VETERANS VOICE

I am pleased to announce that I have my second blog – Veterans Voice – up and running. I will focus on veterans issues only. I will still continue with my Berry Street Beacon, but I found that there is so much material to use that I decided to address issues that impact veterans separately. The  site’s address is http://www.veteransvoice.wordpress.com.The raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi

I am the Director for a local group called Veterans for Better Health Care, and we have been active for the past 2 1/2 years. Our main focus for that period of time has been saving the inpatient beds at the VA Hospital here in Fort Wayne. But veterans face many other issues in addition to the worry of losing inpatient care.

Despite the few who have brought dishonor to their profession, our veterans deserve our respect and our support from the moment they take that first step to sign their names to that “dotted line” to the last step in their journey when they have passed away.

I graduated from high school in 1966, in the middle of the buildup in Vietnam. In a small, rural, conservative town such as South Whitley, support for the war was overwhelming. In my high school class, I and a couple of other students were pretty much alone in our opposition. But once support for the war began to dwindle, the treatment of our veterans became dispicable. No parades, no community greetings, no thanks for their service, and no support for all of the health problems that accompany battle-weary veterans.

Instead, the veterans were spit on and cursed when they arrived home. Added to the indignities they suffered upon returning was the almost instant shunting of the veterans and their problems to the background. America did not want reminded of a failed war. The disrespect and dishonor of our veterans such as occurred during the Vietnam War cannot and must not happen ever again.

Three Soldiers

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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9 Responses to VETERANS VOICE

  1. Ken Larson says:

    We need to be careful to differentiate between the Active Service Hospitals and the Veteran’s Administration. There are major differences.

    I am currently a resident in a Veteran’s Home after having undergone treatment through the VA for PTSD and Depression, long overdue some 40 years after the Tet Offensive that cap stoned my military 2nd tour in Vietnam with a lifetime of illness.

    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16873701.htm

    My blog has attracted the stories of many veterans such as myself and other sufferers from PTSD who were victimized by elements of society other than the VA system of medical and mental treatment. I, for one, became trapped in the Military Industrial Complex for 36 years working on weapons systems that are saving lives today but with such high security clearances that I dared not get treated for fear of losing my career:

    http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

    When my disorders became life threatening I was entered into the VA System for treatment in Minneapolis. It saved my life and I am now in complete recovery and functioning as a volunteer for SCORE, as well as authoring books and blogging the world.

    When I was in the VA system I was amazed at how well it functioned and how state of the art it is for its massive mission. Below is a feature article from Time Magazine which does a good job of explaining why it is a class act:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376238,00.html

    I had state of the art medical and mental care, met some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever seen and was cared for by a handful of very special nurses among the 60,000 + nursing population that make up that mammoth system. While I was resident at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis I observed many returnees from Iraq getting excellent care.

    I do not say the VA system is perfect but it is certainly being run better on a $39B budget than the Pentagon is running on $494B.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read this happens please see:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.
    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.
    For more details see:

    http://www.rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com

  2. Ken:

    I appreciate your input. I know we have to ensure that those who are hearing these stories about Walter Reed understand that it is under management of the Department of Defense and not the Veterans Administration.

    I checked the links you included and enjoyed reading them.

  3. Jeff Pruitt says:

    Sorry to nitpick here but is there any credible evidence that soldiers were actually spat on? I hear this all the time but I’ve never seen any proof of this or heard any first-hand stories from those that were spat on.

    This seems to be a self-perpetuating story…

  4. Let me see if I can get some evidence for you. Since I am director of a group that is primarily Vietnam Veterans, I would imagine that they will have first hand evidence.

    If you do hear it all the time, then there must be some truth to it. I doubt whether the stories could be self-perpetuating for all these decades, but I will do my best to get proof.

  5. Jeff Pruitt says:

    There was a book written about this myth and I’ll try and remember the title. There was also an article written about it recently and I just can’t remember where right now.

    I’ll do some searching for you and see what I can find. The gist of both was that somebody actually dug into this rumor and never found a single case where a soldier was actually spat on…

  6. Mike Boley says:

    Don’t believe the spitting stories, I’m linking a source that may help.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0430-21.htm

  7. Mike:

    Thanks for the link. I had already done research today after Jeff Pruitt posted a comment about spitting being a myth. I ran across the book reviews about Jerry Lembcke’s book. In researching, I found sites that backed the stories and those that didn’t. In addition to reading Lembcke’s reviews, I checked reviews about a book by Bob Greene called “Homecoming” which gave anecdotal stories about the terrible treatment of returning Vietnam veterans.

    I had no idea my making the statement about spitting would stir up such a controversy.

    I also found the research interesting in that those who supported the idea that spitting had occurred are attacking those who disbelieve the spitting basing the entire argument on left and right perspectives.

    I find both sides have flaws in approaching the topic. It is almost impossible (or totally impossible) to prove a negative. So when Lembcke argues that something didn’t happen, how do you disprove his negative? When Greene argues that it did happen, how does he back it up short of interviewing every Vietnam veteran who returned from Vietnam? It seems in order to prove or disprove the issue, both authors would need to interview every returning veteran.

    Even a discussion about proving a negative has two sides. So, at this point, I will leave it up to the reader to make up his or her mind.

  8. Norma says:

    I tried to post this at your other blog. Thought we might be related.

  9. Norma says:

    I found you Weybright family comments at my blog. Use the e-mail address I have posted there and we’ll exchange some ancestors. I’m quite certain we’re related, that our ancestors were half brothers, yours going to Indiana and mine staying in Ohio.

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