Dec 30 VCS Update: Our Successes in 2008 and Our Plans for 2009

In 2008, Veterans for Common Sense continued our strong track record of providing publicity and pragmatic solutions for government policies you care about: national security, civil liberties, and veterans. With your continued support, we plan more successful advocacy efforts during 2009.

This year your support helped make healthcare for our service members a top national security issue, where VCS was frequently featured on the national news. Your donations helped with uncovering torture documents. Your active involvement helped us win key legislative victories for veterans in 2008, including the start of disability claims reform. VCS also led the national fight for voting rights for our veterans residing in VA facilities.

Our most important acomplishment this year was our lawsuit against VA. After we sued VA, VA established a toll-free suicide prevention hotline that received 85,000 calls and performed more than 2,100 rescues in its first 15 months. Thank you for changing VA policy so we could save veterans’ lives.

Here is what VCS plans for 2009:

—> Our civil liberties goals include closing the Guantanamo Bay facility, ending torture, and ending domestic spying. We can make this happen in 2009 !

—> Our national security goals include better healthcare for our troops, including mandatory medical exams for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and military sexual trauma (MST), as well as ending the Iraq War fiasco. We can fight to reduce stigma and improve access to care for our Iraq and Afghanistan war soldiers.

—> Our goals for veterans include advocating an overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs, as described in our November 5 report to President-Elect Obama. This means streamliniing the disability claim process, bringing VA claims workers to our veterans, and eliminating the adversarial claims atmosphere for PTSD and TBI.

—> Our VCS lawsuit (with Veterans United for Truth) against VA is now on appeal. We need your support to keep this issue alive in 2009. We work closely with the blue chip law firm of Morrison – Foerster and the outstanding attorneys at Disability Rights Advocates to keep our lawsuit alive. We wish to thank them again for their fantastic pro bono diligence on our lawsuit.

VCS asks you to do two things at the end of 2008.

—> First, you can start making a difference now. Please send your views about national security, civil liberties, and caring for all of our veterans to President-Elect Barack Obama at www.Change.govThe combined voices of our more than 14,000 voices can make a difference on important issues – that’s what grass roots democracy is all about.

—> Second, please take a moment to set up a monthly contribution today. We need your help in 2009 to continue our string of major news stories and major legislative victories. We are making a difference because of you.

We hope you have a Happy New Year! Thank you for your support!

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.

Please consider a year-end donation of $50 or $100 to assist VCS.

There are Five Easy Ways to Support Veterans for Common Sense

1. GroundSpring: Give by credit card through

2. PayPal: Make a donation to VCS through PayPal

3. DonationLine: Donate your car to VCS through DonationLine

4. eBay: Designate VCS to benefit from your auction

5. Send a check to:
Veterans for Common Sense
P.O. Box 15514
Washington, DC 20003


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