A group from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) spent some time in DC and had tons of meetings with various officials. But the one organization that shut them out was the Veteran’s Administration, the people who should be paying the most attention to issues vets–especially vets of Iraq and Afghanistan. And it wasn’t just that the VA was busy that week. Nope. The IAVA has been trying to get in the door for nearly three years!
According to an article in the Army Times, the IAVA’s main issue on this DC trip is to make the VA and the Administration aware of a survey they did of their members, which found “widespread employment problems, general dissatisfaction with how the VA is treating mental health and trauma from sexual assault, and concerns about whether the VA and Defense Department are doing enough to tell veterans about what help is available.”
You’d think that given the recent killing of Afghan civilians by a soldier who clearly had some serious mental health issues, the VA would be all over this. And given that more military personnel have died from suicide than were killed in combat, the VA would open their doors pretty wide for the IAVA, a group that has over 50,000 members.
I’m not usually a terribly political person, but this is one of those times when we need to write our Congressmembers.