Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Veterans Response

I received this behind the article I wrote a few days ago about vets still being left behind while congress puts on a talk fest of feigned outrage as the announced V.A. budget shortfall. There are many good points Kathleen, the lady that wrote this, makes. It is time for another veterans “Bonus March” on Washington and this Sept 24, 25, 26 will afford us the opportunity to do just exactly that. Make plans to attend the mass rally in Washington on these dates. -- Jack

Dear Jack:

I’m a veteran of both the Marine Corps (as was my mother before me) and the Air Force. My g-g-g-g-grandfather fought in the Revolution. Both of my g-g-grandfathers fought in the Civil War – on both sides. I come from a long line of American Patriots. That merry band of thugs who have absconded with the Constitution and our country are not Americans at all – they are self-serving globalist hyenas.

My husband sent me the link for your article on VA funding and I after that read your whole blog.

IMPO, the *only* way to ensure VA funding is to fund it directly out of the top of the cream of the DOD black budgets, at a rate of $4 for every $1 spent training each service member. The reason the VA is not funded is because they have to go hat in hand to Congress. And the reason veterans have to fight for *years* to get next to nothing, is because there is no binding contract that has to be honored for their care. This is because the recruiters who give the promises about healthcare are agents (employees) of DOD. But the agency charged with dispensing the care, is the VA – and the VA and DOD are not connected. Hence, while there is a promise of care, and service members rely on that promise and in so doing give valuable consideration in return for the healthcare, there is still no contract and therefore no health care delivery. There was a federal lawsuit brought against Donald Rumsfeld by retirees who were being denied the lifetime healthcare they were guaranteed. Rummy basically said the same thing – no contract because the promise was made by an agent for DOD – not the VA - the promise to be binding would have had to have been made by the VA and there would have to be a funding/financial connection between the VA and DOD. Love him or hate him – he told the truth.

In order to connect the two, VA *must* be funded out of DOD - *with no strings attached*

Further, there *must* be a Warranty of Serviceability on each service member and veteran to the effect that they are a manufactured product, created out of raw material by the military to perform specific tasks. We insist on warranties on bombers and tanks and bullets etc - it would be considered the height of irresponsibility not to. So, service members and veterans must some with a warranty too that says they are fit for civilian life and if they are not - *they will be fixed or cared for*

The cost of the warranty is the $4 in reserved funds for disability pensions and health care, and this must be figured into the real cost of war, which it will be if it’s in the DOD budget sheets. Science has now proven that bathing the brain in stress hormones changes the physical structure of the brain and the way the adrenal and hormonal system of the body works. Thus, a civilian enters the military and is *physically changed* and therefore must be fully insured.

There must be some way to enforce a *complete* ban on medical experimenting on military personnel--A way with teeth in it.

Finally, there can be no disability “process” other than signing a paper and a physical exam and cutting checks. Period. Treating veterans like they are liars and cheats and malingerers is the height of bad administration.
BTW – have you ever heard of the Bonus Veteran’s March of 1932? They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force and were led by a retired Sgt. From Portland, OR. Here it is in a nutshell:

The bonus Veteran’s of 1932 were homeless and in the grips of the Great Depression. They were veterans of WWI but also included in their ranks Spanish-American War veterans. These men had been promised veteran’s pensions and they marched on Washington to ask – to *ask* - is they could please have a small advance on them seeing as how the country was starving to death and they were veterans and all who had given their service – and in man cases body-parts, sanity and so forth – for their country in the Great War to End All Wars. There were perhaps 3 – count them *3* - Communists in their midst. The rest were ordinary Americans who needed help, had given something of great value in exchange for a promise made by the most powerful government on earth, and were now exercising their Constitutionally guaranteed right of peaceful freedom of assembly to *ask* for *only* part of it.

And so a tent city of homeless veterans and their wives and children bloomed on the steps of the Nation’s Capitol – the heart of the Nation’s living room. They arrived in May at the beginning of a hot sultry summer – as all summers are in Washington D.C.

The Senate twice voted to give them their pensions and twice Herbert Hoover vetoed it. Finally the veteran’s said – “okay fine – but we have nowhere to go and since this city is America’s city – we’re just gonna hang out here.”

Then Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur – later to be known famously as Dugout Doug, took it upon himself to disperse the veterans using the ridiculous excuse that there were Communists using the march to start a rebellion to overthrow the government. Mostly – he just wanted to make good brownie points with Herbert Hoover. So MacArthur ordered his second in command, Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower, to open fire on the veterans and their families and disperse them. Eisenhower, never one to do the dirty work himself, ordered Gen George S. Patton to use the cavalry to disperse the campers. Patton was so sickened at the duty he was oath-bound to fulfill, spent the next 20 years writing plans on how to disperse civilians and restore order without killing them. “Tanks and troops with rifles were sent into the Bonus Expeditionary Force's camps. Hundreds of veterans were injured, several were killed, including
William Hushka and Eric Carlson, a wife of a veteran miscarried, and other such casualties were inflicted. The army burned down the BEF's tents and used tear gas.” – at Wikipedia – see link below

Pictures of Bonus Veterans:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?pp/horyd:@field(NUMBER+@band(thc+5a46337))
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/I?horyd:1:./temp/~pp_7QLB::displayType=1:m856sd=thc:m856sf=5a46320:@@@hory
http://us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/photos/html/1129.html


Narratives and Historical Facts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army
http://hampsteadchamber.com/A%20Southern%20Primer/hoover.htm
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/macarthur/peopleevents/pandeAMEX89.html
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/snprelief4.htm
http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/bonusm.htm
http://www.wappingersschools.org/JohnJayHS/students/ap/ap33/
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=461
http://students.washington.edu/asa2/the%20WrittenWordPages/bonusArmy.htm


A brief synopsis of the Bonus Army and a call for a second Bonus Army – http://members.aol.com/vetsofamer/bonus2.htm most of the links to the historical stuff http://members.aol.com/vetsofamer/bonus2.htm#links are dead for one reason or another – but some links are still live

So, guess what would happen - again - if every American veteran and their families marched to Washington……

Semper Fi,

Kathleen O’Brien Blair
McMinnville, OR USA
Veteran of United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force

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