Thursday, June 24, 2010

Veterans issues

Yesterday, US Senator Sherrod Brown's office issued the following:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $300,000 has been awarded to Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, Inc. to support homeless veterans. The competitive grant is distributed through The Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP), authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
"Veterans without homes who have trouble finding jobs are not being provided with the resources they have earned," Brown said. "These funds will invest in closing the gap in veterans' services and help former service men and women succeed in civilian life."
Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, Inc. will utilize the funds for a variety of support services, including education and job training, counseling, job placement and follow up assistance for homeless veterans in Franklin County.

Tuesday the Senate Armed Services Committee had to wade through a ton of crap from a bunch of spinning generals and a doctor whose relationships with the truth were obviously troubled. The hearing covered PTSD, TBI and military suicides. And you were told that bad, bad NPR had gotten it all wrong in their or 'their' story. No one present appeared aware that it was a series of joint-investigative reports from NPR and ProPublica. AND. Difficult for generals to read? Is that the problem? They can listen to the radio but they can't read? Do we need to start a literacy program for US generals?

We need to do something because they insisted -- and none more so than Gen Peter Chiarelli -- that everything was taken care of, everything was going swimmingly. They self-stroked and spun and lied. See Tuesday's snapshot and Wednesday's snapshot.

They never learn. They don't learn from Iraq, to be sure. They've lied repeatedly about Iraq and every time they get off a real howler, reality slaps them upside the head. Reality slapped Tuesday's Liars as well.

KTVU reports (link has text and video) that
a 37-year-old Army recruiter is dead, apparently a suicide. Though the recruiter's name has not yet been made public, it is said that he was an Iraq War veteran. Peter Hegarty (San Jose Mercury News) adds that the service member apparently shot himself. What the lying generals refuse to grasp is that lives are more important than their need to spin. They should be ashamed of themselves. Every military suicide since their Tuesday performance should have the press asking them if they still stand by their testimony.

Are we still pretending the military generals have a handle on this? Really?

In other if-you-play-stupid-you-can-believe news, Bill Straub (Evansville Courier & Press) reports that the VA is putting together a "surveillance program" for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans exposed to harmful chemicals such as sodium dichromate. They're not doing a damn thing. That's nonsense. It's a way to avoid proposals -- such as Evan Bayh's in the Senate -- that a federal registry be created. There's no oversight outside of the VA and no binding demands on what's being 'implemented.'

The following community sites updated last night:

Plus Betty's "Distractions and disappointments" which isn't showing up but has published. Today on Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman speaks with IVAW's Camilo Mejia and others; and on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR), the first hour addresses TBI and PTSD.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee continues addressing a number of issues, check out the DPC's video page, and we'll note Senator Benjamin Cardin addressing the issue of Supreme Court nominees:

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