12 May 2008

This Is Supposed To Be A Surprise?

After being at war in Iraq for five years and almost seven years after 9/11, we're now seeing an increase in wounded veterans.

Increasing numbers of U.S. troops have left the military with damaged bodies and minds, an ever-larger pool of disabled veterans that will cost the nation billions for decades to come — even as the total population of America's vets shrinks.

Because we're supposed to fight wars without letting soldiers get hurt I guess.  As a disabled veteran (non-combat related), it's blindingly obvious to me that soldiers are going to get injured, especially when we're at war.  The more injured you have, the more it costs to take care of them.  Most of us accept that as the cost of preventing civilian casualties here at home, that's why we were in the military in the first place.

Worse wounds. More disabilities. More vets aware of the benefits and quicker to file for them.

Also, ironically, advanced medical care. Troops come home with devastating injuries that might well have killed them in earlier wars.

I'm sure they're not suggesting less protection for our troops, or keeping them ignorant of how to get help, so what's the point here?  Oh, if we're not at war, we won't have to spend money taking care of wounded soldiers.  Most of us have already accepted the costs associated with protecting our citizens, despite what we keep getting fed from the MSM.  The fact that there hasn't been a major terrorist attack carried out since 9/11 shows that it's working.

VA officials were not eager to talk about reasons for the increases. They declined several requests for interviews. In a written response to a handful of questions, the agency noted a few factors at play in the rising costs, such as the aging veterans population, an increase in the number of disabilities claimed and the severity of injuries sustained.

Good for those VA officials!  The MSM has always taken direct interviews and distorted the content to fit their agenda.  I wouldn't talk to them for any reason, beyond a very satisfying "FYNQ".  If it's in writing, it's much harder to spin.  They have to go to "outside experts" to find things they can twist... which they did.

Outside experts provided more insight.

The American Legion's Smithson says the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are resulting in more severe injuries — amputations and traumatic burns — the kind of injuries that troops in Vietnam and earlier wars would not have survived.

Smithson says today's veterans also are filing claims for more disabilities.

"People are more aware of the benefits they are able to file for (because of) better outreach," Smithson said. "It's not like the WWII generation and Korean war generation where they weren't aware of what they could file for, and they were also reluctant to file if they didn't think they needed it."

Have to support the larger truth that if there was no war going on, it wouldn't cost so much.  That all being said, the VA system is hopelessly complicated.

Veterans who are approved for disability receive monthly checks for injuries or illnesses sustained or aggravated while on active duty. Ratings are scaled from 0 to 100 percent in 10 percent increments. A rating of 10 percent, for example, is given to tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which is increasingly common for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan because of roadside bombings. Ratings for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury can range from 0-to-100 percent, and 10-to-100 percent, respectively.

What they don't tell you is all the rule and regulations of how these are applied.  My ratings add up to 110% (or 120% if you go by some other paperwork they sent), with a total overall rating of 70%, until I request a review, when it will probably go up to 100%.  All the paperwork involved is... daunting, and appears mostly to exist solely for the purpose of employing as many people as possible to keep the process complicated.  If you had the IRS running healthcare, they would call it the VA.  For anyone who supports a national healthcare system... this is what you want to create.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 13:46:19 | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 704 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Yes, I remember all that paperwork from my stepfather*, who claimed deafness, post traumatic stress (alhough back in his day they simply said he was "shell shocked"), and frostbite. (Chosin). He did what he wanted in the end, although it took him several years. And the VA has always treated him. *ex-stepfather. The effects of the PTSD got to my mother eventually, and they divorced after five years of marriage. No comment buttons. Are you playing around the site again?

Posted by: kishnevi at 12 May 2008@16:37:39 (DqtzB)



Not that I know of... what comment buttons?  I dinna unnerstand Sir.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12 May 2008@16:46:49 (Q5ggV)

3 Lemme see now. Years of warfare against an ideological enemy totally committed to our destruction and enslavement; and our casualties are 2/3% of our casualties over the same period of the Civil War...and less than a single day's rehearsal for the landings at Normandy during WWII.

It sucks, being dead. It bites, being disabled. But we did sign up, knowing what could happen. And yes, our youth and inexperience made us feel as though it could never happen to us (when we were younger), but as we got older and our mortality became obvious even to ourselves...we didn't shirk, we didn't flee. We trained harder, we trained better, we practiced until we did our job literally in our sleep.

I've never been shot at, never been blown up. So I can't speak for the guys who have...but somebody needs to grow up and get some perspective. Because the ignorance on display is enormous.

Posted by: EW1(SG) at 12 May 2008@22:50:55 (YcNsA)


I agree with you EW1. I was a log guy in the Corps (means I was pretty much in the rear with the gear the whole time) but it was an understanding that even in serving the materials requirements for armed actions has this thing called inherent risk, and you could get hurt anywhere. We did things to minimize risk, but in the end you can't protect people from either "stupid" or "ignorance".

Posted by: Old Iron at 13 May 2008@11:49:02 (tD0Cq)

5 Old Iron sez: "I was pretty much in the rear with the gear the whole time"

Mebbe. But it seems to me that the Corps spends just a bit more time than anybody else making sure that everybody is a rifleman.

Posted by: EW1(SG) at 13 May 2008@15:36:35 (YcNsA)

6 I don't remember hearing that the Corp asked Marines who wanted to go forward and who wanted to stay back. If you served you faced the risks, and deserve a heartfelt salute from the rest of us. Just my opinion.

Posted by: Machinist at 13 May 2008@15:51:09 (yFIK0)

7 Reminds me of what a Marine recruiter told me: "The Corps will decide what you're best suited for, and it may have nothing to do with what you think you're best suited for." My respect for the Corps immediately increased because of that outbreak of honesty.

Posted by: kishnevi at 13 May 2008@20:54:53 (2Fuir)

8 What kind of man respects honesty?

A tip of the hat to you, Sir.

Posted by: Machinist at 13 May 2008@21:31:41 (yFIK0)

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