Military Tradition – History of Veterans Abused, Discarded

The history of this country’s treatment of its veterans has been dismal, starting with the very beginning of the country.

Note: Some of the history information and early pictures came from the VA History website, later pictures are attributed to their sources.

Revolutionary War

Battle of Lexington 1779

Photo courtesy Dept. VA History

The Continental Congress of 1776 sought to encourage enlistments and curtail desertions with the nation’s first pension law. It granted half pay for life in cases of loss of limb or other serious disability.   But they had no money or authority so they left it to the states with lackluster success.  Only about 3,000 Revolutionary War veterans ever drew any pension, and it was limited to those who had been disabled and the payments were quite low.

A new principle for veterans benefits, providing pensions on the basis of need (indigent), was introduced in the 1818 Service Pension Law. The law provided that every person who had served in the War for Independence and was in need of assistance would receive a fixed pension for life. The rate was $20 a month for officers and $8 a month for enlisted men.

The problem was that the pensioner had to prove that he was indigent and many never received a penny. In 1858 Congress authorized half-pay pensions to veterans’ widows and to their orphan children until they reached the age of 16, generally paying $4.00 to $10.00 a month depending on rank of the veteran.

Civil War

President Lincoln at Antietam battlefield, October 1862

Photo courtesy Dept. VA History

By 1868 New York Governor Reuben E. Fenton (“the soldier’s friend”) remarked that homeless veterans in New York State “numbered by the thousands.”

After the Civil War, veterans organized to seek increased benefits. The Grand Army of the Republic, consisting of Union veterans of the Civil War, was the largest veterans organization emerging from the war.

Until 1890, Civil War pensions were granted only to servicemen discharged because of illness or disability attributable to military service.

The Dependent Pension Act of 1890 substantially broadened the scope of eligibility, providing pensions to veterans incapable of manual labor.  (Photo courtesy VA Dept.)

World War I

“The Veteran’s Bureau,” a columnist wrote in 1925, “has probably made wrecks of more men since the war than the war itself took in dead and maimed.”

World War I Veterans Descend on Washington, DC

Photo courtesy Dept. VA History

After Dec. 24, 1919, all claims and payments arising from disability or death from World War I were regarded as compensation rather than pension. This was reversed in March 1933, when all payments to veterans were again regarded as pensions. It was not until World War II that the distinction between compensation and pension again was used.

The first director of the Veteran’s Bureau was relieved as director within two years and was later sentenced to prison and fined on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government on hospital contracts.

World War I Bonus marchers

Photo courtesy Dept. VA History

After returning from the Great War, many veterans faced destitution and did all they could to survive.  In 1924 Congress passed the World War Adjustment Compensation Act, giving one dollar a day for service and 25 cents more for service overseas.  There was a catch:  If it was more than $50.00 it was issued in certificate form not payable for 20 years and not over $1500.00.

The veteran’s called these “bonus” certificates and marched on Washington, (see last 2 pictures above), some 15,000 by some estimates.   They demanded immediate payments.   They camped wherever they could. Some slept in abandoned buildings or erected tents. But many lived in makeshift shacks along the mudflats of the Anacostia River. With no sanitation facilities, living conditions quickly deteriorated in the “shanty town.

The bonus marches revealed serious shortcomings in how America cared for her defenders as they transitioned from military to civilian life.  As a result, Congress passed the GI Bill of Rights.  (Photo Courtesy VA Dept)

In 1933 Congress enacted the Economy Act which repealed all laws giving benefits for veterans and gave the authority to Roosevelt who radically created new acts that radically reduced veteran’s benefits.

World War II

Photo courtesy High Over Texas Creative Commons License

Photo High Over Texas

In 1946, the VA had beds for about 82,000 patients but the VA rolls swelled to 15 million in just a few months and the hospitals were virtually all swamped.  There were 26,000 non service related cases also on the waiting list. The VA was building new hospitals but had money for only 12,000 more beds.  They came too few too late.

Health problems associated with atomic radiation also have received belated attention. The Radiation-Exposed Veterans Compensation Act of 1988 authorized disability compensation for veterans suffering from a number of diseases associated with radiation, 42 years after the exposure!

This specifically included veterans claiming exposure to atomic radiation during the detonation of nuclear test devices or during the U.S. occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki between September 11, 1945, and July 1, 1946

Korean War

Photo Courtesy of Lulu Vision (Creative Commons License)

Photo Lulu Vision

The Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952, called the Korean GI Bill, provided unemployment insurance, job placement, home loans and mustering-out benefits similar to those offered World War II veterans. The Korean GI Bill made several changes, however, in education benefits, reducing financial benefits generally and imposing new restrictions.

The effect of the changes was that the benefit no longer completely covered the cost of the veteran’s education.

Vietnam War

(Photo Courtesy erokCom (Creative Commons License)

Photo eroksCom

A major difference of Vietnam-era veterans from those of earlier wars was the larger percentage of disabled.  Advances in airlift and medical treatment saved the lives of many who would have died in earlier wars.   There were issues of Agent Orange which took many years to address.  At first, the only allowable claims related to Agent Orange were for a skin rash, chloracne.  The VA waited until 1991 to recognize for claim purposes two other ailments, soft-tissue sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  (Photo Courtesy erokCom (Creative Commons License)

Vientnam veterans make up the preponderance of homeless veterans.   42% of the homeless veterans served in Vietnam.  Many more served during the conflict but in non combat areas.

Many of these suffer from PTSD, alcohol and drug related illnesses that have not been properly addressed by the VA.  The VA still claims that PTSD has no relationship to military service.

Gulf War

Gulf War Vet

Gulf War Veteran (Photo:


Gulf War veterans are among the new faces of homeless veterans.

Afganistan and Iraq

News Headline: New York– Americans were dismayed to learn that soldiers wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq — “fallen heroes” were being warehoused in Building 18, a rat-and roach infested satellite of the Armu’s Walter Reed Medical Center.

(Photo courtesy big gray mare A creative commons license)

In addition, injured veterans are going bankrupt and losing their homes because the Veterans Administration (V.A.) holds up their benefit checks for years on end.

The men and women who fight for our country deserve better.

Is this any way to “support our troops?”

Update March 2010:

A Start

Source Politifact

VA secretary announces plans for more housing vouchers at Homeless Veterans Summit

Updated: Monday, January 4th, 2010 | By Robert Farley

On July 30, 2009, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., introduced the “Zero Tolerance for Veterans Homelessness Act of 2009.” The bill would authorize a major increase in the number of vouchers available annually for homeless veterans through the VA Supported Housing Program. Specifically, the bill would increase the number of vouchers available to 30,000 in 2010, and then 10,000 more a year until 2014, when 60,000 vouchers would be available. The bill now sits in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

On Nov. 3, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki convened the first-ever Homeless Veteran Summit in Washington, during which he unveiled an ambitious plan to establish new programs and enhance existing ones with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans over the next five years.


Note: Some of the history information and early pictures came from the VA History website, later pictures came from recent posts and news articles.

For All Homeless Veterans Articles

37 responses to “Military Tradition – History of Veterans Abused, Discarded

  1. It is a blasted shame that a soldier who gave his best or his life only gets a paltry retirement while politicians in D.C. after one year of sitting on their ass will get a life long pension of up to $15K a month. Put a gun in their hands and plop them in a foxhole or in a burned out building for an hour and see if they make it.
    The Patriot Guard Riders recognize the importance of our military. They need pay that will support their family while deployed and they need a pension that will help sustain them after service. The death benefits for soldiers are a joke too. $6K and $800/mo until remarried and the kids get a couple hundred each until 18. The spouse of a senator will get the pension after the senator dies and gets his punishment.
    I truly believe that military service is much more honorable than politics. Politicians should be limited to a total of 8 years in office-PERIOD. Being a representative of the people is a SERVICE not a CAREER.

  2. Maybe veterans are not fighting for this country and are fighting for just rich people who would never serve in the military.


    I do not know if you want to do anything with this misadventure or not.


  4. With the state of social security and the common man (that would exclude congressmen and senators), does it surprise anyone that those “special” citizens we call veterans get short-changed? Maybe our duly-elected representatives should be required to be veterans and required to be in the social security system? I think official opinions and action would change!

  5. I agree completely. The problem is that there is not much press about homeless veterans, They are grossly underserved by the media.

    Our leaders in Congress and indeed the VA tend to promote expensive projects that make a splash in the media and good press for the Senators and Congressmen but serve only a very small fraction of the homeless.

    Spend a little money to remodel a building to serve maybe 20 homeless veterans in a nearby population of thousands of homeless veterans.

    Money spent, news generated, constituants (voters that is) impressed, drop in the bucket for our homeless heroes.


  6. hi i am a aoman vet . i met a homelss vet at the houston va hospital. he told me that he moved around alot he definitely had mental problems. i worrywhere he will go next. my husband is a vet too i thinks ir it were no us being married he would have ended up homeless merry christmas to all vets.

    And Merry Christmas to you and your husband as well, and all the others you love. Thank you for your service to our country!


  7. As a member of The Sons of the American Revolution,with a strong and proud military family,I feel Our government has been playing games with our veterans ever since the Oneida Indian Nation fought in the Revolutionary War. They were among our first American Solders and took up arms against the British to help our nation earn its independence.after our Revolution, Our new government used seized British land to compensate our veterans,and the Oneida veterans, were stripped of much of their original territory,by taking 10 million acres of land away from them. Look how they have been treated by our government ever since. The Oneidas are one of the areas largest employer and every time the they to better this area economically, They need to fight State and the Federal Government to do so .You know that they have two citizenships,one for being a veteran of the Revolutionary war ,and one from their mothers blood. I am not speaking for the Oneidas ,just the injustice that was done to them by an ungrateful country.

    Now our current service members have had Repeated, and extended deployments to war zones have driven a rise in post-traumatic stress among troops. It may be good to support your troops That are serving our interest, but it is better to demand a accountability from those responsible for the lack of their care.the fact that VA hospitals are turning away those most in needs is utterly disgusting.

    Those in charge of VA hospitals need to take responsibility for their lack actions. I think the whole VA system needs a overhaul and very soon. With more and more wounded troops coming home the need is there for both physical and mental healthcare. Our troops only deserve the best of all aspects of care!

    Wake up, America! We do not take care of our own like we should and I think it’s time that we start. Nobody who has ever encountered the VA medical system will be surprised by this. The entire operation is a horror show run mostly by lazy, self-important, arrogant and self satisfied bureaucrats.This kind of treatment has been going on for years and years and years. VA hospitals are in a hopless situations. For those who are closely associated with regular active duty military, this type of treatment is the rule and not the exception Sad, but true.If certain serves cannot be provided for a veteran or military patient then they are suppose to be referred to a civilian facility , and there is suppose to be no cost to the service member or veteran.Many of our own go without and This shouldn’t be a surprise for the VA system when it comes to treating any new service related condition.

    In this situation, the Iraq veteran is in the same boat as the Vietnam veteran was in the 1970’s. At least now, they have a name for it, PTSD,and agent orange has been proven, but the VA doesn’t take it seriously! It’s terrible that our country is ignoring the cries of our vets. It’s no surprise what is happening with Syracuse Veterans Hospital if similar acts are occurring around the country.I’ve have made many attempts in the last four years to talk with Mr Cody, Who is self-important, arrogant, don’t call me I’ll call you,is the head of the VA hospital in Syracuse NY about these conditions and, as stands theres been no dialog.

    I, believe that Mr. Jim Cody should tendered his resignation for the good of our veterans. Dennis Thorp is a native of Frankfort and served as a U.S. Army medic during the Vietnam War. He is co-founder of Agent Orange Victims International. Doctho@roadrunner

    • Lets’s once again remember our Veterans who fought and stood “for Something”. Once again its all about money and who you know. Its a shameful society and I have never seen more people fight for a cause than that of the “homeless Veteran to include the Hospitals the Veterans receive pathetic treatment from. We must all stand for something good. Money is the root of all evil and that is exactly how the VA hospitals operate. If they can save money by withholding needed treatment fROM a veteran, that means bigger bonuses in their pockets. I can remember a CNN correspondent being so amazed when she learned that this is actually happens. In 2007 & 08 millions of dollars in awards were issued. Four high level employees received anywhere from 60 to $73,0000 without sufficient justtification! I call it blood money. I will never stop proving what happened to my father and it all starts with a telecommunication device called a “HEALTH BUDDY” that THE VA in Syracuse issued MY FATHER SO HE COULD MANAGE HIS OWN CHRONIC DISEASE AND MY FATHER HAD CATARACTS! I WAS VERY FORTUNATE (BLESSED) TO HAVE ORDERED MY DADS MEDICAL FILE, I RECIEVED IT IN AUGUST OF 2007. THOUGH ALL THE 2005 RECORDS ARE MISSING I STILL HAVE THE FILE. IT’S NOT SO EASY ANYMORE. I PROMISED MY DAD I WILL MAKE SURE JUSTICE IS SERVED AND HONOR IS RESTORED TO HIS NAME. FROM A GRATEFUL DAUGHTER, DEBBIE

      • Another dismal act against our Veterans. In Charleston SC the HOMELESS SHELTER for Veterans was “robbed” of thier own money by the person who was operating “THE GOOD NEIGHBOR”. What a disgrace. She used a debit card to take money that belonged to the “VETERANS.”.How much was taken we will never know, was she punished, absolutley not. I am so ashamed at this act of ill will. To take what was not her’s. Eric SHINSEKI where are you when issues such as this occurr? Homelessness of our Veterans will never stop unless the stupid are punished for taking what is NOT their’s to take. WHAT A SHAME.

  8. As a member of The Sons of the American Revolution, with a strong and proud military family, I feel Our government has been playing games with our veterans ever since the Oneida Indian Nation fought in the Revolutionary War. They were among our first American Solders and took up arms against the British to help our nation earn its independence after our Revolution. Our new government used land seized from the British to compensate our veterans and the Oneida veterans were stripped of much of their original territory, by having 10 million acres of land taken from them. Look how they have been treated by an ungrateful country.
    Then the Civil War produced thousands of wandering veterans. Frequently addicted to opiates, they were known as tramps,Our first homeless vets, searching for jobs and, in many cases, literally still tending their wounds.
    More than a decade after the end of World War I, the Bonus Army descended on Washington – demanding immediate payment on benefits that had been promised to them, but payable years later ,and were routed out of Washington DC by the U.S. Military,led by George Patton. The most publicly and perhaps most painfully,That comes to mind was Vietnam Tens of thousands of war weary veterans, infamously rejected,crazy, or just forgotten by many of their own fellow citizens,elected officials,demonized by the media.

    Presently our current service members have who have had repeated and extended deployments to war zones, have shown a rise in post-traumatic stress and other war-related wounds among troops. While it is good to support your troops that are serving our interest it is better to demand accountability from those responsible for the lack of their care in these injuries. It is utterly disgusting that VA hospitals are turning away those most in need. Those in charge of VA hospitals need to take responsibility for their lack of actions. I believe the whole VA system needs an overhaul and very soon. More and more wounded troops coming home and they need both physical and mental health care.

    Our troops deserve the best of all aspects of care! Wake up, America! We fail to take care of our own as we should and I think it’s time that we start.

    This will surprise nobody who has ever encountered the VA medical system. The entire operation is a horror show mostly run by lazy, self-important, arrogant and self-satisfied bureaucrats. This kind of treatment has been going on for years and years and years. VA hospitals are in hopeless situations. This type of treatment is the rule and not the exception for those who are closely associated with regular active duty military. It’s sad, but true.

    If certain services cannot be provided for a veteran or current military patients then they are suppose to be referred to a civilian facility with no cost to the service member or veterans. Many of our own are going without and this shouldn’t be a surprise for the VA system when it comes to treating any new service related conditions by Ignorring it’ In this situation, the Iraq veteran is in the same boat as the Vietnam veteran in the 1970’s. At least now, they have a name for it,It’s called PTSD, and like Agent Orange has been proven,So well depleted uranium be proven but the VA doesn’t take it seriously tell a very large group of veterans die from their exposure.

    It’s terrible that our country is still ignoring the cries of our vets. It’s no surprise what is happening with the Syracuse Veterans Hospital if similar acts are occurring around the country. I’ve have made many attempts in the last four years to talk with Mr. Cody, the head of the VA hospital in Syracuse NY, about these conditions He is self-important, arrogant, with a “don’t call me I’ll call you” attitude and there has been no dialog. I believe that Mr. Jim Cody should tender his resignation for the good of our veterans.Veterans Preference….Staff the VA with Veterans!

    Dennis Thorp is a native of Frankfort and served as an U.S. Army medic during the Vietnam War. He is co-founder of Agent Orange Victims International.


    • Dennis,
      Please contact me at I have been in touch with James Cody of the Syracuse VA Hospital. My father is dead and buried in Arlington because this hospital has NO clue. Even though I have obtained my fathers medical records he still continues to try and discredit me. What he says and what the medical records say are completly different. I feel for the families when their loved one died and never thought of asking for the medical records. This is the only proof I have. They just screwed up. Plain and simple. Yet this James Cody continues with his idea that what he says is the truth. He tells our Congressman Henry Brown this story has ended and he refers our congressman to some email. You are so right. James Cody along with a few others from the Syracuse VA Hospital are arrogrant and self gratifying individuals on the behalf of the ones we love. Linda Hobbick of this hospital called me and she quoted, ” if you are not a Patriot you cant work at the Syracuse VA Hospital”. Then why is Cody still there?


    I got out of the Army 2007 with 13 years in the Army from injuries incured in Afghanistan. I have a wife and three kids all under the age of 8. I had to take a 10 percent disabilty severance $47000.00 after taxes. I currently have 80 percent from VA and the give me monthly (get this) 666 every month. I have lost almost everything I have and cannot work because of my injuries. The VA does not care about you or your family. They lose more paperwork then they recieve. I’m sick of trying to get the VA to do the right thing. I call them every day to find out (well mr hogan no changes have been made in your case). So other words you want me and my family to live on the streets? I’m sick and tired of fighting the war with VA.

    • man i hear all these really bad stories and they spend all this money for wall street it is sick if only a dollar went for every time you see a ribbon support the troops or everytime bush said freedom there would be a surplus

  10. My father served for 31 years in the Army. I was that little girl who waved good-bye really not knowing where he was going. I was in 3rd grade. The second time I understood a little better and cried not knowing if he would come home. He came home and as a career soldier we as a family moved all over the world. I am not complaining. My father did what was right for us and the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. He saw Korea at the age of 17. My question and any help is needed, how in the world can my father survive all this and not survive treatment from the VA Hospital in Syracuse? Father passed away in 2007. He is buried in Arlington. It took me almost one year with hours of research to determine the answer why!! He did not have diabeties, never had a stroke or heart attack, basicially he was in pretty good condition for a man of 76. He did smoke but actually that is all he did “BAD.” He did not drink alcohol, he did not have cancer. I am married to a retired Master Chief I pray to GOD I out live him by one day so he never has to use the VA Hospital. for legal reasons I cant say what I found. But I will say I am fighting for all Vets and to honor my father whom I promised I would never give up for I am an army brat! VA hospitals are death camps as far as I am concerned. They are always figuring out ways to cut the budget on whose expense?OURS! The veterans, the families of veterans, vets to come! They never ever thought beyond Viet-Nam. Now we have soldiers with PTSD killing themselves at a rate of 120 a week! What the hell is wrong here? It is a crisis and the military with the government needs to call it what it is and step up to the plate and admit, we are so money hungry that we dont care about your son or daughter! PTSD is real folks. Hear me in Washington!!! The mind (brain) is a fragile muscle though high tech it is not taught to eye witness events such as killing children, and having to be 100% on guard 24/7. Americans are born and raised to protect and serve. Mothers in this country teach sons to cherish their wife and children. No we dont live in a perfect world or society but we do have a National crisis. My dad was never the same when he came back from Viet-Nam. He suffered, it showed in his actions. PTSD WAS NOT even heard of back then. Just like in 1977 when I suffered from severe depression after my first daughter was born. I really could have taken my own life. I didnt want that or even ask for it,. but I will say it was real! I really believed I was going out of my mind. I had no clue what was happening to me. Did I seek help NO i was ashamed. These men are coming from WAR I was taking care of a baby. Yet, it happened to me. So get a grip Washington and stop funding these crazy projects and put OUR money where it really counts. 120 soldiers a week. I am so ashamed by this and I am sorry for the parents whose children had no clue. I saw the heartache of those parents. But you remember one thing…..its all about cutting the cost of the VA hospitals. I saw your
    interviews and I wanted to scream. Get on the internet and search and search some more. Dont give up for Gods sake dont. You will find out what “WHAT REALLY GOES ON BEHIND THE WALLS OF THE VA HOSPITALS.” I have been doing research for one year! I found what I needed to know. Contact everyone you know. Your local government! Dont sit there a wallow in self pity. Do something empower yourself. You cant argue with facts and I have all mine on paper. I leave you with this message. FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW

  11. You can piss, moan and cry about it. NOTNING! NOTHING will make a differance. It is all about how much it is going to cost the government. That IS the bottom line. Jumping up and down and screeming at the top of your lumgs will only get you a sore back and throat. I don’t know what stage of greef acceptance is but is the ultamate state that we come to rest in as homeless vetrans. We don’t want to fight anymore–just exist and cope the best we can.

  12. I read these articles with great interest as my now deceased husband was a Vietnam Veteran. Under the article titled Vietnam Veteran, one of the last statements I read was the government still doesn’t recognize PTSD as being service connected. My husband died on June 3, 2006. A little birdie at the local V.A. Regional Office asked me if his death was service connected. I replied I felt so as his disability was 100% due to PTSD. She told me if I could have this listed on his death certificate I could qualify for benefits to help me in the future. Well, after having this done, and one and a half years of government red tape, the V.A. acknowledged PTSD contributed to his death and I thus did benefit from this. He is also the first and only veteran in our area to receive this acknowledgement. Besides the benefits I receive, I feel that I gave him some honor to his name which he didn’t feel while he was alive.

  13. As a veteran myself, I have come to the conclusion that once discharged from the service, the general public see’s you as nothing more than a spent shell casing. No longer useful, to be discarded. Yesterday’s hero, today’s fool. In this fast-paced society of ours, no one has time to consider the plight of the returning veteran. All much too busy chasing that miserable dollar bill.

  14. I will be starting up a foundation to help military and veterans from alll branches of service.
    I want to hear concerns and experience from vets and active military.
    What supports would you like to see from a foundation. Which needs are falling through the system. Please share with me. I am in the process of establishing a foundation to assist you.

  15. One of these days, people are going to figure this out and when the government wages a war, no one will come.

    • I hope that day never comes. We have to have a defense force, and we have to have brave men and women to volunteer to defend our country. Many will do it despite the problems they are aware of. May God bless them all.

  16. Debbie Hibbs; spoke about what she found in the VA Hosptials. I, was Pastor a VA Tampa for many years. What I saw, what I knew, & what I am writing a book on is beyond any comprehension. Moreover, I have 3100 pages of veterans being murdered in VA, wrong meds, failure to properly care for, & the beat goes on. The majority of problems with veterans receiving their earned benefits, is caused by corrupt representatives that file fraudulant claims, many take pay-offs. All this is verified & will be in my upcoming book, using names. It is possible that what these representatives, & veterans organizations are doing could come under the RICO laws. VA & all vets organizations should be abolished, & veterans should again, come under DOD. Stay tuned.

    • REV.A.M. Clark thank you I feel the need to just say thanks. I am so tired of the game playing by the staff of the Syracuse VA Hospital. I have sued under the SF95 they have until Jan 21 2010. I will tell everyone this is an experience I will never forget. It is all propaganda. Yes the head ADMS do get thousands in kick backs! Bonus checks. It all depends on how much money (American US Dollars) they can save by withholding medical treatment to the old timers like my father. He died July 21, 2007 and it was by the grace of GOD I learned of the SF95 just three weeks before the two year statue of limitation was to run out. James Cody of the Syracuse VA Hospital has been trying to discredit my honor just like he has done to my father. Now he says I never had my fathers medical records, This is what he has told Congressman Henry Brown of SC. I ordered and recieved Dads medical records the same year he died. 2007. The number is 528A7-00A2. Lets take off the gloves and formalities James Cody for you will never treat another Veteran as you have my father. I am in for the duration and as long as you are employed with the Syracuse VA Hospital you will answer and respect my fathers name and he will be called SGM Arthur Charles Pine. The one you issued a “HEALTH BUDDY” to and he had cataracts. You have lied enough to save your own reputation. You have NO HONOR or PRIDE and do not deserve to even kiss the floor of the VA Hospital in Syracuse. That hospital is a shrine to those who served, have served and will serve and you do not belong there. Why? for one thing you cant even tell the truth. That is all I ever wanted and asked for but your letters were so contrdictory to what my Dads medical records said I could not believe you. I will never believe you. You have tried with all your might and power through lies to discredit me, you remember you tell one lie you must tell three and on and on. Get it straight and for once in your life tell the truth.

    • REV. Clark
      Please get in touch with me at
      please. Debbie Hibbs @ Master Chief Tim Hibbs ret

  17. I am very angry that the government treats war veterans with such distaste. It makes me sick and if i were a young man that was forced to go to war i would run away even if i went tojail…
    the government is wrong and should stand up to their responsibilties but yet again the governemtn only does what it wants to and does not care about the common man and it makes me want to scam the government just to pay them back for the hurt they have caused to millions of people with no concern at all …any thoughts

    • Sarah we have a lot of problems, and we are trying to highlight them. We don’t, however, believe that we should just let the country go defenseless. Most of these veterans will tell you that no matter how they were treated by a (at least partially) broken VA system, the country comes first. Our coutry is worthy of defending. I support our brave troops. I think our leaders do care. The problem is that the job is overwhelming and not properly funded. All we can do is pick at the edges and hope it somehow helps to shed some light on it. Thank you for being concerned.

  18. I was a homeless veteran. I served in Iraq 2004-2005 and suffer from PTSD and some physical injuries. I now work for a non-profit agency that provides comprehensives services to homeless veterans and other veterans in need that will enable them to rejoin their communities as productive members of society. I can agree that there are some faulty policies and I know of all the good talk that out VA does, that doesn’t match the reality of things. I am a totoal advocate of helping to make some changes. I used to be real bitter about things, but I had to realize that the time of brotherly and sisterly love is dwindling away fast and the way of the world is now “go for self”. Many years ago 80% of VA reps in charge of policy were veterans, now, none of them are. They don’t understand and I questions their level of thorough commitment to seeing veterans get better care as opposed to having “as long as I’m alright” attitude. If maxing the budget aliviates the problem of homelessness among veterans, then we deserve it!! Oldtimer, thanks for this site. I really appreciate your efforts. I’ll continue to fight for my comrads who are too weary to do so, and I will with honor. God Bless.


  20. I “work” in a veterans home. I am the only employee besides the owners mother. They both (owner and mother) take total advantage of these veterans. The veterans pay big money to live here, yet they get a minimal amount of food and if they want anything to drink, they must purchase it in the high dollar vending machines in the basement. The owner not only gets their monthly money but also the little bit of spending money they get goes right back into the owners pocket. The mother spends all day screaming at them at the top of her lungs and no visitors are ever allowed in to visit. If people drop off donations of money, it goes into the owners pockets. Any other donations, goes right to the owners for their personal use. I hate the way the veterans are treated and I have NO ONE to turn to. Can anyone help? The VA will not listen because I’m sure it’s a problem all over and most of the social workers will ignore it all so they can keep their jobs.

  21. Rosemary/James T.Butler

    who will protect our veterans from
    law enforcement ,for protecting their families?

  22. I joined the Army in June 1976 and with all training behind me I was ay my Duty Station doing great until the Swine Flu Vaccine the Army decided to give us sent me into the Boston VA Hospital Totally Paralyzed at 19. I was on Life support–Tube in my neck to breath–feeding tube into my stomach-Tape my eyes closed to sleep.Unbearable pain and the treatment was HORRIFICterrible bed sores neck infection that turned into gangrene,

    They never cleaned or bathed me. I was verbally terrorised for messing my Bed among other things that created work for a chosen few. By summer of 1977 I was released back to Base Medical Hold unit awaiting Medical Discharge, I wanted time back home agter this to see my Family but they wouldn’t let me go saying I wouls be out soon with my medical-I waited–Then I went home on a week-end and over stayed a couple days and they gave me a article 15 for awol 2 days from medical hold.

    I was sent to PEB after the MEB found me unfit and the PEB said I had to stay in and they were putting me on restriction for many duties–I diaagreed and said I was unfit and didn’t want to stay in, I knew in my head I was wigging out besides my physical problems that still were with me from being Paralyzed–weakness-always fatuiged-Sore muscles-always tripping. anyways I took off again and was gone 3 months AWOL then I tried to committ suicide.

    I turned myself in to police at that time and the MP’s came and took me to Fort Dix where I was signed out with a OTH discharge in Leiu of court marshall. I tried a upgarde in 1983 and was turned down so I just went on with my life. In 2004 my Doctor took me out of work for Good from a job i had for 23 years because my muscles became to weak from the paralisiss in had earlier in life in the Army.

    I applied for SSDI and took over a year to get, I went from a 40K ayear job to 13K on SSDI, I went to the VA for medical and they comfirmed my condition but gave me Medical Only because of me discharge. I am on the Bottom of the list when being seen and Have to Pay a Co-pay for my service connected condition so I just use my wifes insurance. The only thing the VA has Given me is a Electric Hospital bed and a Wheelchair and alot of Grief. I since have pulled and looked at my records from back in the 70’s and found I WAS found Unfit at the MEB for Physical and MENTAL reasons–I looked up their MENTAL reasons and come to find out it was PTSD.

    I never knew I was Unfit mentally –PEB nor upgrade panel brought it up so I ask my regional VA why it wan NEVER addressed and they said they has NO records of it–I DO and I sent them to the VA and I’m awaiting their answer.



  24. Brandi Gibbs (QM3 USN)

    Take it from a vet, our country is worth every life that has been lost. It sounds silly but its true. Everyone of us who signed on the dotted line did and still do believe that statement. It is hard at times to remember why you want to defend something that gives virtually nothing in return. I only had the honor of serving 4 years. It was the best 4 years of my life. I stood for something, we all did. There were no colors, no ages, no nothing to tear us apart. We were away from our families, or so we thought, we made our own families. One very large family. Disfunctional as it may be, it is OUR FAMILY. We fight for what we believe in. We stand the watches nobody wants to stand just to make sure all of us are safe. It is horrible that we have such a high number of homeless vets, 1 vet is too much in my opinion. If you know of any vets in the vancouver/portland area who are in need of a hot meal, please let me know. My husband and I would be more than happy to give them a hot meal. I know times are tough for us all, but you can never go wrong for helping those in need. Especially our war Heroes. You can contact me at Or if there are any shelters who need people to help out, i would love to be able to do so.

  25. Three generations of my family are veterans! My brother served 6 yrs over seas, In Iraq and Afganastan. When he got back he suffered from PTSD. And was having Chronic Migranes. And passing out with little to no warning. When he went to a regular hospital, they found a growth in his brain, which they believed was causing him to pass out! Then when he went to the VA Hospital, They are dismissing the fact that he has a growth in his brain, and are blaming his passing out to PTSD. They keep giving him experimental drugs that are not helping. And its getting worse..

  26. i served with the 279 signal pt, i have served 19 years 7 mo and was denied any retirment from serving my country, i became very sick i mean to the point i could not function with out falling out i tranfered to the 842nd in florda after money was a issue you see i lived in orange beach alabama and travilling 640 miles each month well you see my point well the 842 was travilling to eyjept when i got there when i returned i became so ill i could not function still today i am in bad shape but the unit did not support me only inflected pain upon me the va only pushed me into anger well to this day no retirment no disibility and the va still looking into it well civilian cort has deamed me disabled o ya and every day i get up i am remined how my country craped on me when i needed them the most will any one help me with this or will i sit here and die in leeds alabama

  27. My father, a 31 year ARMY retired Veteran still has NOT recieved the JUSTICE and HONOR he deserves. Dad was a patient at the Syracuse VA hospital. No medical examiner, no coroner and no physican was there. What I do know is that the assistant DA Greg Oaks phoned the VA Hospital and had a 4 (four) minute conversation with AOD Peter Taylor. I do know it was a paramedic pronounced him dead. What responsibilites does an AOD have when a Veteran is pronounced dead “outside” a VA Hospital? Dads physician does not work weekends so when he came in on Monday July 23rd he filled out and signed the death certificate by reviewing the reports of the NYS Troopers. When the assistant DA called me via cell while we were on our way to NY I asked for an autopsy and a toxicology report. He denied me both. How can anyone know cause of death without an autopsy? If John Langenberg would have “LOOKED” at my father he would have noticed the real reason he is dead, for my father had a left side head laceration. Everyone knew but why hide this from me? Why? The listed reason for his death was myocardial infarction. No one in the STATE of NEW YORK will even respond to my questions. I cant even get an attorney in NY to help me. They stalled and stalled but I know there is NO STATUTE of limitation on MURDER. The AOD and Greg Oaks sent my Dad to a morgue in Fulton. All of the 2005 records are gone from my fathers records. No where is John Langenbergs name found in the medical records which I do have. Yet he says he was my fathers physicain since 2005? If someone reads this that can help me get HONOR restored to my Dad contact me at


    I am waiting for my retroactive benfits from the DEP. OF VETERANS AFFAIRS concerning the NEHMER CLASS member, clyde h driskell, 20 yr, NAVY VET, WHO DIED ,SEPT 5 2010 and he was givn a letter that he was in VIETNAM AND GOT SICK from being there DO not act studid and pretend you do no any of this, I will not waite for you big shots another year, If the men and women are smart they would not join, the military lies to our boys and girls do not join,

    • Barbara,
      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      You need to write directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am just a concerned blogger, independent of any government or private agency. I don’t have the resources to follow up on this.

      I’m sorry for your problems and hope they get resolved. I do not agree that our countrymen and women should not join or support our military. It is a shame that our military are treated poorly once they become veterans, but there are good and honorable men and women that are honestly trying to make a difference for veterans. Thank you for writing.


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