Monday, February 19, 2007

An Open Letter To Senator Patty Murray

Bush And Republicans Talk About Supporting The Troops But In Reality The Mamed and Wounded Are Force To Live in Cockroach Infested Rundown Housing Waiting For Care, And It's Only The Tip Of The Iceberg.

Dear Senator Murray,

Because you are one who plays a important roll in the support that veterans receive from their government I would like to ask you to do something about the recent revelations concerning the mistreatment of Iraq war veterans. As a Viet Nam Era military veteran, I am especially appalled by the latest news, which I find outrageous and therefore deserving of your immediate attention.

I'd like to refer you to the Washington Post's recent article about Walter Reed Hospital Building 18 residents just in case you have not seen it. I find the article difficult to read without being filled with anger towards those responsible for this debacle. But, this I am afraid is only the tip of the iceberg.

Further, I believe it is time for someone to shine a light on the fact that the Bush administration and the Republican congress talk endlessly about “supporting the troops” but in reality has cut billions in funding to agencies like the Veterans Administration. In the meantime injured and wounded soldiers must live in cockroach-infested conditions while timid Democrats say and do nothing substantive about it. The time for giving high minded speeches and posturing should be over.

If I were in your position I would personally inspect places like building 18 with a network camera crew in tow. Then call on Bush and Congress to live up to there promises to the Veteran. This I believe would also begin to show the American people the hypocrisy of the Republican rhetoric about undying support of veterans and what it actually translates to in the real world.

I have recently undergone cancer treatment at the VA hospital in Seattle. Medical treatment I could not of otherwise received or afforded if I had not been eligible due to my military service to this country. I'm one of the lucky ones. I can personally attest to the dedication and skill of the doctors and staff of this VA facility. But I can also understand the growing frustration they have voiced to me when the federal government cuts billions in funding, in a time of war, to their agency. No wonder there are long waiting lines and backlogs for those legitimately seeking care.

This is hypocrisy of the highest level. Veterans are treated like so much "cannon fodder" by their government and especially this administration. The truth is Bush has cut funding to the ones in need while billions of dollars go missing in Iraq because of the mishandling or the taxpayers money by private contractors and corrupt or incompetent government officials, who still end up lining their pockets with a substantial portion of the money whether they deliver a shoddy service or product or not.

But only a few of these vermin are really punished for such despicable breaches of the public trust or their blatant profiteering. Meanwhile the love ones of the veterans are left trying to rationalize what meaning to attach to the sacrifices made by the wounded, killed or psychologically damaged.

I fully support an approach like that introduced in legislation sponsored by Congressman Jack Murtha in the House where before Bush gets any money he requests to conduct his war he should first be required to allow for proper leave for soldiers (at least 12 months) before they can be returned to the war zone and/or they are assured that they are properly trained and equipped with the best equipment the country can provide before they go back into the fight.

Someone has to stand up to the Bush NOW. He must be stopped before he literally gets us all killed by some misguided terrorist who’s hatred of the United States is fueled by such a vision less and misguided American foreign policy and malfeasance at home and aboard in the operations of OUR military and government institutions.

Respectfully Yours,
Daniel O'Brien
Vashon. WA

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