Joe McCarthy’s Spirit Alive and Well at the VA

Here’s a good one.

Will King, an Army Staff Sergeant who served in Afghanistan who had been diagnosed with mild PTSD, felt that his conditions were worsening. Unemployed, failing out of school and entertaining suicidal thoughts, he filed a disability claim with the VA to have his PTSD upgraded from mild to moderate.

They denied his claim, citing his involvement with VoteVets, an advocacy group that happens to be kicking ass as of late at exposing disgraceful behavior at the VA, as evidence that his PTSD wasn’t serious enough to claim unemployability. From the rejection letter:

The treatment reports from Memphis show you are currently involved with VoteVets.org, an advocacy group for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts…

The treatment reports from the VA Medical Center show you are currently involved with a veteran’s advocacy group and have traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with and lobby members of Congress on behalf of this organization. While you are not, strictly speaking, employed by this organization, you are actively involved and able to control and manage your symptoms sufficiently to engage in activities required by your involvement. (VetVoice, who has the full story)

So let’s get this straight: the organization responsible for providing care to our wounded servicemembers is citing involvement of a group that’s critical of it as grounds for denying benefits. To be clear, it’s not like Sgt. King has been spending 40 hours a week down at VoteVets licking envelopes, thus proving he’s obviously capable of holding a job. He spent 48 hours at an event they held in D.C. That’s it.

If the VA (an organization headed by a man who recently compared Traumatic Brain Injuries to the kind you get playing pee-wee football) is going to pursue a McCarthy-esque policy of threatening to deny benefits to wounded soldiers if they join certain veterans groups, they deserve much more outrage than this week’s song, a slow dirge called McCarthy’s Medicine.

(put your mouse over the title and the player will magically appear!)
McCarthy’s Medicine

For despondence and sleeplessness
Make an appointment with a specialist
If your name is on the contact list don’t expect to much
For that thing you’ve got
If your boots can’t shake out the sand
There’s a catch you’d better understand
A raised fist could be an empty hand
Shaking a paper cup, if you shake it up

(And they’ll say) Are you now or have you ever been
I’m sorry, what was that again?
McCarthy’s practicing medicine
In the modern age, from beyond the grave
So if you’re looking to deal with it
Boy, don’t try to be no advocate
Just keep your teeth on the tourniquet
‘Til it goes away, ’til it goes away

And I don’t need no doctorates
To diagnose irrelevance
And possibility of bad intent
That’s your punishment, your punishment
So if you’re looking to recuperate
Watch out with whom you affiliate
If you’re well enough to demonstrate
It must be second rate, so play it straight

(And they’ll say) Are you now or have you ever been
I’m sorry, what was that again?
McCarthy’s practicing medicine
In the modern age, from beyond the grave
So, irrespective of your circumstance
They’ll throw a wrench right into your plans
McCarthy’s got himself a second chance
In the modern age, far beyond his days

(And they’ll say) Are you now or have you ever been
I’m sorry, what was that again?
McCarthy’s practicing medicine
In the modern age, from beyond the grave
So if you’re looking to deal with it
Boy, don’t try to be no advocate
Just keep your teeth on the tourniquet
‘Til it goes away, ’til it goes away

Women For John McCain

The people who made this site are genius. Props.