Thursday, November 18, 2010

Service members, the fallen and veterans

Matt Boisvert is an Iraq War veteran who lost a leg in a Falluja bombing and the use of one arm. But, as Christine McConville (Boston Herald) reports the VA is saying that Boisvert's injuries aren't serious enough to "qualify for an adaptive housing grant." Not only did the VA decide he wasn't qualified, they refused to offeran explanation as to why that was. In other news, Spc Moranne McBeth died July 2nd while serving in Iraq. John Ramsey (Fayetteville Observer) reports that the military has stopped classifying the death as an accident and are now terming it a murder:

Sylvia McBeth said she's now been told three different stories about how their daughter died.
The first soldiers who notified the McBeths told them that Morganne McBeth had accidentally stabbed herself while playing with a knife in a tent.
Later they were told she was tossing a knife against a board with two other soldiers. The knife got lodged in the board, and one of the soldiers accidentally stabbed McBeth when pulling out the knife.
Finally, Slyvia McBeth said, investigators told them she was murdered. The suspects were friends of McBeth's, Sylvia said.

Rusty Dennen (Free Lance-Star) adds, "Her parents said they grew concerned after their daughter's remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, and they were not allowed to view the body. The couple later received a coroner's report that McBeth had been stabbed to death."

Meanwhile Amanda Gardner (HealthDay Reporter) explains a new study indicates veterans with PTSD may be at a "higher risk for heart disease." Reuters adds, "Study results, presented at the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association meeting held in Chicago this week, suggest that doctors should provide early and aggressive evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with the disorder." John F. Hoctor (Hartford Advocate) reports on the University of Connecticut Health Center's Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET), which will be a two-year study of veterans with PTSD. The VA's National Center for PTSD executive director Dr. Matthew Friedman states, "One of the biggest challenges right now is that most people with PTSD have at least one other problem, often two other problems, or more. They may often be depressed or they may have a drinking or a drug problem. Or with the new vets from the new wars, they may have a mild traumatic brain injury on top of their PTSD." And the office of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson released the following:

November 11, 2010
Ray Seva (505) 362-6089

SANTA FE -- Governor Bill Richardson today announced the award of a contract to conduct innovative retreats for treating veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).The treatment program will use an integrative approach, combining existing clinical treatments with non-clinical alternative methods.
"Our veterans deserve our full support for serving and protecting our country," Governor Richardson said. "This innovative program will offer a new approach for treating veterans who are battling post-combat issues as they try to transition to civilian life after their military service."
The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Governor Richardson announced a $350,000 allocation from discretionary funds to the Department of Veterans Services earlier this year. The department has contracted with the National Veterans’ Wellness & Healing Center in Angel Fire through a competitive process.
The retreats will concentrate on combining existing cognitive processing and prolonged exposure therapies with non-traditional treatments such as yoga, acupuncture, and nature-based therapies. Veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would be eligible to participate.
"There is a tremendous amount of interest nationwide in using an integrative approach for treating PTSD," said New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services Cabinet Secretary John M. Garcia. "I applaud the Governor for taking this step and opening the door for the state to become recognized as the leader in offering the latest available treatment for affected veterans and their families."
The Department of Veterans' Services will oversee the integrative Wellness Treatment program. For more information about veteran's services, visit

Howard Wilkinson (Cincinnati Enquirer) reports there will be a send-off ceremony Friday morning at Fairfield Church in Cincinnati for members of the Ohio National Guard deploying to Iraq.

The following community sites -- plus CCR, Jane Fonda, LAT and -- updated last night:

We'll close with this from Debra Sweet's "Yemen, Targeted Killing & the 'Rule of Law'" (World Can't Wait):

The Crimes are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them statement World Can't Wait published last month, signed by 35 well known people, has just gotten an answer of sorts, also in The New York Times today.
A quarter page ad on the opinion page by the Washington Legal Foundation attacks the ACLU and The Center for Constitutional Rights for opening "an alarming new front in the activist campaign to judicially impose a myopic view of "civil liberties" on U.S. anti'terror decisions."
I transcribed the ad on my blog. The ad centers on the lawsuit, brought by CCR and the ACLU in US federal court, where attorneys argued last Monday that the Obama administration should be enjoined from putting anyone on the "to - be - killed" list -- and certainly from actually killing them -- without due process. Unless you argue that international law doesn't apply, as the Obama administration does, this is stand against arbitrary state killing seems basic to defend rights of individuals against the force of government. especially a government with the largest military in world history.

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends