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General News

What War Does to People

By       Message William Boardman       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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On October 4, a small group of American veterans went to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Washington, DC, to talk to officials there about veteran suicides, veteran homelessness, veteran joblessness, and other veteran struggles.   No one from the department would talk to them. 


Even the contingent of Homeland Security guards blocking the door wouldn't explain to the veterans why they couldn't come in.  So they stayed on the sidewalk in front of 810 Vermont Avenue, a few hundred yards from the White House, and established Occupy Dep't of Veterans Affairs and they've been there ever since, even through Hurricane Sandy. 

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After more than a month, Veterans Affairs officials still have not talked to any of the diverse group.  Instead, the VA has continued low level police harassment and frequent power washing of the sidewalk, threatening to arrest anyone who interfered with the power washing.   Trinity Church in New York City used similar tactics against Occupy Wall Street in 2011. 


Despite the length of this occupation in the nation's capitol and the importance of the issues it raises, there has been almost no media coverage other than a couple of pieces by Cory V. Clark on OpEd News and scattered social media posts.  Searches of the Washington Post, New York Times, and DemocracyNOW  all produced the same result -- nothing. 


   Medic in Viet-Nam, Still Trying to Heal People

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In a USTREAM video by Occupy Eye on Common Dreams that was about the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas, the coverage gets to the Veterans Affairs about 40 minutes in.  There a man who calls himself "Frosty," a Viet-Nam veteran and former medic, with a bushy white beard, describes what it's been like spending a month on the sidewalk trying to get to talk to the bureaucrats charged with looking after his welfare and that of his fellow vets from half a dozen American wars. 


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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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