Saturday, May 14, 2005

I Got a Damn Yellow Ribbon on My Car...What More do You Want From Me?

Via Eschaton, another example of supporting the troops...
Richard Twohig "like many injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was counting on the Army to provide him and his family with medical benefits. But lawyers representing some of those soldiers said the Army is making it difficult.

The Army determined that Twohig was less than 30 percent disabled. In order to maintain his Defense Department benefits, he had to meet the 30 percent level.

The difference is significant: If he loses the benefits, he gets a taxable $12,000 severance payment from the Army and health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. His family has no health care coverage. If he is 30 percent disabled, though, he gets a monthly military retirement check and he and his family are eligible for health care at military hospitals.

Twohig is appealing the ruling on his disability. Civilian lawyers who handle such appeals say the odds are against him."
Everybody knows about the apparent indifference of the Bush Administration to ensuring that our troops are inadequately armed and shielded in Iraq, and I've written before about VA hospital "consolidations" that leave many wounded vets without viable treatment options nearby. This situation is a part of that. The Bush Administration quite clearly does not care about these people as human beings (it's not clear that the Bush Administration cares about anybody who can't write six-digit contribution checks as human beings). The problems faced by wounded soldiers like Twohig may be endemic in the VA system, but it is incumbent on the Republican Administration that is creating thousands of wounded veterans, with no end in sight, that these problems be addressed and resolved. And that resolution should have a bias in favor of the wounded soldier, not in favor of saving the VA money.
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