Posts Tagged ‘War Veterans’

Peake To World: “Erroneous”

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Despite the unassailable smoking gun evidence of the  emails, Peake stated:

“The notion we’re not trying to get the truth out there is erroneous”

 

Fascinating. Peake also thought that the complaints he was getting about Walter Reed were “erroneous” when he was the Army Surgeon General. The hypermyopia of Peake, Kussman, Katz, and others is doing nothing to stop the Veterans suicide epidemic. The May 6th hearing is listed as “The Truth about Veterans Suicides”. It seems that if Congress wanted to get at the truth, the last person on Earth to testify at that hearing would be Peake. Congress could hold hearings every day, all day, and have an inexhaustible supply of witnesses in the group of War Veterans that have attempted suicide and the parents of War Veterans who succeeded. When will we say “enough”? When 220 War Veterans a week are committing suicide? 440? 880? When? Until Peake and his ilk are held accountable there will be no progress, it will only get worse.

 

 


Suicides Shut VA Psychiatric Ward

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

More reporting on the Veterans Suicide Epidemic that the VA adamantly denies exists.

More Blame The Veteran Shenanigans At The VA

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

“Dallas VA closes psychiatric wing after 4th patient kills himself.”

Said Dr. Orsak. “No one was ignoring this, and everyone was working hard on the fixes. And then you have a tragedy and you realize there’s more you can do, and some patients have such a will to end their lives, it’s hard to protect them.”

 The Orsak quote is in this article.

She is just another VA employee who would rather blame Veterans for the chronic and massive failures of the VA than take responsibility for those failures.

When will the VA do what they said they would do, and what the law tells them they must do, to end the epidemic of suicides among Veterans?

 

O. I forgot. There is no suicide epidemic among Veterans.

We wonder how Catherine Orsak can look at herself in a mirror after disparaging Veterans so heinously.  

 

Simple. Elegant. Truth.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

 “Any nation willing to ask its men and women to risk their lives serving overseas must also be willing to take care of them when they come home. Veterans deserve dignified care, and we can’t provide that with a VA that is run like the Postal Service or the IRS.”

— Dr. Ron Paul

Committee Hearing on Assessing Veterans’ Charities

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

For Immediate Release

January 6th 2008

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced that there will be a “Second Full Committee Hearing on Assessing Veterans’ Charities” to be held Thursday, January 17, 2008, 10:00 AM at 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.

At the first hearing, held December 13th 2007, Edgar Edmundson, father of, SGT. Eric Edmundson, stated that “ I am concerned. The negative affect that the few self serving non-profits will have on the ability of the legitimate non-profits to obtain funding from the general public. It would be an unfortunate turn of events if the service they provide is not available. As I have shared, the service they provide is immediate and personalized to the needs of the soldiers and their families. I believe that measures need to be implemented to ensure the availability of Non-profits and their services.”

When Mr. Edmundson was given the tax forms of some of these groups to look at, he became obviously upset and stated, “The first thing that goes through my mind when I read this type of thing is… anger.”

We share Mr. Edmundson’s anger and concern. There are far too many professional fundraisers and highly paid executives that are becoming very wealthy off the very generous nature of the general public for Veterans Charities.

Immediately after the first hearing, groups such as the VFW, PVA, and AMVETS, among others, began a very aggressive campaign attacking Daniel Borochoff, President, American Institute of Philanthropy for what they claimed to be “unfair” analysis. The PVA claimed that it shouldn’t have received an F on the AIP Report Card of Veteran and Military Charities because they spent more on programs than another F recipient did.

That’s the equivalent of Susie complaining to the teacher that she shouldn’t get an F because she scored 20 on the essay and Johnny scored 19. An F is an F.

We are calling on all concerned to tell their elected representatives and the entire House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that we demand Congress take every available measure to ensure that the most heinous of the people responsible for these travesties are held accountable.

Do not let them tell you that there are no laws that allow Congress to take action against these groups. That is simply an excuse for non-action.

 

For Media Contact The Reverend Larry D Fagre through http://vetsburg.org/contact.htm

Merry Christmas? Maybe Not.

Monday, December 24th, 2007

The VA staunchly maintains that there is no suicide epidemic among Veterans. They claim that the numbers that CBS News reported are not reflective of the actual numbers.

For the sake of this argument let’s assume the VA is right. Let’s say that the reported 120 Veterans suicides per week is exaggerated.

Let’s further assume that the actual number of Veterans suicides is only 60 per week. Half of what was reported.

Now, let’s say that we believe the VA when they say that they have the most greatest, biggest, most venerated, fail proof, most respected suicide prevention program in the
known Universe.

Now to the questions: If the assumptions above are true, then why is the entire home page of the VA website largely covered with pictures and stories about the new VA Secretary, James Peake?


Wouldn’t it make sense that if the VA did, in fact, have such a great suicide prevention program, and that it is widely believed that the suicide rate increases during the “Holiday Season”. Wouldn’t it make sense that the VA website, where many people go to try and find helpful resources for themselves or a Veteran family member in crisis.

Wouldn’t it then make sense that instead of trying to find the link to suicide prevention buried in a list between “Job Opportunities at VA” and “ Summary of Benefits for Veterans and Dependents”.

Wouldn’t it then make sense that the homepage of the Government agency charged with preventing suicides among Veterans, the agency that has several Federal laws that mandate more aggressive suicide prevention among Veterans. Wouldn’t it then make sense that the home page of that agency have a very prominent, easy to identify, and easy to access “banner” that leads to suicide prevention information?

Let’s Do a Compare and Contrast:

If you do a Google search for “veterans suicide”, which is probably a very likely search phrase someone in crisis trying to find help, or a concerned person trying to find help for their Veteran, would use, this is what you would get These Results.

However, if you do a Google search for just suicide you get These Results.

OK. More questions:

The VA spends millions of dollars each year on their Public Affairs Propaganda Machine. Why is it they won’t spend a few bucks to get Google AdWords, and other similar advertising programs that cause the issue to be prominently featured in web searches? Like the well managed private suicide prevention providers do.

Why don’t some of those Veterans Charities that claim to care so deeply about Veterans Issues spend some of the exorbitant amounts of money they spend on fundraising, conventions, executive salaries, executive travel, gourmet meals, and political lobbying on buying some advertising targeted at spreading information about the epidemic of Veterans Suicides?

O, we forgot. There is no suicide epidemic among Veterans.

What Part of DONT TREAD ON ME do you not understand?
–The Reverend Larry D Fagre, Founder

General Peake Senate Confirmation

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Vetsburg News Release

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Rev Larry D Fagre

info@vetsburg.org

12/15/2007

 

Senate Votes Unanimously to Confirm Peake as VA Secretary

JOHNSON CITY– The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to confirm the nomination of James Peake as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Peake may be best known for being the senior military officer in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Like General Kiley, General Peake didn’t do barracks inspections either. The unanimous Senate vote came less than twenty-four hours after the Senate Veterans Affairs committee voted unanimously to send the nomination to the senate floor. We were told by a committee staffer on December 12th that no vote had been scheduled and we would have at least a forty-eight hour notice of the pending committee vote. 

Senator Akaka, Chairman of the committee was not aware of this as he scheduled the committee vote “expeditiously”. Within two hours of our conversation with the staffer, Akaka announced that the committee would vote on the nomination the following morning immediately following the first roll-call vote. By scheduling the vote “expeditiously” Akaka was able to avoid the masses of Veterans Advocates that would have shown up to protest the nomination. And further, by rushing the nomination to the floor of the Senate, it prevented those Veterans Advocates from undertaking a last minute push to cause the nomination to be blocked. 

Not only was there calls for the nomination to be blocked because of Peake’s failed leadership on the Walter Reed scandal, there was a great deal of concern expressed over his most recent employment as the second in charge of QTC Management, a company that describes itself as “The largest private provider of government- outsourced occupational health, and injury and disability examination services in the nation.” The company is headed by Anthony Principi who was the first Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the George W. Bush administration. In addition to Peake’s employment with QTC, he was also employed as Executive Vice President and COO of Project Hope, where he had a salary of over $250,000 dollars a year.

With his Army retirement of over $100,000 dollars a year, his retirement benefits from QTC and Project Hope, and his salary of $186,000 as VA Secretary, General Peake will become a very, very wealthy man on the tax payers dime. It makes us wonder why the approval rating of Congress is so low. Perhaps if they gave everyone the same great deal they gave General Peake, they could move up to over 15% approval. We expressed all of our concerns to both Senator Alexander and Senator Corker; however, they chose to participate in the, perhaps unprecedented, multi-millionaire making action of their colleagues. With the Peake confirmation, and the VA’s unwavering position that they are the most comprehensive suicide prevention agency in the nation, it has been a bad week for Veterans.

House Veterans Affairs Hearing

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Update:  13 December 2007As a result of that CBS story down there, the House Veterans Affairs committee held a hearing yesterday.  The title of the hearing was:

Stopping Suicides: Mental Health Challenges Within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

One of the witnesses at the hearing was Ira Katz.  He is the VA’s senior bureaucrat in charge of suicide prevention.  Among the other lies that he told the hearing was that “We have a major suicide prevention program, the most comprehensive in the nation.” Isn’t it illegal to lie to Congress?  Do you think that he will be prosecuted for lying to Congress?  I talked to a staffer at the committee this morning.  I didn’t get the sense that Katz should be consulting with Scooter.  Shame that.

Other witnesses at the hearing included Kim and Mike Bowman.  Their testimony elicited a standing ovation.  Ira Katz didn’t get a standing ovation.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Admiral Douglas Katz when he was the CO of the Battleship New Jersey.  He used to end messages with the acronym “WETSU”.  I strongly believe that Katz is the only thing these two people have in common.

Here is the link to the 1:36 story CBS did in the Evening News.

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3613100n&channel=/sections/eveningnews/videoplayer3420.shtml

I Have a Dream

Monday, December 10th, 2007

 The Dream that I have… Maybe it is better categorized as a fantasy.  Anyway, I liked
the “I Have A Dream” reference.  Mine is fairly simple.  My dream is that President Dr
Paul asks me to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  He asks me to work with the
Secretary of Defense (Mad Dog Dorin M.) to disassemble both agencies and create a
bureaucracy-proof agency that takes anyone who wants to serve in the military from cradle to grave.  With vision and leadership from Dr Paul, Mad Dog and I are able to create an agency that does three times the amount of work of the existing agencies at half the cost. We maintain the existing military branches but structure them so that their key
mission is, in fact, defense.  Defense of the USA that is.  Not the defense of every
country on earth. We also do this at 1/4th the salary of the existing secretaries.  And,
the most important part, we serve these brave people with actual results.  We provide
them with all of the benefits they deserve and we hold the public servants entrusted with
these jobs accountable.  If you are a screwup, you are fired and not promoted to your
highest level of incompetence. And then I woke up.

VA Psychologist Files Complaint with Florida Board

Monday, December 10th, 2007

This press release was issued by the VA on 11/28/07:

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded a contract worth $39 million to a Cleveland firm to upgrade the electrical systems at the Department’s Tampa hospital.

“This project will help ensure the James A. Haley VA Medical Center provides the highest quality of patient care and services to veterans in central Florida,” said Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon H. Mansfield.  “The contract will upgrade normal, emergency and standby electrical distribution systems and can provide 100 percent campus generator backup for four consecutive days.

LDV-Doan/Pyramid of Cleveland received the contract for the 327-bed tertiary care teaching hospital, with 180 authorized nursing home care beds.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

On December 4th, the St. Petersburg Times ran an article about a psychologist at that same VA filing a complaint with the Florida Board of Psychology:  Article here http://extra.examiner.com/linker/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esptimes%2Ecom%2F2007%2F12%2F04%2FHillsborough%2FComplaint%5Ftargets%5FVA%5F%2Eshtml

Regional VA spokesman John Pickens (read Public Affairs VA propaganda expert) stated that “only 9” of the psychologists are unlicensed instead of the 12 listed in the complaint.

Only 9 are unlicensed so it’s all OK. Oh, and by the way, if you need a bullet for the gun you’re going to use to blow your fucking brains out, go see John Pickens.  He keeps one in his shirt pocket just for you.

If you can’t find John Pickens, try James Peake or Gordon Mansfield.  They carry spares.  Don’t go to the suicide prevention coordinator at the Tampa VAMC though because she isn’t licensed either.

How many Veterans have to die before these VA criminals are held accountable?  How many Veterans suicides will it take to wake the country up to the malpractice that is rampant and unchecked in the VA system?

When will politicians like Senator Akaka wake up to the realization that they are culpable in the deaths of thousands of Veterans?  

How about the collective “we” raise the same kind of stink that was brought on by the Walter Reed Scandal every day.  Day after day after day.  Until  the politicians finally get it.

And, O by the Way, the electrical system will be upgraded soon. 

Edited to add: Dr. Nussbaum is now considered by the Career Bureaucrats as a “Whistle Blower”.  Not to worry though because there is a professional coalition just for VA whistle blowers. http://www.vawbc.com/