Desert Shield/Storm Veteran

      100% Service-Connected

    23. dave, laguna niguel, says:

      Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to speak from the heart. I was drafted at the age of "almost 20" in 1966 by the US Army. Went to boot camp for 8 weeks then AIT(advanced infantry training and there wasn't much "advanced" about it)for another 8 weeks, and basically all I was taught to do was shoot, double time, march, and put on a gas mask. When I was sent to Nam, in the infantry, June '66. I soon learned I was not properly trained at all to fight a jungle war against hardened guerillas who had been fighting the French and Japanese for many years in addition to North Vietnamese regulars who were trained just like their communist allies in the jungle. And here I am, a 20 year old in the midst of thousands of other 20 year olds and even many 17 year olds, none of us knowing what to do or how to do it and in fact I did not see an M16 rifle til I arrived in Viet Nam! It was now survival of the fittest, the fastest, the strongest, the smartest, and the ones who could adapt to the jungle and I mean NOW! I thank God I made it and there were many times I KNOW GOD had a direct hand in my survival! However, our govt paid me $90. per MONTH, plus a little combat pay and flight pay added another $60 I think. Of course there was nothing to spend it on as my unit was forever in the boonies(Garry Owen!). I spend a year on the ground on patrol, ambushes, etc and come home to a most unfriendly populace, not to mention the absolutely surreal feeling of "nobody's trying to kill me and no booby traps anywhere". There was no assistance of any kind for post combat therapy nor was any even offered. I have struggled for years after with the effects of "agent orange", PTSD, and a ringing in my ears from so much extremely close gunfire and rounds from the New Jersey, which I thought at one point would drive me nuts. Everything I hear is above the ringing! Family and friends accuse me of being deaf and after all these years I still have to explain. SO all this and more was related to the VA in Gainesville, Fl and Long Beach, Ca and I learned that some of the people there are actually taught how to deny benefits! At least it seemed that way. Talk about deaf ears! Some of these people acted like any benefits paid to me would come out of their paycheck! In 1990 I was in Palm Springs, Ca and tried to talk to them about some kind of help for PTSD but was advised "your records were destroyed in the fire in St Louis and according to the Army you never existed"! I did succumb to a heart problem and was very well taken care of at the VA in Gainesville, FL but when I was released could get no further as was told we can't do anything for you, straight out! Times have sure changed in the military if the pay is that high! And as for all these so-called benefits I would not have a clue how to submit for them after my experiences.

    24. Lewis, Frederick MD says:

      If todays self indulged military officers were more concerned with the mission instead of FITREPS and kissing up to senior GOP military officers service connected deaths and injuries would be greatly reduced.

      100%Serrvice-Conncted Desert Storm Retired.

    25. Robt. Texas says:

      Who is to say this fool is even in the military…

    26. Deb, PA says:

      He doesn't sound like a real soldier he is more like a coward. I'm sure all Veterans would love to make $169,000

      but unfortunetly they don't in real life.

      So this guys beleives he's a Dr also, or is he saying the Dr's don't know what they are talking about. This guy doesn't see or know what a combat soldier lives through, each soldier has their own scars. In Vietnam the soldiers were sprayed by their own government with Agent Orange and many are now suffering with cancer, liver and kidney problems etc due to the spraying of agent orange and the water that was contaminated etc.

    27. Steve Wheeler Ohio says:

      dave, laguna niguel,

      Who ever told you your records were destroyed lied to you

      records of vietnam era vets for the years you were in would not have been destroyed

      The Fire

      A fire at the NPRC in St. Louis on July 12, 1973, destroyed about 80 percent of the records for Army personnel discharged between November 1, 1912, and January 1, 1960. About 75 percent of the records for Air Force personnel with surnames from "Hubbard" through "Z" discharged between September 25, 1947, and January 1, 1964, were also destroyed.

      What Was Lost

      It is hard to determine exactly what was lost in the fire, because there were no indices to the blocks of records involved. The records were merely filed in alphabetical order for the following groups:

      World War I: Army September 7, 1939 to November 1, 1912

      World War II: Army December 3l, 1946 to September 8, 1939

      Post World War II: Army December 3l, 1959 to January 1, 1947; Air Force: December 31, 1963 to September 25, 1947

      Millions of records, especially medical records, had been withdrawn from all three groups and loaned to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prior to the fire. The fact that one's records are not in NPRC files at a particular time does not mean the records were destroyed in the fire.

      Reconstruction of Lost Records

      If a veteran is advised that his or her records may have been lost in the fire, he or she may send photocopies of any documents they possess to the NPRC, particularly separation documents. The address is National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 631325 1 00. This enables the NPRC to re-establish files by adding those documents to the computerized index and filing them permanently.

      Alternate Sources of Military Service Data

      In the event a veteran does not have any records in his or her possession, the essential military service data may be available from a number of alternate sources.

      The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains records on veterans whose military records were affected by the fire if the veteran or a beneficiary filed a claim prior to July 1973.

      Service information may also be found in various kinds of "organizational" records such as unit morning reports, payrolls and military orders on file at the NPRC or other National Archives and -Records Administration facilities.

      There also is a great deal of information available in records of the State Adjutants General, and other state veterans services" offices.

      By using alternate sources, NPRC may often be able to reconstruct a veteran's beginning and ending dates of active service, the character of service, rank while in service, time lost while on active duty, and periods of hospitalization. NPRC is usually able to issue NA Form 13038, "Certification of Military Service, "considered the equivalent of a Form DD-214, "Report of Separation From Active Duty," for the purpose of establishing eligibility for veterans benefits.

      Necessary Information for File Reconstruction

      The key to reconstructing military data is to give the NPRC enough specific information so the staff can properly search the various sources. The following information is normally required:

      Full name used during military service

      Branch of service

      Approximate dates of service

      Service number

      Place of entry into service

      Last Unit of assignment

      Place of discharge.

    28. Trelman Slames says:

      Publius, The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute call ANY veterans benefits welfare. They, like their brethren Neocon Globalists have no problems with the TRILLIONS of government dollars spent on corporate welfare.

    29. Brannan Vines, SC says:

      It's probably pointless to add this comment because it won't change the mind (or lack there of) of Publius. However, as the wife of a disabled Veteran, I feel that I've earned the right to comment on this horrible post.

      Publius – It would greatly surprise me if you ever left the FOB in Iraq. "Multiple" Iraq deployments don't really count for much if you sat in a cool office "behind the wire."

      So, first, let me explain to you a bit about a real deployment…

      For the first 5 months my husband was in Iraq (his first tour) they were ahead of the supply chain so they often went without food. They endured endless days of 140+ degree heat with no relief – doing patrols through "red" zones while guys like you sat happily in the "green" zones they had secured. They secured these zones with sweat, blood, and loss of life. They lived 17 months like that. Never sure when the next "bad guy" would pop up, living in substandard conditions, watching people they served with – their brothers – die.

      Now, while that was lots of "fun" – the second deployment was worse. Welcome to Ramadi. This time a lifetime's worth of death & dying courtesy of snipers, IED's, and RPG's. Daily, constant, neverending fear, combat, and hardship.

      But, guess what? My husband, like most true soldiers, was proud to do his job and did it well. He put his own mental and physical health aside to make sure that his missions were handled and that the soldiers he served with had someone watching their backs.

      The time he gave in Iraq – the time he didn't spend watching out for himself and his health – has cost him. But, still, he doesn't complain. He walks like a 70 yr old after too many IED's & RPG's wrecked his hips and back. He can't lift his left arm high enough to play with out two year old sometimes as a result of being blown through a door. He often can't hear the laughter of his child or the voice of his wife. And, worse still, are the demons that haunt him every night… the faces of those who were killed around him. Things other people take for granted now cause him anxiety and paranoia (27 months of constantly being on guard – and not inside a cushy FOB) will do that to you.

      And, I guess I should also tell you, that before all of this started, my husband was a Junior in college, very close to completing his Engineering degree. Then, Sept 11, 2001, happened and he stopped pursuing his personal goals, and entered the Army to care for his Nation. We took a 60% pay cut to go into the military. We sold our home, moved away from family and friends, and paid all of the prices required of military families. We did so proudly and with full knowledge of the higher price that would be paid if everyone just sat back and did nothing.

      The benefits offered through the VA are benefits EARNED. It's not a welfare handout. When is the last time you heard of any welfare program requiring you to put your life on the line in order to qualify???? I am so ashamed of you and I feel deeply sorry for any soldier who has to endure such as person as an officier in his command. I've known some wonderful, caring officers, but you're the reason, IMHO, every officer should be required to serve a few years enlisted first.

      YOU DON'T GET WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO BE A SOLDIER.

      Ugh!

    30. Gary says:

      Jesus…………..I can't believe what I just read.

      Publius, you would be a good PR man for a few corporations I know of that profit from the "gains of war"

      Are you by chance any relation to Carl Rove or any of the Bush Admn.?

      By the way…have you ever heard of CORPORATE WELFARE? I do believe that total government expenditures for them are far greater than any benefits ever received by veterans.

    31. Spliffman Crane says:

      I'm surprised that you Heritage Foundation Neocons don't drag out Dr. Sally (Satchel) Satel,

      your 'Tokyo Rose' of psychology to explain that PTSD is just a big scam that these 'kid' veterans of OIF and OEF 'dreamed up' to get a meal ticket without working. After all, we know that the veterans of Vietnam and later wars aren't real veterans, Americans, or even real men like the 'greatest generation.'

    32. gary Brumley says:

      A priority decision is to not send war veterans to the back of a welfare line. Liberals can just suck it up and get over it. All veterans returning from war stand on the principal of having given to their country a different priority should be set aside for these men and women.

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    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

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