Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stolen Honor

All of us have a stake in this fight, a personal one. I do this for myself, and for my nephew who returns to his permanent station in Germany tonight after being forward deployed to Iraq, and I do it for my brothers and sisters here who inspire me with their focus and hard work, and I do it for all Veterans. To me it is VERY personal for all those reasons.

I hate injustice and the DVA has been the source of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of injustices since the Vietnam War. The American Government perpetrated injustice on us to fight that war when they lied [Johnson and McNamara] to force Congress into it, and kept lying to keep it going - no matter which party was in power.

The American media/press perpetrated injustice on us when they turned the American Public against us, rather than the true villains of the war, Johnson and McNamara...we were targets that were far too easy. And the once vocal press that railed against us and had us spit upon, has never made things right with us, never apologized, and even worse, never taken up our cause.

And the DVA and the Government in general have been doing us injustice ever since.

So today we continue to be made to pay for a war we didn't want, had no part in making, a war we fought because politicians lied, and continue to lie about today.

John Kerry found out you can't run as a Vietnam Vet [especially with a questionable record like his, and the dishonorable actions he took while still an active serving officer of the US Navy, as part of Operation Winter Soldier], and John McCain found out you can't run as a war hero from the Vietnam War, and he was a very honorable man. The public doesn't care about us, didn't then, and don't now.

We have seen that the courts don't care about us, they'd rather see a corrupt and mismanaged, disorganized cabinet department run amok than to protect this nation's Veterans.

Collectively,, they have all stolen our honor, and our legacy.

So the deck is stacked against us, and we have no option left but to each do a superhuman effort and do our part to ensure that Congress, at least, does the right thing.

The only way to do that is to get their pledges now, and hold them to those pledges when the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009 is introduced and later comes out of committee and hits the floor of each house for a vote. Unless we get the target numbers, 291 in the House, 67 in the Senate, you can all fold your tents and go home, all the poorer for failure.

No one will help us in this fight. It is all up to us to provide Congress with the clear path to enactment. Don't bother with the press, they are too busy looking for scandal, and political gotchas.

This is why we push for membership drives for VASVW. The more we have, the louder our voice, and statistically, the more CongressCritters we reach and gain support from.

We live or die over the next few months, based on how successful our individual efforts are at obtaining full support from Congress. It is that simple. Get your family and friends involved. Brief them thoroughly. Have them reach out to their Representatives and Senators. Stop in at your local Legion Hall, or VFW Post and enlist the old geezers at the bar [you guys ARE pretty much the old geezers at the bar now], and get them off the bar stools and away from the pool tables and poker tables and the wide screen TVs showing NASCAR, and go up the street to your Representative's office in a steady stream to walk in and obtain a pledge of the Congressman, or Congresswoman's support. If he or she won't commit, get the local scout troop, and the wives and Ladies Auxilliary [thank you Dale!] to picket his office.

It is time for us to pull out all the stops. Literally. If it fails, don't blame Congress. Don't blame the press. It is totally within our grasp, and totally within our power.

One final note to all those out there who are detractors of Bob Filner. Chairman Filner is the only person with any power to take up our cause since the 1991 Agent Orange act was enacted. Chairman Filner introduced a law last summer that would make right most of our problems with the DVA. He is on the verge of giving it another shot, a real shot. Give credit where credit is due. While more than a few Veterans Service Organizations have at time provided funding for legal cases like the Haas case, of particular note are the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Fleet Reserve Association. Whatever the outcome, we owe these two organization a debt of gratitude, and Chairman Bob Filner, too.

Please make sure as you gain your pledges from Congress that you register them in the two polls at the top of the right sidebar here.


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2009: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Fifth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved.


  1. Anonymous05:06

    When you say '...he is on the verge of giving it another shot...'; is there something we should know? I haven't been able to get anything out of him regarding this subject. My own Rep tells me he will cosponser and support such a bill but doesn't know anything about one being in the works. (and yes, I did tell him he can feel free to submit one of his own) We are at a time when we have an administration, whatever else you may think of it, that is paying strong lip service to support of veterans....this is the year for it to happen if we make it happen.

  2. Anonymous07:55

    A better course of action would be to DEMAND the new administration to resend the executive order issued (early 2000),by Bush to the VA that changed the THE PRESUMPTIVE REQUIREMENTS from Vietnam service medal to "boots on ground" in the original Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act of 1991 Needs nothing more than a presidential signature to Resend Focus your letters to White House web site.I do
    Tony Lanzetta

  3. You should know that a reliable source provided information that the bill will be introduced "sometime in April".

    Please make sure you register your Congressman's commitment in the appropriate poll at the top of the right sidebar.

    Thank you!


  4. Tony,

    Perhaps, but what happens when the next President comes in and rolls Obama's changes back?

    Better to get Congress to pass the legislation removing all doubt from the pea-brained pinheads at the DVA.

    Besides, despite all of his talk, two very important memos have been issued by the current administration rolling back what was already there by eliminating port visits, and requiring 24 hours of feet on the ground.

    That does not sound like a President that is friendly to the idea of benefits for BWN and TLC, and BSAF Veterans. Hence the need for 291 members of the House and 67 Senators to co-sponsor and support the bill. Those numbers make it Veto-proof.


  5. Anonymous05:58

    You Make a good point.I also am all over my Sen.s and Rep.s.But as time is a factor for us a two pronged attack is not detrimental to our cause.Keep their feet to the coals in a lot of fires.I don't trust any of them. Tony Lanzetta