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August 22, 2014

VFW Torches Burr in Spat Over VA Scandal, Shinseki (Updated)

burr 114 0501514 445x296 VFW Torches Burr in Spat Over VA Scandal, Shinseki (Updated)

The Veterans of Foreign Wars ripped Sen. Richard Burr, shown here before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on “The State of VA Health Care” May 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:41 p.m. May 25 | The Veterans of Foreign Wars leadership blistered Sen. Richard Burr after the North Carolina Republican penned an open letter late Friday impugning the staff of veterans groups for not calling for new leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In his letter, Burr, the ranking Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee praised the American Legion, which has called for Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, and suggested that the leadership staff of other veterans’ groups — without naming them — care more about access to Shinseki than they do about veterans.

“Last week’s hearing made it clear to me that the staff has ignored the constant VA problems expressed by their members and is more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members,” Burr charged. “I fear that change within the VA will not be possible unless and until these organizations also reconsider their role as well as the nature of their relationship with VA.”

The VFW responded late Saturday with a lengthy missive of its own.

“I will afford you the same amount of respect you demonstrated for the Veterans of Foreign Wars by the monumental cheap-shot and posturing you’ve engaged in by enlisting in an absolutely disgusting ambush style of politics,” the three-page letter began.

“Without the courtesy or benefit of conversation or dialogue with me or the VFW Adjutant General regarding your disagreement with VFW’s recent testimony to your committee, you chose instead to take the low road and question VFW’s motives and levy a pejorative personal attack on VFW staff.

“Senator, this is clearly one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we’ve witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community and breaches the standards of the United States Senate. Your allegations are ugly and mean-spirited in every sense of the words and are profoundly wrong, both logically and morally. Quite frankly Senator, you should be ashamed.”

The fight stemming from the VA scandal comes as President Barack Obama has granted Shinseki a reprieve for now, but has demanded improvements.

Burr dismissed the criticism Sunday, suggesting his letter outraged groups more than the VA scandal.

The VFW letter continues, calling Burr’s letter “disgusting,” accusing Congress of repeatedly ignoring its warnings about wait times over many years and suggesting that they will no longer be as “polite” with Congress in the future:

“The VFW staff you chose to rebuke and whose principles you have questioned walk the walk. They’ve been there, done that and some of them have the scars to show for it. Collectively, those same staff members have among them more than 47 combat deployments. This includes deployments to Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Their awards include four Purple Hearts, sixteen Air Medals, Bronze Stars and a variety of other awards. Some rely on VA for their healthcare and residual treatment associated with their military service. They understand first-hand the problems existing within the system because, unlike the majority of people, they’ve been willing to do what others won’t. Senator, that is exactly why we find your personal attack so disgusting.

The men and women working in our DC office are dedicated professionals. Importantly, they take the work they do personally. They do it because they care. I suggest you compare the more than exorbitant amount of days off you receive, including virtually the whole month of August, two weeks around Easter/Passover, and certainly not a single five-day work week to the often time long, arduous hours they put forth every week of the year. Surely, with all the issues and the current emergent need for solutions, you must have more important things to do than to assail the character, people and motives of America’s VSOs?

Let me assure you Senator, our DC staff does not operate in a vacuum, or independently from its headquarters in Kansas City. The staff operates under the direction of me and the Adjutant General. The testimony that was provided to your committee was vetted and approved by me and the Adjutant General only after careful study and consideration. We don’t act in hopes of grabbing a headline or securing an interview on cable news; our only agenda in this is to ensure the veterans of our nation receive timely and adequate healthcare. If you have issues then I suggest you contact either one of us directly.

NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.

The fact of the matter is this; every year the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and Paralyzed Veterans of America have been trying to call attention to the issue, warning Congress of the consequences, and trying to work with Congress and VA on solutions.

Each year our organizations build an analysis of VA benefits and services known as the Independent Budget, and each year since 2005 the Independent Budget has warned Congress about the dangers of long wait times and care rationing due to improper resources, oversight and accountability. Last year, and again this year, then-VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton and I warned you and both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees about the dangers of long wait times. This decade of stern warnings has fallen on deaf ears.

There’s no doubt that the culture within VA needs to change. In a letter to the President, we made it clear that he needed to take immediate steps and ensure necessary authority to Secretary Shinseki that will guarantee the status quo of protecting enmeshed and “untouchable” bureaucrats within the VA system cannot and will not continue. We urged him to provide him authority to impose the strongest disciplinary actions, including removal and prosecution whenever and wherever necessary, on any VA employee who would abdicate their responsibilities and have a hand in the mistreatment or abandonment of those who have earned timely and adequate healthcare.

Clearly, you were not listening during VFW’s testimony. Nowhere did we suggest that we were interested in protecting anyone. I suggest you read the transcript. We find it especially specious that you seek to point fingers without at least an acknowledgement of some responsibility by Congress in all of this. Your assumption that we do not listen to what our members have to say is insulting. We spend most of the year traveling to and visiting VFW Posts world-wide. We have direct contact and speak at length with our members. We listen. And what you should
know is this; that there is huge, and growing sentiment within most of the veteran community regarding the inaction of Congress, because they are keenly aware, (if the past is any guide), they will enact no budget, no regular appropriations bills, nor other key legislation. If we’ve been remiss in anything Senator, we’ve been remiss in being too polite with Congress. For years, the VFW has come to Congress with hat in hand and for years, we’ve heard the same old story. You can be assured Senator, that you’ve done a superb job in showing us the error in our ways. You can also be assured that in the future, we will spend a substantial percentage of our time seeking to inform our members and our constituents of the repeated failure to act by our elected officials. We will not stand by and let our members be distracted by rhetoric or finger-pointing and we certainly won’t abide our veterans being used as political footballs. And you can be sure that we will let our membership know the low-regard you hold for their organization.

Sincerely,

William A. Thien

Commander-in-Chief

John E. Hamilton

Adjutant General

Here’s Burr’s open letter from Friday:

To the Nation’s Veterans,

Over the course of the last few weeks, there has been a great deal of media coverage—rightly so—of the still-unfolding story coming out of the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding secret wait lists and other problems related to appointment scheduling at VA facilities. Last week, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs heard from Secretary Shinseki, representatives of some of the Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), and others.

While a great deal of the media coverage of the hearing has focused on what Secretary Shinseki said, and didn’t say, much less has been seen of the testimony of the VSOs that testified. I wanted to take a brief moment to comment on that testimony.

First and foremost, I must recognize and commend the American Legion, National Commander Dan Dellinger, and the American Legion team for taking a principled stand, before the hearing and during it, and calling for leadership change at the VA. It is clear that the Legion has been listening to its membership about the challenges they face in gaining access to care, and has reached the conclusion that “enough is enough” and the status quo is indefensible. The Legion’s membership has much to be proud of with the organization they support.

Regrettably, the Legion was alone among the VSOs that testified in taking such a stand. It became clear at the hearing that most of the other VSOs attending appear to be more interested in defending the status quo within VA, protecting their relationships within the agency, and securing their access to the Secretary and his inner circle. But to what end? What use is their access to senior VA staff, up to and including the Secretary, if they do not use their unprecedented access to a Cabinet Secretary to secure timely access to care for their membership? What hope is there for change within the VA if those closest to the agency don’t use that proximity for the good of veterans across our country?

I believe the national and local commanders of every VSO have the interests of their members at heart, and take seriously their commitment to their members and their organization. Unfortunately, I no longer believe that to be the case within the Washington executive staff of the VSOs that testified. Last week’s hearing made it clear to me that the staff has ignored the constant VA problems expressed by their members and is more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members.

I fear that change within the VA will not be possible unless and until these organizations also reconsider their role as well as the nature of their relationship with VA.

Sincerely,

Richard Burr

United States Senator

Disabled American Veterans later issued its own letter of outrage at Burr’s remarks.

  • Sally

    A tidal wave is coming, and Congress better be ready to hit the unemployment lines!

  • dc matthews

    We DO see who uses US Vets to play politics. We Do see how Shinseki has BEGUN changes in an old broken system. Fed $ and helps meet with delays discriminations and quality of care issues at VA, Non Profits, and Counties funded to help LOCALLY. MOST Repairs need to be done locally and legally. Taking out the guy trying hard to fix things would benefit Corporate TEA party 2 ways – Political game playing points and save a tax $ . 22 veterans a day are still dying of suicide and of other bad or no care and Conservative politics. Veterans want, NEED, people in WDC who VOTE VETS, Not the Defense Industry or self interests. This game playing and around Memorial Day to boot is SHAMEFUL !

    • manapp99

      We did see that Obama used the US vets to play politics in his 08 campaign. We do see that he has not lived up to his promise to vets. We did see Secretary Shinseki ignore letters sent to him by congress about the wait times. We are seeing the Obama administration go after whistle blowers like the good Doctor that blew this thing wide open. I do agree with your last line however:

      “This game playing and around Memorial Day to boot is SHAMEFUL !”

      • barack obama

        The only people who give this line about not playing politics are those supporting the VA killing vets. They support Shinseki in doing nothing, and protest only against Republicans who try to bring the issue to the front page.

        • Lucy A Duncan

          What??? The Republicans are the ones who did not want to fund the V.A. Where was your head then?

    • Colin Campbell

      DC: If you took off your partisan political blinders than you might understand the problem. In the past 10 years the budget for the VA has doubled. However – little to none of this extra money is being spent on services to veterans.

      I am a 100% service-connected disabled veteran and I do not support one more penny for the VA (and they are who I have to go to for health care). The VA needs reform and a management housecleaning – not more money.

      And Shinseki has not fixed anything. In fact he is regarded as unable to maintain control of the bureaucracy he manages. (BTW – we were not that impressed with him when he was the Army Chief of Staff either.)

      You are part of the problem – try being part of the solution.

    • barack obama

      You’re helping the political game for letting Shinseki remain. The problems if vets who want to be political, like the VFW, spineless leaders with “moderate” approaches.

  • madskills

    Thank you VFW. We continue to have a steady drum beat of attacks from Republicans toscore points. The truth is they refuse to properly tax the people with the most and therefore can not provide services for those who really need it.

    This is America and to have some jack a$$ from the North Carolina attack people who are there everyday for me and the rest of us vets is despicable. Here is some lawn mower salesman attacking vets. WOW! I’m sure as soon as he gets back to D.C. he’ll run right over to the VFW to kiss butt to make it all better. I hope the VFW tells him to just leave. We don’t need to deal with the black heart people of the world.

    • darrell_b8

      That’s right…….TAX THE RICH!!! Communism works when everybody has a good government job paid by the poor schmucks in the ‘middle class’..

      • madskills

        I didn’t see any rich kids over in Vietnam with me… Lots of poor, hispanic, black and middle class kids like myself. If you use us you need to pay… Or the next time we have a war we use all the kids of the rich who profited off the last war…

      • deseon chun

        The Republicans sure have you well trained to throw out words like communist whenever the policy debate requires more than 2 brain cells.

        • JordanKratz

          Guys like him watch FOX and never read intelligent Non-Fiction.
          He would not even understand what you and I know.It is beyond his obvious brain cell power.

          • barack obama

            Guys who criticize Fox news and Republicans are not real vets. You’re a Democrat first and could care less about vets dying the VA hospital. If Obama took a gun and opened fire on our American soldiers, you’d defend him. You’re a Democrat, first & last, even if it means supporting the killing of veterans in VA hospitals. Your anger is only against conservatives, never against liberals who kill vets.

        • barack obama

          The VFW is the problem, spineless leaders who allowed Shinseki to get away with this for 6 years, and now pretend it’s the Republican problem. Vets who are Democrats have sold out vets time after time.

    • JordanKratz

      Appears to be a bunch of disgusting comments coming from GOP Supporters.And it was GOP who did the insult to our Vets.
      I am a liberal and an original punk rocker.I love all of our soldiers and veterans.I owe them my life and would never have been born but they made the ultimate sacrifice to stop Hitler and they freed my Dad from Kaufering VI Concentration Camp.
      I was drafted in 1974 but unfortunately for me the Army would not accept me due to my flat feet, skinny weight, and glasses.If they had accepted me I would of done the best I could do.

      These GOP People have become such a foul thing.Once they were much like the rest of us but now they are close to being a species to themselves.

      • madskills

        Jordan,
        We still love you, father and more then willing again to fight for this country. I was in, my brother was in and so was my sister during Vietnam.

      • barack obama

        Your comments are disgusting as Shinseki. Direct your anger against those killing vets, not against those who publicie the problem. You’re a Democrat first and last, you could care less about veterans.

        • madskills

          BO,
          Good luck with whatever is going on in your life. Sounds like you need it.

      • barack obama

        You’re a draft dodger who hates veterans.

        • JordanKratz

          Dumb Troll ! Won’t bother to reply to a foul POS likie you !

    • barack obama

      The VFW is disgusting. the VFW should be demanding Shinseki resign, instead it supports him and pretends it cares about vets. The VFW is the problem. It’s leaders are spineless cowards. You who attack Burr instead of Shinseki are the problem. hiding your politics to hurt vets.

  • ShadrachSmith

    As a VFW I have long contributed to the VFW. However, if they want to shill for Obama they can keep their pens and stickers. I’m done with ‘em.

    • barack obama

      the VFW is a shill for Obama. I’d blame the VFW for vets dying. Obama could never have gotten away with this, except for Judases like the VFW

  • ayukii

    Thank you Chief Thien!!

  • urnumbersix

    Oops,
    Republican obstruction has gone too far.

    Gloves off….

    • Colin Campbell

      You mean the bi-partisan reform bill that was passed in the House but Reid refuses to allow debate on in the Senate? Before you accuse people of ‘obstruction’ (apparently a liberal view of dissent) you should at least get the first clue as to what you are talking about.

    • barack obama

      Gloves off on the veterans who attack Burr. You’re not a real veteran. You’re Judas reincarnate, more concerned with promoting Democrats than veterans.

  • Jeremy Meister

    If I was a liberal Democrat in 2014, I’d be laughing and crapping on everyone too.

    Our government treats illegal aliens better than it does veterans – and when someone complains about this, they’re smacked down.

  • dts3204

    As far as the VFW goes, they still think I am a member even after I told them to stick it after they Supported that progreSSive Wellstone. Gave all the indication of their politics I needed.

  • dts3204

    BTW did you see Barack Oganja was in The Stan checking his poppy fields. That is because Bush made him do it.

  • Ralph Waldo Winkerbean

    I haven’t been closely following the machinations and maundering of these ‘people’. I’m old enough and cynical enough to expect a politician to lie, misdirect, and cheat on every hand. But to be fair, most politicians only lie when their lips move. And when they don’t.

    I do know from experience, that those who tend to occupy jobs to represent organizations in Washington, must be closely watched and sternly guarded, lest they sell you out for cheap drinks and flattery. I suspect, that the time is overdue for ALL groups to clean house. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • Buckeye Dale

    I joined the VFW briefly, and spent three years getting them to leave me the HEKK alone. Do not care for this organization, nor much about their politics. Vets need to be careful about joining an organization to represent them. There’s more to this than just cheap booze.

    • http://www.military-history.us/ Cincinnatus

      Then you joined the VFW for the wrong reasons.

    • barack obama

      The VFW betrays vets, lets them die. Judas was better than the VFW

  • http://www.lexalexander.net lexalexander

    I wrote about problems with wait times for disability benefits in the late 2000s, when Burr was already ranking Republican on the VA Committee. In most cases his office didn’t even respond. In a state with as many veterans as NC, that doesn’t even make POLITICAL sense, let alone policy or moral sense.

    • barack obama

      Try blaming the VFW and yourself for letting our government get away with trashing vets. You’re more angry at a Congressman who at least raises the issue. Instead you ignore vets dying, and pretend you care. You’re as disgusting as Shinseki and the VFW. You’re a shill for Obama, not a real vet.

  • http://www.military-history.us/ Cincinnatus

    I am VFW life member and I didn’t join because of their political advocacy but because at monthly meetings I can spend time with people who share my experience of combat. Anybody who joins a vet organization, especially the VFW, for any other reason is not joining for the right reasons.
    As far as the VFW slamming some lickspitle Senator for his stupid remarks, I say great. VSO’s are not the problem in Washington, the problem in Washington is the army of oxygen thieves that occasionally show up in the Capitol to grandstand and achieve nothing while telling the sheeple what a great job they are doing. Anybody with eyes can see that the political class is a failure as they all they do is manage to protect their own.

    • barack obama

      The VFW slamming Burr is disgusting. The VFW leaders are spineless cowards more interested in politics than helping vets. Burr was too accurate. Those who support the VFW leaders are helping kill vets in VA hospitals. That’s all too obvious. The VFW is the problem.

  • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

    Sen. Burr Is Not A Friend Of Veterans’, Never Has Been, a patriotism poser!!!!!!!!!
    Nor is the reactive, never proactive, American Legion, taking the lead in this round of attacks on the VA dedicated personal with those inside helping them, who’s always conservative leaders reap their own rewards while Not Demanding Those Served Owe Sacrifice. While continuing to seek the ouster of Gen Shinseki because he, along with this whole executive administrations cabinet, is doing what conservative executive administrations, and in congress, leaderships in the VA, ignored doing for decades and obstructed in all democratic administrations, seeking to privatize for corporate profit from the peoples treasury and any fee’s they can legislate into, no regulation no oversite, no accountability, while still blaming the civil servants when the vast private sector problems arise!!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

      The Fallen Brothers and Sisters and Our Veterans Community are Not a Corporate Marketing Tool!!!

      “”Conservatives outraged over treatment of veterans filibustered better health care for vets in February 2014″”
      Conservatives Continue Attacks on Individual Military Veterans’, while waving ‘their’ flags of ‘patriotism(?)’: ‘Fox’s Allen West Attacks Decorated Vet Rep. Tammy Duckworth’, they’re cult followers ignore, Again!!

      Fox News contributor Ben Carson Calls Veterans Affairs Scandal A ‘Gift From God’, yup, for them campaign contribution flyers, ignoring their total hypocrisy and no qualms to show very publicly on the floor of both congressional houses, into the congressional public record, as their supporters wave their flags and spit on us Veterans’ from their free wars, we got us credit cards, especially!!!

      Conservatives Pro-Business right-wing Think Tank American Enterprise Institutes own Sally Satel, Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money! Nemisis of us Veitnam Veterans who fought for recognition of! She, and some others, have made very lucretive livings writing and speaking in denial of, giving reason to country and politicians serving them to ignore, and thus have the blood of hundreds of thousands of not only military, military veterans but civilians who suffer the ravages from extreme trauma’s, on just one long of many ignored issues by those served issue so they need not pay for care!

      Conservatives: The oh so ‘patriotism’ Posers! Using the easy to speak hollow words, especially the politicians of, and flashy veriaty of symbols. As their pols pass empty legislation to try and grab support from the military and veterans community, oh and for their photo ops and campaign flyers!! Don’t worry, plenty of Dems are just as, or almost as, phony!!

      STOP BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE, LOOK IN THE MIRROR: The VA is the peoples Responsibility, through their elected representatives!! We don’t serve the corporate America, so the conservative want to privatize, for corporate profit especially when you look at the private health care and problems in, is absolutely a no go, we serve the Country and it’s Constitution!!

      Congress does the ‘will of the people’, and the people like ‘free wars’ and ‘free results’ from,tens of thousands have died as those served ignore the issues of, sooooo patriotic, unless it’s sooooo patriotic to slam, conservative ideology, the VA their responsibility, use Military and us Veterans for their ‘patriotic’ meme’s, like they care!!!

      “”Conservatives Medicaid refusal leaves over 250,000 veterans uninsured”"

      “Lets not treat these Vets like Vietnam Vets”

      That’s what the whole country served said about us Vietnam Veterans and the now OEF and OIF Veterans right from the beginning!!

      Then they quickly cheered on abandoning the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11! They started slapping on magnetic ‘support the troops’ symbols all over which quickly just plain disappeared! Then the talk was about everyone, elected officials especially, should be wearing lapel flag pins, I don’t even pay attention whether they do or don’t knowing they’re not ‘supporting’ anyone who Actually Sacrifices, and that includes public servants of all stripes! They loves waving them ‘patriotic’ flags and think they’re more ‘patriotic’ then many others! Then they want Parades and complain because we have yet had a Ticker Tape NYC parade, even though the abandoned 9/11 missions is still ongoing but finally winding down! They loves passing around the cute video’s of returning soldiers surprising their kids and families! And on and on and on!

      But None Of That Is Sacrificing as in Paying For Wars and Especially the Decades To Follow Results From!!!

      DeJa-Vu all over again!!!!

      USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

      • barack obama

        You’re a Democrat. You could care less about veterans. You help Obama murder veterans, and attack only Republicans who tell what’s happening. You’re probably one of those soldiers who fragged your own fellow soldiers. The VFW is disgusting. So are those who support its leaders mindless attacks on Burr

    • barack obama

      You have it all backwards. You’re a Democrat Obama sycophant who cares more about politics than vets. The politicized VFW let this situation happen, and now it supports doing nothing. “vets” who support this VFW are not real vets, but Democrats first, last and always. Obama could murder vets, and he’s done that and you’d side with Obama. You’re disgusting.

  • spin43

    Why don’t the veterans get the same health care afforded Rich Burr? 2015 is the year Burr starts pretending to be a conservative because he is up for re-election in 2016. His staff will start answering your concerns and even call you pretending to care.

    • barack obama

      Between Burr and the VFW, who is worse? the VFW sells out and betrays veterans, lets them die. Shinseki got away with murder, because the VFW helps kill vets. If you think the problem is Burr, you’re a Democrat who can’t stop politicizing what goes on. You’re a Democrat, interested only in Democrat agendas and helping vets has never been a Democrat priority.

  • spin43

    Burr supported racist Mel Watt. Enough said!

    • UnaffiliatedVoter

      BURR is a RINO…WE the PEOPLE in NC will be happy to be rid of him
      …he is NOT a conservative, but he plays one sometimes for fun…

    • barack obama

      Attack anyone who supports veterans and you show you’re true colors, You’re a Democrat, not a vet supporter. You care about politics, not veterans. You could be attacking Shinseki, but your politics prevents you, because you don’t really care about vets at all.

  • deseon chun

    Burr thought he could play with Americans veterans the same old double-talk and slander republicans play with Democrats. I’m sure his ulcer is bleeding.

  • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

    Sen. Burr Is Not A Friend Of Veterans’, Never Has Been, a patriotism
    poser for campaign points and votes, a rubber stamper on war costs all
    borrowed, and worthless legislation, mostly, that conservative veterans
    give praise but is mostly meaningless and does nothing. While he’s the
    minority leader of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and does
    extremely little in followup that is when he can make the time to attend
    the hearings!!!!!!!!!
    Noris the reactive, never proactive, American Legion, taking the lead in
    this round of attacks on the VA dedicated personal with those inside
    helping them, who’s always conservative leaders reap their own rewards
    while Not Demanding Those Served Owe Sacrifice. While continuing to seek
    the ouster of Gen Shinseki because he, along with this whole executive
    administrations cabinet, is doing what conservative executive
    administrations, and in congress, leaderships in the VA, ignored doing
    for decades and obstructed in all democratic administrations, seeking to
    privatize for corporate profit from the peoples treasury and any fee’s
    they can legislate into, no regulation no oversite, no accountability,
    while still blaming the civil servants when the vast private sector
    problems arise!!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

      The Fallen Brothers and Sisters and Our Veterans Community are Not a Corporate Marketing Tool!!!

      “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013 {never to call these past couple of generations a ‘greatest generation’}

      “”Conservatives outraged over treatment of veterans filibustered better health care for vets in February 2014″”
      Conservatives Continue Attacks on Individual Military Veterans’, while waving ‘their’ flags of ‘patriotism(?)’: ‘Fox’s Allen West Attacks Decorated Vet Rep. Tammy Duckworth’, they’re cult followers ignore, Again!!

      Fox News contributor Ben Carson Calls Veterans Affairs Scandal A ‘Gift From God’, yup, for them campaign contribution flyers, ignoring their total hypocrisy and no qualms to show very publicly on the floor of both congressional houses, into the congressional public record, as their supporters wave their flags and spit on us Veterans’ from their free wars, we got us credit cards, especially!!!

      Conservatives Pro-Business right-wing Think Tank American Enterprise Institutes own Sally Satel, Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money! Nemisis of us Veitnam Veterans who fought for recognition of! She, and some others, have made very lucretive livings writing and speaking in denial of, giving reason to country and politicians serving them to ignore, and thus have the blood of hundreds of thousands of not only military, military veterans but civilians who suffer the ravages from extreme trauma’s, on just one long of many ignored issues by those served issue so they need not pay for care!

      STOP BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE, LOOK IN THE MIRROR: The VA is the peoples Responsibility, through their elected representatives!! We don’t serve the corporate America, so the conservative want to privatize, for corporate profit especially when you look at the private health care and problems in, is absolutely a no go, we serve the Country and it’s Constitution!!

      Congress does the ‘will of the people’, and the people like ‘free wars’ and ‘free results’ from,tens of thousands have died as those served ignore the issues of, sooooo patriotic, unless it’s sooooo patriotic to slam, conservative ideology, the VA their responsibility, use Military and us Veterans for their ‘patriotic’ meme’s, like they care!!!

      “”Conservatives Medicaid refusal leaves over 250,000 veterans uninsured”"

      “Lets not treat these Vets like Vietnam Vets”

      That’s what the whole country served said about us Vietnam Veterans and the now OEF and OIF Veterans right from the beginning!!

      Then they quickly cheered on abandoning the missions and those sent to accomplish after 9/11! They started slapping on magnetic ‘support the troops’ symbols all over which quickly just plain disappeared! Then the talk was about everyone, elected officials especially, should be wearing lapel flag pins, I don’t even pay attention whether they do or don’t knowing they’re not ‘supporting’ anyone who Actually Sacrifices, and that includes public servants of all stripes! They loves waving them ‘patriotic’ flags and think they’re more ‘patriotic’ then many others! Then they want Parades and complain because we have yet had a Ticker Tape NYC parade, even though the abandoned 9/11 missions is still ongoing but finally winding down! They loves passing around the cute video’s of returning soldiers surprising their kids and families! And on and on and on!

      But None Of That Is Sacrificing as in Paying For Wars and Especially the Decades To Follow Results From!!!

      DeJa-Vu all over again!!!!

      USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

      • barack obama

        It’s Obama and the VA secretary and VFW who have trashed vets. So who do you attack? You’re the problem.

    • barack obama

      You’re not a friend of vets, never have been. When you support Obama and Shinseki in murdering vets, you’re as cold blooded as they are.

  • barack obama

    The VFW has blood on its hands. The VFW which should be leading the protest against vets dying in VA hospitals is the real reason our government feels free to trash veterans. The VFW, and other vet groups (except for the American Legion) are led by Judas goat, spineless politicalized “leaders” who “lead from behind.” If only the VFW exercised as much anger toward Shinseki and Obama as it does towards a member of congress who cares about vets. The VFW leaders need to resign. They disgust any veterans who pays attention. The VFW helps our government screw vets.

    • DRA1056

      What are you blathering on about? All of the veterans organizations are CONSTANTLY protesting to Congress and to the VA about issues in the VA system.

  • petergard

    Can we be clear on exactly what we are talking about. First the issue is not the wait times per se. These problems were well known and while the VA has only managed to barely hold the line on this over the past 5 years, the main underlying explanations – insufficient staff and funding to cover what has been not only a large increase in the numbers of eligible vets, but also significant increases in the types and complexity of health issues including mental health issues that were barely being considered 10 years ago. Congress could act on these and it is self-serving for the Republicans to point fingers and then refuse the needed budgets. The issue is covering up the backlogs, something that is being encouraged by the political priorities ranking and rewarding facilities solely on the degree they (appear) to have reduced backlogs. But to be fair so far this kind of malfeasance is affecting a total of 26 out of more that 1700 VA facilities in the country – not trivial – but hardly an indictment of a totally bankrupt system, The result is that while some are negatively affected, the majority of vets are actually receiving the care they need or are satisfied that the VA is doing the best job that it can. Polls continually show this with less than 20% of vets claiming they are being hurt by the system. Thus the response of these veterans groups to the insulting behavior of Senator Burr is understandable and it is the VFW that is clearly out of sync with reality.

  • petergard

    Opps meant American Legion and not VFW in my previous post.

  • Ambas Ador

    In this related video we find the liar-in-chief, Hussein Obama, lying to the face of the American people: http://youtu.be/DXqKp5B0ZLE?t=1s

  • DRA1056

    By the VA’s own statistics:

    The number of patients has doubled since 2001
    The money spent per patient has doubled since 2001
    Funding in inflation adjusted dollars has doubled since 2001.

    Do the math. No matter what is done to improve the VA, it is clear from just a few statistics that both administrations and Congresses have not adequately funded the VA to handle the influx of traumatic injuries that would have been fatal in previous actions and the needs of aging Vietnam era veterans.

    For Sen. Burr to chose Memorial Day weekend to publicly denounce veteran’s organizations shows poor judgement. Sen. Burr has his own share of the blame for being part of the 41 Republicans who helped table Sen. Sanders’s VA bill that would have added medical facilities and improved access. Sen. Burr offered an amendment that would have violated the Iran interim nuclear agreement by imposing new sanctions on Iran immediately. Republicans claimed that there was no way to pay for the VA bill yet none of the 30+ amendments offered was a way to find the funding. Sen. Burr is doing a hang up job trying to deflect attention from his own failings.

    Republicans claimed that they did not have the $27B for Sen. Sanders’ bill yet from the simple stats above, it’s clear that about $100B is needed. And there is really no option NOT to do so, so someone in Congress needs to figure out a method to pay for it.

  • A Friend

    The real takeaway from all this is not who is to blame, but that government is incapable of running things well. The VA was touted as an example of how wonderful it would be to have government run our healthcare system. It actually is. We do NOT want people who are politically motivated and are not doctors or experts in the medical field running the healthcare for our entire nation or the number who will die on waiting lists will be in the millions.

  • Herb Smith

    OK, you Obama haters, take a rest and go comment somewhere where your comments are closer to being on topic. This level of Obama hatred is more relevant in some other issue than the disagreement between VFW and Burr, the performance of the VA, policy to meet needs and costs of care, etc. Your venting and accusing everyone of shilling for Obama makes you sound like you’re running a political diversion tactic. Not everything is about Obama.

  • kevan

    Anyone who thinks a Veteran would choose a political party over ANY VETERAN IS A FOOL… I SAY …. DON’T PISS US OFF !!!

  • Jerald

    Tremendously stupid post right here.

  • Lister Eane

    That truth of the matter is that Hussein Obama is a liar, a fraud, and a fool.

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