VCS Advocacy in the News
July 6, 2011
VCS Attends White House Meeting
An honor and a pleasant surprise: VCS's Paul Sullivan was selected to attend a "Champions of Change" round table discussion about veterans issues on June 27. VCS raised issues important to veterans during a meeting that lasted more than two hours. The White House was receptive to the concerns we raised.
"Champions of Change" honored Vietnam War veteran Jim Binns as part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. VCS nominated Jim for nearly 10 years of diligent advocacy for our 250,000 ill Gulf War veterans.
On the same day, VCS presented our views supporting more research, treatment, and benefits to VA's Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illness, the panel chaired by Jim Binns. Our attendance at these important events is possibly only because of your support and the dedication of our VCS staff.
Important Lawsuit Update and News
On Friday, July 1, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. VA's petition asks the Court of Appeals to assign a panel of eleven judges to rehear and revisit the issues previously addressed in the May 10, 2011, decision of a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals.
That prior decision ruled, in favor of VCS and Veterans United for Truth, that VA is violating the Constitutional right of veterans to timely mental health care and service-connected disability compensation. VCS and Veterans United for Truth have not yet filed a response to VA's petition.
The Lancet medical journal mentioned the VCS / VUFT court decision showing that VA mental health care was heavily criticized.
The San Diego Union Tribune discusses the landmark Appeals Court opinion in hopes "that the judiciary's scathing critique will spur Congress and the President to help disabled veterans immediately."
USA Today also cites the court case showing individual veterans struggles with the claims backlog.
VCS FOIA Research Assists with Study on Cost of Wars
A very important new study by Catherine Lutz at Brown University reports on the very high human financial costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan.
VCS worked closely with Professor Lutz to include the most recent official government information about military casualties and veteran healthcare and disability benefit activity obtained exclusively by VCS under FOIA. Your support of VCS helps us uncover important facts you and Americans need to know.
Other Important News Clips
The New York Times reports on new research on Gulf War, Iraq War, and Afghanistan War illnesses revealing an increase in respiratory illnesses.
New scientific research shows the coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, improved a variety of 20 symptoms related to Gulf War illness in veterans.
Veterans with PTSD are more likely to develop increased health problems as they age, new research shows.
A new Pentagon survey find that troops are facing more intense fighting in Afghanistan.
Veterans for Common Sense