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Old 01-20-2008, 02:19 AM
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News from Doc Chobot

Attention On Deck: VA head nominee must answer tough questions

By Scott “Doc” Chobot
Advocate correspondent

If President Bush has his druthers, retired Lt. Gen. James B. Peake will be the next secretary of Veterans Affairs.

A West Point graduate, who was wounded in combat in Vietnam, Peake retired in 2004 after serving 40 years in the Army. He also was the surgeon general of the Army for four years. His nomination goes to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.

Peake’s nomination could reopen the controversy over the care of wounded soldiers hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

After all, it was the ultimate responsibility of Peake as surgeon general from 2000-2004 to assure the highest quality of patient care at Walter Reed. At the time, rumors of filthy conditions there were first being raised.

Senate Democrats are already planning to question Peake about the “oversight” during his confirmation hearings.

“The growing number of wounded and disabled veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seeking VA health care and benefits is putting even greater strain on the VA, already struggling to meet the needs of millions of other veterans from pervious wars and eras,” said David Gorman, Washington headquarters executive director. “That, coupled with the challenges stemming from recently released federal commission reports on veterans disability compensation, makes it imperative that the VA have a leader who is committed to doing what is right for our veterans, now and in the future, instead of bowing to the political whims of the moment.”


Attention all POWs

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs is again reaching out to former prisoners of war, urging them to contact the department regarding their deserved eligibility for health care, disability compensation and numerous other services.

Realizing that more than 25,000 former POWs remain alive today, the VA is doing its utmost to contact those who are not receiving any of the health care and benefits they rightfully earned.

Citizens are also asked to pass the word to any POW veterans they may know and encourage them to step forward.

The VA also extends a helping hand to the surviving spouses and family members of former POWs, who may themselves be eligible for certain benefits and services.

In hindsight, during the past few years the VA expanded benefits to all former POWs with strokes and certain common heart diseases. More than a dozen other diseases were previously recognized officially.

If you know a former POW, ask him or her to please contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000.


War on three fronts

Effective June 1, 1942, enlisted personnel will receive a pay hike. It’s $50 a month for privates instead of $21. Apprentice Navy seamen will receive the same $50 monthly base pay as Army buck privates. The increase should reach the men by June 30.

Here is what a soldier, sailor, marine or coast guardsman earn now and what they will draw next month:

Master sergeant, chief petty officer $126 up to $138; first or technical sergeant and petty officer 1st class $84 to $114; staff sergeant and petty officer 2nd class, $72 to $96; sergeant and petty officer 3rd class, $60 to $78; corporal and seaman 1st class $54 to $66; private 1st class and seaman 2nd class, $36 to $50; private with less than four months’ service, $21 to $50.

With the raise, an American buck private will rank second only to his Austrailian counterpart as the highest paid GI in the world.

The Australian private draws $62.50; Canadian $30; German $21.60; Mexican $12.40; British $12.20; Argentine $4.76; Russian $4; Brazilian $2.80; Italian $1.51; Turkish, 40 cents; Japanese 30 cents, and Chinese 20 cents.

The pay increase also raises the monthly income of Army shavetails and Navy ensigns from $1,500 to $1,800 and the range for nurses from $70-130 to $90-150. Subsistence allowance ranges from 70 cents to $2.10 per day.

The compulsory $10,000 war risk insurance will cost each U.S. fighting man $3.50 a month from his pay. Uncle Sam adds $3 to make up the $6.50 monthly premium.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:44 AM
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The care our wounded get...

makes me sick. These men and women put their lives on the line each and every day, and for what? To get treated like so much garbage.
I say we give those that issues such treament a taste of what it's like, let them spend a few months in their own treatment center and see how they like it.....

Just my two cents worth
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