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Six Generals Line Up Against the Washington Post

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As the spouse of a military service member who served in Iraq and having frequently visited our wounded at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center here in Germany, I am profoundly aware of the depth, tone, and gravity of the wounds our servicemembers endure. I am also aware of the often fragmented and disconnected care they receive once stateside.

Tom Toles’ Jan. 29 editorial cartoon in the Washington Post depicting a service member with both arms and legs missing has been labeled “beyond tasteless” and “a disservice” by six military Generals. It may be tasteless but the only disservice has come from a nation of citizens that has thus far refused to hold its administration accountable for the single most overlooked reality of this war: not all of our wounded are getting all of the care they need. That Rumsfeld was depicted as the doctor saying, “I’m listing your condition as ‘battle hardened'” is a glaring and accurate reflection of his and his administration’s lack of regard for the needs of our wounded. Many citizens, under the guise of supporting our President and being patriotic, have unquestionably assumed that same regard.

USMC MSGT Select Kenneth and MRS Tonia Sargent; image used with permission from Tonia Sargent
Wounded Marine Gunnery Sergeant (Master Sergeant Select) Kenneth Sargent and his spouse Tonia have navigated the precarious stateside path of his care since his injury in Iraq in August of 2004 from Landstuhl, Germany to Bethesda, MD to MCB Camp Pendleton, CA. In a few days, they will again travel the 443 miles to Palo Alto for services and care not provided by facilities closer to their home. With 19 years time in service come this April 29th, the Gunny’s retirement at 20 years is still not guaranteed, and thus the care and rehabilitation he needs and has earned is in jeopardy. The road he and Tonia have taken since his injury has been marred with obstacles that include but is by no means limited to a lack of communication between services that have created disconnections in care.

This is not an editorial cartoon. This is a real person. He is USMC MSGT Select Kenneth Sargent; image used with permission from Tonia SargentThe Gunny is not an anomaly. He is part of an unfortunate norm. He is not a cartoon. He is a real person.

Those servicemembers who do make it to retirement are still subject to substantially higher insurance costs, a lowered priority in military medical facilities, and extensive waits for limited VA services. Meanwhile, expenses for travel, daycare, lodging, and transportation as well as the loss of a second income and the sheer expense of “normal” day-to-day living compromises the lives, livelihoods, and financial stability of our wounded and their families. None of this has been called “a disservice” nor has any of it been described as “tasteless,” “calloused,” or “reprehensible.”

It may be easier to target an editorial cartoonist than those who created the reality he illustrates, but it does nothing to abate the reality.

Generals Pace, Giambastiani, Hagee, Schoomaker, Mullen, and Moseley have more than the right to take issue with any disrespectful regard for our wounded. Combined they have over 200 years of military service and battlefield experience. They are not the untouched, un-traveled, and inexperienced Washington-based elected whose knowledge of Kabul, Tikrit, or Landstuhl is limited to pins on a map. The very bravery and sacrifice the Generals’ rightly attribute our wounded has this military spouse wondering why their disdain is so misdirected. Was Toles’ cartoon “tasteless,” gentlemen? Or did it just leave a bad taste in the mouths of some with whom you work? You know of whom I speak. They could but haven’t made sure the funding and programs are in place to provide for the full care and rehabilitation of every wounded service member. They’ve toured Bethesda on the backs of aides that made sure they didn’t see any wound as bad as the one in the cartoon. Many of them haven’t been to any other hospitals because those facilities aren’t sitting in their backyard.[ADBLOCKHERE]

Sure, some of them have come here to Germany to conduct all manner of business but few of them make it out of the pubs and castles long enough to get to Landstuhl. I’ve frequently witnessed those who have managed a visit still find a way to avoid facial disfigurations, overwhelmed and distraught patients, and the ICU. The limits of what they can stomach is reflected in the limits of that which they have gone on to write, promote, and provide for in legislation. Touring the field hospitals of Iraq and Afghanistan has not prompted Bush or Rumsfeld to do much more than make sure the war itself has its money. This they can do, but they have yet to make sure the care and rehabilitation of every wounded service member and regard for their time in service has been provided for in full.

Toles’ illustration did indeed reflect a villainous disrespect for our wounded. That disrespect was born of and continues to grow from an administration that sent its military into war knowing full well the system of care for its wounded was desperately wanting and has allowed it to remain that way to this day. The administration has seen fit to delegate the task of filling in the gaps to private citizens, non-profit organizations, and the wounded and their families. Reveling in efforts it has not funded and supports only with lip-service, the administration continues to use hyper-patriotic language to cover its neglectful regard for the very citizens it has needed most. There is nothing more “callous” about Toles’ depiction save what can be seen in the bathroom mirrors of Rumsfeld and Bush.

Toles’ cartoon is going to upset many a citizen, especially the families of those currently at war. I’d be surprised if very many families of those fully employed with securing care for their wounded loved one has had time to open a paper, much less get to the sixth page of the second section. While many papers headline the success stories of hundreds of wounded, thousands more and their unsuccessful stories don’t quite make the cut. This has created a slanted and skewed reality for those who go no further than the front page. The stories of those most in need are rarely told and they are only seen behind “disturbing image” warnings around the Internet. This may make it more palatable for legislators and the population at large to sleep at night, but it doesn’t do a damn thing to insure the full care and rehabilitation of every wounded service member.

If it takes a tasteless cartoon to shake the populace hard enough and wake them up so they’ll see what is real, then so be it. Unfortunately Generals, your disappointment isn’t shared with as many Americans as you might have hoped. If outrage over a real wounded service member hasn’t prompted improvement, do you really think outrage over a cartoon image of the same will? The administration that sends our servicemembers into war has had ample opportunity to press for and pass legislation providing for our wounded in full, and it has not.

That is where the disdain need be directed.

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • http://jeliel3.blogspot.com JELIEL³

    When I read the title, I thought “Oh Boy pack your bags, we are going to Michelle-Malkin land” but no, you actually got the meaning of the cartoon. Very good article.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Pick me apart if you will — and I’m sure other commenters will do so — but I can’t honestly see what about that cartoon can possibly be construed to imply that the cartoon is making light of casualties. It is certainly implying that the government is making light of casualties, and I understood that upon just a cursory glance.

    Seriously. I don’t understand what is so bad about this cartoon and how anyone who saw it could think that it was making fun of wounded soldiers. Fill me in, please, somebody?

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    One of the sadder aspects of this is that the blame keeps falling to one administration alone and that’s a very short-sighted view of the situation. The lack of funding to our military hospitals (heck, to ANY hospital) is the direct result of years…DECADES of cuts. It is not the fault of the Republicans or the Democrats, it is OUR fault that we demand tax cuts when we haven’t even bothered to cover the basics for our military, our children, and our elderly.

    One of the more universal truths is that we get what we pay for. And we’ve been short changing our military and ourselves for decades.

  • REH

    Just another example of this administration’s name calling and finger pointing towards anyone who dares question it’s policies and conduct.

    I’m surprized only by the fact that in this case they didn’t accuse the cartoonist of being un-American and not supporting the troops, as they usually do.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    thank you JELIEL³!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Some good points in here about the problems with the VA system, but there are some things you also overlook.

    This is a medical system which excels beyond all others in the world in treating critical injuries which in most circumstances would just result in death. The skill with which the military extracts and treats and rehabilitates its wounded is remarkable. Yes, there are problems with bureaucracy, and oversight and making the system accessible ought to be made priorities, but in many ways the military medical system still does an amazing job.

    You also seem not to get the difference between the VA and the problems which it has and the disrespect shown our troops by those who use them as political footballs. The two issues are entirely separate and the failures of the VA do not in any way excuse or justify the opportunistic and offensive behavior of some in the media who exploit the suffering of the wounded and disabled for partisan reasons.

    dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Just another example of this administration’s name calling and finger pointing towards anyone who dares question it’s policies and conduct.

    From what I’ve been able to tell these generals were not speaking on behalf of the administration or even with the permission of the administration. As a rule the administration avoids getting involved in issues like this under any circumstances.

    I’m surprized only by the fact that in this case they didn’t accuse the cartoonist of being un-American and not supporting the troops, as they usually do.

    REH, I’d love to see you produce one example where a major figure in the administration has publicly called anyone un-American for expressing an opinion. The left says this over and over and over again, but when called to back it up all they can come up with is disgruntled silence.

    Dave

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    “Seriously. I don’t understand what is so bad about this cartoon and how anyone who saw it could think that it was making fun of wounded soldiers. Fill me in, please, somebody?”

    michael, i’ll do my best…
    if one is already feeling bad about something they’ve done (a lie, a misdeed, some other slight), the last thing they’re going to want is attention drawn to it…
    drawing attention to a liar’s lie renews their feelings of guilt and shame — something they would like to avoid, sometimes at any cost…

    any reminder of our wounded (image, article, person) has the potential to create anxiety, guilt, and sadness in anyone…
    those feelings have revealed two kinds of people:
    1) those who care and seek out ways to help, and
    2) those who care and seek out ways to avoid any reminders of what they can’t/won’t help…

    if you are in the former group, you will find a way to channel those feelings by volunteering here and there, writing letters/articles to papers/elected officials, etc…if your resources are more limited you might write to the wounded or pray for their well being…
    if you are of the latter group, you will use any diversion necessary to squelch those feelings because, let’s face it, that much anxiety and sadness can make a person physically ill…
    those diversions have come to include firing upon and taking sides against those who are currently and fully employed with helping a wounded loved one (and who aren’t necessarily all quiet and polite about it), and against those who seek to actively support the wounded and their families…
    if enough fervor is created around a cartoon, then guess what everyone will talk about for the next few days? well, they won’t be talking about that guy with no arms and legs, i’ll tell you that much…
    they’ll talk about patriotism and treachery and bravery and the war and the president and apple pie and which way the flag is to hang on a pole outside a post office in holcomb, kansas — but you weren’t hear a single word about the wounded, what they need, and what they’re going without…and that’s just how the latter like it…

    the slop-art of politics has seeped out of washington and has been slathered across the whole of america…many have emerged from the slime to join the club whose mission clearly states: surround and suffocate the main issue with as many peripheral topics as necessary to kill it completely and call this “patriotic”

    or so i think…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Diana, your last comment presupposes that someone has done something wrong here and therfore feels guilt, while ignoring the possibility that what those who are outraged by this cartoon – and I’m not one – actually feel that it is offensive to real servicemen whose injuries are being trivialized for political purposes. No one likes to see their compatriots used and exploited for someone else’s benefit, especially when they are already suffering for other reasons.

    Dave

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    dave posts: “This is a medical system which excels beyond all others in the world in treating critical injuries which in most circumstances would just result in death. The skill with which the military extracts and treats and rehabilitates its wounded is remarkable.”

    this is only true of the wounded this system can get to…there isn’t adequate funding, staffing, and facilities for this system to get to everyone…
    the powers-that-be carryin’ around all that war loot have the power to make sure all of our wounded are fully cared for and they are not…

    “Yes, there are problems with bureaucracy, and oversight and making the system accessible ought to be made priorities, but in many ways the military medical system still does an amazing job.”

    so if you give them kudos then you don’t have to give them anything else?
    what in the sam hill is that? go visit a VA or other military medical facility and ask someone working there, “does my compliment help fund, staff, or expand your facility?”…
    if the answer is “yes” then i’m on your side and i’ll eat the entire next edition of the washington post…if the answer is “no” then got off this whole idea that saying something nice about them does a damn thing for them…

    of course they do an amazing job — with or without the high fives…the reason we call what they do “amazing” is because they’re doing it with half the money, staff, and facilities they need…

    “You also seem not to get the difference between the VA and the problems which it has and the disrespect shown our troops by those who use them as political footballs. The two issues are entirely separate and the failures of the VA do not in any way excuse or justify the opportunistic and offensive behavior of some in the media who exploit the suffering of the wounded and disabled for partisan reasons.”

    disrespect for troops? yes, there’s something that takes as much energy as sticking a freakin’ magnet to one’s car…c’mon dave, consider the source and then dismiss it in favor of the idea of channeling one’s energy into funding, staffing, and expanding the facilities of a system, not propping up or tearing down the self-esteem of a system…
    whether one is disrespecting troops or assailing a cartoonist on their behalf, the net gain for troops is ZERO!

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Diana, are there currently any organized efforts to lobby Congress to do something to rectify this situation?

  • Baronius

    I read the cartoon completely differently. It was a commentary on Rumsfeld’s inability to perceive the truth about our War on Terror. This isn’t a new theme; people have long been saying that Rumsfeld has mismanaged the Iraq War and misrepresented it to the American people. (I disagree.) The image of a quadriplegic soldier is an appropriate one. The soldier is labeled “US Army”.

    For whatever reasons, the generals and the author of this article have misread it as an attack, or a commentary, on disabled American vets.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    “Diana, your last comment presupposes that someone has done something wrong here and therfore feels guilt, while ignoring the possibility that what those who are outraged by this cartoon – and I’m not one – actually feel that it is offensive to real servicemen whose injuries are being trivialized for political purposes. No one likes to see their compatriots used and exploited for someone else’s benefit, especially when they are already suffering for other reasons.”

    i presuppose nothing…there are thousands of wounded going untreated and under treated because the same government that sent them to war did not and still is not adequately funding, staffing, and expanding the system of care needed to treat all those who would return wounded…there is no other reason to continuously divert attention away from neglected wounded other than the feeling that one participated and/or participates in that neglect…as i were, perhaps you’re right…perhaps the feelings are not guilt and shame but rather “oh my god, people are starting not to like me! since i’m not willing to do anything about why they don’t like me, i must do something to distract them from the reasons they don’t like me!”
    i could be wrong…it could be the self-serving, selfish feelings of not being liked anymore that is the motivation…

    “no one likes to see their compatriots used and exploited for someone else’s benefit,” my ass!
    bush and rumsfeld alone have purposefully put themselves next to a service member, wounded or not, and allowed their picture to be taken, printed, broadcasted, and used over and over again…for whose benefit?
    still the wounded are in need, and those who aren’t wounded yet are in need — of armor to protect them from getting wounded…
    for whose benefit were those pictures of bush, rumsfeld and sgt whoever?
    it helped nothing but the images of bush and rumsfeld…
    it didn’t even create awareness…you’d have to be dead to not know there’s a war going on and that it’s being fought by brave servicemembers of the united states…
    we don’t want to be aware of anything other than that…we can barely contain our tears and the contents of our stomachs when we see a picture of a guy with a prosthesis running next to the president! for whose benefit was this picture, dave?
    and how many other guys are still waiting for a prosthesis that fits? or the rehab to be able to walk with it? or the meds to deal with the ensuing infection and/or pain? or a prosthesis at all? there are a lot of them…

    where’s the picture of bush or rumsfeld with the guy who has no money to get himself to his next appointment because he was medically separated from the military and is crawling out of bed on one leg trying not to get tangled up in his catheter tube?
    there’s an image we could all get our panties in a wad over!
    put that on your front page and smoke it…

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    those who are outraged by this cartoon – and I’m not one – actually feel that it is offensive to real servicemen whose injuries are being trivialized for political purposes.

    This may be a legitimate comment, Dave, but I won’t know for sure until I actually hear a criticism from a serviceman wounded in Iraq–as opposed to Pentagon officials who are able to drive their Ranger Rovers home to their McMansions in Northern Virginia every night.

    It’s noteworthy that of the six Joint Chiefs who signed that letter to the Post, only one has been actually been in combat and NONE have been wounded.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    so if you give them kudos then you don’t have to give them anything else?

    Where did I say anything even vaguely like this? My point was that the failures should be addressed but the system should not be damned as a whole. IMO the active duty system should be focused on and the VA system should be shifted over as much as possible to a system of private insurance paid as a veterans benefit. That would help address a lot of the problems that currently exist.

    disrespect for troops? yes, there’s something that takes as much energy as sticking a freakin’ magnet to one’s car…c’mon dave, consider the source and then dismiss it in favor of the idea of channeling one’s energy into funding, staffing, and expanding the facilities of a system, not propping up or tearing down the self-esteem of a system…
    whether one is disrespecting troops or assailing a cartoonist on their behalf, the net gain for troops is ZERO!

    It’s not about self-esteem, it’s about recognizing their sacrifices and not exploiting them. Do you think these 6 generals don’t support better funding for the VA? It’s not about supporting the system, it’s about not treating the wounded vet as a political tool rather than a human being.

    And you’re still confusing the two separate issues. On the one hand there’s the issue of fixing the VA. That’s an absolutely legitimate issue. But it’s completely separate from the issue of exploiting the wounded for political gain. If you want to fix the VA you bring up issues of how veterans are being under served by the system with specific examples. If you’re just exploiting veterans for political gain you make a cartoon with a paraplegic and point a finger at Rumsfeld. If you can’t see the difference between addressing the problem and just using it for political purposes then I’m at a loss as to how to even discuss this with you.

    Dave

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    lisa, i’m writing up the list…i’ll post it shortly…thank you for asking!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    i presuppose nothing…there are thousands of wounded going untreated and under treated because the same government that sent them to war did not and still is not adequately funding, staffing, and expanding the system of care needed to treat all those who would return wounded…there is no other reason to continuously divert attention away from neglected wounded other than the feeling that one participated and/or participates in that neglect…as i were, perhaps you’re right…perhaps the feelings are not guilt and shame but rather “oh my god, people are starting not to like me! since i’m not willing to do anything about why they don’t like me, i must do something to distract them from the reasons they don’t like me!”
    i could be wrong…it could be the self-serving, selfish feelings of not being liked anymore that is the motivation…

    It could be a lot of things. I don’t presume to psychoanalyze Rumsfeld or Bush and I don’t necessarily think that Toles has a secret line on their inner thoughts either.

    Then there’s the question of exactly what they have to feel guilty about. They have made substantial efforts to increase funding for the VA. They’ve presided over the largest increase in VA funding since Vietnam. In the first four years of the Bush administration the number of qualified veterans increased by only 18% while Bush increased total VA funding by close to 40%. In addition the number of regional VA clinics was massively increased, by a full 40% in 4 years, so that veterans did not have to travel as far to get basic treatment. This isn’t quite as much as veterans groups have asked for, but it’s closer to what they’ve asked than they have gotten from any prior administration. Some benefits HAVE been cut, but only for those who can afford to pay for relatively minor treatment. No veteran who is poor or who needs care beyond his means is being cut off. Check out this article on FactCheck.org for more information.

    “no one likes to see their compatriots used and exploited for someone else’s benefit,” my ass!

    You mean someone does?

    bush and rumsfeld alone have purposefully put themselves next to a service member, wounded or not, and allowed their picture to be taken, printed, broadcasted, and used over and over again…for whose benefit?

    Really? They have? My observation is that they have gone out of their way not to pay a great deal of personal attention to the wounded, while making sure that photos were absolutely NOT taken of the meetings. Go to google and see how many pictures of Bush you can find with wounded vets. You can find lots of accounts of him meeting with them, but very, very few photos and a number of those I was able to find were taken by the vets and sometimes with hidden cameras.

    still the wounded are in need, and those who aren’t wounded yet are in need — of armor to protect them from getting wounded…
    for whose benefit were those pictures of bush, rumsfeld and sgt whoever?

    By all accounts such photos as have been taken have been at the request of the troops who wanted to have pictures with the president or the secretary.

    we don’t want to be aware of anything other than that…we can barely contain our tears and the contents of our stomachs when we see a picture of a guy with a prosthesis running next to the president! for whose benefit was this picture, dave?

    For the benefit of the public? For the benefit of other soldiers? Tell me. Who does it harm? How does it help the president?

    and how many other guys are still waiting for a prosthesis that fits? or the rehab to be able to walk with it? or the meds to deal with the ensuing infection and/or pain? or a prosthesis at all? there are a lot of them…

    Really? Can you site statistics? Veterans get prescription drugs at rates comparable to buying them outside the US. I can find no statistics or even anecdotal reports of the problems you cite with prostheses. Perhaps you should read this article.

    where’s the picture of bush or rumsfeld with the guy who has no money to get himself to his next appointment because he was medically separated from the military and is crawling out of bed on one leg trying not to get tangled up in his catheter tube?

    Could you perhaps provide a link to your source for this particular case. I’d be interested to read more.

    Dave

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    A short list of those actively involved on the military and political side of the issue (of wounded servicemembers):

    Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young and his wife Beverly
    Deb Fryar at the National Military Family Association
    Pat Kerr at the Operation Undergarment
    Colonel Wm Lake at the Marine For Life Injured Support

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Lisa, all the information you want is available at The Veterans Affairs Committee.

    The main real issue here is the shortfall because the cost of veterans health services were underestimated in 2004, resulting in a $2.9 billion shortfall. Most of this was made up by shifting money around and by using discretionary funds. The remainder of about $1 billion was provided last September under H.J. Res 68, which also included almost a $1 billion of additional funds for future discretionary expenses.

    Dave

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    dave,
    i’m not damning the system, i’m damning the administration that is responsible for making sure the systems are funded and working, and hasn’t…

    we are doing a different google search apparently…there are plenty of photos taken by staff and reporters accompanying bush, not the wounded themselves…these photos make their way onto official military sites, government sites, and news sites…do the search again in a month…
    just look
    look again
    and again
    i can’t post more because the comment filter won’t let me…

    “Who does it harm? How does it help the president?”
    if it doesn’t help the president, then why is he both allowing the pictures to be taken and used?
    if a picture of a real person isn’t harming anyone, then how in the hell does a cartoon harm anyone?

    “Can you site statistics? Veterans get prescription drugs at rates comparable to buying them outside the US.”

    nope, i can’t…can you support the prescription drug claim?
    what i can do is post story after story after story directly from the families of members and staff that are dealing with these members…
    i can’t give you names without violating confidentiality but you know you’re more than free to visit any facility that aides the wounded, ask the staff, ask the wounded themselves, ask the family members, and find out for yourself just what in the hell goes on in their lives…

  • MCH

    “You also seem not to get the difference between the VA and the problems which it has and the disrespect shown our troops by those who use them as political footballs. The two issues are entirely separate and the failures of the VA do not in any way excuse or justify the opportunistic and offensive behavior of some in the media who exploit the suffering of the wounded and disabled for partisan reasons.”
    – Dave Nalle

    So now the same guy who justifies the casualties in Iraq by comparing traffic fatalities to being killed in combat, is going to lecture on how to show our troops proper respect? Please, spare me.

  • Dave Nalle

    i’m not damning the system, i’m damning the administration that is responsible for making sure the systems are funded and working, and hasn’t…

    Which is great, except that as I pointed out this administration has done more to dramatically expand veterans benefits and services than any in recent memory.

    we are doing a different google search apparently…there are plenty of photos taken by staff and reporters accompanying bush, not the wounded themselves…these photos make their way onto official military sites, government sites, and news sites…do the search again in a month…
    just look…
    look again…
    and again…
    i can’t post more because the comment filter won’t let me…

    I saw those 3 on google, but didn’t find many more than that. I think I found a total of 6 that looked professional. Compare that to the number of photos of Bush doing just about anything else and it’s proportionally remarkably small.

    “Who does it harm? How does it help the president?”
    if it doesn’t help the president, then why is he both allowing the pictures to be taken and used?

    Because he’s a public figure who is followed around by guys with cameras wherever he goes.

    if a picture of a real person isn’t harming anyone, then how in the hell does a cartoon harm anyone?

    I’ve never said the cartoon was harming anyone. I’ve just explained why some people are offended by it.

    nope, i can’t…can you support the prescription drug claim?

    Yes, it’s cited in the article on Factcheck.org which I linked to earlier.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    The orginal post is far more interesting, revealing, and gut-check emotional then you two fucking intellectual featherweights dicking around again to derail yet another thread,.

    Thank you Diane. My hopes are with the Sargent family. Borrow some of my strength, please.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, ,I see you’ve come to raise the level of discourse again, Temple. The personal insults always add so much to a discussion.

    Dave

  • Ebony Ghost

    If anybody knows, is it true that reservists do not have the same access to the military health care system as active duty and/or that combat pay was ended with the “Mission Accomplished” show?

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    reservists have the same access to the military heath care system (and the px, the commissary, package store, etc) as active duty when the reservist is on active duty

    what is commonly known as “combat pay” is “hazardous duty pay” and it ends the 1st of the next month after a service member leaves hazardous duty…there are many hazardous duties per united states servicemembers, not just iraq and afghanistan…

  • Fred Tittle

    Perhaps rather than blaming, should we not take the opportunity to all see what we can do to help fix a system which in many cases seem broken.
    I am a retired Marine First Sgt, I’m also a disable combat Veteran and was completing a Chaplain residency at the VA hospital in Palo Alto. Therefore I was blessed to provided Spirtual Care to Gunny and Ms Sargent while they were at Palo VA. And quite frankly cried and was very upset at how hard Ms Sargent had to fight.Ms Sargent is very unusal she will not give up–there are others who does not have the will and contacts to fight the system. All of our wounded HEROES need our help as they attemt to recover. We are getting ready to send more billions to help Iraq recover–we need to find collective ways to help those men and women injured in Iraq to do the same.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    A good sentiment, Fred. Where are all these billions going to come from, out of curiosity?

    Dave