Friday, September 11, 2009

250 New Iraq and Afhanistan Veterans per day seek VA help

Since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and all of the resulting harms to soldiers, civilians, economies and constitutional principles, no segment of society has been more abused and neglected than returning U.S. military veterans --- Houston Chronicle editorial, December 14, 2008

According to government reports obtained exclusively by Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), more than 250 new, first-time Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran patients flood into Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics every day. While the press and public are often focused on the more than 5,000 deaths from the two wars, a tidal wave of wounded, injured, and ill continue flooding into VA, with no end in sight. Beginning today, VCS starts publishing official VA reports obtained by VCS using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You can view VCS FOIA archives at our web site:

This effort to obtain documents about VA is the second major FOIA campaign by VCS. In their first FOIA campaign that began in 2002, VCS teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the Bush Administration to release documents about torture, as profiled on August 30, 2009, in The New York Times.

In their second FOIA campaign that began in 2006, VCS sought to determine the human and financial costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. After nine months of delay and denial, VA released the reports only after a threat of litigation. For the first time, VCS posts nearly all of the documents obtained from VA using FOIA.

VCS remains the only non-profit with a full-time FOIA campaign targeting VA, the government's second largest agency with an expected budget of $113 billion and more than 270,000 employees.

Written by Paul Sullivan, Executive Director, Veterans for Common Sense posted by Major Robert L. Hanafin, USAF-Retired, Veterans Advocacy Editor, Veterans Today

Jerald Terwilliger, Acting Chairman

American Cold War Veterans, Inc.