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Michael Phelan
Michael Phelan
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Justice Dep't Fights to Deny Mental Health Care to Vets

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No matter how politicians view the war in Iraq, they all say publically that they support the troops. The signature injury of this war, brain damage, results in a host of symptoms including depression, suicidal ideation, and post traumatic stress. In opposing a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the government of illegally denying mental health treatment to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration argues that veterans have no legal rights to specific types of medical care. The administration says the veterans are entitled only to medical care which the secretary of Veterans Affairs determines is needed. This is the height of hypocrisy from a President who ran for re-election boasting of his support for the troops. As a result of the proliferation of IEDs in this war, our troops are suffering traumatic brain damage at epidemic rates. The troops need and deserve the very best brain injury rehabilitative and mental health care that is available. The plaintiffs in the class action suit say the VA has a backlog of over 600,000 disability claims and that 120 veterans per week commit suicide. The politicians need to stop paying lip service to the troops and actually support them.