Tuesday, June 20, 2006

VA Swamped with New Vietnam Vet PTSD Applications

In a development that should come as a surprise to no one, the VA reports a surge in PTSD cases from Vietnam veterans that is a direct result of media images from the war in illegal occupation of Iraq.

So now we have to prepare ourselves for renewed charges of fraud and abuse of the system, charges that are generally leveled by the Sean Hannity/Bill O'Reilly/mAnn Coulter types who would piss their pants if they actually saw anything resembling combat.

Recently, as you know, the VA attempted to launch a full-court-press probe of some 72,000 PTSD claims, but that probe was quietly dropped after a random sample of 2100 claims turned up no instances of fraud. None. As in zero, zilch, bupkis.

A so-called scholar at, of all places, the American Enterprise Institute (a far-right Bushco-enabling wingnut "think tank") even seems to claim that PTSD is a myth. One Sally Satel, allegedly a psychiatrist, claims that the new wave of Vietnam War PTSD claimants have had "deaths in their families, all kind of tragedies" over the years that they've been able to cope with, so what's the big deal.

Well, Sally, if that's really your name, why don't you enlist in the Army, join something like, say, the Transportation Corps (my old battalion, the 6th Transportation, is over there right now and they'd welcome a new driver), run some convoys out of the Green Zone where every single day you will face some death-dealing Iraqi insurgents trying to shoot your lily-white ass, and then come back and talk about PTSD being a myth. You stupid bitch.

In the meantime, I would suggest this to all my fellow Vietnam veterans: If you even think that there's a remote possibility that you are suffering from PTSD, apply for VA disability benefits. Now. Fuck the American Enterprise Institute and its hired gun, Sally "The Bushco Whore" Satel.

Oh, and BTW, the VA says that it's "overwhelmed" by this development and, of course, there's no money to pay for it.


We're pumping millions of dollars per day into the War on Terratm and the Quagmire in the Desert. Part of the cost of going to war is caring for our veterans when they return. Dial back just a tiny amount of those unconscionable tax cuts to the top 1% of the oligarchy and you can pay for the health care of our veterans.

But that ain't gonna happen. As Tom Delay so famously said, "Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes."


billie said...

i personally find it reprehensible that america's troops are treated so horribly. the regime says that if we dissent then we aren't supporting our troops. they then take away services for those same troops and keep sending them back for tour after tour. guess i am not seeing their logic.

nunya said...

I tangled with a right wing blogger in my city (in 2003) and had some really strange things happen to me. Nothing like that had happened before that bizarre two week period, and nothing since that time has happened. I remember distinctly telling him that PTSD sucks, and we were going to see a lot more of it. I have seen up close and personal the devastating effects of PTSD and it is heartbreaking.

QuestRepublic said...

There seems to be an uptick in PTSD claims every time there is a well-publicized disaster, such as 9/11 or Iraq Invasion.

Here at a VAMC, we are still getting WWII vets who are just recently getting treatment and filing VA claims for the first time. If you know a vet who might be suffering from PTSD, have them seek treatment at a VAMC and go to a recommended counselor who works for a VA-authorized VSO (Veterans Service Organization).

PTSD claims that are submitted with the proper documentation are usually handled well the first time by the VA. It is taking about 10 months, in the Northeast anyway.

A good counselor can help you put together the evidence, if you do not have it when you first start getting PTSD treatment. Hastily submitting a claim without both a good counselor and the right evidence is foolish and harmful to the Vet's best interest. Sloppy or incomplete claim submission is the main reason why VA claims get denied, NOT mistakes made by a VA employee.

PS: I do not work for the VA.


Anonymous said...

Hello out there in the world,

I am one of those VV's who recently went to the VA for PTSD help. I didn't file a claim yet because I read you need to be on meds for a year before you can be rated. My unit in VV according to Wikopekia had the highest casualty rate for a battalion of the war, 93% KIA. I served at ConTien and KheSahn, one two Presidential Unit Citations. For years I hundered down and took care of myself, alcohol, pot, failed relationships, job shifting, the usual stuff. Now I go for "help" and they want to give me meds, which I don't trust or want. I want a rated disability and the satisfaction that my PTSD is recognized. That in itself will help me emotionally. F to the squirrely VA personnel that seem to only be interested in how much I drink and whether I am ready to kill myself yet.

Red Hat in Arizona

Red Hat

Anonymous said...

My comment is this the winnie assed VA has a double standard and as with all these buracratic entities they need to relook at the turn over rates they are seeing in the medical staff. Most of these clowns dont even remeber the Vietnam War and are members of the draft doging folks I meet in Okland California?