Tag: veterans

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Too Grateful To America’s Veterans?

 

shutterstock_250524325Only the New York Times would put it quite that way:

Unfortunately, the modern-day lionization of veterans has itself gone too far. In Washington, this knee-jerk support has resulted in policy decisions that will hurt both vets and the larger public over time… Since 2000, the Department of Veterans Affairs has seen its budget nearly triple. Its programs run the gamut from burial benefits to job training. But among the biggest cost drivers is the disability-compensation system, which now approaches $60 billion per year.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the kicker:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Treating Traumatic Brain Injury — Telling a Mistold Tale

 

shutterstock_167475890In the last few weeks, I have been immersed not in an untold story but a mistold one. So far as I can see, the mistelling has nothing to do with politics, but here is what it is.

War is hell. It is also a powerful catalyst for medical advances: penicillin in World War II; techniques for stabilizing the wounded and rapidly moving them to hospitals during the Vietnam War; and, as it turns out, treating Traumatic Brain Injury in the current wars.

Until recently, I thought TBI was essentially untreatable. That is what every media story I have been able to find says about it. Several weeks ago, however, the medical director of one of a series of special TBI rehabilitation centers on military bases around the country told me this amazing statistic: As determined by a battery of standardized neurocognitive tests that certify a soldier prepared to return to active duty, the success rate for TBI treatment at his center is running at 92 percent. I believe those results are typical for these facilities.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Our Soldiers Are NOT Victims

 

Were you shocked by the combat scenes in “American Sniper?” Do you find yourself worrying about the price our soldiers pay–about how many must suffer post-traumatic stress disorder?

A recently retired four-star general in the United States Marine Corps has a suggestion for you: Knock it off. Our soldiers aren’t victims, and there’s such a thing as post-traumatic growth.

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Disclaimer – I’ve not seen the movie. I likely won’t see it. The article linked and quoted herein was written by a blogger who is himself an Iraq War veteran (in this case a medical corpsman) a firearms enthusiast, and a sometime firearms journalist. Any discussion of Chris Kyle, American Sniper (the book), or American Sniper (the […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. VA Fires Phoenix Hospital Director

 

About five scandals ago, the Veterans Administration hospital in Phoenix was accused of allowing dozens of patients to die while awaiting medical care. Following this shocking revelation, several other VA hospitals around the nation were found to have falsified treatment data and waiting lists. As care for our sick heroes was deferred and denied, VA administrators gained large bonuses and sterling performance evaluations.

Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix facility and career VA employee, was placed on administrative leave earlier six months ago. Today, finally, some slight justice was served —Helman was fired.

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The next installment of the Call of Duty series is now on sale. It is called Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and it retails for $60. The series is incredibly popular across many different demographic groups, ranging from kids who enjoy the online fighting with each other, to gun enthusiasts who like the available range […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Federal Workers Resent Surge in Hiring Vets

 

You might have noticed that I’m not Obama’s biggest fan. But grudgingly I must admit that there are one or two things he has gotten right.

Five years ago, the administration decided to help veterans find work after returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vets have received preferential hiring for government jobs going back to WWII, but Obama further sweetened the formula in their favor. Last year, nearly half of all full-time hires were ex-military; now vets make up a full third of the federal workforce.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Never Forget

 

shutterstock_146659976I had soldiers on my mind this morning as I went for a brisk walk in the cemetery across from my house. Victor Davis Hanson is partially to blame. I read his fine NRO piece this week about the upcoming 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and it stuck with me.

But that’s not the only reason my thoughts have been full of marines, sailors, and infantrymen. I’ve also been working my way through the HBO miniseries The Pacific about Raritan, New Jersey’s own John Basilone, who won both the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle for Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in 1942 and (posthumously) the Navy Cross for his valor at Iwo Jima in 1945. The series is not great, but Basilone is undoubtedly a true American hero and it is right and proper that somebody should make a movie about his life. (My dad would want you to know that Raritan is just 20 miles down Rt. 287 from my hometown of Morristown.)

In the cemetery this morning, I came across some yet-to-be-cleared wreaths from my town’s Memorial Day commemoration. I want to share one of them with you:

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Rolling with the Thunder

 

imageAnd here I thought this piece on Rolling Thunder would be a difficult one to write. After a phenomenal escort by upwards of a hundred motorcycles, two fire trucks, and a special response vehicle Saturday, which ushered in six Ride of Pride trucks to a veteran’s observance, I thought there would be too many events this weekend to synthesize into a coherent essay. Then there were the two young children who stood and saluted the bikes and trucks as we rolled into the parking lot.

And let’s not forget the Mastery Gunnery Sergeant who led the assemblage in prayer before yesterday’s lunch. Or the 6’5″ gentleman they call Mongo, who is in reality a retired Command Sergeant Major, with seven combat tours and multiple Purple Hearts to his significant and eternal credit. A man large enough to command his own zip code, and yet humble, gentle and unassuming enough to befriend the most sour disposition.

Then came the assemblage at the hotel Sunday morning as another massive group of motorcycles prepared to escort us to the Pentagon. At dawn the very ground seemed to rumble as the bikes roared to life and the voice of the formation’s leader was heard on our radios saying, “Good morning boys and girls!” It seemed for a short while that we had cheated time itself while we made our way, as if on patrol, to the Pentagon, the chatter on the radio brimming with military terms and precision. We were young again, and on a mission.

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In one of my books, I wrote about the Veterans Administration’s active and deliberate assault on religious freedom, using our veterans as pawns in that effort. In summary form, here’s what I wrote about the VA’s misbehavior in that arena. At funeral ceremonies in our National Cemeteries, VA management attempted to dictate the permissible content […]

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If you watch any amount of TV you will see ads for various charities that raise money to help rehabilitate disabled veterans. Although I don’t see any TV ads for them, there’s an outfit called Homes For Our Troops that refits homes to make them handicap-accessible and also builds handicap-accessible homes from the ground up. […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Country Club Sues WWII Vet over Petty Property Dispute

 

Virgil Wesley has lived in his modest Kansas City area house since 1995. Now, a posh county club is suing the 86-year-old World War II veteran over the placement of his garage. According to the Brookridge Country Club, a corner of Wesley’s small garage crosses onto their property and Something Must Be Done.

Family members say Brookridge Country Club is suing Wesley for $75,000, because they allege 60 square feet of his garage is on country club property, according to a survey. “I thought somebody was crazy!” Wesley said, “I’ve been maintaining it all these years!” “He’s a WWII veteran, he’s 86 years old, he’s wheelchair bound, he has no money, no ability to hire an attorney, and they know that!” said Virgil’s daughter, Louanna Davis.