Sep 30, VCS Weekly Update: VCS Research Using FOIA Prompts Congressional Investigation

VCS Research Using FOIA Finds Enormous Discrepancies in Claims for Iraq and Afghanistan War Vetrans

Dear VCS Members:

This week’s update covers three important topics: problems with VA disability claims among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, a disturbing cluster of soldier suicides in Houston, and our last-minute request to protect veterans’ voting rights.

First, the Army Times reports on an analysis of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans’ claims conducted by Veterans for Common Sense. VCS found three enormous discrepancies when we compared National Guard and Reserve veterans with Active Duty veterans. Guard and Reserve are half as likely to file a claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs, yet twice as likely to get denied by VA. Furthermore, even when Guard and Reserve claims are approved by VA, these veterans receive lower ratings – and that means lower disability payments.

VCS obtained the VA statistics by sending VA requests for reports under the Freedom of Information Act. Our FOIA efforts are made possible only through the generosity of our members. Please consider donating to VCS today so we can uncover the facts.

Second, the Houston Chronicle uncovered a cluster of Active Duty Army soldier suicides among recruiters near Houston, Texas. We urged the military and Congress to investigate, and both are responding. Clearly, the facts show that deployment to Iraq, and repeated deployments back to combat, are significantly and adversely impacting the mental health of our veterans.

Veterans for Common Sense is only $4,000 away from our September goal. Please, click here to make a donation today and help us reach that goal. Thank you!

Third, on September 15, VCS testified before Congress in favor of S 3308 and the protection of our veterans’ voting rights. Please call your Senators today and urge them to pass S 3308 immediately. The companion bill to S 3308 already passed the House, yet S 3308 remains stuck in the Senate. If our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan can stand between an enemy bullet and our Constitution, then we can easily help ensure their right to vote on Nov. 4.

Finally, VCS urgently needs your help. The economic recession is impacting us all. We here at VCS feel the pain, too. VCS is a non-partisan, non-profit organization working to make the voices of veterans’ heard. Please make a tax-deductible gift to VCS today. We would like all of our members to contribute on a monthly basis. Even $10 or $20 a month will help us significantly! We need your help to maintain our FOIA efforts and veteran advocacy.

Please share this message with your friends. Ask them to join VCS, to contribute to our non-profit, and to register and vote.

Thank you,

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director
Veterans for Common Sense

VCS provides advocacy and publicity for issues related to veterans, national security, and civil liberties. VCS is registered with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity, and donations are tax deductible.

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