Vallarta Living | Veteran Affairs | August 2007
|New Veterans Health Care Improvement Act|
David Lord - PVNN
This week I write about the important new 'Health Care Improvement Act of 2007' and Veterans Outreach. I applaud this action, working toward solving a true crisis for those returning from multiple tours in the Middle East Wars.
|US veteran amputee walks through a drill that re-teaches a normal walking gait during a showcase of the latest in prosthetic technology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Military veterans are pressuring the US government to quickly overhaul health care for its wounded soldiers, months after revelations of dismal conditions at the forces' top hospital. (AFP/Tim Sloan)|
We as a Nation have gone out on a limb for this war, it is a long limb indeed, and it stretches all the way back home. The limb is perched high above a treacherous river and it is about to snap, snap and fall.
This limb is loaded with our Veterans falling into the swift current of a river of pain, some will drown from wounds, never reaching the shore although they are home. They were exhausted from tour after tour, weakened by the trauma. There is confusion in returning home for those dealing with P.T.S.D., or as it is now called Combat Stress, which left unattended, will last a lifetime.
Finding ways to give the millions of Veterans that served our Nation a future full of the quality of life that we were all raised to strive for by restoring their uncertain footing is our highest obligation as Citizens.
Veterans should be on equal footing for life's success with all those that did not serve in the Middle East. When you have suffered, when you have lost a limb or endured psychological trauma as a result of service, you need the help of those you went to War for.
Korean and Viet Nam War Veterans know how it is to suffer year after year and never be seen, or heard, or listened to during their fight for health care, and those benefits were decades long in the coming. Even today we all fight every year for funding of Veterans health care.
The trauma of this war is just beginning to be felt by those men and women returning home from it, maybe the third, fourth, fifth and sometimes even the sixth time. Congress will brush aside their problems as soon as the Withdrawal occurs, forgetting their sacrifices. The New Forgotten will emerge the pitted, rough, ugly reminder of the greatest blunder in our history.
You probably do not remember that Veterans as far back as World War I were forced out of Washington D.C. at the point of bayonets when demanding mustard gas exposure benefits. Our Nation has a long tradition of fighting wars, we also have a long tradition of letting Veterans wounds fester once they return home. May this Act reduce their pain and suffering. They have given enough, and earned a few special programs.
The Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2007
Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to:
(1) make grants for conducting workshops in the performing arts, public speaking, writing, and culinary arts to further the readjustment of veterans; and
(2) make emergency grants to repair or replace facilities used to provide care for homeless veterans.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) establish a grant program to provide innovative transportation options to veterans in remote areas;
(2) provide peer outreach services, peer support services, and readjustment and mental health services to veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom;
(3) carry out a pilot program to assist returning war veterans who are at risk of not seeking mental health services;
(4) ensure that at least one full-time employee of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is assigned to oversee and coordinate homeless veterans programs at the office of each of the VA regional health delivery networks;
(5) annually increase the rate of payment for providing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services to homeless veterans;
(6) carry out a demonstration program to prevent veterans who are at risk of homelessness after discharge or release from active military duty from becoming homeless;
(7) carry out a pilot program for the provision of permanent housing for homeless veterans; and
(8) provide financial assistance for the provision of supportive services for very low-income veteran families residing in permanent housing; and
• Allows homeless veterans' comprehensive services to grant funds to be used to provide funding for service center staff.
• Extends through FY2011 a program of referral and counseling for veterans transitioning from certain institutions who are at risk of homelessness.
• Repeals a provision limiting to FY2003 and FY2004 the funding for VA domiciliary care programs for homeless veterans.
• Requires the Secretary to ensure that such programs are adequate, with respect to capacity and safety, to meet the needs of women veterans.
David Lord served in Vietnam as combat Marine for 1st Battalion 26th Marines, during which time he was severely wounded. He received the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation for his actions during the war in Vietnam. In Mexico, David now represents all veterans south of the U.S. border all the way to Panama, before the V.A. and the Board of Veterans Appeals. David Lord provides service to veterans at no fee. Veterans are welcome to drop in and discuss claims/benefits to which they are entitled by law at his office located at Bayside Properties, 160 Francisca Rodriguez, tel.: 223-4424, call him at home 299-5367, on his cell: 044 (322) 205-1323, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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