Top stories on the Our Troops Newsladder this week
by Jason Forrester Veterans For America, Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 12:39:30 PM EST
Here are the top stories this week related to our soldiers here and abroad, taken from the Our Troops Newsladder.
Mike Mullen, the top ranking officer in the U.S. Military got an earful of tough questions when he visited with troops at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, ranging from inquiries about the gaping pay disparity between private contractors in Iraq and soliders stationed there to questions about Marines being issued older rifles than field officers.
The report from Veterans For America about the glaring lack of mental health resources available to the Army's most-deployed division, the 10th Mountain Division stationed in Fort Drum, continued to gather steam this week. Sen. Hillary Clinton responded to the crisis, saying "It is simply unacceptable that 10th Mountain Division soldiers who have recently returned from Iraq have to wait for up to two months for mental health care appointments. Not only has the Department of Defense failed to provide Fort Drum and other military installations with adequate mental health care resources, but there is also a persistent stigma within the military that discourages our servicemembers from seeking and receiving the mental health care that many of them need."
In Montana, incoming Veterans Affairs secretary James Peake heard the concerns, complaints, and questions from Veterans of wars past and present. The issue at hand is seemingly random rejections of claims, long wait-times for appointments, and 500 mile drives for care that our veterans living in rural America are constantly up against.
In Washington this week, the Army angered open-government advocates by shutting down public access to the largest online collection of its doctrinal publications. All of these documents have been approved for public released but were placed behind a password-protected firewall nonetheless.
Lastly, a survey of over 3,000 high-ranking military officers provided an alarmingly negative outlook on our military's future, due to multiple and long deployments of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan that has left our military stretched dangerously thin.