In reference to The Great Neck Record’s coverage of Memorial Day in the article entitled “Great Neck Remembers the Fallen” in the June 1-7 issue, I wonder why no one ever talks about the problems our surviving veterans deal with. Remember the scandal of the poor care veterans receive at VA hospitals? The months they have to wait just to get an appointment? Even though the VA has a new boss, little has changed.
Recently, 60 Minutes did a story about how the VA declares veterans dead and cuts off their benefit checks—even though they’re still alive! According to a recent study, 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD or depression. Of those with PTSD, 50 percent don’t seek treatment and the half that does seek treatment get “minimally adequate” care.
More than 260,000 veterans have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and recent studies show that as many as 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
So before we give ourselves a pat on the back for “Remembering the Fallen,” let’s admit that our country does a lousy job of caring for our wounded vets, whether their wounds are physical or mental.
This is a disgrace that all the fancy speeches by politicians on Memorial Day can’t erase.
See pictures from the Memorial Day Parade here.