Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Anderson Cooper 360 and Veterans

I was watching Anderson Cooper on Christmas Eve as he shared a story of a disabled Iraqi Gulf War Veteran.

This Marine was wounded in Iraq by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). He suffered some brain damage as well as some injuries to his hands.

He went through physical therapy through the VA and was set at a disability rate of 20%, which paid him about $300 a month. He soon lost his job because he was unable to fully use his hands and became a homeless Veteran, parking his car near the New Jersey shores and living from VA check to VA check, fighting the system for help.

He applied through many programs and was mired in the same bureacracy many Veterans struggle with. Soon he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but did not recieve a higher VA rating.

Anderson Cooper followed proud Veteran as he would look for an odd job and fill out more paperwork to try and get help from the VA.

Only after Anderson and his producers intervened, did this Marine get re-evaluated and is now collecting full disablility as he works through PTSD issues and his other physical pain.

If only Anderson could help all our Veterans...

Is this what our society has come to? These brave men and women deploy and fight, only to have to fight even harder for their benefits. This is a travesty!

Support our Troops is much more than a slogan, a mantra of the GOP. We must also Support our Veterans.

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