DOES U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE BETO O’ROURKE HAVE SOMETHING AGAINST AMERICAN VETERANS?

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Not to post judgment or anything but it’s inexcusable to think that U.S. House Representative Beto O’Rourke from Texas has repeatedly voted against holding incompetent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs employees accountable for malfeasance and misconduct. Why would O’Rourke do that? What special interests might he possibly be protecting by his way of voting?

Is O’Rourke, who is running for Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s U.S. Senate seat in what figures to be a tight race, posing his anti-American stance against veterans’ better interests because he doesn’t understand the underlying causes to the home and healthcare issues that afflict American veterans today or what important measures could be taken to correct them? Does he not realize that many American veterans have had to suffer with some making the ultimate sacrifice due to unacceptable VA mismanagement and VA employee malpractice in healthcare and we need to acquire the legal means by which to terminate forever those who are responsible?

O’Rourke’s record for responsibility or a lack thereof speaks for itself as he voted against the VA Accountability Act of 2015 which would make it easier for the VA to demote or fire employees based on poor performance and offer increased protection for whistleblowers. All “no” votes except one came from Democrats, Kristina Wong at Breitbart points out. The bill came after a VA scandal that revealed VA employees were doctoring wait times to hide the fact veterans were made to wait months before seeing a doctor.

The next year O’Rourke voted in favor of an amendment to H.R. 5620, the “VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016” that would have entirely removed the bill’s provisions intended to allow the VA to remove malfeasant and poor performing employees for misconduct, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz posts on his blog. All “aye” votes were from Democrats, except one.

Cruz also sites Beto O’Rourke in 2017 as voting in favor of an amendment to H.R 1259, the “VA Accountability First Act” that would strike the provisions of the bill that expand the VA’s ability to demote, suspend, or terminate employees. Again, we ask, what special interests do Beto O’Rourke and like-voting Democrats protect by voting this way on VA employees? Who do they want to keep employed interminably with the VA and why? This certainly isn’t in the best interests of our American veterans who are dependent upon VA for healthcare services.

Senator Cruz claims he has consistently fought to honor veterans, for veterans’ benefits, for reforming the VA, and for holding inept bureaucrats at the VA accountable. Let’s hope that Ted Cruz continues to protect American veterans best interests in all aspects as we head into the 2018 Midterms and beyond.

Let’s make sure Senator Cruz, American politicians, and voters remember the home and healthcare issues aging Americans in both the public and private sectors are experiencing in growing numbers. We will need tremendous financial resources to build a broad enough infrastructure that can support a thorough revamping of government healthcare provisions as they apply to both American veterans and senior citizens.

The Trump Administration is making positive strides for both American sub-populations, and hopefully after the 2018 Midterms we will have a responsible and rational House of Representatives and Senate who will work together to secure the necessary laws that will implement appropriate oversight of those responsible for the healthcare programs within the VA that would actually benefit veterans. The VA must eliminate all quacks and satanists. No more therapy by body-and-mind-blowing-drugs. No more torturing veterans with delayed doctor’s appointments and medical treatment or obsolete therapeutic procedures without holding those in charge at the VA totally and legally accountable.

That’s why Beto O’Rourke doesn’t really pose just a Texas political issue but something that will affect all of us one way or another in this quickly changing world. A true reflection of heart and belief in God and country by an American politician should begin through not only his respect for the American flag but his support for American veterans.

GET OUT AND VOTE

We all abhor war. Every veteran I’ve ever known or represented was totally against the idea of killing another human being. Many veterans detested much of what they experienced while serving our country, but they understood the risks they had signed up for, even if they had been sold a bill of goods by Uncle Sam and military recruiters. Many American veterans have suffered unbearable physical and mental tortures as a result thereof. Making our votes count in the 2018 Midterms by voting into office politicians who understand American veterans’ needs would be a good place to start solving many important problems.

 

 

 

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AMERICAN VETERANS AIDING AMERICAN VETERANS, HOW COOL IS THAT! VENTURA COUNTY SHOUT OUT TO 801 MOTORCYCLE CLUB SIMI VALLEY!

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It’s what they must do. It’s what they did overseas fighting in one of America’s many wars protecting our freedom from foreign tyrants and it’s what they do here today in Ventura County California. The world is on fire as Americans are being goaded into Civil War at home and World War III abroad but our veterans are still coming to the support of needy teammates.

A terrific article by columnist JC Oberst appearing in the Ventura County Star exemplifies this dedication of those who have served. Entitled, “GI Bill benefit is valuable to vets,” the column covers the Post 9/11 GI Bill, a program Oberst calls “one of the most coveted benefits service members earn for serving in today’s military.”

Reading beyond the enlightening discussion of the benefits of the GI Bill, down under the heading, “The award goes to …”, Oberst brings our attention to something else of great relevance, what he calls “This month’s Bravo Zulu” which the columnist awards to the 801 Motorcycle Club. My first question is answered when I flip the Google switch and find the 801 Motorcycle Club Simi Valley is a veteran-based club.

WHAT THE HECK IS A BRAVO ZULU?

It all makes sense in that we’re dealing with American veterans here in Ventura County and Oberst is saying the 801 Motorcycle Club did something terrific I just have no idea what it might be or what a Bravo Zulu is, or who might be authorized to award such a thing to whom. Citing civilian ignorance I again flip the Google switch to find that Bravo Zulu is actually a term of affection meaning “well done.”

Bravo Zulu originates from the U.S. Navy, writes Tim Kirkpatrick in We Are The Mighty. It’s a nautical term that, according to the Navy, comes from the Allied Naval Signal Book that was created by NATO as a system of signals displayed by either a flag hoist or voice radio to communicate and relay messages back and forth between various naval vessels.

Armed with better perspective I can see Oberst’s appreciation expressed toward the Simi Valley based motorcycle club is a military originated kudos that has been used since the early 1950s for Top Guns no matter where they may be found or in what form. In this instance Bravo Zulu says job well done to former brothers at arms. In his column JC Oberst is giving high praise to 801 Motorcycle Club because they supported American veterans by holding a fund-raising event in August with all proceeds from their event going to the Turning Point Foundation’s veterans transitional housing program. This references Turning Point Foundation’s street outreach program that is designed to help address the needs of U.S. veterans by bringing together all the social services in Ventura County California helping to create a safety net of support to those who have given so much.

TURNING POINT FOUNDATION REACHES OUT TO AMERICAN VETERANS IN VENTURA COUNTY CALIFORNIA

The 801 Motorcycle Club also “donated a new smart TV for the 15 veterans who live in the veterans transitional housing in Ventura,” Oberst writes, calling it “a place where homeless veterans get a new chance on life.”

Keep up the great work 801 Motorcycle Club Simi Valley in bringing a little more quality of life to those in need and thank you Turning Point Foundation for all you do to help out Ventura County’s veterans. Hopefully the upcoming holidays will remind all of us that there is much work left to be done.

If we can somehow find the will and heart to dig deep to find the resources that will be necessary to bring adequate aid to all of those who are desperate for our help. American veterans and senior citizens are numbers one and two on that list in no particular order. We will have to work harder to raise their collective voices so their needs can be heard and understood. This is the only way to reach solution to the many problems that face both veterans and the elderly.

American politicians, the House, and the Senate, must open their collective ears and be made aware of the vast and growing housing and healthcare crisis affecting these two growing and vulnerable U.S. sub-populations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS PROMISED, AMERICAN VETERANS GIVEN MUCH NEEDED HEALTH RESOURCES BOOST BY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

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On September 13, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs fiscal 2019 budget into law. The president’s signature gives the VA a funding boost of more than 6 percent and pushes the agency’s total spending to over $200 billion for the first time, says militarytimes.com.

Surrounded by federal officials and local veterans, President Trump finalized the measure at a ceremony held in the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center. He praised the massive spending bill as another promise made good by his administration.

“With this funding bill we have increased the VA’s budget to the largest ever,” militarytimes.com quotes Trump as saying. “We are delivering the resources to implement crucial VA reforms.”

The bill includes $1.1 billion for the start of the VA electronic health records overhaul and $400 million for opioid abuse prevention within the department, both efforts supported by Trump.

These actions are badly needed as health record storage and synchronization within the VA has been atrocious up until this point. As for the opioid epidemic that has killed more Americans than the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars combined? American veterans of foreign wars have been hit harder than average Americans there too.

Veterans are twice as likely as non-veterans to die from accidental overdoses of the highly addictive painkillers, writes Barbara Goldberg at reuters.com. According to federal data, these figures reflect the high levels of chronic pain among vets, particularly those who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. government healthcare officials have been struggling to stem the epidemic of overdoses, which killed more than 64,000 Americans in the 12 months ending last January alone, which the Centers for Disease Control sites as a 21 percent increase over the previous year. About 65,000 Americans died in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, Goldberg writes in her reuters.com article entitled, Opioid abuse crisis takes heavy toll on U.S. veterans. This is why the Trump Administration’s work is so important to surviving and disabled veterans. The changes in law give them a fighting chance at survival without torture through the VA healthcare system.

The final deal also includes the $1.75 billion increase in money tied to the VA Mission Act that was passed early this summer. The legislation will rewrite the department’s community care programs, expanding veterans ability to access private health care at taxpayer expense.

PRESIDENT TRUMP THANKED FOR KEEPING PROMISE TO VETERANS

American Veterans were strategic in putting President Trump into the White House power circle and they know he has their back in return. He even said so. “You backed me and I back you, that’s the way it works right?” breitbart.com reports President Trump as telling the veterans in his Las Vegas audience. “That’s the way it’s supposed to work in life.”

The president hailed the success of the VA Choice Act which allows veterans to seek private doctors if they face long lines at the VA facilities.

An American veteran who faced just such a medical dilemma was invited to the podium to speak. His name was Vincent Pitignana, a disabled Vietnam veteran Marine from Las Vegas.

Pitignana spoke of the gratitude veterans have for Trump and the VA Choice Act that allows for disabled veterans to seek medical treatment outside the VA with a private doctor. This is an important step forward in the healthcare treatment of vets and this veteran understands that intimately. He understands veterans will actually have options in the direction they take for their healthcare that go beyond red tape and inadequate VA doctors.

“I must say that I really am impressed that you and your government are focused on making our country’s promise to us a reality because you know what? We earned it,” Pitignana said to Trump. “No longer do they have to stand and wait and not get the proper care… that’s because of you.”

Trump promised to continue supporting veterans and noted that the Veterans Affairs budget was at it’s biggest ever and promoted recent reform legislation to give veterans more choice and to make it easier to fire bad actors in the system.

“We had people that really mistreated our veterans,” breitbart.com quotes President Trump as saying while pointing to “sadists” and “thieves” who used to run the VA system. “They are now being held accountable.”

The letter of the law is returning to American veteran healthcare as it is in greater America and much of that has to do with Trump. “President Trump is the first candidate and the first president to put veterans at the center of his campaign,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie says about the president.

The trend cannot stop now. More money has to be dedicated by lawmakers to the healthcare of those brave men and women who fight for our country through the U.S. military and this needs to be done now while our president is in the White House.

BOTTOM LINE

If this all gets cleaned up before 2020, there may be no need for Mr. Trump to come back. But that will mean the swamp is clean and American veterans everywhere, men and women, will have been provided with adequate funding for state of the art health and homecare that so many of them are still missing.

There’s plenty more work to be done. Our veterans need greater healing alternatives than they presently have, that go beyond basic Western Medicine and Big Pharma that they are still dependent upon. The money that President Trump has signed into law in Las Vegas is just the beginning. It only addresses certain although important aspects of what plagues military veterans who still needlessly suffer physically and emotionally in great numbers, but it is a good start.

 

 

VENTURA FAMILY LAWYERS EXPOSE SACHA BARON COHEN AND SHOWTIME ON BEHALF OF DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS

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Who do we think we are?

We are a boutique California family law firm and mediation center dedicated to serving families and helping them preserve their hard earned wealth. Beneath our professional veneer you will find a team of humble servants of God striving to make a difference in everyday people’s lives. We strive to champion righteous causes, our decades of experience provide us with insight into how better to achieve family values and prosperity, and we write to expose the serious problems and potential solutions thereto regarding the fact major American institutions are making life miserable and often times deadly for American Veterans and senior citizens, two of America’s most vulnerable and valuable social classes.

That’s why on September 6 we wrote an article specifically targeting Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime when the non funny comedian disrespected disabled American vets in a segment of his failed Who is America? series on Showtime. We blasted the unfunny Brit who had disguised himself as a disabled American vet from Kentucky, fake wheelchair and all, while interviewing former Alaska governor and U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom he stated he was a fan of.

The whole episode was actually a thinly veiled and distasteful political attack against the right. Cohen performed the interview wearing a necklace made of bullets and had a laptop covered in InfoWars stickers, says Breitbart in an August 27 article. Cohen’s disguise was described as being a caricature of a conservative middle-class Trump voter. He was asking Palin “absurd, racist, homophobic, and sexist questions” that were all meant to “mock Trump voters as a bunch of ignorant and offensive kooks,” the Breitbart article says.

Sarah Palin walked out of the interview when Cohen asked her whether Chelsea Clinton had been subject to a government-funded sex change.

Showtime pushed back later issuing a statement denying that the incident ever took place, saying, “Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair.”

VENTURA FAMILY LAWYERS WARN TO RESPECT OUR FLAG

We warned both Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime that this was no time to show contempt for America or to disrespect disabled American Veterans. We reminded the world that we represent American veterans and all the great things they stand for, and our U.S. government has literally failed to provide to these men and women the adequate housing and healthcare they require to deal with the plethora of serious physical and mental issues they have come home with while fighting for our country.

We asked if we might not benefit more by spending our energies rebuilding America instead of destroying the place American veterans stand and fought for; the only place most of us have ever called home. And while asking these important questions something pretty wonderful happened. It was like deja vu all over again. It was as if the world had gotten our message, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s disrespect of America’s veterans would disappear with a whimper and several lame excuses. At least that’s how we understood the August 27 New York Times article entitled, ‘Who Is America?’ Ends with O.J. Simpson. But Where Was Sarah Palin? that claimed Showtime never aired the Sarah Palin segment in Sacha Baron Cohen’s flagging series.

Which means someone was listening to our prayers. The New York Times article fails to mention the Ventura Family Law blog by name, but if they read us they would know that we don’t mess around when it comes to clowns like Showtime or Sasha Baron Cohen disrespecting America any more than former Senate candidate from Alabama Roy S. Moore does, as he has now followed through on his threat to sue Sacha Baron Cohen for a lot of money.

WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THAT?

The tide is turning as more people are speaking out on the righteous issues and taking a tougher stance against the dark forces than ever before, which is why the former member of the Alabama Supreme Court sued Sacha Baron Cohen. Roy S. Moore too had been duped by the unfunny comedian, who in a segment that aired on Showtime in July appeared as “Erran Morad,” an Israeli antiterrorism expert, who interviewed Moore.

During the interview Cohen brought out a device, which appeared to be a metal detector wand, but which he claimed was an Israeli invention that could detect pedophiles, says a September 5 article in The New York Times. When the device signaled that Mr. Moore could be a pedophile, he became angry and ended the interview.

Former Justice Moore really hadn’t found Cohen’s disrespectful shenanigans all that funny. To prove it he sued Cohen for more than $95 million in damages for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud. Showtime, and CBS which owns Showtime, are named as defendants along with Cohen.

There was no mention whether former Judge Moore read our article in Ventura Family Law blog before filing his lawsuit.

 

 

LET’S MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR, SACHA BARON COHEN, MOCKING HANDICAPPED U.S. VETERANS IS A NO-GO

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Let’s make this perfectly clear. Don’t disrespect America, especially if you live or work here. And if you do live or work here, never disrespect an American Veteran of Foreign Wars, handicapped or otherwise. It’s uncool, it’s uncalled for. And it might be illegal. Instead maybe we could spend more of our energies on rebuilding America, not destroying what we truly stand for.

I’m tremendously grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in life. There’s no question I’ve worked hard to get this far, to survive – just one look at the wear and tear of soul etched into the lines of my face will tell you that – but I do recognize how fortunate I am to live in the greatest country on this planet, ever, right now.

History proves me correct on this bold assertion. America – and we have had our share of crooked elements in state-sponsored corruption, malfeasance, terrorism, and outright evil – stands for greatness because Americans are good at heart and we try to get it right. We try to make a positive difference. We are spiritual by nature and inspired by God. But we get misguided sometimes. The programming elements of a dying empire can misguide you.

Although I’ve never approved of the Banker’s Wars which have basically been nonstop across the world during my lifetime, I have always appreciated the men and women who have sacrificed so much of themselves and their families while working for our military overseas. Some argue that Veterans of Foreign Wars may have been guided into a false sense of truth behind what they were fighting for, but each one of them fought for what they believed was our freedom. Our freedom as a people, as sovereign individuals, was and still is at the heart of what young men and women commit to when they join the service. And I feel free thanks to that value displayed by American Veterans.

Many American Veterans, and Veterans from every other country that has fought in the endless series of bloody Bankers’ Wars, have suffered tremendously. They are rejected by the society from where they come. They are abused and neglected by the healthcare systems that care for the people they fight to protect.

American Veterans have taken a particularly severe beating under Obama, and other previous administrations, and only now is the American Veterans Administration beginning to look at itself in a deeper more transparent way; to reflect how badly it has failed and literally tortured America’s military heroes — and what needs to be done to change it. To drug our aging Veterans into compliance until death do us part is no way to treat with dignity anyone – especially those who serve our country in our name.

I see our Veterans every day, some as clients, others as the tortured faces of the homeless on our streets, bus benches, and even our jails. This is because our government has failed to provide American Veterans with the adequate housing and healthcare they require to deal with the plethora of serious physical and mental issues they have come home with. And now I gotta read this crap?

Sure, we’re talking Sarah Palin here, and she’s never been one of America’s trusted daughters, having previously aligned herself in a run for the White House with none other than former Hanoi Hilton songbird and dying GOP Arizona Senator John McCain. But Palin now represents herself as having been a pawn to the reprehensible and disrespectful actions toward handicapped American Veterans by CBS / Showtime and one not so funny British comedian who calls himself Sacha Baron Cohen.

SARAH PALIN VERSUS SHOWTIME VERSUS HANDICAPPED U.S. VETERANS

In a post on her Facebook page that has garnered national media attention, Sarah Palin writes of a recent experience where she was contacted by a speaker’s bureau regarding what she believed would be an opportunity to honor American Vets and contribute to a “legit Showtime historical documentary”.

Palin apparently bit hard as she and her daughter were asked to fly across country for an interview regarding what Palin believed would be a “thoughtful discussion with someone who had served in uniform.” Instead, the former Alaskan governor found herself sitting through what she describes as a long “interview” full of “Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm”.

Palin writes, “The disrespect of our US military and middleclass Americans via Cohen’s foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse.” Palin removed her mic and walked out disgustedly before the interview was complete.

MATT DRUDGE DOESN’T LIKE COHEN’S ACT EITHER

American political commentator Matt Drudge doesn’t appreciate Cohen’s act either. In an article in thehill.com Drudge warns “Sacha Baron Cohen at it again.” On July 9th Drudge Tweeted: “This time for CBS / SHOWTIME. Lots of tricks played.”

The creator and editor of the Drudge Report rightfully maligns Cohen for his insensitive actions, but why does it have to come down to this? Why does “Borat” and Showtime have to continue to dishonor American Vets in a humorless, classless guise, hidden under a handicapped Veteran’s blanket and the American flag? Isn’t Cohen British anyway? He doesn’t even belong here. If anything maybe Sarah Palin’s admission to having been duped by a boorish British performer who has a history of denigrating Americans in his works, could be used to shine a light on what is really a very serious matter, and that is the respectful taking care of our handicapped American Vets with dignity.

Sgt. Joey Jones, a double amputee American Veteran doesn’t play that game either. Sgt. Jones offered a solution to FOX Business Network on Wednesday July, 11th. Jones believes what Sacha Baron Cohen has done might be illegal and the actor may have opened himself up for prosecution.

On YouTube Sgt. Jones says: “We have a Stolen Valor Act of 2013 that says you can’t take medals, honors and basically the stories of the heroes of this country and use them to benefit yourself in a tangible way. So at this point if this interview is used on Showtime I think there is an argument that any dollar made off of advertisement violates the Stolen Valor Act.”

I would like to imagine Sgt. Jones to be correct on all counts. I would like to see Showtime display the classless Sacha Baron Cohen as a disabled Vet and the show make tons of advertising dollars for its left-leaning defeatist commentators. And then I want to see some organization representing American Veterans sue the sh*t out of Cohen and Showtime under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, beat them in court, win punitive damages, and have all proceeds go to housing and healthcare for our senior Veterans.

 

LAWMAKERS DEMAND DAMAGING SECRET VA NURSING HOME DATA BE RELEASED TO PUBLIC

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Darkness is coming to the surface for senior healthcare. In this instance it’s the Veteran’s Administration, where VA internal quality data documents that were obtained in a USA TODAY/The Boston Globe investigation reveal for the first time that VA nursing homes performed worse on average than private nursing homes on a majority of key measures, including:

  • Reported pain in the last five days
  • Received anti-psychotic medicine, which the FDA has associated with an increased risk of death in elderly dementia patients
  • Experienced marked decrease in abilities to perform daily activities like bathing, eating, and using the bathroom
  • Had a catheter left in their bladder, which can lead to urinary or blood infections and other complications
  • High-risk residents with serious bed sores, which may be prevented by repositioning/cushioning

As a result, several members of Congress have demanded that the Department of Veterans Affairs release a full complement of nursing home data that the agency has kept hidden from public scrutiny for many years.

Donovan Slack of USA TODAY and Andrea Estes of The Boston Globe write at bostonglobe.com that the VA pushed back by downplaying the contrary findings and calling the story “fake news”.

Yet to be released data includes the VA’s underlying quality data, such as rates of infection and injury. Several lawmakers have called for the release of the information immediately.

In a June 18, 2018 article at usatoday.com Slack and Estes describe one of the worst ranked VA nursing homes in the U.S., a place where American veterans are sent by family members in belief they would receive more specialized care, only to find they’ve been turned into “zombies” through the administration of too many anti-psychotic drugs accompanied by too little personal care.

The agency has tracked detailed quality statistics on its nursing homes for years but has kept them from public view, depriving veterans of potentially crucial health care information, the article says.

VA officials argued that the VA nursing home system, overall, “compares closely” with private nursing homes despite caring for typically sicker residents.

The VA’s hospitals have drawn intense criticism for repeated scandals involving health care in recent years, including preventable deaths, but the agency largely has operated its nursing homes with scant public scrutiny.

Internally the agency has long monitored care at its nursing facilities through quality indicators and unannounced inspections and, since 2016, through star rankings based on the indicators. Until now, the USA TODAY article says, it has kept all of these quality measures from the public eye.

Under federal regulations, private nursing homes are required to disclose voluminous data on the care they provide. The federal government uses the data to calculate quality measures and posts them on a federal website, along with inspection results and staffing information. The regulations do not apply to the VA. This information is not available to the public who are in the market looking for veteran’s homes.

But darkness is turning to light. The USA TODAY/The Boston Globe article quotes VA press secretary Curt Cashour as blaming the Obama administration for resisting making quality data public. “But under President Trump’s leadership,” the articles quotes Cashour from a June 12, 2018 statement,” transparency and accountability have become hallmarks of VA.”

Both the Republican-led House and Senate VA committees requested briefings from VA officials following the damning report. Transparency and accountability is what’s coming to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, then the “fake news” won’t matter.

AID AND ATTENDANCE BENEFITS HELP MILITARY VETERANS WITH HEALTH AND HOMECARE COSTS

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Major issues are taking place around the world directly impacting our finances, which seem to be at the center of all things. Finances, aging, and health care. At our age what else is there?

If you’re a senior citizen then you know what I’m talking about. Creaky joints and forgetful episodes are the least of our problems. Health and homecare have become major issues to our population that continues to grow older. Where are we going to live? and who’s going to help us when tying our own shoelaces becomes a thing of the past? become big questions. How will we be able to take care of our physical and mental maladies when we can no longer afford to care for ourselves?

Many of us have to face these and similar health and home related issues head on every day, beginning as soon as we try getting up in the morning. Many aging military veterans dealing with real life home, homeless, and health issues seem to have it even tougher than the average citizen. Veterans return from distant wars having been exposed to many unhealthy toxins only to find inadequate healthcare awaits them. Many physical and mental challenges to deal with, yet our veterans have seemingly few healthy medical or homecare options available at home. If our veterans don’t end up sick and dying, they age. Like we all do. And we’re all aging at the same time in record numbers right now.

Senior veterans need to be aware that there is help available from the government and it’s called Aid and Attendance. Veterans can obtain benefits that can be applied to costs of a senior living community. But most vets and many senior living communities seem to be unaware of this benefit. Pass this information along.

If you’re a wartime veteran, or a surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, and you’re 65 years or older, you may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called Aid and Attendance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The benefit is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term care for those who need assistance with the daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

PAID IN ADDITION TO A VETERAN’S BASIC PENSION

Aid and Attendance is a benefit paid by Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans, veteran spouses or surviving spouses, and it is paid in addition to a veteran’s basic pension. According to California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform the benefit may not be paid without eligibility to a VA basic pension.

A pension is a benefit that the VA pays to wartime veterans who have limited or no income and who are at least 65 years old or, if under 65, are permanently or completely disabled. There are also “Death Pensions,” according to California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, which are needs based for a surviving spouse of a deceased wartime veteran who has not remarried.

Aid and Attendance is for applicants who need financial help for in-home care, to pay for an assisted living facility or nursing home. It is a non-service connected disability benefit, meaning the disability does not have to be a result of service. You cannot receive non-service and service-connected compensation at the same time.

Canhr.org also lists the service requirements for Aid and Attendance benefits. A veteran or the veteran’s surviving spouse may be eligible if the veteran: Was discharged from a branch of the United States Armed Forces under conditions that were not dishonorable AND Served 90 days of continuous military service (active duty), with at least one day during the following wartime periods (did not have to serve in combat):   World War I: April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918; World War II: December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946; Korean War: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955; Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961, for veterans who served “in country” before August 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975; Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be set by Presidential Proclamation or Law.

If the veteran entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, with certain exceptions.

MEDICAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR AID AND ATTENDANCE BENEFITS

In listing the medical qualifications for Aid and Attendance benefits, veteranaid.org says a wartime veteran or surviving spouse must need the assistance of another person to perform daily tasks, such as eating, dressing, undressing, taking care of the needs of nature, etc. Blind individuals, patients in a nursing home for mental or physical incapacity, or residents in an assisted living facility also qualify. Any application will require medical evaluation from a physician, current medical issues, net worth limitations, and net income, along with out-of-pocket expenses.

Veteranaid.org says financial qualifications must have an average of less than $80,000 in assets, excluding their home and vehicles.

A veteran can receive up to $2,846 monthly with the Aid and Attendance benefit, says americanveteransaid.com. The Website provides a Benefit Table that lists qualifying benefits as such:

Status                                                  Monthly Benefit Amount

  • Surviving Spouse                                       $1,176
  • Single Veteran                                            $1,830
  • Married Veteran                                        $2,169
  • Two Vets Married                                      $2,903

Aid and Attendance benefits are tax free.

MORE VETERAN AID IS ON THE WAY

Steven Monroe says there are other organizations helping seniors and American veterans as well. Monroe, writing for the SeniorCare Investor at senoircare.levinassociates.com, cites Luke’s Wings, which provides air travel for families to visit vets in the hospital, or in the case of seniors, when they are in hospice care.

Militaryoneclick.com – which connects caregivers of U.S. veterans with the essential resources needed to strengthen the family support foundation; American Freedom Foundation – supports veterans helping to empower and enable them to lead confident and productive lives; Fisher House Foundation – provides a “home away from home” for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization; Homes for Heroes Foundation – coordinates financial assistance and housing resources to the Heroes of our nation such as Military personnel, Police/Peace Officers, Firefighters and First Responders who are in need; Hope for The Warriors – helps enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service member, their families, and the families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.

I encourage all military veterans to keep searching for available resources for your home and health needs. There are many people out there who care about what you’re going through. More help is on the way. Positive changes are being made within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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