With great fanfare, President Obama “told a crowd of disabled veterans on Saturday that his administration has made headway with efforts to battle a longstanding backlog of disability claims.”
As reported in the Washingon Post, “’Today, I can report that we are not where we need to be, but we’re making progress,’” Obama said during a speech at a Disabled American Veterans’ convention in Orlando. “’In the last five months alone, it’s down nearly 20 percent. We’re turning the tide.’”
If true, this is very good news indeed, but one needs to be rather skeptical if only recently the VA reversed course on Agent Orange disability claims from the Vietnam War. Editor’s Note: That’s a hell of a VA backlog for a war that ended over 40 years ago.
Our research suggests that many of the 200,000 plus veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress have been misdiagnosed by the VA, received inadequate treatment, prescribed a cocktail of dangerous drugs or simply been ignored.
While I have no problem with the President taking credit for a statistical drop in the backlog of veterans seeking VA support, who is accountable to the tens of thousands of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who are jobless, often homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol while they cope with the disabling consequences of PTS?
Personally, I would like the President to address the chronic problems faced by the many brave men and women who have served in harm’s way and not received the promised support they merit. Brave leaders address the troops directly rather than stand behind a pulpit for a staged political event.
Sharing in the suffering of our brave warriors is now even more important the lauding their success.