Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

Yesterday, May 26th was Memorial day, a time unfortunately spent by many Americans shopping for sales to buy "stuff", going on vacations, and bears very little resemblance to the true meaning of what that sad day is all about.

Simply put, Memorial Day is about Americans, mostly young soldiers who went to war and died, never to return to their loved ones, never to live their lives, and all their dreams stolen by the evil of this world

It is fitting to write this blog about Memorial day, the day after this "holiday", since mostly no-one, except the families of those who died fighting in these wars, even remembers the significance of what yesterday was truly about.

In recent weeks, the every few years "new news" about the disgraceful conditions of the dysfunctional Veterans Affairs (VA).

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense.[1] With a total 2009 budget of about $87.6 billion, VA employs nearly 280,000 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices and is responsible for administering programs of veterans’ benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. In 2012, the proposed budget for Veterans Affairs was $132 billion. [2]

The VA 2014 Budget request for 2014 is $152.7 billion. This includes $66.5 billion in discretionary resources and $86.1 billion in mandatory funding. The discretionary budget request represents an increase of $2.7 billion, or 4.3 percent, over the 2013 enacted level.[3]

In particular, the problems veterans experience getting Veterans Affairs medical care and with VA mental health care, where veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and even those at high risk of suicide face long waits, according to VA staffers and internal investigations.

At some VA medical centers, qualified mental health professionals, nursing staff and bed space are in such short supply that some mental health patients are discharged early. "The turnaround on patients has gotten faster, there's a lot of pressure to get them in and out and a lot of them aren't ready to leave," said a VA psychiatric nurse, who added that patients are sometimes discharged "AMA", against medical advice.

The raging discussion over the VA waiting list scandal is about who's to blame, and the consensus of the political talking heads is that it's President Obama's fault for breaking a promise he made in 2008 during his first campaign.

"I am tired of hearing stories of vets navigating a broken veterans bureaucracy," he said in 2008. "I will promise to make that a priority of mine when I'm President of the United States of America."

But as I read through various articles, it's also President Bush's fault for launching two long nation-building wars - breaking a promise he made during his first campaign.

"If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world, and nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road and I'm going to prevent that," said Bush.

But then, as it turns out, 37 percent of the VA's caseload has nothing to do with the last two wars but is in fact linked to the use of Agent Orange during Vietnam.

Which means President Kennedy is also to blame. "I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw, that's be a grave mistake."

JFK authorized the use of Agent Orange, and President Johnson said later during the Vietnam War, "And we will stay until aggression has stopped."

LBJ is to blame for deploying it.

Then there's President Carter who started an Agent Orange Registry, but not much else, then President Reagan who decided the government would not accept liability at all for Agent Orange, and just kicked the can down the road.

Not a great track record for the White House, but what that means is, we can finally agree: It is the Presidents fault.


Not just for the VA mess but in general for the deaths of the brave soldiers who died as victims of the politics waged by cowardly politicians sitting safely in the White House, sending our young soldiers to fight and die in wars that get waged using "patriotic" hollow words that years later are exposed for the lies that they originally were.