Skip to main content

"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
Veterans Budget Gets $63 Billion Boost From Obama White House

5 April 2013 - Despite growing pressure for budget cuts, the Obama administration will propose a $63.5 billion increase for veterans next week, asking for a 4 percent increase over current spending.

The money is targeted at eliminating the backlog of veterans claims for benefits and increasing mental health services, including treatment for military sexual trauma. The budget proposal, which will not be officially unveiled until next week, also will make permanent two tax credits to encourage employers to hire veterans.

If enacted, the measures would boost the discretionary spending of the Department of Veterans Affairs from just under $100 billion in 2009 to $203.8 billion in fiscal year 2014, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told reporters at the White House Friday. That's roughly half of what the VA spends each year, Shinseki said, and doesn't count mandated programs and benefits. read more>>>

"Why in 2009 were we still using paper?" VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers "When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade." 27 March 2013
No Revenues = Still No Sacrifice = That's Called 'Support' For The Troops = DeJa-Vu all over again!!

Neither war nor especially the results of, decades to come added to previous decades and wars of, have been paid for as the abandoned, and now forgotten, continues and those still sent want in a drawdown to try an accomplish at least a very small portion of those main missions sent to accomplish!!

Vets and Military On FLOTUS and SLOTUS this Administration and it's Cabinet, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011 military spouse, and more after Joyce have stated similar!
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

From the Costs of War Project: Because the Iraq war appropriations for FY2003 - FY2013 were not funded with new taxes, but by borrowing, it is important to keep in mind the interest costs already paid, and future interest costs. Iraq War appropriations for DOD and State were 54 percent of the interest costs. If one were to include Iraq's share of cumulative interest through 2053, those costs could be more than $3.9 trillion.
So far, Washington has paid some 260 billion dollars in interest charged on war-related borrowing, but the potential interest cost of the U.S. war debt reaches into the trillions
Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Will Cost U.S. 4-6 Trillion Dollars
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "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

    by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:52:19 PM PDT

  •  h/t to FCNL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, WakeUpNeo

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

    by llbear on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:58:25 PM PDT

    •  Not a Dime (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear, big mouth, WakeUpNeo

      From the flag wavers and oh so patriotic, as Dems run from even mentioning same, and we keep having the media doing the old conservative mentality job of blaming the VA, many doing so are way up there in compensation for being talking heads, has been paid, but only some of the interest of the rubber stamping which started Before 9/11!!!

      "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

      by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:01:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to me the VA's problem isn't a lack of money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, WakeUpNeo

    but a matter of execution. A huge number of vets coming home from two wars all at once. Obviously that needs resources. But they also need to get their shit together.

    •  Vets love their VA doctors (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro, llbear, sebastianguy99, Vetwife

      They wouldnt dare go somewhere else. The VA understands.

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:02:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear, sebastianguy99, Vetwife

      Been hearing just that for over forty years now as the Country Ignores us vets and what we say, think PTS, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome as only a very very few issues not wanting to be paid for!

      What part of this:

      "Why in 2009 were we still using paper?" VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers "When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade." 27 March 2013
      Don't you get as the country rushes out for it's weekly new cell phone or tablet or anything related to the past decades of technology advances while the VA budgets languished and Vets had to fight for what the Country owed them but refused to pony up for!!

      The past decade plus was the huge exclamation point on the Whole Wars of Choice and the Veterans of as the magnetic ribbons flew off the vehicles but the flags still occasionally come out, oh and them lapel flag pins of the congressional reps vowing their support!!!!!!!!!!

      "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

      by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:12:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Keep in mind the VA consists of separate entities (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro, WakeUpNeo

      The Veterans Health Administration is totally separate from the Veterans Benefit Administration. Because that divide is wide as the divide between the VA and the Department of Defense. Until all three start using computer systems that talk seamlessly with each other, we are still going to have all of these delays.

      Don't know about all of you, but I think we need to keep General Erick Shinseki on board. He now knows where all of the bullshitters are - probably at DoD, too.

      But what about redeeming General Powell by appointing him head of a Presidential Task Force with authority to knock heads, take names, and end careers when progress isn't made?

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

      by llbear on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:17:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Only Other VA Secretary (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear, WakeUpNeo, Vetwife

        To try and build the VA that should already have been, in my lifetime, was Cleland and he was blocked by them tepub congresses under Clinton, with the Countries blessings as they continued blaming the VA as they've done since Korea if anything comes up, never comparing the many issues the VA handles to the comparable Private sector businesses, never done by those that want to privatize the agency.

        Shinseki held his head high after the bushco's got rid of him and was a Great choice by Obama as they had already sought military, families and veterans imput before he was even nominated and was still running, and they've kept it up since, mostly with no fanfare or press reports!!

        "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

        by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:29:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cleland did try very hard and (0+ / 0-)

          this secretary of the VA is the best pick ever.  Principi or Nicholson had to be the worst and left a heck of job to clean up.  
          The Bushies tore this country apart.  Much like The Texas Rangers he and Rick Scott partnered in.   They left the Rangers in ruin

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:08:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Prior too this Exec. and Vet's Administrations: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, WakeUpNeo


    October 23, 2008 - And now VA investigators are trying to figure out if this one-time survey points to the likelihood that documents have been improperly destroyed for months or even years.

    "Whatever this problem is, it didn't just start in the last two weeks," said Dave Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. "It'd be unreasonable to assume that. Who knows what's been destroyed."

    The documents, which didn't have duplicates at the VA, would have been critical in deciding veteran pension and disability claims. As a result, many veterans are asking whether their delayed or denied claims were affected by lost paperwork.  read more>>>

    Oct 16, 2008 - VA claims found in piles to be shredded
    October 24, 2008 - House panel will target VA shredding
    February 11, 2009 - Veterans' Claims Found in Shredder Bins

    And more disturbing in relation to even before and through the early years of these two wars and occupations, this:

    Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans

       

    Nov. 9, 2012 - A strange thing happened when Christopher DeLara filed for disability benefits after his tour in Iraq: The U.S. Army said it had no records showing he had ever been overseas.

    "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

    by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:22:23 PM PDT

    •  And I still have one Vet with a valid claim (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro, WakeUpNeo

      going back to 1971. Back pay: $847,000+

      It just when into the appeal process. He is now a dialysis patient in a skilled care facility.

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

      by llbear on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Combating Military Suicides (0+ / 0-)


    Army uses dashboard technology to combat suicides
    4/5/2013 - When it comes to preventing suicides, the Army believes it often has enough information about the risk factors that lead up to a soldier taking his or her own life long before the actual event and to intervene beforehand.

    The trouble is that the data is not shared between the various Army components and commands that own and maintain it. An IT program the service is just beginning to roll out aims to fix that disconnect.

    The idea behind what is now called the Commander's Risk Reduction Dashboard is not new. It was first proposed three years ago in a report on suicide prevention by the vice chief of staff of the Army. But it's only begun to finally become a reality within the last few months.

    Listen to Report






    The idea, according to Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, the Army's chief information officer, is to bring together the information the Army already has on individual soldiers and use it to proactively warn their commands that there may be a problem. read more>>>

    Now this is what the private sector was offering:

    "We had one contract that came in and said that for $70 million, they could deliver a dashboard within five years. That didn't help us very much. Another proposal said they could give it to us in two years for $40 million. Then, the vice chief of staff of the Army called me and said, 'Susan, you've got two months to deliver this.' I said, 'OK. We can deliver this.'"
    And this is what inside the DoD did as they already had much information from recent years  as programs finally started set to get a better understanding and handle on the needs of military personal which is transferring to the veterans administration as to personal leave military service.
    Lawrence said it was the Army's Communications-Electronics command that delivered the capability, putting a pilot program in place within six weeks. The dashboard is now up and running as an interim solution, aggregating data from more than a dozen separate authoritative data sources.

    "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

    by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:54:46 PM PDT

    •  Guess (0+ / 0-)

      Which way another bushco, or all tepub congress for that matter, administration would have gone!!

      "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

      by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:56:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the VA did with $1.8billion is Stimulus (0+ / 0-)


    That helped in advancing some way over looked for a long time needs, like veterans cemeteries, VA clinics, upgrades to VA hospitals, advancing into clean energy to save money and much more:

    VA Observes Recovery Act Anniversary With More Progress Nationwide

    Since February 2009, VA has distributed $1.3 billion in Recovery Act funds to modernize medical facilities, make improvements at national cemeteries and award grants to states for Veterans homes.  VA has more than 1,100 Recovery funded projects underway or completed in VA medical centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.   Nineteen VA medical centers received between $5 million and $20 million for major repairs, renovation or energy conservation initiatives.  The impact of these Recovery dollars affects more than 5 million Veterans who receive care in VA health services across the nation.  Nearly 70 percent of all Recovery funds have already been paid to various contractors. The balance of funds are currently on contract to complete improvements and modernizations of existing projects.
    The cemeteries weren't only upgraded, finally, but new ones, long over due and needed, were added to the National Cemeteries under the VA.

    While also working to upgrade the long ignored, especially in these early years of the present theaters of conflict and just previous exec. administration and va administrations!

    "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

    by jimstaro on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:18:53 PM PDT

  •  As an Army brat I am very thankful for this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, Vetwife

    At a minimum, the backlog must be eliminated. I think people don't seem to realize how many lives have been destroyed.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:31:53 PM PDT

  •  We need to appeal to (0+ / 0-)

    the VA to undo what Bush did in 2001 regarding part b of Medicare and Veteran who are total and permanent 's dependents.   I have to apply for part b on my SS retirement which will be 104 a month.  I do not pay that now.  Champ VA pays 70 percent of my insurance and my prescriptions.  When I turn  65 I have to pay 104 out of pocket for what I get at no cost now.  I also have to reapply for those benefits from Champ VA to cover some prescriptions.  Losing 104 bucks for growing older and taking from the vet's benefits and calling it entitlement to me is no fair.  Bush was the biggest disgrace this country ever knew.  Veterans and spouses need this reversed and just let the older spouses entitled continue the Champ VA .
    That is losing over a thousand a year for disabled veteran's caretakers,,.. We need to address this situation.

    Champ VA requires me to reapply at age 65 and any other senior .....due to 2001 provisions that were not there prior to 2001 as far as I know.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:06:44 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site