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Supporting troops means funding basic physical and mental health care

Please stop by and visit the Gun and Horn Show Veterans booth at the county fairgrounds the first weekend in March. It will be manned by volunteers from all of the local vets organizations (VVA, DAV, VFW and more). Say hi to the guys and ask them if they would like a break. 

Due to a scheduling conflict at VFW Hall next month, the next meeting off V.V.A. Chapter #890 will be held at Lakeview Funeral Home on March 13 at 6 pm. Thanks to Doug and the gang at Lakeview for their help. 

Speaking of the Vietnam Vets, our local group’s website is finally up and running and you can check it out online at www.VVA890.org

The Local DAV chapter would like to express its deep thanks to the family and friends of the late Richard Cox for their generous donations in his memory. The Kaniksu Loop Bowling Club gave a $350 check to the DAV Van fund recently, as well as $50 from the Wild Horse Chapter of the DAR. Our thanks to you all! 

Nationally, the issue of health care for veterans has received a lot of attention after the Washington Post broke the story of deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Hospital. Writer Joseph Galloway (co-author of We Were Soldiers Once... and  Young) wrote in an editorial for Editor and Publisher, “As the Washington Post probe proves, there’s more to supporting our troops than making “Support Our Troops” a phrase that every politician feels obliged to utter in every speech, no matter how craven the purpose. How can they look at themselves in the mirror every morning?”

He went on to write, “The Washington Post published a probe, complete with photographs, revealing that for every in-patient who’s getting the best medical treatment that money can buy at the main hospital at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, there are out-patients warehoused in quarters unfit for human habitation.

“Some of the military outpatients are stuck on the Walter Reed campus, a couple of miles from the White House and the Capitol, for as long as 12 months. They’ve been living in rat and roach-infested rooms, some of which are coated in black mold.”

He added, “All this came on the heels of my McClatchy Newspapers colleague Chris Adams’s February 9 report that even by its own measures, the Veterans Administration isn’t prepared to give returning veterans the care they need to help them overcome destructive, and sometimes fatal, mental health ailments. Nearly 100 VA clinics provided virtually no mental health care in 2005, Adams found, and the average veteran with psychiatric troubles gets about a third fewer visits with specialists today than he would have received a decade ago.

“The same politicians, from a macho president to the bureaucrats to the people who chair the congressional committees that are supposed to oversee such matters, have utterly failed to protect our wounded warriors. 

“They’ve talked the talk but few, if any, have ever walked the walk.”

I concur with Galloway’s statements. No one can be said to “support our troops” when funding for basic physical and mental health care for our veterans continues to be an issue of debate. In fact, I think Galloway said it best: “If the American people are not sickened and disgusted by this then, by God, we don’t deserve to be defended from the wolves of this world.”

‘til next time, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and all homage to Xena!

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Jody Forest Jody Forest When he's not hidden behind the palatial gates of his Dover estate, Casa de Bozo, Jody is out using outdated and corny pickup lines on various gullible women.

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veterans, health care, Walter Reed Hospital, Joseph Galloway

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