12/23/2006

Funding the V.A. another "Immoral" redistribution of our Wealth


According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly 200,000 American veterans are homeless on any given night, and over 400 of those homeless veterans served in Iraq.

Without a comprehensive support system for returning vets, it's no wonder so many troops are failing to successfully transition from military to civilian life. Our troops are in Baghdad one week and Brooklyn the next. The shift from soldier to civilian in a matter of days is not an easy one to make. According to the Army's latest figures, approximately one-in-three Iraq veterans will have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental health issues. Throughout the war, that percentage has risen, and experts predict that trend will continue for decades, just like in Vietnam.

These veterans aren't getting the support they need because the Department of Veterans' Affairs is dangerously under funded. Despite outcry from every major veterans' organization in America, funding for the VA is still not mandatory. This means that every year, veterans' groups have to battle with politicians to get the funding they need. For 2007 alone, veterans' groups from Disabled American Veterans to the Veterans of Foreign Wars are urging Congress to increase the Administration's budget by more than $2 billion.

Faced with this budget shortfall, VA hospitals across the country are reducing their services -- even as 18,000 wounded Iraq vets are returning seeking care, and hundreds of thousands are seeking mental health treatment. One IAVA member veteran from Virginia Beach seeking treatment at his local VA was told recently that he would have to wait three months for an appointment with a counselor because, “all of you guys are coming home.”

1 comment:

overburdened taxpayer said...

My tax dollars paid for training these guys and they come back and don't get a job. Get to work lazy disabled vets!