Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

And Now, The Rest Of The Story

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

A Gold Star Mother in Wisconsin presented an envelope to The McCain when she, among others, greeted him at the airport.  Inside the envelope were a set of photo memorial dog tags. Later that day at a campaign rally, The McCain used the envelope and photo dog tags to illustrate a point.  That point being let us remember what is important. Here’s what that Gold Star Mother had to say to The McCain afterwords:

“I received and then accepted invitation to meet and greet Senator John McCain when he arrived in Green Bay, WI on 9/18/2008.

There’s been some press and blogging about it.  Some truth and some misconception. For any of you having questions, here is the letter I wrote Sen. John McCain thanking him for acknowledging my son and Afghanistan… I wrote:

Dear Senator McCain,

I desperately hope someone prints this out and takes it to you to read immediately.

I am the mother of Fallen Soldier SSG Patrick Lee Lybert who met you at the Green Bay, Wisconsin Airport on 9/18/08.

There was no time to fully express my feelings to you.

I felt You, Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband to be the warmest, most sincere down to earth people one could hope to meet.

I cannot begin to explain to you the impact upon my heart when I looked into your eyes. I had my composure until that moment. I struggled to hold tears and maintain some dignity, but feel I failed miserably.

Here in front of me was the man I have held in such high esteem for so many years. A man my own son greatly respected, called hero or more reverently “The McCain”.

Television and photo do not do justice to you Sir. Your face is so beautiful, a face of compassion, wisdom and light. A man not afraid to say God Bless you and I know you really meant it.

When you hugged me I thought my heart would break. I could barely speak. I was trying to hold back the emotion I felt.

For in my minds eye, as you came down those steps I was seeing that younger John McCain, the soldier I had watched on television return home in 1973 when I was but 17. I remember my heart breaking and tears running then wishing I could hug you and take your pain.

Now all these years later I stood before you as you walked off a plane, this time as Mother of a Fallen Soldier and you hugged me – my mind could barely assemble it all.

Thank you for accepting the gift I gave you, the Photo Dog Tags of my son, along with my note. And yes, they are meant for you to share if you wish, have no doubt of that! (The press seems to have misunderstood the type of dog tag. You clearly held them up and they were clearly photographed and videoed as photo dog tags.)

Our family is so honored!

The most important part is that you read my note, spoke of my son Patrick, and Afghanistan at the conclusion of your speech in Green Bay.

I had been unable to stay as I had to get home to my special needs son. ( I had a four hour drive).

When I walked in Noah ask me “did you give him the photo dog tags of my brother? Will he say my brother’s name and talk about Afghanistan tonight?” I had told him I didn’t think you would have time but that you had them and he nodded.

Then came the news and video clips. You gave such tribute and honor to Patrick. Noah is so happy!

I could hardly wait to convey the news on to the soldiers I’m in contact with at Camp Lybert in Afghanistan (they are from Fort Hood, Texas) – Then to my son’s Comrades and 3-71 Cav 10th Mnt Div at Fort Drum – soon to redeploy to Afghanistan, again before January. Do you know they refer to this as “the forgotten war”?

They are so thankful to you for what you have done! One said “what you did was to give SSG Lybert’s (memory) and all of us who know what was lost out there HOPE!

There are of course those who have posted a dig here or there at you and I over this as they did not bother to get the full facts.

But please, Senator McCain, do not stop! Know my family and I are so proud to back you! My son Patrick would swell with pride knowing you hold and acknowledge photo dog tags of him, and that you give attention to our troops in Afghanistan.

“It’s not about the war, it’s about standing behind the troops who stand in front of us”.

Thank you Senator McCain,and again God Bless you.

I hold you in prayer.

Cheryl Lee Patrick
Ladysmith, WI

Mother of SSG Patrick Lee Lybert
KIA 21 June, 2006, Afghanistan”

Would You Want To Be Cynthia Fleming?

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Will You Believe Me Now?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

You may have heard about the lawsuit.  Evidence presented includes emails from Ira Katz.  He is the main mental health bureaucrat at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In this email Katz tells Everett (Call me Ev) Chasen to keep quiet about internal numbers on Veterans suicides.

In this email Katz acknowledges what is being widely reported that there are 120 Veterans per week committing suicide.  In that same email, the Under Secretary for Health at the VA, Michael Kussman, states that 120 Veterans per week committing suicide “Sounds awful but if one is considering 24 million veterans.”

So the Under Secretary for Health at the VA, who is an Army Veteran, believes that 120 Veterans committing suicide per week is OK because there are “24 million”.

Since these emails became public, politicians were quick to jump on the bandwagon and feign righteous indignation.

Message to politicians:  Too Little, Too Late.

These same politicians who are now feigning righteous indignation are the same politicians who have heaped praise on these VA bureaucrats for “Doing the right thing for Veterans”.

We have been telling these politicians for a long time that their praise is misguided.  we have been telling them that there is a culture in the VA bureaucracy of Obfuscate, Deny, Manipulate, Lie, Spin, and apply the full weight of the VA propaganda machine to make sure that the VA “message” is one that disparages critics and buries bad press.

These emails are the absolute best evidence to completely obliterate the rosy facade the VA propaganda machine has built to mislead the public.

Our heartfelt thanks go to CBS News, Armen Keteyian, Pia Malbran, and the rest of the crew that worked so hard on the exhaustive investigation into the epidemic of Veterans suicides.

Our heartfelt thanks also go to all of the good people involved in the lawsuit.  Godspeed.

Please join us in telling Congress that we expect that these VA bureaucrats who have lied to Congress, under oath, will be prosecuted for that felony.

Maybe if one or two dozen of the most heinous of these people are given a perp walk, the rest of the VA bureaucrats will take notice and straighten up their act.





Veterans Charity Fires Commander

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008


Veterans Charity Fires Commander Who Blew Whistle on Wasteful Spending

“They were incensed that I would tell the world how their donated money was being wasted,” said Henry Cook, national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).

This kind of fraud is not exclusive to this charity. There is massive waste, fraud, and abuse going on at several organizations. Most notably the organizations that have a Congressional Charter.

It seems that they somehow think that because they have a Congressional Charter they are above reproach. Because they think they are above reproach, corruption has metastasized through the “leadership” of the worst offenders.

More details can be found here

Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans

Friday, November 16th, 2007

An excellent report by CBS News.  Please take a few minutes and look over all of the information CBS News has included in that page.

Not surprisingly, the VA reacted with this press release:


November 14, 2007

Statement on CBS News Stories Aired November 13 and 14

WASHINGTON –  Every suicide in America is a tragedy.  VA cares about each veteran and their physical and mental health.  We have  more than 10,000 mental health workers who have dedicated themselves to helping veterans cope with the issues and crises they face.  We operate a veteran suicide hotline which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help any veteran in need.  That number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  VA has suicide prevention coordinators at each of our VA Medical Centers.

VA strongly encourages veterans who may be considering harming themselves in some way to seek treatment from VA or other health care providers in their communities.  Our people are there to help during a crisis.  VA’s care and treatment works and is available for veterans with PTSD, depression and other mental health problems.

VA operates the largest mental health care system in the country, spending $3 billion each year on its mental health programs, and has taken several measures to increase its mental health services in recent years.  Those include new programs bringing mental health into primary care, intensified rehabilitation for those with serious mental illnesses, and expanded programs for homeless veterans and those with substance abuse problems.

VA is concerned that the data CBS presented in its broadcast was not reviewed by independent scientists as most legitimate academic studies are.  Regardless of this questionable journalistic tactic, VA takes the problem of suicide very seriously and wants veterans to come to VA for help if they are under stress or in crisis.

VA is constantly reviewing scientific findings, both from our own research and that of others, to guide us in improving care for veterans.  We are reviewing the limited information that CBS has made available to us and are accelerating our own research to ensure we are doing everything possible to improve the information available to the medical and research communities about suicides in veterans as a means of better understanding how to prevent these tragedies.

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The VA has a propaganda machine that is second to none.  It rivals the propaganda machine of the old Soviet Union.