More Wars, Less Veterans Benefits

March 27, 2011 | Benjamin Krause

Seems like a week can’t go by without hearing some new deficit reduction planwith veterans’ benefits in the crosshairs of politicians. All the while, these same politicians appear more than willing for us to “help liberate” one oil country after another. Conflicts like these are great for making headlines and disabled veterans, but they also take from the limited tax dollars needed to care for veterans after the conflicts end.

Recently, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann backed off her plan to cut $4.5 billion of federal veterans’ benefits. But, Wisconsin’s famous Governor, Scott Walker, is looking to cut state funds for homeless veterans by 53 percent and overall benefits by over $30 million.

Texas is proposing a 20 percent cut for the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC), totaling over $3 million of their current $14 million budget. TVC filed over 170,000 veterans’ claims that resulted in over $2 billion being paid out by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This cutback could result in a loss or delay of $760 million in veterans’ benefits and a loss in state sales tax revenue of more than $26 million.

California Governor Jerry Brownrecently proposed a $10 million cut for another agency that helps returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in acquiring federal VA benefits. According to lobbyist Pete Conaty, for every $1 spent to get a veteran his or her benefits, the veteran receives $100 in benefits. This is money that stays in the local economy where the veteran lives. It doesn’t go to foreign aid or to some Wall Street bank. It goes to the veteran’s local hardware store or coffee shop, wherever she spends her money.

Perspective. In California, 30,000 veterans return to civilian life every year, many of them with injuries and questions about their benefits. Prior to the current wars, veterans had a 10-day wait to talk with a benefits counselor in person. Now, it takes 6 to 8 weeks for an appointment. With these cuts, that delay could be even longer. States with similar cuts will impact veterans everywhere. But, what makes no sense is, that by cutting the up front money, these same states could lose even more millions in tax revenue.

But this all may make sense on a broader spectrum, even though the logic is skewed. There seems to be a recent political trend to cut federal benefits for everyone. Unfortunately, as in Texas, veterans benefits programs are being cut at a disproportionate rate within the state governments. When attempts to cut veterans’ benefits show to be unpopular on the national front, political parties appear to be turning to the states to make up the difference. Either way you skin the cat, the Department of Veterans Affairs could be paying out less money in benefits to veterans who are truly entitled to them over the long term.

Visit DisabledVeterans.org for tips on how to get your benefits if you’re going it alone.

About Benjamin Krause

Benjamin Krause is a Veterans Benefits Attorney and journalist who investigates problems veterans face with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. He regularly reports on veterans' benefits news and analysis on the website DisabledVeterans.org.

Comments

  1. Frankie McCully says:

    I say we cut some benefits that congress enjoy!

    • ArmyWife says:

      Amen to that!

      • Bob Angel says:

        PARALIZED VETERAN…

        If they are going to cut my benefits, they might as well just shoot me!!!!!!!

        • Yeah, that is what they want. This government has no respect for its veterans. Michelle Bachman plans to run for President in 2012.
          She boasted last month to cut VA benefits for service-connected veterans by 50%. We veterans need to file a class action lawsuit against this government for VA law violations. Do it in International Court if need be. ENOUGH!!! Congress doesn't mind cutting our benefits when there families do not serve this country.

    • Kathi Lee says:

      I lived and worked in Washington, DC – they enjoy a ton of bennies! See how they like living without COLA, crowded hospitals, long waits for deciding that you are entitled to a benefit – benefit HELL – the vets earned every penny that they are paid!

      • J Klapper says:

        AMEN!!! the service connected disability that I get paid at $2673 a month due to is what cost me a career that would be paying me 3 or 4 times that easily. And the clowns at Veterans honestly believe they are doing me a favor? I actually called one of their "benefit councilors" over it…

    • Lets keep screwing the vets and keep raising the salaries, huge retirement benifits for politicians etc. I’m sure that the politicians are in the trenches fighting all of these wars keeping us free. Cut the freeloaders benefits. Fix imigration. That will balance the budget in less than a year. Cut all pork barrel projects and stop private projects by representatives that justify their jobs!

    • Judy Lark says:

      I agree!! let Congress take some cuts, and see how they like living on nothing. They treat our Vterans like yesturdays trash. There needs to be a BIG turn around here. Also in regards to the Social Security cuts their talking about, I know some elderly folk eating cat food..whats left to cut? They are looking in the wrong places to cut. My husband is a deceased Veteran…I know the hurt these guys face.

    • Cut Congress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • David Thrall says:

      I think we should stop going to help these countries without them paying for our "services". If we are helping an oil rich country, then we should get a much lower (50%) cost per barrel of oil.
      We are always the worlds "peace keepers", and yet we have to foot the bill for this.
      I totally agree that we pay WAY too much to politicians who just make bad decisions and don't put their lives on the line for OUR COUNTRY as we do!!

  2. Alex Burford says:

    Get rid of the XXXXXXX Social Welfare Crap and Obamacare and cut spending and taxes by 50% with the exception of Defense and Space and you’ll see the deficit come down at light velocity and the economy run like a juggernaut.
    VETERANS HAVE EARNED EVERYTHING THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TOO!!!!! OBAMA & CO. EARN NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dan Burton says:

      What a load of crap, Alex! Let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires expire and the deficit is immediately cut in half. It's those assholes that want all these frickin' wars that have overloaded the VA system. As a USMC combat veteran, I waited 42 years to file and am now 100% disabled drawing $2919 a month. Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki has been the most pro-active POTUS and head of the VA in my lifetime where veterans are concerned. Bush was one of the worst, and it's your Republican representatives in Congress you ought to direct your ire at, since it's idiots like Bachmann that want to rape veterans. Let go of the right wing FOX dogma and use your brains if that's possible. You have no idea what you're talking about, son.

      • AMEN TO THAT DAN.SOME OF THESE VETERANS VOTE THESE FOOLS IN AND THEY TURN AROUND AND STAB EM IN THE BACK. THEY THE POLITICIANS ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS , BUT LIVE LIKE ROYALTY.

      • Dan, you are right. I am a Marine service-connected veteran and it has been a 32 years fight. I have always been 100% and have had to fight for every dime and I am still fighting for the rest of my disability. Republicans have done nothing but cut VA for the past 40 some years starting with rotten Nixon, then Reagan and both rotten Bush's. Clinton did good for us women vets and Obama is trying harder than any President to help us. He made the VA a mandatory budget. Before Obama VA was not a mandatory budget. Us vets are always screwed.

      • thank you Dan, it doesn't require a great deal of research to find out that Republicans have consistently voted against veteran benefits for many years yet are the first to wrap themselves in the flag and "support the troops on Fox News" for all the voters to see. Disgusting liars without honor. I appreciate your response along with the others refuting lies and misinformation from Fox News. NOTE: I watch Fox for comedy and the comedy channel for news :).

      • Robert Opal says:

        WOW Man, I also waited since 71 to file, I didn't want to f–k with the VA all those years… And I finally said the hell with it and filed, being retired at 55 did help me make my mind up to fight that a–holes… It did take me 10 years to finally get my 100% service-connected… But as I read your entry, All I could think of was that TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN… All we need from The President now is a decent increase, and F–K those SOB's we call the GOP….. At 61 I will still stand side by side in a war zone on the front lines with the Weeper Boner aor any of his SOB buddies….

    • Mr. Alex,

      I am a vet who uses Medicare NOT VA coverage. All the things you soyt off against are most often the choice of other VETS of years gone by. Had what you called OBAMA care passed as it was originally writen YOU would be far better off going that route as well. You are a ME-ME-ME guy, wake up the people we went to defend are the people you are cussing.

    • I think that you are barking up the wrong tree, Alex. You blame social welfare and "Obamacare" when actually you should be blaming Wall St. tycoons, Health Insurance companies, and Big Pharma. The gov't bailed them out after they stole 1/3-1/2 of the money that my dad invested (to take care of my mom) in their crooked companies. I agree with you on the statement that veterans earned their benefit.

  3. Kathi Lee says:

    I work for the VFW assisting Veterans in their VA claims. Go to any service office – VFW, Am. Legion, DAV, AMvets, Purple Heart, or Paralyzed Veterans of America and we will assist you – FOR FREE – in processing your claim. Do not use those lawyers – they will charge you a bundle when your claim goes through and they do not have access to VA resources to tell you the status of your claim like we do. God Bless our Veterans!

    • You are so right Kathi, if you use those lawyers, all you get is excuses.
      They never can give you a straight answer. the biggest put off they have is
      YOUR CLAIM HAS GONE TO WASHINGTON. It's a waste of time unless you go to the right people. Good work Kathi, we need more people like you.

      • Robert Opal says:

        Well say what you want about Lawyers… After dealing with those so called Veterans Organizations for almost 10Years and getting no where with my calim.. I finally hired Hill&Ponton in Florida, and it took only 4 months to get a reply from the VA, and in two more months I got my 100% and a fat check… So it goes to show that if you hire a lawyer that works mostly with VA claims, you can get your benifits…
        It also helped that I organized my medical records by month and year which I recommend highly you need to do…

        • Exactly Robert. Those VA lawyers are the best. I did my own claim for 20 years. Its the VFW and the DAV that screwed it up. The lawyers get paid by the VA court. First time in court the court pays all there fees whether you win or not. Then on remand if you keep your lawyer or hire a different one they get 20% of the back pay. Not a bad deal especially when the service organizations keep messing up your claim and don't know the law. I do know VA law and that is why I am winning. I quit using using VA organizations.

          • Robert Opal says:

            Well it cost me 25grand for the lawyers I hired, but it was only a small amout when you compair the time and gas i waisted in the 10 years I delt with the VA… And when you fingure in the monthly difference between 40% and a !00%plus all my meds and medical care I have gotten, I can't cry about what the lawyer charged me, plus I jewed them down 5 grand…

    • James Smith says:

      Call me then Kathi. James Smith. I took a severance pay in 1990 when I got hurt on Active Duty. The VA lost my records and then denied my case. I have tried for 20 years to have my case re-heard and I'm being told since VA denied it originally none of my recorded injuries are service connected. I was a medic that helped a lot of injured soldiers, but the VA workers act like the money is coming out of their own pocket or they get paid a bonus not to do their jobs. semajsh0609@aol.com Email me some help or advise.

  4. Patrick T. says:

    If this won't make you angry, then Google Government sponsored Muslim programs. Seems we could carve a couple of billion off that. What in the he** are these politicians doing? They live in fairy tale land. Where the only thing that matters is their being elected.

  5. Please don't forget the history of Politicians when addressing Military people in the USofA. When you enter the Military and are sent off to fight and possibly die all the while sacrificing so much of yourself and your families you are told over and over again how proud the Nation is of you.

    When you leave the Service. You are no more important or deserving of anything as they have gotten all they can out of you already.

  6. Michael Dempsey says:

    We all need to remember the phrase " follow the money" our Gov't is bought and paid for 10 times over. There are 27 corporate lobbyist for every member of congress, every member of congress makes over $200K a year, very few have served, they only care about us when the elections roll around.

    • Brian Duncan says:

      I couldn't agree with you more. We are now a country OF THE MONEY, BY THE MONEY, FOR THE MONEY. Honestly Washington only cares about the military when it's convenient to do so.

  7. Gerry Nesbitt says:

    Lets not kid ourselves ; the government won't allow private companies to bring our own oil to the market , but have no problem buying it from middle east countries, helping to fund the wars against us. It's the veterans who gave polititions the right to hold office, and it's informed and commited
    veterans who can get them out. For those of us who served, the very thought of losing critically needed benefits is another wound due to 'hostile action' at home.

  8. AngryAmerican says:

    There was a time when you could count on the republican party to talk big about supporting the troops and then turn around and stab vets in the back. Agent Orange was a good example. Richard Nixon leaving behind a few hundred POWs in his rush to get out of Viet Nam is another. The list is long and sad. What's really bad news is that these days you can count on the democrats to take a dump on veterans, the elderly and the working poor. Many years ago you could count on democrats to oppose going to war but you could also count on them to support veterans benefits. Now we have NOBODY. Both parties to one degree or another are willing to mouth off with their phony patriotic BS when they want to invade another oil patch and BOTH parties are more than willing to leave veterans with squat. They themselves and their grown up kids don't serve except for a few rare cases. They love to mouth off about what great Americans they are and then they backstab the men and woman who have proven themselves to be the country's best citizens. We need to get good decent people to run for office and push these slugs out of office at primary election time. We need veterans who are committed to doing what;s right to challenge these corporate puppets in primary elections and take their congressional and Senate seats. Get enough good people in power and we can restore some justice and get back our country from the scumbags who want to shovel money by the bucket to the bankers and corporate aristocrats. I know most veterans didn't serve their country just so we could spend our lives on our knees begging crumbs from the richest one percent who now own more than the bottom ninety percent combined.

    • Angrier than you! says:

      " What's really bad news is that these days you can count on the democrats to take a dump on veterans, the elderly and the working poor."

      Jesus, is everyone here braindead? That is just pure lunacy and not even worthy on this comment. Holy mackerel! HAHA

  9. I am so discusted will these slobs who start wars but don't fight them.That's what I call a coward.
    Commander in chief my ass,this bozo has not one military action in his life.He is just another puppet reading off a teleprompter.
    Let me tell you if you don't know…..it;s all about oil.Oil is thicker than blood.
    I did what my country asked of me and then got spit on buy my own people.
    This is all B.S. that there conserned about the rebels lives,they don't even know who they are!
    Kadaffy was allowed to live because of oil even though he killed all the people on the Pan Am airliner in Scotland……the gods honest truth.
    The VA health care is piss poor at best

    • What about Bush letting his flight status lapse by not getting a physical? Surely it's just a coincidence that it happened just as the Air Force initiated Operation Golden Flow that would have required urinalysis for drug testing. Surely George the Worst wasn't afraid to pee in a bottle?

      I served in the Air Force and, believe me, a real pilot would move heaven and earth to keep his flight status.

      And don't forget Darth Cheney explaining his many draft deferments saying he "had other priorities."

      None of the Neocons that lied us into the longest war in US history served in the military except Bush and his daddy helped him avoid the 'Nam, arranging for him to leapfrog a long waiting list to get into the 'Champagne Unit' in the Texas Air National Guard, from which he basically deserted.

      • devildog7885 says:

        Maine corps starte piss testing in 1980 the first branch to do so.urine testing was proven effective in 1978.

      • the1squeaky says:

        He was so full of cocaine he could not pass the physical. I lived in Houston where he hung out and purchased the crap he sucked up his nose and smoked.
        Yes he failed to take his flight physical as he would have been given a BCD at best if not a DD for drug use.

    • Grunt, I totally disagree with you. I was also a grunt. Combat wounded and 100% disabled. I've been in the VA system for 40+ years.
      I will tell you without a doubt that our current President has done more for Veterans and the VA than any others.. 40 yrs ago the VA was a dumping ground. I know because I was dumped there.
      But the VA is getting much better. The health care is not piss poor in fact it is pretty damn good.
      What gets me is seeing a car in the VA parking lot with a bumper sticker "NOBAMA" I ask a old vet getting out of his NOBAMA truck ..How long had you been coming to the VA his answer.. about a year. Well I told him I have been coming for 40 yrs and Obama is doing a hell of a good job for veterans.
      Yes, Veterans must stand together and fight for their benefits.. but also be thankful for the support we get. No country takes care of their vets like the U.S. does. I've been on disability for more than 40 yrs and I do thank the U.S. taxpayers for their help…

  10. If corporations were taxed and rich people had a 3% raise in their taxes there'd be no more "deficit". If the country would stop making war it's business there'd be money for schools, roads, and all the things that governments are supposed to do for the people.

    But oh no, can't raise rich people's or wall street taxes, and if corporations were taxed who would make massive campaign contributions to re-elect the sleazes who call themselves the people's representatives?

    • the1squeaky says:

      if the rich was to pay the full 35% as we do instead of 15% capital gains tax as they do we would be out of the hole in a very short period of time. We need to charge capital gain tax at the same as wage earners must pay for their labor.

      Frank Bowers, FIC,—- 100% DAV—Austin, TX

  11. I HAVE TO AGREE WITH ALL THESE COMMENTS.ITS SHAMEFUL THE WAY THEASE FAIRWEATHER POLITICANS TREAT THE VETS .WE GET THE SHAFT AFTER EVERY WAR. YES ITS ALL ABOUT OIL.THE CONGRESSMEN GETS BIG PAY RAISES ,THE VETS GET THE SHORT END OF THE SHITY STICK.

  12. My husband was a Vietnam Vet. died from Agent orange, I live off survival benefits for widow. Am disabled but STILL haven't gotten my S.S. D thru yet. While haven't had a rate increase in several years is hard! My husband and I both worked every day of our lives! He was proud to serve his country.He was a volunteer when most guys his age were running away! Is only 1154 a month but I don't know how I would live at all without it.Is not even CLOSE to what he earned while alive, but it beats nothing! I stand for and beside ALL our vets.God Bless you all.keep fighting the good fight and stand proud! Vietnam vet widow!

    • What did your husband die of. My husband was in Korea during the Vietnam war and he was on the DMZ operating the Hawk missles for defense. He has cancer from agent orange. We were turned down the first time and our lawyer has filed a apeal. My insurance has paid almost 3/4 of a million dollars for Chemo so far. I have now lost my job and am paying cobra which runs out in a few months.

    • Your husband died from a disease caused by Agent Orange exposure. The VA calls these diseases presumptive conditions.If he died from one of these conditions you may qualify for DIC and CHAMPVA through the VA.

    • SPC5 Goodman says:

      I'm a Vet from nam sorry about husdand hope you get your s.s.d thank you and god bless you.

  13. My name is Ken and I got out of the USAF in 1992. I spent a total of 6 years in Korea, but not fighting a war, but defending S. Korea against communism. I was in Korea during Desert Storm, but did not get to to fight. I will soon be 60 and I wish I was able to help fight and let a young man or woman stay home and live their life in pease. I was part of the early release program and was paid approx. $38000 when I was released. I paid my taxes on the money I recieved and was left with around $29000. After I got out, I was given a 20% disability from VA. It is now 2011 and I just recieved my first disability check after almost 19 years. They told me that I had to pay back the AF the money I recieved before I would get a VA check. The amount I ended paying back was well over $45000. My first question is why? Why did I have to pay back money that was paid to me for the time I had served. The VA disability was given to me after I got out of the AF. Can someone explain to me why? The VA did not make it clear to me. I also think I should have gotten back the money I paid in taxes. But, you cannot fight the City Hall as they say.

    • Because it's the law. You can't get paid twice for the same thing. You can also request an audit of your account through the VA

    • Cletus R. Slabach says:

      Ken,
      I got a Medical discharge and received about what you did. I was told that I could not receive any disability pay for what I was medically discharge for. You shouldn't have had to pay back anything. You need to get a lawyer that works mainly with vets to help you get your money back. If you need to talk about this let me know.. I had to get a lawyer to help me with my disability, cause the Legion and DAV weren't really doing anything for me.

      • the1squeaky says:

        I dealt strictly with the DAV office in Waco, Texas and did after 20 years get my disability approved. I considered getting an attorney but after attending an interview with two I stayed with the service officer at the DAV.
        First I was awarded 20 % after 10 years and then finally 100% about 5 years later.
        I have no faith in them now as I found they lost my records and that is why it took so long. The good thing is I had made copies of ever thing and is what saved my rear.
        The thing I would suggest to all is to make duplicate copies of ever thing before releasing it to any service officer of attorney.

        Frank Bowers—FIC—100%DAV—-Austin, TX

    • I was eventually approved for VA and Social Security disability. The key to how it works is that they can't know for sure that you need the disability income/benefits, if you have a substantial amount of money in your name. Or if you have a family (or people that can help support you financially), I don't think they can start giving you disability until YOU NEED IT. At least this is how my case went. Heh. But I think this is how disability benefits basically works in all cases. But obviously they will look at many other factors … so different cases may require different circumstances in order to be approved or to be assigned a "disability rating". So my case probably differs from every other case. So maybe there are other details that can delay you getting disability. However, they probably wanted you to pay back over $45000 mainly because they can't give you disability until you TRULY NEED IT. If you, say, kept the $45000, then you probably would have to wait until you completely ran out of money. Because basically, from a financial standpoint, you are stable enough to manage daily life. But if you have no money, then they can approve you for receiving disability income.

      • By definition, if you are disabled or partially disabled, that means that the diagnosis/condition you received is the reason(s) that you cannot gain suitable employment for income. So once again, they have to wait until you absolutely NEED IT. That's how I understand the disability process, anyhow. So if you were given a 20% disability rating, then the VA thinks you can still work to an extent. I have a 100% disability rating, so VA thnks I can't work at all … and I really can't work … though I would like to get a job. Heh.

        • I even tried to make it in the Army, but eventually it was discovered that I couldn't even hold any job in the whole Army because I had a mental disorder (I didn't know I had at the time) that was severe enough to render me unemployable in any MOS, which eventually resulted in an early, honorable, and medical discharge. I have a severe case of Schizophrenia/Bi-polar (otherwise known as psychotic Schizoaffective disorder), and quick research into this mental illness will reveal that Schizophrenia is the "cancer" of mental illnesses/disorders, and Schizophrenia has no cure. The best I can do is take my daily meds to help me function better in daily life. My case is pretty bad, because I've also been diagnosed with depression/anxiety and PTSD; however, a Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective diagnosis is all they needed to eventually approve me for disability income, which did not kick in until I completely ran out of money.

          • But, if I could get stable employment and didn't need disability income, then that would be perfectly fine to me. Cause then, they can allocate resources to people who may need it more than I do. While I was stationed in Germany, I donated a decent amount of money to CFC organizations because I had enough disposable funds (even though I was only an E-3/E-4) to try to help organizations or charities or organizations that can help give people with mental disabilities more help and spread more awareness about mental illnesses. Because ultimately, someone once said that fighting is 90% mental and 10% physical. Right? So imagine why I could not do an infantry-oriented MOS, even though my corrupt Commander (at the time) thought about sending me to the infantry because of the stereotype that it doesn't take much "intelligence" to do infantry/combat. But I believe infantry MOSs require a helluva lot of mental/intellectual prowess. Unfortunately, many people disagree (especially a lot of drill sergeants). But anyway, I didn't know they were going to assign me a 100% disability rating, so now I have plenty of funds to donate to redcross or ASPCA or Easter Seals (Autism-research organization), etc.

          • I realize how people can get angry about controversy relating to VA benefits; however, I personally don't even care about money. I always try to NOT make money a priority (even if it is). Thus, I am a firm believer that if I can't do much due to my mental illness, the least I can do is donate what I can to people/organizations who need assistance. I know this is extremely cliche, but there are a helluva lot more important things in life than money.

          • Initially, I enlisted in the US Army all for the right reasons. I just wanted a stable career and I hoped the Army would help me achieve that goal. And for the right reasons, I didn't even care where I was stationed because I liked the idea of hopefully being able to help people or being a contributing member of society. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. But I still and always believe in honor and integrity and all that good stuff. It's about being a good person or a good soldier or whatever. I always believe in doing the right thing. Unfortunately, some people join the Armed Forces because they did not want to go to jail … and unfortunately some of those people don't get rehabilitated well enough thru training. And I think that that is the secret as to why certain people may have extra problems gaining certain benefits. But, I really don't understand that policy anyway, because I enlisted in the Army because I wanted a career that could help contribute to societies. I'm a good boy and I always want to look for good in EVERYBODY.

          • Unfortunately, the system has to deal with certain people in different ways which is why there is such thing as WAR to begin with. But I wish there was peace and goodness for everybody. I am willing to die for these beliefs. Anyhow though, sorry if I got too wordy. Just wanted to, perhaps, offer my 2 cents. You know, they probably could make an innovative military movie about my case. "Rejoice O young man in thy youth …" — Ecclesiastes

  14. Rex Campos says:

    This is a patently ridiculous idea…I am a Navy vet currently going to school. There will be hell to pay if they think they can cut VA benefits. My 9/11 GI bill pays for my school, which is expensive enough, and now politicians are talking about cutting VA benefits…that is stupid. We all served our country honorably (and in my case still serving this country in the Reserves) and we all deserve the benefits we are getting for fighting and defending our country and the United States Constitution. I agree with some of the posts here. Maybe we should just let the bush era tax cuts run out, and cut some of the high end benefits that the Senators and Congressman/women enjoy, and give that money back to the vets, their families and our localities…

    • Ben Adams says:

      I wish it were true, I have been doing that for years and i must be the only one doing it because they gave it no thought and dismissed. No i really think the problem is that most are rich and come from arrogantly white collar corrupt backgrounds. The ones coming in poor get sucked into it long enough to get kicked out because they will never be able to make anything happen. We need to create a "Veterans For America" party and scare hell of them that way, there are way more of us and one thing I know about ex military; we want to work together as a team, we want to work for the better ethics in america, we want to work for mutual respect and i think we all know that we can't be chiefs but the chief we pick we should be able to trust more than anyone in DC today. I say help me get it on. I am on facebook and ready and wiling to serve my country cause as peaceful as possible with the monsters at large

      • The power is in numbers. I just posted a reply to someone else stating that I recently watched a news program where a reported broke down the "main" problem in the deficit. It was the aging population of the United States, not just the vets. He stated that 40% of the deficit was due to pensions, benefits, medical etc. If we as part of the 40% work together and identify the congressmen/women and politicians who are looking at the aging population including the Vets to balance the budget by cutting our benefits we can ban together and send them a message – get out of office – this economic mess happened on your watch. Wasn't it just a few years ago when we that we had a balance budget, hell even social security seem solvent. Everyone had jobs, Yeah a democrat was the top man in office…
        Anyway – getting back to it. We need to create a website or twitter account and start pulling in first the Vets, then the rest of the baby-boomers that are also loosing their benefits. Finally invite all active duty personnel and have them take a hard look at what is in their future. This should give us enough numbers to vote the people out of congress that are not doing their jobs. This happened on their watch and they want us to pay by cutting our benefits and pay. I say "lead by example". If we are the 40% and if we all vote, I am sure we can hire the right people to do the job right.

  15. What I would like to see is all soldiers serving on active duty, to walk off the bases and tell this country and its politicians to go to hell. They have no right to declare wars and deny our benefits. And our military Generals and Admirals in my opinion have a duty to protect our soldiers and our benefits. They are our biggest failure when they do not stand up to Congress. They need to tell Congress to pay up or don't lead our men and women into harms way or battle.

  16. Also we need to push for a return of the draft. Draft those snivling little cowards that are the children of our Congressmen and put them in the front lines and see just how fast things will change. Their lives are to cushy.

    • Draft won't catch the sniveling children of politicians. Never did. Never will.

      • Therein, lies the crux of PTSD; knowing the world might be better of w/out these whiny cowards if I/we did them in but since We fought for freedom and have a deeper understanding/respect for it than they can never comprehend w/their Ivy League Degrees. we make achoice to not do what we were trained to do only too well. Traditionally, those who rise to the call come from ancestors who rose in the Revolutionary War, and the story has been the same since then. Veterans and specifically Grunts are expendable! When we return it puzzles them why someof us are still alive and they deliberately make it difficult to obtain benefits rightfully earned, hoping we may just fade away or do ourselves in to relieve them of the obligation to face up to their empty promises and they can co0ntinue to deny their guilt for not having the ‘cahones’ or ‘cheechies’ to do what is right! As they continue to jerk around the Veterans who sacrificed for their freedom to screw everybody else absorbed in childish self-centered Pop Culture ********; I long for the day they givrre a War and those of us who for 200 years plus have been Patriotic say; NO, time for you sniveling worms to prove your distorted idea of how “Empowered” You think You Are! VETS-Men/Women whatever you do, keep up the fight and above all else-DO NOT let them force you into doing yourself in as somaqny of our era VETS did! When that happens, the Scumbags in D.C. and Wall Street Crooks win!

        Thomas Crabtree
        U.S. Army 1965-1971
        Airborne Infantry-1st Cav, 101st, 82d

        • Looking for a Thomas Crabtree that was our Capt. at Camp Evans with 101st 3/187. I hope it is you. It will make a lot of guys happy! Hoping to hear from you.

    • They'd game the system and leave the middle class and poor to fight.

      See my reply to Grunt above.

  17. Same thing happened to me Ken accept i was in the USN and served from 1987 to 1997 they gave me a check for a high ten year and i was only 10 % advisability untill 2007 when they put me at 40 % !! I called and ask what was going on and they told me it was considered as double dipping ( go figure ?) I ask how is a high ten year got to do with medical conditions that the service did not prevent !!! All i got was a ugh i don't know !!! To me its was just another way to screw us out of our money !!!

  18. They're screw'n almost every person in this country these days. You read the anger I see above in the comment sections of every article about government,
    so it isn't like we don't know it…..the anger is everywhere. Yet we continue to
    vote for "the lesser of two evils". …..like the good li'l sheeple we be.

  19. make the rich pay their fair share, get of ff this first black president ,always critizing, don't you guys get it this crap with this putting down our president will only tear this country apart. there won't be anything for anybody!

    • Robert Opal says:

      Just look around you, we have already lost this country… It's all foregin interest that own everything already… Look at all your labels on the things that you buy, hell i've seen shirts in WalMart with labels that say made in Saigon, not that's a slap in the chops….. And all the oil company's, Banks, and what ever are all off shore… Shit even my damn Chevy Avalanche is built in F–king Mexico

    • Also from me, Please stop bashing our president. I for one totally disliked our last president & the reasons he took us to war. I guess I can almost say I hated him, but he was our president & oh yes I bashed him in my mind, but not to the world to see

  20. I sure hope everyone here spreads the word and writes both your state and federal representatives. A constant barrage is all that is going to get their attention. And while you're at it, send a contribution, no matter how small to a veterans group like Disabled American Veterans to help with the cause. Even if we differ in opinions politically, I am proud of all of you for serving. I'm ex-navy, my oldest is ex-navy, my youngest is still serving and my step-son is air force still in the reserves. This fight is ours to win or lose. Write your representatives! Take care and be well.

    • Ben Adams says:

      I wish it were true, I have been doing that for years and i must be the only one doing it because they gave it no thought and dismissed. No i really think the problem is that most are rich and come from arrogantly white collar corrupt backgrounds. The ones coming in poor get sucked into it long enough to get kicked out because they will never be able to make anything happen. We need to create a "Veterans For America" party and scare hell of them that way, there are way more of us and one thing I know about ex military; we want to work together as a team, we want to work for the better ethics in america, we want to work for mutual respect and i think we all know that we can't be chiefs but the chief we pick we should be able to trust more than anyone in DC today. I say help me get it on. I am on facebook and ready and wiling to serve my country cause as peaceful as possible with the monsters at large.

  21. Arctictough says:

    This is one of the reasons why I am considering leaving the Service, becoming an Ex-Pat and joining a foreign country's military…… i.e. the TA, RAF or Canadian Forces. Why continue to serve a government who cares as much for me as they do the dog s#$! on the White House lawn. These past 13 years seem like a real waste.

  22. In the 1933 movie, Joan Blondell sings a song called "My Forgotten Man", about how the government forgot about the men from World War I and all they had done in the first "War to End all Wars." The U.S. has a history of not taking care of its veterans adequately and I tell anyone thinking of enlisting, as I did twice, is that politicians rarely are among the ranks of veterans, nor are their children. So why should they care? Also, the morons who usually send us to war are never veterans.

  23. When does it all end?….When the Veterans take back what is ours…."We the people for the people by the people." NOT "We the Government for the Government by the Government"…I always thought the Green Berets motto was to protect the oppressed?…Well…we are oppressed by our own Government, Vet's loosing their homes, Vet's loosing benefits, Vet's loosing all they served for….Where are the Green Berets now?….Fighting for Arab Oil…….

  24. I read something a few weeks ago now, that struck me as "how it should be."

    Politicians compare the cost of care for the average veteran to the average non-veteran, and it is naturally much higher. Less than 10% of veterans get most of the money spent on medical care and disability. This is going back to WWII. Cutting that out isn't going to make much of a dent in the deficit.

    Veterans and Native Americans are the only people who have truly paid the price to live in this country. They should be the last on the chopping block. You sure as hell can't call what a politician does as "service to country."

  25. Wanna cut the budget more? Make all congress and senate live in base housing and drop their per diem allowances. saves money, utilizes available housing near DC, keeps them in clusters for quicker elimination should the need arise due to their ignorance and arrogance

  26. The Draft is out, but a mandatory two year service obligation for any able adult in America should become law…

  27. I say we take up arms and become rebels ourselves,while these bastards set on thier fat asses,smoking big cigars.

  28. I personally feel that this country's worst enemy is the politicians and bureaus in washington, D.C.We will never have a country that respects the people who swore to uphold the Constitution and did . As for as I'm concered
    they are nothing but trash ,and should be taken out just the same as trash.

    concerned patriot

  29. Cletus R. Slabach says:

    Well all I have to say.. is that If it wasn't for President Clinton's Military draw down to get HIS budget back in the RED. I would have been able to serve longer then I did. I had to settle for a Medical Discharge.
    Now, IF Clinton wouldn't have did his Military DRAW DOWN, The US Military would not have to to rely on the National Guard and Reserves. Right now there aren't enough full time Military to do the job. And I do think that the draft should be back.. Everyone in the US should serve their country in some form.

  30. tony miranda says:

    i am a world war 2 disable vet i am oppose cuting vets benifits we shoud march to washington and be counted

  31. Let me know the date and time for that march and I’ll be there

  32. Cut all overseas aid in half today.Stop food to places that have oil,let them eat the dam stuff.Two year service is good for all.Get more vets to run for office.
    All vets need to join VFW=A/L=40/8=VVA=DAV=anything to make them larger,
    talk with each other on who to vote for.Take up for our brothers,help each other.Pray a little for the ones in need.Take care of that flag and your bible.
    don't let them get pushed around.If the veterans with their family's would all vote,I think those in office would hear what we have to say.May God watch over the good in this world, and knock down the bad.

  33. lets cut these benefitts that these congressman,senators,governers,judges and any other polico who comes up with these ideas,better yet lets put them on the front line in afgan,iraq and now libya,maybe then they won,t be so quick to put there foot in there mouth,these non vets make me sick,chicken….

  34. Jon Weiss says:

    Don't you just love the way that politicians seem to feel that it is somehow justified that veterans benefits should be reduced, and welfare increased? Reductions for those who sacrificed… and increases for those who have given nothing?

  35. veteran says:

    we should vote to get are own veteran in office and cut all aid to foriegn countries. and cut funding for all muslum programs cut foriengn military exchange programs that train are enemys or soon to be enemys or any arab countries for instance i live in san antonio and i live by lackland air force base and i see a bunch of saudis training and also walking around in there countries uniforms around civilians in the city *** U.S we also supply some of our own enemys with weapons. we need to clean house there all corupt and oil and money controll them banging us in the butt making us flip the bill with the little they give us. seening foriegn troops on U.S soil made me angry made me want to use the skills i accquired in the U.S Army to show that thats not right thats like throwing a chunck of flesh to a school of hungry sharks.what do yall think i hope u understand what i mean.also the va service is useless there slow dnt show that they care for the veterans. there ptsd program also dont help,and they had ptsd issues since the first war how come they havnt found a cure or a meadication that works. ive gone for help so many times and nothing works not only that but ptsd affected my family and they told me they can only council me not my wife or my oldest son.if i get sick it takes like a month at the least to see a dr. unless i go to the er wich takes me 12 to 24 hrs to see a dr. and finally when i do they jst want to tranquillize me and put me in the padded room cuz im so mad they took so long.then the try to prescribe me pills that have more side affects worst side effects then it takes like 3 to 4 weeks to work i dnt have 4 weeks when i get sick i need something to calm me down right there and then. and nothing they gives me work jst makes me worst and addicted to pills. i found one drug that works instantly but it has its flaws and sad to say its iellegal. at this time i dnt knw what to do i already lost my family i hope my sickness dnt make me loose my life. alot of times its not even about the war anymore its about surviving out trying to be accepted by socitey trying to be like everyone else suposedly normal

  36. You can’t explain combat. It can only be learned thru experience. Its a pretty ****** lesson. I doubt they would just stop paying the disabled veterans. There is a large amount of people collecting woowee. But *** do you expect when yur fighting two wars for 10 years. Its not fraud, its not a cover up, its 100’s of thousands of people being injured by the worst the world has to offer. I get 100% ptsd. I was only in the army for a couple years. I had a tech job in a bad place. Idk if they ever should have started paying me 5 years ago. I know I was still in a real bad place for a long time when I got home. Even now, I’m just off. Enough outgoing bangs, incoming bangs and tank bangs and oxygen tank bangs and bang bang bang. Lol well not only does it take its toll on the hearing and the brain, but also to the people who survive. But *** am I gonna do if they stop paying me? My last place of employment was Baquba, Iraq in 2003. O.o job skills o.O I spend 90% of my time avoiding everyone. Anyways, I guess ill get a coleman tent and head to washington with my dog. Sound familar?

  37. J. Reiner says:

    Here is one for the books I have been waiting for my disability benefits for 33 years. My VA records were rat holed in a place called Pembroke, NC and i was even refused access to the VA hospital. They told me that because I was retired from the Army i could use the Military Hospital on a space available.we got Tricare Health Insurance witch was the best thing going at the time. I finally gave up on VA after waiting 33 years for my benefit payments. I resubmitted claims provided VA everything they asked for and about 2 years have passed and still no satisfaction. Recon I will not live long enough to see a satisfactory conclusion .

  38. JIM STOLZ says:

    THE CORPORATE BROWN NOSING POLITICIANS ARE DISGUSTING AND THE FOOLS (voteres) CONTINUE TO BUY THEIR SLICK WALL STREET ADDS..GOD BLESS AMERICA..

  39. Cut benefits for veterans? I vote to cut benefits for politicians – from the Governor's mansion to the Presidential pension.

    • I agree with you, Lisa!! They are so over paid, but expect veterans or their spouses to live on such a small amount of money, while they are more than over paid! Cut their pay checks!! That's the answer!!!!!!

  40. charlie mae says:

    i would support a war that the people of that country want to stop. but thats not the case in this instance, we dont know thier and we never will that what they do and after its all over with all the lives lost it will go on its been proven so why not except it, and move on i get it we cant we have gotten ourselves in something that will continue to take away from us to show that we are tough but as i said at whos expense,

  41. charlie mae says:

    i come from a military family all my uncles served a long time and i am very patriotic and have children who are serving and have retired and now grandchildren now in the military as i said america theres nowhere id rather be but please dont forget about your people. we are willing to give all for whatever is needed, but we want to live also.

  42. Charles i have always believed that the draft should be reinstated or let everyone serve in some way work in a hospital, on an ambulance for the fire department or some other way to serve the country it would do them all a lot of good and let them taste working for military pay for two years. I am 100% disabled housebound and Retired US Army my pay just got cut 50 bucks a month like a lot of other folks but i bet we get a raise next year right before the Presidential election.