Bush Administration Still Screwing Veterans
Shocker, I know. Our good friend Paul Rieckhoff and his great organization, The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Of America (IAVA), is on the case. Here is their response to the damning Dole-Shalala report just released:FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
CONTACT: Michael Houston, IAVA (212) 982-9699 email@example.com
IAVA Responds to Dole-Shalala Commission Report: Today's Draft Report Should be a Wake-up Call for All Americans
NEW YORK Following today's final public meeting of the Dole-Shalala Commission, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released the following statement:
Today's draft report from the Dole-Shalala Commission has shown the American public that the Walter Reed fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg. Their findings should be a wake-up call for all Americans, said Paul Rieckhoff, Iraq veteran and Executive Director of IAVA. Last week the Secretary of the VA resigned. This week disabled Iraq veterans are suing the VA. Our veterans' healthcare system is facing tremendous challenges at every level and the Department of Defense and the VA are not ready to respond.
IAVA commends the Commission for their hard work and dedication, and we wholeheartedly endorse their call for fundamental changes and strong leadership to address the crisis facing veterans, said Rieckhoff. We urge the news media and American combat veterans of all generations to ensure that the recommendations of this report are implemented. Today's findings should not be buried in the back pages of our nation¹s newspapers beneath Lindsay Lohan's DUI.
The Commission heard testimony from a number of Iraq veterans in the past few months, including IAVA Director of Government Affairs Todd Bowers, who served two tours of duty in Iraq and was wounded in the face by a sniper's bullet. He was in attendance today at the Commission meeting in Washington, and said, "Too often we see reports like this get brief attention in the media and then they are set aside to collect dust on the shelf. But right now, there is a clear focus on veterans¹ care in America. Congress has appropriated more funds to the Veterans Administration than it has in 77 years. We call on the President and Congress to build on this progress andensure these recommendations are enacted quickly."
The Commission, authorized by President Bush in response to reports of poor conditions, neglect, and bureaucratic hurdles faced by outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, will release its final report next week. A draft is available now at http://www.pccww.gov
and includes the following recommendations:
1. Implement Comprehensive Recovery Plans
2. Restructure Disability and Compensation Systems
3. Improve Care for People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
4. Strengthen Support for Families
5. Transfer Patient Information Across Systems
6. Support Walter Reed Until Closure
IAVA, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is the nation's first and largest organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, representing more than 60,000 members and civilian supporters in all 50 states. To arrange an interview with Paul Rieckhoff, Todd Bowers or any other IAVA member veterans, contact Michael Houston at (212)-982-9699, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.iava.org