Shredding the Troops

October 17, 2008


Warriors in that happy-go-lucky city-state of ancient Sparta either can back with their shield, or on it.
Veterans from US wars, however, especially those from the little-horrors currently in Iraq and Afghanistan, have no protective shields to ride back home.
US Veteran’s Affairs has been just piling up those shields and shredding them.

  • Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices have been ordered to immediately stop shredding documents after an investigation found some benefits claims and supporting documents among piles of papers waiting to be destroyed.
    Claims often include personal records supplied by veterans that are not duplicated in government files and might be difficult to replace, such as certificates for births, deaths and marriage.

VFW National Commander Glen Gardner is pissed:

  • “Secretary Peake must hold everyone involved personally accountable for this disgraceful management failure,” he said. “Someone who intentionally destroys paperwork, or supervisors who allow employees to interpret their own rules, are … doing serious damage to a great public image that took the VA years to build. Our veterans and our nation deserve much better.”

Damn well as he should be.
And that ‘Secretary Peake’ is, of course, VA honcho Jimmy Peake, another loudmouth incompetent appointed by Decider George in October 2007, former surgeon general who’s most-likely allowed the VA to descend into its shameful state.
In last November on Peake’s nomination:

  • Sick and wounded soldiers back from Iraq were warehoused in dilapidated barracks, waiting weeks or even months to see doctors. Many were not getting proper treatment for one of the signature ills of this war, post-traumatic stress disorder. Buried in a blizzard of paperwork, frustrated soldiers became ensnared in an Army bureaucracy that is supposed to provide them with medical treatment and disability payments. To make matters worse, separate efforts to care for soldiers by the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs were duplicative and confusing.

    The Army surgeon general presiding over the crisis back then was Lt. Gen. James Peake, who, like Kiley in 2007, sought to whitewash the situation. Peake retired in July 2004 — but now he’s back in the news.

Peake don’t believe in PTSD.
Last May, while visiting Alaska’s corrupted Ted Stevens, Peake said the PTSD deal with the returning vets was overblown, they just need some “counseling” and they’ll be fine.
According to Think Progress:

  • Peake’s comments are disturbing, especially in light of new numbers released by the Pentagon this week showing that the number of new PTSD cases “jumped by roughly 50 percent in 2007.”
    Since 2003, “roughly 40,000 troops have been diagnosed with the illness.”

I hope President Obama cleans house at the VA.
Warriors deserve it.

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