Fort Hood...not terrorism...no benefits to dead and wounded...

billc

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The cost of trying to play down terrorism and its connection to radical islam is going to effect our soldiers who were wounded during the terrorist attack at Fort Hood...or should I say, "act of work place violence."

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/...ot-Terrorism-Wounded-Soldiers-Get-No-Benefits

Victims of the Nov. 2009 Ft. Hood shooting are being denied benefits commensurate with combat injuries because the Obama administration refuses to label the attack an act of terrorism.

Instead, the shooting Maj. Nidal Hasan carried out after screaming "Allahu Akbar" it is still being labeled "workplace violence."
The difference between labeling the incident "workplace violence" and "terrorism" is not only the rightful recognition 13 of our troops deserve for being killed in service to their country on Nov. 5, 2009, but also ongoing benefits that would help survivors pay for the physical therapy, and other medical and psychological treatments that might be necessary to a full recovery.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has openly stated that the shooting, which took place in his state, was an act of terrorism and that the president such recognize it as such. He said, "President Obama's refusal to call it an act of terror is a shining example of this administration's devotion to political correctness over the defense of our men and women in uniform."
 

Makalakumu

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I've told this story many times on MT, but it applies here as we'll. When I was 15years old, I was a Boy Scout and a member of the Sons of the American Legion. My grandfather, who served in WWII and helped to found veterans groups in Central Minnesota, was very active and we traveled around the state to different gatherings that were all very patriotic. I particularly remember serving in the color guard at the SAL regional gathering in Crookston Minnesota. There were a lot of people there and I was very proud at the time.

My grandfather also worked for the VA and was involved in trying to help veterans get care. I distinctly remember when I was 15 years old, I resolved myself to serve my country in the army and I told my grandfather, thinking he would be proud. He didn't say anything, instead he got up and motioned for me to follow. I got into his old Dodge pick up and we drove to the VA hospital where I met some of the people he was trying to get benefits. I met men who had waited decades to get any kind of care at all for their injuries. At every level these men were frustrated by our government as they attempted to get help for injuries they suffered while serving.

My grandfather talked me out of serving. He told me that our government had changed and that they were only interested I using up the young men and woman and discarding them when through. I see the same thing happening here. The government doesn't care about veterans. They mostly care about themselves and about the perpetration of the bureaucracy. It's a wonderful argument against socialized medicine actually, but it has horrible consequences.

I feel horrible for any of our soldiers who are coming home injured. They are going to have a hell of a time getting help as the years go on and the complications from their wounds start to appear. They are going to learn the hard way that the system that they served doesn't care about that service. And it will never change because this is what every socialized system eventually turns into...a self serving cluster**** that can't and won't do it's job.
 

Bill Mattocks

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It's not a simple issue.

http://news.yahoo.com/ap-impact-almost-half-vets-seek-disability-160656481.html

America's newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen.
A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press.
What's more, these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14. By comparison, Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.
It's unclear how much worse off these new veterans are than their predecessors. Many factors are driving the dramatic increase in claims — the weak economy, more troops surviving wounds, and more awareness of problems such as concussions and PTSD. Almost one-third have been granted disability so far.
Government officials and some veterans' advocates say that veterans who might have been able to work with certain disabilities may be more inclined to seek benefits now because they lost jobs or can't find any. Aggressive outreach and advocacy efforts also have brought more veterans into the system, which must evaluate each claim to see if it is war-related. Payments range from $127 a month for a 10 percent disability to $2,769 for a full one.

Nearly half of all new veterans are filing for disability pensions. Of those, a third had been granted pensions by the time of the article (May 2012). Something is wrong.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I wonder what the new claims are?

Read the article, it's pretty much all there. For one thing, more people are surviving wounds that used to be fatal. So there's a bunch of people who are alive, but not in perfect health. And of course, they deserve any VA disability they get. There are a LOT more PTSD claims. How much of that is real? I have no idea. I am somewhat not willing to accept that half of all the people who have served have PTSD and should be getting disability checks, though. Surely it's real and some people have it. Half of all veterans? I dunno.


Of those who have sought VA care:
—More than 1,600 of them lost a limb; many others lost fingers or toes.
—At least 156 are blind, and thousands of others have impaired vision.
—More than 177,000 have hearing loss, and more than 350,000 report tinnitus — noise or ringing in the ears.
—Thousands are disfigured, as many as 200 of them so badly that they may need face transplants. One-quarter of battlefield injuries requiring evacuation included wounds to the face or jaw, one study found.
"The numbers are pretty staggering," said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who has done four face transplants on non-military patients and expects to start doing them soon on veterans.
Others have invisible wounds. More than 400,000 of these new veterans have been treated by the VA for a mental health problem, most commonly, PTSD.

I never want those who have truly suffered a loss to go uncompensated, they are our heroes and should be treated as such.

However, I also do not see a stint in a combat zone in and of itself as being worthy of a lifetime disability pension.
 

elder999

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45% of returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan are filing for some form of disability.It's expected to cost the U.S. $600 billion to $1 trillion over their lifetimes-maybe the next 40 years-something we haven't budgeted for.

Wanna guess what's close to the top of the list for cutting costs to cut the deficit?
 

granfire

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45% of returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan are filing for some form of disability.It's expected to cost the U.S. $600 billion to $1 trillion over their lifetimes-maybe the next 40 years-something we haven't budgeted for.

Wanna guess what's close to the top of the list for cutting costs to cut the deficit?

........
 

Tgace

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http://www.recoverytoday.net/2011/56-september/364-the-myth-of-our-returning-veterans


Lie four times over. Lie the worst kind of lie: the lie of omission that
gives only the distilled essence of the bad news. Create an expectation in
veterans (and their families, employers and neighbors) that they are all fragile
creatures who could snap at any time and are doomed to a life of suffering. Get
veterans invested in their grievance and in their role as victim. Get them to
draw disability from PTSD and convince them that they will never recover.

I want the media to care, but I am convinced that most of them are part of a
mob-mentality, a pile-on, if-it-bleeds-it- leads profession that does not care
about the harm they do. Indeed, I believe that some of them are actively,
intentionally, politically motivated to systematically distort the situation in
order to undermine our ability to wage war.
 

elder999

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Empty Hands

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There are a LOT more PTSD claims. How much of that is real? I have no idea. I am somewhat not willing to accept that half of all the people who have served have PTSD and should be getting disability checks, though. Surely it's real and some people have it. Half of all veterans? I dunno.

Some of that could be due to the very long, repeated tours that servicemembers can now expect. It seems like that is a change from the historical norm.
 

Empty Hands

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Also, PTSD isn't "simply" mental or just bad thoughts, and I don't think everyone realizes that, sometimes not even the vets themselves. PTSD rewires part of the nervous system, in a long term way - how long we aren't even sure. It alters sensory thresholds, for one. It varies from sufferer to sufferer, but intolerability of light touch, simple noise (like kids playing), visual cues (like an out of place shoe in a long roadway), smells (like a wife's perfume), and tastes are common. The nervous system has been altered, and you can't simply will your way out of it.
 

elder999

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The cost of trying to play down terrorism and its connection to radical islam is going to effect our soldiers who were wounded during the terrorist attack at Fort Hood...or should I say, "act of work place violence."

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/...ot-Terrorism-Wounded-Soldiers-Get-No-Benefits

Unfortunately, it really has nothing to do with Obama. "Terrorism" is defined by law, and this act simply doesn't fit any of the defintions used in U.S. law.

United States Law Code – the law that governs the entire country – contains a definition of terrorism embedded in its requirement that Annual Country reports on Terrorism be submitted by the Secretary of State to Congress every year. (From U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)):

(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;

Likewise, the USA PATRIOT Act defines "domestic terrorism" thusly:

"activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state, that (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S."

(iii) of which might be the definition that could be applied, but only after it's proven that Nidal Hasn isn't bugnutznuckinfutz-which there is every indication that he is, and this wasn't an act of terrorism, but ideologically driven nutitude.

Otherwise, since the soldiers clearly are neither noncombatants, nor civilians, it can be argued (though not necessarily my opinion) that this isn't legally "terrorism."

Prove him sane,convict him-charge him with terroism and convict him-and then maybe there's an argument for their benefits.
 

Tgace

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I have a lot of respect for Grossman and his work, but I don't always agree with him-psychology master's notwithstanding, this is just an opinion piece from someone who never saw combat.

Like most of the other experts on the subject???
 

elder999

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Like most of the other experts on the subject???

Given that PTSD isn't confined to combat veterans, sure.

However, from the article:

Here is what I believe is the heart of the matter. To harm and destroy people you have to lie: Lie Number 1: Ignore the vast majority who are just fine and report only on the minority with problems.

With 45-50% of Iraq and Afghanistan returnees reporting some sort of disability, and a majority of those being suspected PTSD cases, "the vast majority who are just fine" is the real lie.
 

Bill Mattocks

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On the other hand, when I was on active duty, those near the end of their enlistment contracts went to mandatory classes on how to return to civilian life; interviewing for a job, writing a resume, etc. Now they go to mandatory classes on how to file for your disability claim. It appears to me to be the 'new normal' for returning veterans. Again, if they have a legitimate problem, I want them to be taken care of.
 

rainesr

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Prove him sane,convict him-charge him with terrorism and convict him-and then maybe there's an argument for their benefits.

The military will not implicate itself as being incapable of weeding out terrorists from its ranks.

~Rob
 

Steve

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Just want to clarify one thing. There is something called a VA pension, which is needs based and NOT what most of the veterans are filing for. They are filing for disability benefits, which is different, isn't needs based and doesn't (shouldn't) carry any kind of stigma that welfare connotes.

As Bill mentions, field medicine and emergency care is so much better than in the past, combined with protracted combat in two arenas, and we're seeing thousands and thousands of injured veterans who would have died in previous combat situations. That they are surviving is excellent news, but we are failing them.

The VA has, literally, over 800,000 backlogged cases, if you count pending re-evaluations to determine whether a condition has worsened, dependent cases, pension cases and initial disability claims. That's a lot of cases. The average processing time for a new claim is over a year, and it's not uncommon to wait over 2 years for an initial decision.

Also, the criteria for being approved for PTSD has changed within the last few years. It has been relaxed somewhat. In the past, there was a need to identify a single traumatic event that would trigger PTSD. Now, there is an acknowledgement that an accumulation of stress and trauma over a period of time can ALSO lead to PTSD. As a result, people who were previously denied could now be eligible.

And in addition to PTSD, the rules have (finally) opened up to include many illnesses related to Agent Orange that were not previously considered "service related." So, again, this is another workload that the VA has taken on that increases the number of claims dramatically.

Add to this that our troops are not just going into a combat arena for one tour. Vietnam was hell, by all accounts, but a soldier did his 12 months and he was done. Now, it's not uncommon to see troops... theoretically, even our "part time" soldiers in our National Guard or Reserves, being deployed four or five times, for between 6 and 18 months each time. If they aren't psychologically damaged after 1 or 2 tours in Afghanistan or Iraq, it seems reasonable to me that there is only so much stress and pressure that many minds can take and I am not surprised that a higher percentage of young men and women coming back from overseas tours are having trouble re-acclimating to civilian life.

It's nuts. We're over extended. We're squandering our servicemen and women needlessly overseas, and we're not taking care of our disabled veterans the way they deserve.

Edit: Just want to add one thing. I may not have read the thread carefully enough, and if I didn't and am misunderstanding, please forgive me. But I'm getting the sense that there are some who are insinuating that many of the soldiers applying for disability are malingering and exaggerating their impairments. That hasn't been my experience working with disabled individuals and at the local VA hospital in my interactions on behalf of my brother (a disabled veteran). I have to admit that I haven't read through this thread until today, but it chaps my hide to think that our young men and women go overseas, are exposed to a pressure cooker of stress and the threat of harm, see things that I frankly wouldn't want to see and come back effed up only to have people insinuate that they are malingering. Man, that bothers me.
 
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Tgace

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No, it's not that they are malingering, but that some may be falling into a psychological self-fulfilling prophecy. What doesn't seem to be taught is that some people will NOT get PTSD and that this is normal as well. The impression driven by the media and other sources is that PTSD is somehow inevitable. Or if you are not "haunted" by your experiences than you are somehow abnormal.

Much like how some people die of survivable gunshot wounds via shock because of the mindset that being shot=death, which has been ingrained from countless "shoot em ups" in our entertainment media. The current method of training is to impress on the student (MIL/LE) that if you are shot and know it you are not dead and statistically unlikely to die (especially from handgun rounds).

Then there is issue of all the psychologists, treatment centers, workers etc who have an investment in treating PTSD...not that they are willfully "selling a package"...but there may be something to the "common knowledge that combat vets WILL get PTSD" that results is some people getting PTSD.

And to be honest...from my demobilization experience..the whole PTSD definition seems so nebulous that many people don't know if they have it or not.
 

Steve

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No, it's not that they are malingering, but that some may be falling into a psychological self-fulfilling prophecy. What doesn't seem to be taught is that some people will NOT get PTSD and that this is normal as well. The impression driven by the media and other sources is that PTSD is somehow inevitable. Or if you are not "haunted" by your experiences than you are somehow abnormal.

Much like how some people die of survivable gunshot wounds via shock because of the mindset that being shot=death, which has been ingrained from countless "shoot em ups" in our entertainment media. The current method of training is to impress on the student (MIL/LE) that if you are shot and know it you are not dead and statistically unlikely to die (especially from handgun rounds).

Then there is issue of all the psychologists, treatment centers, workers etc who have an investment in treating PTSD...not that they are willfully "selling a package"...but there may be something to the "common knowledge that combat vets WILL get PTSD" that results is some people getting PTSD.

And to be honest...from my demobilization experience..the whole PTSD definition seems so nebulous that many people don't know if they have it or not.
I see your point, but we're not talking about anything even approaching a majority of veterans who are alleging PTSD. While the numbers SEEM staggering, that is more a testament to HOW MANY young men and women are serving overseas. As a percentage, the NIH estimates that the number of Vietnam Veterans suffering from PTSD is about 31%, and based on the lasest statistics I can find, the number of Afghanistan Vets is around 12 to 14%, while those having served in Iraq are up around 20%.

While the number is in the hundreds of thousands of veterans who are being diagnosed with PTSD, that's not nearly all of them. Not even most.

I don't know, man. I see your point, but at the same time, I think it's about damned time we acknowledge that combat has the potential to screw some people up, and that mental and emotional trauma are EVERY BIT as serious and real as a physical injury, such as the loss of a limb.
 
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