Article: Largest study of veteran suicide reveals more precise information
Web Address: https://www.dav.org/learn-more/news/2016/largest-study-veteran-suicide-reveals-precise-information/
Date of Article: 24 Aug 2016
So, it seems that the VA is really attempting to ‘clear their name’ by producing ‘facts’ regarding veteran suicides being 20 a day instead of 22. The article also tries to force the reader into thinking that the VA is being truthful about their information, sort of like how truthful they were about their appointment times, cost of the Denver hospital, transparency about how they punish employees, etc. I have to say that I am not sold on their information AND I do not believe everything that I read because, just as this write-up, it is from my perspective, how I read and absorbed the information given and how I spew out my opinion, which is what I am doing now.
Given that, I have to say that the article looks to have the information needed in order to ‘crunch’ the numbers in order have accurate calculations….however….with that, the article does try to sway the reader into believing that since the VA did the needed calculations and showed that the number of veterans is 20 per day and not 22 per day and “about 70 percent of veterans who took their own lives were not regular users of VA services” (DAV, 2016). Let us think about that:
Do all veterans need to go to a VA hospital to be a regular user of VA services? I know plenty of veterans who receive a disability, yet do not utilize any veteran services. Let us think further:
Does “users of VA services” mean that the veterans do not matter? No, I doubt that. I do, however, believe that the VA, just like other large organizations, politicians, and other people who are in higher positions who think that they can do whatever they feel, whenever they feel like it, uses the information in a manner (and worded in such a way) to look as if they are not as bad as people thought previously. Wait a moment… so if I had a glass that was 50% occupied, would it be half full or half empty? See where I am going with this?
In the above example (the glass 50% occupied) the answer would depend on the person being asked. Are they a pessimist (glass if half empty) or an optimist (glass is half full)? If I was trying to convince the pessimist, I could relay the statistical information in order to convince that person, without a doubt, that the glass is half empty (in the event they were not totally convinced initially). The media takes sound bites from politicians in such a way to make that politician to look one way or another depending on how they were bought off….oops….did I say bought off? Yes, I did. I believe NON of what I hear on the news or see on social media because the proof is out there regarding the whole story and at that point one can easily see how a media group manipulated the stories for a couple reasons: to get more viewers, make more money from the politicians and their favors, etc.
If you don’t believe what I have ‘spewed’ out up to this point, please watch the entire video: Hearing: Department of Veterans Affairs (EventID=104548) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNJanEDPG8g. (or wait for me to produce my written review of this video) and you will quickly see the Secretary and Under Secretary divert answers while on camera at the hearing. Some of the questions should be answered immediately but if those questions were answered then the watchdog groups would quickly jump on them for their answer. Now, if the VA officials tell the committee “We will get those answers to you” then those answers just: *poof* disappear, never to be seen again.
I believe that as a veteran, all us veterans need to band together and hold the VA accountable. Too many veterans want to do or say something but are concerned that the VA will target them and punish them or their disabilities by opening their mouth. It seems to be easier for me because they have ‘put the screws’ to me since I asked for a Congresswoman’s help. So, for years I have had to fight their tactics tooth and nail and once, way back when, I was actually a pretty trusting guy. Now I question everything and plan accordingly.
I recommend every veteran write their opinions to the congressional committee on veterans affairs at the below link:
This will finally put the pressure on our elected officials. We PAY for them to be in office and they earn a quick 6 figures for that position. I don’t make 6 figures. Who knows if I will ever make 6 figures. I make no money helping veterans, sort of makes you wonder. Save a copy of each letter to send to the congressional committee on the VA so that you can gain the complete data needed to say “1 reply after 7 submissions to the committee and their response was…”. Those numbers are important: just like the numbers were important for veterans to gain exposure on wait times, it is important to show the results of our support by our elected officials.
I hope that one day we won’t have to expend our energy trying to gain support for our disabilities, or to try and keep them.
Dever, M. (2016, 08 24). Largest study of veteran suicide reveals more precise information. Retrieved 2016, from DAV.COm: https://www.dav.org/learn-more/news/2016/largest-study-veteran-suicide-reveals-precise-information/