VCS in New York Times Again Raising Concerns About Sharp Rise in Post-Deployment Deaths Among Our Veterans
VCS Advocacy in Action -
This week, VCS is in the news again fighting for our service members, veterans, and families. News articles include another major New York Times investigation, an article by Columbia University, a mention by Democracy Now, and the use of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) research by CBS News in a segment for "60 Minutes."
On Sunday, VCS discussed the rising number of veteran post-war deaths with Aaron Glantz in an article published in the New York Times. VA and DoD are failing to track these deaths, even though reporters can track the data a the local level. VCS urges VA and DoD to do a better job collecting and monitoring this information. We don't want another repeat of how badly our government handled atomic veterans, agent orange, and Gulf War illness.
With the continued number of Gulf War Syndrome cases, VCS urges VA to increase funding for Gulf War Illness Research in an article published by Columbia University. VCS will be presenting our advocacy agenda at Boston University on Friday, October 29.
In a radio interview with Democracy Now this week, author Aaron Glantz quotes our VCS refrain, "don't look, don't find," describing VA's attitude towards tracking the number of veteran suicides and post-war deaths.
Unfortunately, due to the shortage of doctors, our troops suffering from mental health issues on the battlefield are being sent to chaplains instead of mental health professionals. Our VCS letter to the Pentagon addressing this problem is quoted in an article written by Kelley B. Vlahos. VCS works with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to promote religious liberty within our military.
VCS provided 60 minutes with the statistics used in their outstanding segment about our homeless veterans. Our VCS Freedom of Information Act Researcher, Kristina Brown, obtained this information under the FOIA. These stories take on national significance because VCS has the facts showing that homelessness isn't a local problem, it is a humanitarian crisis our entire nation must address:
- More than two million Americans deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Of those deployed since 9/11, 867,000 deployed twice or more.
- More than 277,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been treated by VA for mental health conditions.
- VA told CBS that 9,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets are already homeless.
Other Important News -
The Army reports a new blood test can detect and diagnose Traumatic Brain Injury that has traditionally been missed in imaging scans and symptomatic prognoses. This is good news.
Congratulations to VA for a superb, poignant, and inspirational video encouraging more medical professionals to work at VA. This is exactly what VA should be doing so our veterans get fast care without waiting. Thank you goes to VA Secretary Shinseki for his leadership to make this happen. We hope more medical professionals will consider working at VA because of this recruiting.
VCS Thanks you for Your Support
(Veterans for Common Sense )