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The Axman Cometh



This is long but I think important. It certainly isn't out in the mainstream. I just got it from Col Dan's news letter. It is worth subscribing to as he has a lot of contacts for inside info..

From: Robert P. Walsh [mailto:rpwalsh@sbcglobal.net]

Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2006 11:45 AM

To: Roger Kehrier (rlkehrier@hotmail.com)

Cc: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (info@iava.org)

Subject: Emailing: areyoureallyaveteran

Military.com article from Larry Scott at VA Watchdog dot Org


Are You Really a Veteran?

Rep. Steve Buyer is redefining your status

Opinion by Larry Scott

Are you really a veteran? Better check it fast. I did. I've got my DD-214

that says "honorable discharge." I've got the red-white-and-blue VA

identification card complete with lousy picture and the "service-connected"

rating. So, I must be a veteran. Right? Not if Rep. Steve Buyer

<http://stevebuyer.house.gov/> (R-IN), chairman of the House Veterans'

Affairs Committee, has his way.

Buyer is trying to rewrite the definition of "veteran" in a cold and

calculated manner that could cost millions of veterans their benefits.

Buyer recently won a political tug-of-war and replaced Rep. Chris Smith

(R-NJ) as chairman of HVAC. Smith was known as a true friend of veterans

and often broke ranks with his party to forward legislation favorable to the

veteran community.

Not so with Buyer. In a recent interview

<http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/05/03/12/100bus_philpott001.cfm> with

journalist Tom Philpott, Buyer stated, "While some veterans' organizations

like to create a theme, that `A veteran is a veteran [and] there is no

difference,' I disagree."

Shortly after winning the chair at HVAC Buyer said, "Some of the veterans

service organizations, they are having this belief that everyone should have

open access to the VA system, when in fact I believe that the VA system

should follow its core constituency and the intent of Congress when we laid

out our priorities, and that was in fact to take care of our disabled and

indigent veterans first." (This subject was covered in my Military.com

article <http://www.military.com/Opinions/0,,Scott_Index,00.html> on

"Welfarizing the VA.")

So, what is happening here? Buyer is trying to redefine "veteran" and in

so-doing reshape benefit programs to meet his new definition. In short,

this means fewer benefits for fewer veterans.

The two keys here are Buyer's references to "intent of Congress" and "core

constituency." By rejecting the "intent of Congress" when they passed

legislation defining benefits and eligibility Buyer is telling us Congress

was wrong and he is going to change it. By referring to the VA's "core

constituency" as "disabled and indigent veterans" he is eliminating veterans

who do not fall into those categories.

This is just plain absurd! And it is wrong! As Buyer continues to redefine

who is really a veteran here is some of what's at stake.

The bipartisan Veterans'


Disability Benefits Commission will hold its first meeting soon. The

Commission will review whether Congress went too far by allowing concurrent

receipt of military retirement and VA disability payments. Also on the

table is a change in the way disability ratings are determined and a

restructuring of the definition of "service-connected."

Buyer says he cannot guarantee veterans who currently have disability

ratings that they will be exempt from Commission findings.

Buyer also wants the Commission to consider offering lump-sum payments to

veterans with current disability ratings of 20 percent or less. These "cash

now" settlements would deny veterans the right to pursue any compensation

claims in the future. A veteran with a progressive condition, one that

causes degenerative disability with age, would have no right to further


What's really on the table when it comes to redefining a veteran and

available benefits? Buyer says, "I think everything should be on the


Everything! Buyer is even suggesting that service-connected disabilities be

combat-related only. This would eliminate treatment and compensation for

injuries received while on active duty but not directly related to combat.

Buyer also took aim at the veterans' service organizations saying their view

that all veterans should have access to VA healthcare abandons values like

duty and sacrifice. He chided the service organizations for using

inflammatory rhetoric. "I asked them to be very careful with the words they

select because.they have an impact all over the country. It is upsetting to

me when someone refers to veterans as whiney," Buyer stated.

Well, there you have it in his own words. The chairman of the House

Veterans' Affairs Committee calling our service organizations "whiney" and

accusing them of abandoning values like duty and sacrifice.

It would be easy to dismiss Buyer as part of some lunatic fringe on Capital

Hill trying to stick it to veterans. But that is not the case. Buyer

speaks for the majority in Congress who speak for the current


And, Buyer is the one guilty of inflammatory rhetoric. Demeaning our

service organizations and their attempts to preserve veterans' benefits is a

slap in the face to ALL veterans. Our service organizations have, in the

past, often done too little too late. Sometimes we wondered where they were

as the VA budget took hit after hit. Now they find themselves in the

position of doing what they were meant to do and being castigated for it.

Fellow veterans, if this is not a call to action, I don't know what is. We

cannot allow Congress to redefine who is a veteran. We cannot allow

Congress to restructure veterans' benefits and reshape the definitions of

disability. We have worked too hard for too long to receive proper

recognition for our service to our country.

It's time to put severe pressure on Congress. Recently 400 disabled

<http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=5497> veterans did just

that when they jammed


Committee hearings, booing and jeering Buyer and others who want to cut

benefits. This new level of activism must increase if we are to preserve

our benefits and guarantee a properly funded VA for the veterans of the


In 1789 President George

<http://www.juliacarson.house.gov/statements2.cfm?id=160> Washington said,

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war,

no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they

perceive veterans of earlier wars and how they were treated and appreciated

by this country."

If we do nothing now we will only be able to say that we did nothing.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:


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Our fore parents spent their fortunes to give our nation it's beginnings, the elected officials held their positions without pay.....I believe that in our present system we need to return to the previous traditions and let our elected officials hold their office as a duty to our nation, and the honor, and not because they can continue to vote radical increases in their pay, and retirement packages. They don't have Social Security, oh no they have voted a much better retirement package for themselves and spouses, with perks.

If the government officials really want to save money for the country...let's begin with them giving up their elaberate pay schemes, and retirement and insurance packages.


You can tell a lot about how a country by the way it treats it's weakest citizens.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Steve Buyer will be in the minority in a few weeks. Or better yet a Democratic Veteran will replace him.

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When I was drafted, 1967, it was Vietnam, jail, or leave the country. Those were my 3 options. If I was permanently injured in Vietnam, do you believe that this country owes me compensation?

They being the government, will promise you anything when the bullets are flying. But

let say this, the VA is the biggest thorn in the gov sided, but they cant pull it out, its

burried too deep, With out VFW<DVA etc, we would not have a VA, But they like

to mess with us because they see all the (wasted) monies going to some shot all

to hell vet who means nothing to them. this is one mans opinion//bigjim

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Let's see the VDBC has already voted 13-0 not to do the buy outs of the 10-30% vets, and in 2 weeks Booyer will be told on Nov 8th that in Jan 2007 he will be the ranking member instead of the Chairman and that should stop him and his ideas dead in their tracks, but let's be honest, the Dems didn't treat vets much better when they were in power 12 years ago, but at least maybe they won't be trying to kick vets out the door like Buyer was.

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