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Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

18 veterans kill themselves every day: report

Raw Story- By Sahil Kapur
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 — 10:41 am

The suicide rate among war veterans is extraordinary, new data reveals.

Thirty try to commit suicide each day, on average, reports the Army Times. Seven percent succeed, while 11 percent are likely to make another attempt in the next nine months.

That adds up to 18 retired soldiers who successfully kill themselves daily — 6,570 annually — roughly five a day by service members receiving medical care from Veterans Affairs, rated one of the best health programs in the country.

The Times noted that “In general, VA officials said, women attempt suicide more often, but men are more likely to succeed in the attempt.”

The report cites access to health care and age — younger veterans are less likely to try — as two major factors in the suicide rate, and notes that the VA is seeking to strengthen its suicide prevention programs.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, “Roughly 56 percent of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 12.8 percent and 15.4 percent of the U.S. population respectively.”

The struggle among veterans to return to everyday life has been documented over the years.

The Associated Press reported in November 2007 that one in four homeless people across the nation is likely to be a veteran, even though veterans constitute a mere 11 percent of overall adults in the United States.

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This Thanksgiving, Hear What New Veterans Are Grateful For

Huffington Post

Paul Rieckhoff– Exec. Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Posted: November 25, 2009 06:38 PM

It’s time once again for that seasonal blend of gratitude and that deep longing for the familiar –family, health, pumpkin pie, turkey, and the Detroit Lions getting blown-out on National TV.

Eight years of war have brought tremendous challenges for our military, our veterans and their families. And just a few weeks ago, the military community was tested yet again by the terrible tragedy at Fort Hood.

Despite these obstacles, our men and women in uniform continue to soldier on. And this year, they have more than a few things to give thanks for. In 2009, we’ve seen some big victories for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Just last month, advanced funding for VA health care was signed into law. A top priority for leading veterans groups for decades, this reform will transform veterans’ health care forever.

In 2009, we also saw the implementation of the new GI Bill, a historic measure which will send thousands of young men and women in uniform to college. And, we saw the new veterans movement grow and take hold across the country. From the largest Veterans Week celebrations ever to a thriving Community of Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are coming together and showing one another that they have each other’s backs.

I know I am thankful for all of the above, but also for the support I’ve seen from people around the country for our veterans. I also think back to my Thanksgiving in Germany at CMCT, and I am grateful that I am not in the mud freezing my butt off. And I think back to my Thanksgiving in Baghdad, and I am grateful that all the men in my platoon came home alive. I am also grateful for those like Milo Ventimiglia who are taking USO trips overseas to see our troops. And, I am grateful for the inspiration of a true American hero, J.R Martinez, and the 60 kids from P.S. 22 who taught us that Rihanna can be a very powerful anthem.

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Gulf War Illnesses Debate Rages On for 18 Years: No End in Sight for the Sick

by: Thomas D. Williams, truthout.org

Thursday 19 March 2009

Barack Obama is now the fourth president facing the scientific and bureaucratic conundrum around the US-created ongoing wartime hazards producing disastrous health complications for soldiers and civilians.

Eighteen years after the six-week first Gulf War, maladies still haunt thousands of US and allied service members as well as estimated hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghan civilians. A myriad of scientists and government officials insist it is bewildering to pinpoint whether countless chemical and radiological hazards either killed or sickened hundreds of thousands of US service members, allied soldiers and Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghan civilians. Federal health officials have not only denied monetary and health assistance to thousands of veterans, whose illnesses they say cannot be linked to US created wartime hazards, but they have mostly failed to assist the Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghan civilian health system.

“Our war (the first Gulf War) was the most toxic as far as exposures ever in history,” said Denise Nichols, a retired US Air Force registered nurse and veterans’ advocate, who herself suffers from wartime illness. “How can parents or the American citizens trust their government or encourage their young to enlist when this history of neglect and denial of gulf war illness is allowed to fester … [the US Department of Veterans Affairs] has betrayed us. [The Department of Defense] has betrayed us. The government for 17 years betrayed the trust we as soldiers, airmen, marines, or sailors had, and our trust must be regained by [incoming President Barack Obama].”

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From The Department Of it’s about f*$%king time

GAO

Have DU will travel a special publication by the Lone Star Iconoclast in crawford Texas. Published on March 1, 2006, this is an important report on DU from several perspectives. It is a fairly large PDF file and might take a while to download, but worth the weight, err wate? …zzzZZZ

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Did You Know 200,000 Vets Are Sleeping on the Streets?

By Aaron Glantz, New America Media. Posted January 3, 2009.

America’s promise to “Support the Troops” ends the moment they take off the uniform and try to make the transition to civilian life.

SAN FRANCISCO – Roy Lee Brantley shivers in the cold December morning as he waits in line for food outside the Ark of Refuge mission, which sits amid warehouses and artists lofts a stone’s throw from the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco.

Brantley’s beard is long, white and unkempt. The African-American man’s skin wrinkled beyond his 62 years. He lives in squalor in a dingy residential hotel room with the bathroom down the hall. In some ways, his current situation marks an improvement. “I’ve slept in parks,” he says, “and on the sidewalk. Now at least I have a room.”

Like the hundreds of others in line for food, Brantley has worn the military uniform. Most, like Brantley, carry their service IDs and red, white and blue cards from the Department of Veterans Affairs in their wallets or around their necks. In 1967, he deployed to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army. By the time he left the military five years later, Brantley had attained the rank of sergeant and been decorated for his valor and for the wounds he sustained in combat.

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