On Veterans Day, 11-11-11, the nation pauses to honor the 24 million living American veterans who served in wars dating back to World War II. Of those, more than 2 million veterans did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The federal government doesn’t always adequately protect the military veterans who protected their nation. The Center for Public Integrity has held the government accountable over the years for treatment of veterans.
For Veterans Day, the Center has compiled some of its coverage of soldiers and veterans:
- Military retirees in need of quick cash can fall victim to a form of payday loans called “pension buyouts” that cost them mightily over time.
- Children who attend Pentagon-run schools are left behind even as their parents fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military says 39 percent of its schools are “failing,” and another 37 percent are in “poor” physical shape.
- ANALYSIS: A new kind of house call pioneered by the Veterans Affairs Department may save billions in medical costs and be a model for health care reform.
- The Pentagon’s traumatic brain injury and psychological health center for veterans has been hindered by unfocused leadership, slow hiring, and poor accounting, the GAO says.
- About 20 percent of veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, an anxiety disorder which develops after experiencing a life-threatening event.
- The VA wasted $300 million in the last decade as it attempted to improve its information technology.
- VA medical centers, which treat 5 million veterans each year, are in hot water for failing to follow sterilization and sanitation rules.
- One VA official billed the taxpayers $130,000 for commuting to his job in Washington. Another VA appointee was overpaid $41,000 and commuted to Washington from Arkansas.