This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Add the VA Fallen to Your Memorial Day Remembrances

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Congratulations, mainstream America: You're finally angry about dead U.S. servicemen and women.

Of course, it's strictly for political reasons. Isn't it always? Veterans Day celebrations come and go with a whimper but Veterans For Peace and Swift Boat Veterans For Truth get a hero's welcome from party committees.

This Memorial Day we can talk about soldier suicides like that of of 23-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Jeffrey Michael Lucey of Belchertown, Mass., an Iraq veteran who killed himself after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder as I wrote about five years ago. We can talk about 21-year-old Army Specialist Adam Kuligowski -- who took his rifle into a bathroom stall at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and shot himself on April 6, 2009 -- and his woeful lack of care and supervision.

We can every talk about how a military suicide rate that long ago exceeded combat deaths is a dire measure that is still underreported.

But nobody actually gives a damn until those facts can harm a politician they hate.

Let's make one thing clear: The lack of oversight at Veterans Affairs hospitals and the deaths that have occurred as a result should make everyone angry. It's already cost the lives of people who willingly put themselves in harm's way for their country, their families or, at the very least, their fellow soldiers -- this VA bungling should cost people their jobs as well.

But isn't it just lovely to have the privilege of newfound outrage?

Isn't it just wonderful to believe that this has never happened before and won't continue to happen to active-duty soldiers and veterans under any administration? That the roughly 6,500 former military personnel who killed themselves last year -- which equates to one suicide every 80 minutes -- was just an aberration under once specific administration? Or that money itself could be an answer?

Those are some privileged viewpoints that do absolutely nothing to help veterans and active-duty military. Within the last decade, the budget for Veterans Affairs has increased from $59.7 billion to more than $125 billion. Last year, VA used $40 million in extra Congressional funding earmarked for military suicide prevention to establish a new crisis line (1-800-273-8255) and Web site that was supposed to give veterans non-phone options including text and online chat to reach out if they're contemplating suicide. President Barack Obama event signed an executive order in August authorizing VA to hire additional staff and double the capacity of the crisis line to increase its accessibility.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,827.75 +12.81 0.07%
S&P 500 2,072.83 +5.80 0.28%
NASDAQ 4,787.3170 +29.0650 0.61%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs