Saturday, February 19, 2005

One thing sure...

...to spike my outrage meter is a story about the neglect and abuse of our veterans and troops. Like this...
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard troops returning home after being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone months without pay or medical benefits they were entitled to receive, military officials and government auditors said Thursday.

****

Lawmakers said they were fielding many calls from wounded Reserve and Guard troops who might have been wrongly denied their benefits. and benefits, according to the agency, the investigative arm of Congress. In one GAO sample of 38 wounded reservists who had trouble getting the Army to recognize them as being entitled to benefits, 24 went weeks or months without pay without pay and benefits, according to the agency, the investigative arm of Congress. They confront a "convoluted and poorly defined process" to obtain benefits, the GAO said.
24 out of 38. Jeebus.

Like SFC John Allen...
Allen, a 14-year Army veteran who serves with the National Guard's 20th Special Forces Group, has a brain injury and other injuries to his legs, back, neck and eyes resulting from a helicopter accident and a grenade blast.

But Allen said it wasn't until he returned home for extended treatment that his "real troubles began."

He had to reapply for coverage every 90 days and was at times denied pay, medical coverage and access to his military base.

After visiting his family in New Jersey for a week after his yearlong combat tour, his leave was cut short and he was ordered back to Ft. Bragg, N.C., because a commander could not find his paperwork.

When his wife went into premature labor in August 2003, she was turned away from a military hospital because his active-duty extension had not yet been approved, Allen said.
While most of the attention goes to the 1477 fatalities, there are a lot of people being overlooked.
The Army's Human Resources Command processed 15,000 disabled Reserve and Guard members in 2004, said Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, the Army's head of personnel. That's more than at any time since the Vietnam War.
That's disabled, not just wounded. Reservists and Guardsmen, not including active duty. And if the GAO study is typical, it's almost 10,000 that are going weeks or months without pay and benefits. It's a freaking disgrace. Even more disgraceful
......the GAO found that recent changes had not resolved underlying management control problems. In September and October, for example, the Army did not know how many soldiers were on medical extensions or how many had returned to active duty, the study said.
The don't know?

Maybe they just don't care.

After all, George Bush hates veterans.

And he doesn't care about you.

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