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Associated Press spreading RUMORs about PTSD fakers

Associate Press PTSD Fakers Allen BreedThe folks at Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) are at odds with reporters at the Associated Press on what frankly should have been an Opinion piece by the AP writers – NOT reported as News.

Allen Breed is a National Writer at The Associated Press, he also has a fetish for Stolen Valor, or exposing fake Veterans, so it doesn’t take long to see through his biased reporting.

Why is Allen Breed, or AP in general, violating its own standards of journalistic integrity by using ‘selective’ sources with questionable reliability to advocate the stolen valor issue?

The below story will be posted in two parts:

(1) Mr. Breed’s take on how a growing number of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans will potentially scam the U.S. taxpayer out of billions of dollars in VA benefits, and

(2) Posted separately will be the rebuttal from both VCS and Veterans Today News Network asking AP to honor its own standards of journalistic integrity or face potentially hurting the reputation of AP as a reputable source of news through our contacts in the Veteran, Military Family community, and Congress.

AP reporter Allen Breed uses ‘selective sources’ or worse yet vague or undefined sources plus precious few examples to prove his thesis that there are selective problems with the VA that make it easy for Veterans to defraud the American people.

He is in violation of AP’s journalistic integrity unless of course Mr. Breed makes it clear to AP readers, especially our Veterans and troops that what he has selectively found is his OPINION – not NEWS.

Breed obviously is a half decent journalist, or he would not be a National Writer for the Associated Press, it is not Mr. Breed’s opinions and views on Stolen Valor that we at Veterans Today have a problem with.

It is when any reporter, including one of our own, attempts to pass his or her own personal opinions or views off as accurate, well researched NEWS.

We intend to express this concern to the management at the Associated Press as being anti-Veteran, anti-Soldier rhetoric sounding more as if our troops should be blamed for their hidden wounds of war by labeling them as fakes. This achieves nothing but the AP exploiting the social stigma of Mental Illness to sell newspapers or increase readership, and it is doomed to failure.

If AP ignores the Veteran and Military Family community, we will appeal to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees and mainstream media to demand that AP and related mainstream reporters be taught how to distinguish between anti-Veteran, anti-Soldier personal opinions and facts when it comes to Veterans and Troops Issues. Facts apply to the vast majority of Veterans and troops in any case study while rumors, views, and opinions about a ‘few’ Veterans is just that OPINIONS and VIEWS.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, Veterans Today News Network

Extracted from Mr. Breed’s Opinionated Report

THIS IS NOT NEWS BUT OPINION, Mr. Breed’s opinion!!!

In tide of new PTSD cases, fear of growing fraud

In Allen Breed and AP Washington D.C. Writer Writer Kimberly Hefling’s opinion, there are two problems with Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

No the problems worth journalistic scrutiny and investigation ARE NOT that the VA is a broken system that harms the Veterans it serves, nor is it worth looking into the never ending backlog of Veterans Claims, not even how dissatisfied or satisfied America’s Veterans are with VA care. AP in fact rarely does an intelligent story on military operations tempo and how it impacts PTSD. When was the last time our readers noted any mainstream media outlet do a decent story on multiple deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan either negative or positive in nature?

NO, the problems Breed and Hefling see are:

1. A Congress bending under pressure from Veterans Groups to settle Veteran’s disability claims mostly in the vets’ favor. (Honestly, if such were the case there would not be so many Veteran’s Claims in the Appeal process AND there would not be a significant backlog of VA Claims both worthy discussions that Breed and Hefling ignore – intentionally?).

Note that not one Veterans Service Organization having a PTSD Committee was interviewed by either reporter as a reliable source and expertise in regards to PTSD and Fraud. Not even those who may believe that Vets are faking PTSD.

2. The problem: [in Breed and Hefling's opinion is that] the VA system is dysfunctional.

Like this is something Breed and Hefling are just NOW finding out? Had they interviewed reliable Veterans Service Organizations and sincere watchdog organizations who have the best interests of all Veterans in mind, Breed and Hefling would have known that the VA is broken is an UNDERSTATEMENT!

However, AP is quick to focus on blaming the Veterans. Instead of zeroing in on the real problems of the VA: delay, deny, until Veterans die, and the significant backlog of VA claims, VA management passing along emails instructing subordinate VA managers to downplay or deny PTSD claims, Breed and Hefling’s priority is BLAMING THE VETERAN. To AP rumors that America’s Veterans cannot be trusted is more important than the broken promises to America’s Veterans. Not surprising coming from a mainstream media that is not top heavy in military Veterans.

AP’s opinion of America’s Veterans, and the VA, is that the system is an open invitation for Veterans, who cannot be trusted, to commit fraud. And the VA has proposed changes that could make deception even easier. How ironic, Veterans who not long ago were trusted with our nation’s security, Veterans once the jest of Support Our Troop yellow ribbon campaigns NOW cannot be trusted with the American tax payer’s money.

(Note AP’s opinion is based on a FEW ‘selective sources,’ and some unidentified Stolen Valor watchdog group more interested in tracking down a few fake Veterans than cleaning up the back log of VA Claims. The use of sources selected primarily for their Stolen Valor views and AP reporters failure to mention who their reliable source really is and what their hidden agenda is places their entire opinion piece and the journalistic integrity of AP in question?)

In the opinion of the Breed and Hefling, both reporters place the reputation of the Associated Press on the line, by saying “some undeserving vets have learned how to game the system, profitably working the levers of sympathy for the wounded and obligation to the troops, and exploiting the sheer difficulty of nailing a surefire diagnosis of a condition that is notoriously hard to define.”

There is nothing wrong with this view as an OPINION, however that is not how it is pitched by AP. Breed and Hefling try selling this as a news story.

However, neither Breed nor Hefling mention how many ‘some’ Veterans actually are except using three examples selectively chosen to support their opinion (not news story but opinion) plus their selective use of one, just one psychiatrist who they say happened to have worked for the Army – an Army that BTW has a medical corps with a mission and track record of sending troops back into combat with PTSD.

This leads to questioning what part, if any, did Dr.Dan G. Blazer who they quote play in the diagnosis of troops having ‘personality disorders’ as opposed to PTSD, and what is Blazer’s relationship to Sally Satel who most learned Veterans know has a hidden right-wing American Enterprise Institute ‘partisan’ political agenda when she practices medicine or psychiatry.

Veterans Today News did a background check on Dr. Dan G. Blazer and there is nothing in Dr. Blazer’s bios that indicate he ever worked for the Army or if he did what exactly did he do for the Army? In fact, there is little to no mention of PTSD in the many book chapters and scientific articles Dr. Blazer has written.

Would or should any experienced journalist conclude that Dr. Blazer was an expert on PTSD, we do not believe so, because most of Dr. Blazer’s expertise focus on the topics of depression, epidemiology, and consultation liaison psychiatry, especially with the elderly. Dr. Blazer’s research has focused on the prevalence of physical and mental illness in the elderly. His specialty is Geriatric Psychiatry not PTSD among young Veterans or our troops.

BIO Dr. Dan German Blazer, Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. http://www.spiritualityandhealth.duke.edu/faculty/blazer.html

BIO Dr. Dan G. Blazer, Duke University Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department/ Geriatric Psychiatry Division. http://www.dukehealth.org/physicians/dan_g_blazer

During Dr. Blazer’s many years of experience and education with psychiatry, he is undoubtedly an expert, but his background reflects only one book related to PTSD in which he collaborated, and a focus on older Veterans, but his primary expertise is on mental illness in the elderly not PTSD among young Veterans or our troops. His claim that PTSD is “among the easiest (psychiatric) conditions to feign” is unreliable and debatable due to the fact that he has spent little professional time focusing on PTSD. We at Veterans Today News could find nothing in Dr. Blazer’s professional portfolio showing he was employed by the U.S. Army much less worked as a consultant on PTSD. We are sure AP could have found much more reliable experts on PTSD than Dr. Blazer.

They also use one, just one, retired VA Claims examiner Mark Rogers without providing very much background on him either. On closer examination it turns out there is not record of Mark Rogers having been a VA Claims examiner and even if he was his ATTITUDE of the lazy malingering Veteran with the main incentive of Veterans to get VA is for compensation reflect more of a negative opinion of the Veterans that a few VA employees, including professional people have had at least since 1994 way before the current wars began for a younger generation of Veterans.

The hostile environment towards our nation’s Veterans, especially those claiming the hidden and stigmatized wounds of PTSD was laid within the VA system long before the first books hit the ground in Afghanistan or Iraq.

In an article published circa 1994, VA employees did paint a negative picture of those they served for without Veterans they would have NO JOB. We will post this article as a reflection upon which Mark Rogers, Reporters Breed and Hefling, even Dr. Blazer may have – a negative attitude that any Veteran who claims PTSD is a malingerer faking it just for the money.

Writing way back in the Fall or Winter of 1994, CBS Money Watch reporter Douglas Mossman made a lame attempt to blame a downturn in the U.S. economy on you got it America’s Veterans with the help of VA professional and administrative employees expressing the same attitudes as Mark Rogers.

Check out At the VA, it pays to be sick – Department of Veterans Affairs on CBS Money Watch to see that the negative anti-Veteran attitudes of AP today are nothing new. When America has an economic meltdown, or submits to endless wars, those who do the fighting and dying eventually get to be scapegoats for a society in which less than one percent of the population wants to do what we do.

In January 2009, the same Mark Rogers that AP uses as a reliable source on PTSD and the VA made this statement on blog, “Money and PTSD – Mark Rogers – Jan 21st 2009. All of the above comments [in the blog item Why the VA doesn't want to diagnose Iraq War Veterans' PTSD] came from people seeking money for a disability that cannot be objectively tested.  The VA cannot possibly tell who has PTSD when so much secondary gain is at stake.  Take the money out of the system and then see how many people [claim]  PTSD.  Offer unlimited treatment but no money and the claims will go away.  No?  Try to find someone getting PTSD money who would be willing to have his claim viewed by the public, even with his identity disguised.  I saw hundreds of these claims working at VA and never saw one that I thought a jury would buy, if there were someone arguing each side.”

Speaking of being objective, we at Veterans Today News contend that AP Reporters Breed and Hefling intentionally sought out someone claiming to be a former VA employee with Mark Roger’s negative anti-veteran attitude. Using Mark as a source frankly was anything but objective reporting, and only served to reinforce Breed and Hefling’s predisposed anti-Veteran attitudes. Could this be a reflection of the attitude shared by the Associated Press?

Our point is what did Breed and Hefling base their source credibility on, and why did neither reporter interview reliable representatives from well establish Veterans Service Organizations like Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) who do have PhDs on staff intimately familiar not only with PTSD but the issues of fraud and Stolen Valor. These sources not only would have been credible but certainly not as biased as Mark Rogers.

This is not to say that a few, VERY FEW, Veterans do not scam the VA. However, their numbers are so insignificant to make Breed, Hefling, and the Associate Press appear to be more FOOLISH than Journalists.

Lastly, both AP reporters not only appear to be in violation of the Associated Press Statement of Principles and Journalistic Integrity, but AP owes America’s Veterans an apology for publishing such an opinionated piece based on lame to little evidence. The article needs to be retracted of published as an opinion piece NOT NEWS.

According to the Associated Press Statement of News Values and Principles , what Mr. Breed, and Ms. Hefling selectively researched and wrote has got to be an opinion piece (their shared opinion with those they interviewed for the article) NOT News as reported. Though they did give the full name of their sources, they did not give as much information as needed to identify their sources nor why their sources are credible. For instance, just having worked as a psychiatrist for the Army or any service does not provide the qualifications to be a credible source unless other Mental Health folks who have worked for the Pentagon or even VA are interviewed for balance and comparison.

What and who Breed and Hefling did provide as sources lacked credibility by not including any report, e-mail, or news release. Instead they took the word of some watchdog organization but failed to even provide the name of that unreliable source.

This was a very lengthy story, opinionated, with selective sources that claim to be reliable and are in the opinion of only Breed and Hefling. Such a lengthy story, but Associated Press admission should have included an extended editor’s or writer’s note at the end, detailing interviews, research, and methodology.

The Associate Press strives to seek a goal of providing its readers with enough information to have full confidence in a story’s veracity. If republished as the  opinion piece that is really is, a few AP readers might find these AP opinions reliable. However, Breed and Hefley’s opinions leave much to be desired in the realm of credibility, insults the intelligence of America’s Veterans and Military Families.

We at Veterans Today News believe that such opinions held by representatives of the Associated Press reflects an instigation and spreading of rumors that betrays our troops in the field by belittling PTSD, and harms the reputation of AP as being a reliable source for NEWS.

Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) has asked AP to retract the article, and we ask that other Veterans Service Organizations join VCS and Veterans Today News Network in condemning this story as news and asking AP to better educate and monitor their journalists on the difference between writing opinion pieces and reporting NEWS.

The Associated Press needs to spend more time and energy focused on the huge backlog at the VA instead of distracting the public with rumors that Veterans are prone to faking their wounds or war. That VA claims backlog in fact includes a large number of Vietnam Veterans who have been denied compensation using delaying tactics until most of them have died.

Add to that the increase in VA Claims backlog experienced by Gulf War Veterans of Desert Storm dealing with Gulf War Illness that like Agent Orange most Vietnam Vets were exposed to our government has downplayed and challenged.

What the Associated Press is doing today amounts to the same thing that happened to Veterans of previous wars who claimed illness related to Agent Orange. What next a rumor that PTSD is still a conspiracy between liberal doctors in the VA, and a few Veterans Service Organizations to defraud the public with a tsunami of fake Veterans?

AP is part of the old thinking of the liberal media that spread rumors about our Vietnam Veterans, then as now when the war gets to be old news turn on the Veterans and troops fighting and dying in it and abandon our POWs.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, Veterans Today News

HAVE A GREAT VETERANS TODAY DAY!

Part Two will include the rebuttal from VCS to AP.

RESOURCES & CREDITS

  • Nam Guardian Angel
  • A Special Thanks to Chaplain Kathie, Senior IFOC Chaplain at DAV Auxiliary Chapter 16 Chaplain.  Chaplain Kathie is PTSD Consultant and noted blogger for Veteran causes at Wounded Times

 

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Posted by on May 7 2010, With 0 Reads, Filed under PTSD. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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25 Comments for “Associated Press spreading RUMORs about PTSD fakers”

  1. Here’s the way most veterans who are into VA benefits sound, when you read between the lines:

    “I’m entitled to whatever I want because I’m a veteran.”

    “Whoever doesn’t give me what I want or believe I’m entitled to must have an anti-veteran attitude.”

    “Whoever doesn’t give me what I want or believe exactly the same way I believe needs to put on a uniform and go fight in a war — that’ll change their mind.”

    “Because I didn’t get exactly what I wanted and believed I was entitled to, the VA is the enemy, and so is the federal government.”

    “Anything published that sheds light on fraudulent veterans must be based on prejudice, bias, or an anti-veteran attitude — it can’t POSSIBLY be that there are fraudulent veterans out there fleecing the American taxpayers, including their fellow veteran taxpayers!”

    Wake up folks. Get out of your “we’re the center of the universe and are entitled to whatever we want” mindset. It’s getting tiring.

  2. Amazing how the AP exposes the fraudulent veterans that make everybody’s task harder, including that of the non-fradulent veterans, and instead of focusing on them, most of the veterans here are focusing on the AP.

    Get yourselves in order before you go attacking anybody else.

  3. james contarino sr

    alan breed ,what you need to do is take a few lessons on telling the truth and not exagerating things about vietnam veterans and fake claims for ptsd.
    no.1 you are no medical specialist, nor are those you consult with .because with a doctor patient/client trust they would not be able to discuss such cases with you.so this phoney propagander with these outside the fields of ptsd, means them like you don’t know anything you are talking about.
    but anything for a story. and well we are at it as some others have said they need to have congress and the senate look into those employed at the va who are against veterans.so what if a veteran gets more than them, we didn’t choose their path in life they did.if they are worried about veterans getting more than them than they should move on to a new job as they are not doing their jobs properly and with no biased decisions as they should be.hell we can do without all of them.it takes them 20 years to figure out right from wrong.even than they don’t know. hell why don’t alan breed open up his own paper company and hire all the misfits in the va. than they can share their phoney stories and decide who gets the prize.shit that will not work none of them know how to come to a decision that is fair. sorry guys.

  4. Allen Breed never served a day in his life!

  5. In the twenty years I spent as Director of a county veterans office I have or did not sense any fraud from any veteran concerning PTSD. Yes, I did have veterans tell me about medals or ribbons they did not receive but not concerning PTSD. I have 30% PTSD myself and did the prelim counseling before I would refer them to the professional people at the VAMC. But again, it is very unfair the writers of this info to infer there is fraud concerning this topic. In most situations there might be some exaggeration or boasting but I can honestly say I never witnessed any fraud concerning PTSD.

    VETERANS TODAY EDITORIAL REPLY:

    Thanks for your response and insight Steve60.

    Your points are in fact well taken. That said note that we are not knocking the Stolen Valor Act not in the least. What we do note however is that if the Stolen Valor Act is not adequate enough to stop service exaggeration from going too far that’s another matter for VSOs, Congress, and law enforcement to work out.

    However, as you say very well to tie Stolen Valor exclusively to PTSD is also exaggeration a bit.

    We are doing research however on an attitude that dominated the Department of Veterans Affairs way before September 11th with documentation from the mid-1990s. However, the stereotype and image of the crazed Vet faking PTSD for the money our to get out of a murder charge was exaggerated with the aftermath of Nam.

    Point: Have there been Vets who fit the stereotype, sure have, but are they representative of all Veterans who file a claim for PTSD? No one in their right mind, especially anyone who has been in combat MORE THAN ONCE, knows this to be bullshit – PTSD is Real, Frauds are exploited Veterans or a few who exploit – VERY FEW!

    Major Hanafin

  6. william higgins

    This PTSD fakers story defiys the relaity that it is the Army and Marines officers/NCO’s that first accuse a PTSD solider of fakeing pTSD, Than one of there whore Dr’s slaps the poor veteran with Personality Disorder (pd). pd keeps the veteran from compensation and medical care. The pd dodge has been around for decades. In 1976 the VA Dr’s put a phoney pd on me and it took 25 years of fighting constantly to get benifits. I’m 100% now. PD is the first lie the veteeran must climb over. Secondly the VA will destroy the vets records, Than deny him important compensation pension exaim (c&p). This exiam is so important that I belive most vets get any benifits without the C&P medical examination. Then the story forgets to mention the years it takes in between each delibert VA error the VA makes to slow down and exaserbate the vet. The vet must follow very strict time lines and the VA has no time line to make its decissions. There is so much more I could add to the VA fake claims process. But the point I really want to make is this. IF a vet starts out with a fake PTSD claim. By the time they have gone through all the VA nonesence. That vet will have real PTSD induced by the VA claims office. Terry

    • ROBERT VNVET 11thcav

      Terry, I couldn’t agree with you more. I myself have been dealing with PTSD and except for the VA throwing me a bone 9 years ago and giving me a 30% rate, for that and 10% for total hearing loss in my left ear (big deal), I have been in a battle with them for increases ever since.. They don’t even care about the Doctors that treat me but go by what a C&P Doctor says after only a 30 minute Visit… I challanged the last C&P doctor I did see and the VA sent me another Appointment for a different Doctor.. Two total different outcomes… I finally hired a Lawyer that deals with the VA and they have gotten more done in 5 months than I have had done on my own in 9 years…. Now I get letters and phone calls from Washington and the Appeals board and the main office here in Los Angeles, at least once a week … It’s funny because I just found out about unemployability with no help from any VA Reps ao the American Legion Boneheard, and when I sent in the forms the VA sent me letters wanting more proff… So as I sent the only one qoestion, I asked them why do I need more proff that i’m not able to work when I’m already on SSDI and accourding to Social Security I can NOT work..
      I’m also service connected for my Cardio. I have had 3 heart attacks and other cardio problems that SSDI has me rated on.. But the Boneheads at the VA can’t seem to connect the dots….
      As like you mentioned after what the VA puts the Veteran through, if you didn’t have PTSD in the beginning you damn sure will have it from all the crap that the VA puts you through….

      • william higgins

        One of the reasons you have the problems with the VA is. It is the same talking heads that get herd and shape policy. I myself have been forced out of every web site except veterns american pride(lost my pass word on that one) Any ways former VA officals and pro VA types had us exiled from all the major vet web sites just for shareing the above. They dont try that hear because they know it wont be tolirated. Well now days you write against the VA to much. They call it VA bashing. They call it VA bashing even when you got the goods on the VA. Bashing the vet is what seems to make the news today
        Im very glad you got a lawyer. There advice is better than mine.
        Terry

        • Hey Terry H.! Good to see you here…. truthfully… I think when it comes to Veteran Issues and the Va… you totally rock! Really… went through a bunch of garbage with the VA for my husband’s VA PTSD claim… no Army records, (there was a war going on), adding negative information to his records After he discharged… and not notifying him of the matter, saying his PTSD was from his dad beating him when he was a kid AND he was a liar, not bothering to send his new info to the doctor… that I had to research…the VA failed their ‘Duty to Assist’ in the previous times when he supplied tight time frames, places and situations in the past, failing to send any and all evidence to the doctor, the doctor saying that my husband was mentally ill and lying about being in combat, (yes, Personality Disorder too. ALL this despite that NO VA doctor/mental health professional in the past 10 years plus has ever diagnosed him with Anything But PTSD, combat type), and said that he was faking PTSD to get benefits. Oh, and the doctor totally dissed my husband’s commander’s letter saying that my husband was in combat on a daily basis and there were a lack of records due to a war going on. He got 70 percent on PTSD… we are not done… Anyway… wanted to give you a ‘hey’ and let you know… you know a whole hell of a lot and people would be smart to listen to you. Take Care! Fran

  7. Mr. Breed and his ilk need a combat tour in Afghanistan. His comments and resources are, at best, nothing more than hateful speculation.

  8. ROBERT VNVET 11thcav

    It sounds to me like that brat Breed went to Berkley, I’m 60 yrs old , and did 2 tours in Viet Nam.. I’d love to take Breed and his dumb ass friend into a war zone just for a month and see what they have to open their big mouths about than…

    Even if there are a few that have slipped through the cracks, which if you went through the process to file for a PTSD claim would find out fast it wouldn’t be easy or the money that great, The amout of money would be nothing compaired to the money wasted in Washington on usless stuff…When anything you do through the VA takes years not weeks, in my mind we all should get the max just for haveing to go through all their crap, Mr. Breed.. Join the Army, go to the sand box and see for yourself, be shot at, and do some shooting yourelf to stay alive, live like an animal in the dirt, and live in fear for months at a time and than come back an tell us how PTSD is just a free ride for Veterans, ASSHOLE!!!!!

    If you have a dissrepect for anyone that has lived though that, took an oath to defend the freedom that you so much enjoy,and gave up a good piece of their young lives to do it, than sir you need to keep you opinons to yourself sir..

    It’s clear as day that you have no Miltiary backround, and your still a brat, wet behind the ears kid , and don’t know shit about what your talking about… I’d bet you have a hard on for the VA because they wouldn’t hire you and because your under qualified to even work for those BONEHEADS…

    I invite you Breed to come live my life and what the VA has been putting me through and see what $655 a month pays for… Being totally disabled and suffering from PTSD is no laughing matter…

    It’s people like you that going after the disabled because you don’t have the STONES to go after the big boys, so hide in your little corner and write BS. because that;s all it is , is BS!!!!!!!

    • Well said, I agree, tired of all these neocon trotskyite wimps, always fighting with somebody elses balls. Then they degrade those that did serve. I was an Army Helicoper pilot 68-69. I knew someting was wrong, but didn’t start VA application till 2005 and was diagnosed with PTSD. If they want perpetual wars: volunteer, make your sons and daughters volunteer, all public officials elected or not should have all of their kids put in the combat arms and then let’s see who starts a war. It’s called LEADERSHIP! QUIT HIDING BEHIND MOMMY’S APRON AND GROW SOME BALLs!

      VETERANS TODAY EDITORIAL REPLY:

      Very colorful post Phil, and since we believe that FAMILIES should know how grunts talk, your articulation stays!

      If holier then thou personages can’t handle the lingo, they sure as hell don’t want their little Sally or darling Buddy in the Armed Forces especially in combat, enlist in the National Oceanographic whatever or Public Health Service if folks want to talk nice.

      Veterans are or should be beyond being NICE!

      Wanted to zero (no pun intended) in on your comments about late blooming PTSD (translation Vets filing claims years after their service) Lord only knows how many factors come into play wit that.
      1. PRIDE.
      2. Not knowing.
      3. Ok, age.
      4. The VA or Military screwing us (the great fire at Indianapolis comes to mind)
      5. There are cognitive (where did I find that word?) triggers to PTSD that don’t bring it out for years. One can have bi-polar or major depression for some other reason then boom flash backs hit you like a ton of bricks.

      I worked four years for the VA working my way through college to continue my military career – hell our universities are full for Vets like me today of all ages trying to make something better of ourselves and be successful Vets, but does that mean we leave those who can’t keep up behind – I SERIOUSLY DON’T THINK SO.

      BOBBY HANAFIN

  9. Mr.Hanafin this so called wire service is just another freakin’ echo machine created under the bush regime to echo or parrot their rightwing corporate propoganda. the upi was bought out by ap back when upi and ap were reputable “news” reporting agencies. the neocons used this same tactic across the media spectrum by buying up real news reporting agency’s fire all the real journalists put in place sara palin like corporate schills that could read a teleprompter then feed the public fluff,lies and propoganda. they have been very sucsessful it has divided our nation and made fools out of decent people for trusting these faux news services.i turn down my radio every time the ap “news” is on and won’t read an ap story in my local paper. unfortunatly veterans have always been an easy go to source for the neocons when they need help flying the phoney flag waving patriotic crap but the neocons truely hate veterans just look how they defund our medical,death and school benefits and kick us to the curb when were disabled. not babie killing drug addicts? just ptsd fraud,welcome home. thanks for your great articles and to all veterans that served in combat or support thanks for your contribution.

  10. The AP has fallen victim to the “If it bleeds it leads syndrome” of crass,
    sensationalized journalism. An Op-Ed piece disguised as a factual report is a classic example of the further erosion of quality reporting on military affairs by
    the media.
    The numbers of suicides from veterans of multiple concurrent tours in AFGN and Iraq don’t lie. Ignoring the basic fact that left unchecked, some PTSD suffering military personnel will opt to take their own lives is a significant indicator that
    the AP reporter in question is another “smoke blower/spin doctor” and NOT qualified
    to approach this crucial subject matter in a knowledgeable and fair minded manner.
    “Infotainment” and personal axe grinding at the expense of lives lost in the service to our nation is nothing short of unprofessional, inhumane and insulting
    to those that now wear or have worn the uniform of our military.

  11. Well done post, Mr. Hanafin! Too bad AP could care less what you, I or any other Vets think. The AP goons are a bunch of sniveling whiners. That said, my head hurts like blue blazes. It couldn’t be that explosion — Nah — AP said so and they are mostly always right.

    Tom Texas Vet. First Cav.

  12. Lawrence A Dickerson

    There are many examples of veterans who are nothing but alcoholics and drug addicts who get labeled with PTSD.It’s all in how the game is played and if one don’t think it is common knowledge of how to beat the system and get diagnosed with PTSD,then they are naive beyond belief.If the VA had the time and resources they could filter out these frauds.

    At any given time one can sit in the main entrance waiting room of any VA hospital and watch those who are coming in the door for their PTSD related appointments.Then watch them leave,The comparison ia markedly different as they no longer need to put on the front of being,”Wiped out”.Then one can station themselves in the parking lot to watch the same drugs that were given to the PTSD patient being sold.At times it is like a farmers market.

    Granted,the majority are inflicted with a level of PTSD but the room for fraud is so great.The street is a training ground for making a claim for PTSD.I was given the label of having that psychological affliction based nothing but on a mass screening of veterans during a VA medical visit to the local DAV in town.The nurse asked me if I had ever had a gun pointed at me.Based on my answer of yes,she wrote down that I had PTSD.Of course I never pursued it because that label was false.

    I realize that some here will be aghast at my statements but I challenge anybody to provide proof to refute my valid claims.They can accompany me on a special visit to see for themselves but all one needs to do is open their eyes and ears to what is going on.

  13. It’s DeJa-Vu all over again, only this time Many More People are paying attention and understanding about Combat PTSD as well as Civilian PTSD, and it’s the 21st century where with the advances one would find it extremely hard to fake the issue!!

    If you missed this you might want to read: Vets can lead fight on mental health stigma http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/05/military_mentalhealth_050610w/

    And Rosalynn Carter’s Book: http://www.powells.com/biblio/9781594868818?p_wgt&PID=34147

  14. Please note my comment to CBS Money Watch on the anti-Veteran attitude still prevailing in America today.

    RE: At the VA, it pays to be sick – Department of Veterans Affairs

    As a member of the Editorial Board at Veterans Today News Network, we intend making fair use of this article for a expose we are doing about anti-Veteran sentiment and attitudes within not only the Department of Veterans Affairs, but mainstream media.

    A link to this article will be included in the on-going debate over the relationships between PTSD, Mental Health issues, combat stress, multiple military deployments, an anti-Veteran sentiment within the VA – an attitude that America’s Veterans cannot be trusted and are lazy malingerers. An anti-American Veteran attitude and social stigma that has been around since the end of the Vietnam War.

    This is a worthy debate during 21st century wartime (2010) when less than one percent of the American population is committed to war or can relate to our troops and Veterans, including mainstream media where representation by military veterans is minuscule at best.

    Part of that debate must focus on just how impartial, objective, or biased the mainstream media is in promoting the further stigmatization of Mental Health and by extension stigmatizing our nation’s VETERANS and TROOPS today sent into harms way on never ending deployments in order to avoid implementing conscription.

    ROBERT L. HANAFIN, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired
    Editorial Board Member, Veterans Today News Network
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/contact/staff-writers/

    • >”"anti-Veteran attitude still prevailing in America today”"<

      The Country never wants to fully fund the long term results of what they cheer on but won't sacrifice for themselves!!

      One thing about Shinseki, with the Stimulus Funding he's actually forcing the Country to sacrifice, Finally, by using it to create jobs in upgrading clinis and hospitals as well as new ones, expanding National cemeteries and enhancing the Technology, bringing that into the 21st century and not playing catchup which costs more!!

  15. We made revisions to the above article to reflect a look into the background of the people AP used as expert sources on PTSD, Veterans, and the VA to show just how biased or inexperienced their sources were. What we found on closer examination of the AP opinion piece is that AP reporters appear to have intentionally sought out sources to reinforce a predetermined anti-Veteran attitude prevailing even within the VA system since 1994 that obviously continues today under the management of Secretary Eric Shinseki and President Obama. The Obama administration obviously needs to take a closer examination of VA employees to see just how many retain this negative anti-Veteran sentiment. Member of Congress, especially the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees need to take what the Associated Press or mainstream media in general reports about the pending Tsunami of fake Veterans with fake PTSD claims with a grain of salt given that the sources AP uses are extremely biased or experts in other fields outside PTSD.

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