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ISR Issue 55, NovemberDecember 2007
By PHAM BINH
THE WASHINGTON Post exposé last February of conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center unmasked an ugly reality: the government these injured veterans fought, bled, and killed for does not give a damn about them. The articles that sparked the political firestorm1 revealed that medicated amputees suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) were put in charge of other injured soldiers even though their problems made them incapable of caring for themselves, much less for anyone else; that outpatients were warehoused in rat-infested decrepit buildings; that medical paperwork was routinely lost; and that veterans and their families received no help, guidance, or counseling from hospital staff.
The hospital lost track of patients, one of whom died of alcohol poisoning, while another was killed in a drunk-driving accident after wandering out of the facility. No wonder former Secretary of the Army Togo West Jr. decried the “virtually incomprehensible” inattention to building maintenance and “almost palpable disdain” for the welfare of injured troops when he released the findings of his investigation of Walter Reed ordered by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.2
Today’s veterans are the latest victims of the U.S. government’s oldest tradition—betraying those who fought for it. Although every generation of veterans has been betrayed since the U.S. won its independence from Britain, this article will examine only some of the most notable examples.
The revolutionaries betrayed
Contrary to what we are taught in school, the nation created by the American Revolution was not an idyllic, democratic republic free of class conflict. In fact, postcolonial America was rife with struggle, and veterans of the Revolutionary War played a key role in it.
The Continental Army that fought the British reflected the class structure of North America at the time: the rank and file was made up of poor farmers and urban laborers while their officers were wealthy merchants and/or slave owners. This was no accident. For example, when the state of Connecticut enacted a draft for all males between the ages of sixteen and sixty, it exempted government officials, ministers, Yale students and faculty, and anyone who could pay five pounds.3 As the war dragged on, mutinies and rebellions became more common, triggered by abusive officers and failure to pay the troops on time or in full.
Upon being discharged, troops were given stubs for future payment instead of cash, and many had accumulated large debts while they were away from their farms fighting. Local courts seized the land of farmers who were unable to pay their debts, triggering Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts in 1786. Revolutionary War veterans Daniel Shays and Luke Day organized thousands of local farmers into squads and companies and led armed marches to local courthouses to prevent judges from ruling against them. The local militia defied the orders of the sheriff and sided with the rebels, who were their friends and neighbors. In Rhode Island, debtors seized the legislature and began issuing paper money to pay their debts. In New Hampshire, rebels surrounded the state legislature and asked that their taxes be returned and paper money issued; they dispersed only after being threatened with force.
Terrified wealthy merchants in Boston, seeing the desertion of local forces to the side of the poor farmers and the inability of the federal government to intervene,4 raised funds for a private army to suppress the debtors’ rebellion. Samuel Adams, one of the Founding Fathers, spoke for the new ruling class when he argued that the rebellion should be crushed: “In monarchy the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.”5 The rebels, armed only with their personal rifles, were no match for the numerically larger mercenary force armed with artillery and staffed with professional officers. A dozen rebels were tried and sentenced to death while a handful of them, including Shays, were eventually pardoned.
The difficulty in suppressing this rebellion of debt-ridden veterans convinced the merchants and slaveholders ruling America to scrap the government created by the Articles of Confederation. Clearly, it was too weak to hold down the rebellious majority. Within a year of Shays’ Rebellion, the Constitution was adopted, creating the much more centralized federal government that we know today.
The defeat and victory of the Bonus Army
Almost 150 years after Shays’ Rebellion, veterans marched again, this time on the nation’s capital. The onset of the Great Depression robbed millions of their jobs and their savings as banks all over the country went under before people could withdraw their money. With unemployment reaching 25 percent, hunger and desperation gripped the working class, including World War One veterans. Congress voted in 1924 to compensate them for the difference between their military pay and what they would have earned as civilians during wartime, and many worried that they would not live to see the money because the payment was set for 1945. In 1932, a Congressman introduced legislation to give veterans this compensation immediately.
Walter Waters, a sergeant who served in World War One, at a meeting of unemployed veterans in Portland, Oregon, suggested that they march on Washington to press Congress to pass the law. The idea caught on and 300 local veterans went to the train station and hopped onto freight cars headed for Washington. They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force, a play on the American Expeditionary Force that served in France during the war, but they quickly became known as the Bonus Army.
As the men traveled, local newspapers picked up their story, and Waters’ idea spread like wildfire. Spontaneously, groups of veterans and their families from all over the country climbed aboard trains or drove in caravans to join Waters’ march. By June of 1932, 20,000 veterans and their families had erected an enormous Hooverville in Anacostia Flats, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Amazingly, the veterans did not segregate themselves by race even though the army was segregated during World War One. Black and white veterans played sports together, formed interracial units based on where they were from, and even shaved one another in makeshift barbershops.6
The veterans marched through the streets of Washington and Waters set up an enormous lobbying operation, hoping to copy the methods of professional lobbyists working for big business. Their efforts seemed to pay off when the House of Representatives passed the Bonus Bill on June 15. On June 17, when the Senate moved to vote on the bill, the Bonus Army rallied outside the Capitol Building. Their chant, “The Yanks are starving! The Yanks are starving!” could be heard inside the Senate during its debate. Waters delivered the results of the vote to his troops: the Senate had defeated the bill by a 2-to-1 margin.
Stung by the callousness of “their” government, many veterans and their families returned home, but more than 11,000 stayed at Waters’ urging. (He pledged to stay until 1945 if necessary.) On July 16, Washington was on edge as thousands of angry veterans surrounded the Capitol Building, hoping to prevent Congress from adjourning for the summer. Congressmen exited using secret underground tunnels and back doors to avoid facing the veterans they had stiffed.
On July 28, Republican President Herbert Hoover ordered the D.C. police to evict the Bonus Army from downtown Washington. At an abandoned apartment building taken over by veterans, a scuffle broke out between the police and the veterans. Two veterans were killed by police gunfire.
Hoover called in the army to finish the eviction, violating the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which prohibits the use of federal troops within the United States. General Douglas MacArthur, in full dress uniform, led 400 infantrymen, tanks, armored vehicles, and 200 cavalrymen with sabers drawn down Pennsylvania Avenue in a show of force before firing tear gas on the veterans without warning. By evening, the veterans had been driven across a drawbridge that led to their main camp in Anacostia Flats.
Hoover ordered MacArthur to halt his advance, but MacArthur ignored him, saying, “I cannot bother with pieces of paper during a military operation.”7 MacArthur’s troops lit the camp’s shacks and tents on fire. By morning, the entire Hooverville was burned to the ground and two infants died from smoke inhalation. The Bonus Army had been decisively defeated.
The brutal treatment meted out to the veterans transformed public sympathy for them into anger against the government, especially Hoover. Hoover and MacArthur justified the repression by claiming that the Bonus Army was heavily infiltrated by communists and that their presence in Washington, D.C., was a prelude to a Bolshevik-style insurrection. Not a shred of evidence was ever produced to back this claim up. However, the spectacle of tens of thousands of rebellious working-class veterans marching on Capitol Hill, ignoring the racial divisions so painstakingly nurtured by the ruling class, in the middle of the deepest slump in capitalism’s history, did scare the hell out of them.
A few months after the Bonus Army’s defeat, the public dumped Hoover in a landslide and put Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the White House. Every year after his election, veterans returned to Washington to pressure politicians into passing the Bonus Law. Instead of deploying the army to crush them, Roosevelt deployed his wife, Eleanor, to have coffee and chat with them, but he opposed the bonus just as Hoover had. He also reappointed MacArthur as army chief of staff.
As an alternative to the cash payment the veterans sought, Roosevelt drafted them into a work-relief program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). On September 2, 1935, the most powerful hurricane in the history of the Western hemisphere hit Florida, killing more than 280 veterans who, as part of the CCC, were completing the southernmost section of U.S. Route 1. Many of the 280 were sandblasted to death, their skin and clothes ripped from their bodies by sand moving at 200 mph. At first, the government tried to cover up the circumstances of their deaths, but writer Ernest Hemingway was on the scene and wrote an angry piece that appeared in many newspapers declaring: “the veterans in those camps were practically murdered.”8
After this horrific incident, ruling class opposition to the bonus waned and Congress passed the Bonus Bill in 1936, overriding Roosevelt’s veto. Four million veterans were overjoyed.
Although the Bonus Army was defeated on the battlefield, they were victorious in the long run. Not only did they win benefits for themselves, they also won benefits for future generations of veterans. In 1944, Congress passed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, also known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, which paid for veterans’ college education, gave them one year of unemployment benefits while they looked for work after being discharged, and extended low-interest loans to help them buy homes and start their own businesses. With 18 million serving in the armed forces during World War Two,9 the ruling class feared a repeat of the Bonus Army march on a much bigger scale. The bill made “the American Dream” a reality for millions of working-class families.
Vietnam: The war comes home
Like their comrades today, veterans of the war in Vietnam came home to dilapidated and understaffed Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Their experience was immortalized in Ron Kovic’s autobiography, Born on the Fourth of July. He described his stay in a Bronx VA hospital where he would press a buzzer, shout, and yell for assistance and no one would respond (he was paralyzed from the waist down). The sheets were rarely washed, vomit on the floor was not cleaned up, and he sat in his own excrement for hours on end. One day, Kovic broke his leg doing exercises. To avoid amputation, the hospital hooked up a pump to his leg that would keep it hydrated and expel toxins from it. When the pump broke down, it looked as though he would lose the leg because the hospital only had one pump. A doctor explained to him why the hospital only had one: “It’s the war in Vietnam, Ron. The cutbacks. The government’s not giving us the money we need to take care of you guys.”10 For no apparent reason, the pump began to work again, and Kovic kept his leg. How many weren’t so lucky?
The end of the war in Vietnam in 1975 did not mean the end of suffering for those who fought in it. As the years went by, tens of thousands of veterans began to experience strange symptoms, develop bizarre tumors, and have children with severe physical and mental birth defects. Most of these veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, a defoliant containing dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals known. The U.S. military sprayed 77 million liters of it over Vietnam, killing dense jungle and destroying crops to deprive National Liberation Front fighters of cover and food.11 Up to 4.5 million Vietnamese12 and as many as 2.4 million U.S. soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange.13
In 1979, VA director and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland announced that the air force would conduct a twenty-five year health study of the twelve hundred pilots and chemical handlers who sprayed Agent Orange on Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand. This was an unusual step for two reasons. First, caring for and monitoring the health of veterans was the VA’s job, not the air force’s. Second, the study was not broad-based and would not examine the effects of Agent Orange on ground troops who made up the bulk of those filing Agent Orange claims. It would be like studying the effects of radiation by examining the Enola Gay crew (who dropped the atomic bomb) instead of the survivors of Hiroshima. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed the parameters and methods that the air force intended to use and warned that the study “probably would not identify adverse health effects” because of its design flaws.14 That was exactly what the government wanted. These flaws were essential for the government to cheat tens of thousands of ill veterans out of disability benefits.
While the air force conducted its whitewash study, the VA continued to reject almost all Agent Orange claims out of hand, triggering a revolt from veterans who were in dire need of help. On March 14, 1981, Vietnam veteran and marine Jim Hopkins drove his jeep through the glass doors and into the lobby of the multimillion dollar Wadsworth VA hospital in Los Angeles, California. He fired rounds from his AR-14 into pictures of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter while screaming that he was not receiving the medical attention he needed. As he was hauled away by police after the incident, he screamed into television cameras that his brain was “being destroyed by Agent Orange.”15 Hopkins’ action got national media attention focused on Agent Orange for the first time.
After Hopkins was released from prison and underwent subsequent treatment at a VA hospital, he went on a national speaking tour to publicize the Agent Orange issue. Sadly, he died of unknown causes on May 17, 1981. News of his death sparked a sit-in by veterans in the same lobby into which he crashed his jeep.
In response to the protest, the VA claimed it did not neglect veterans while the Reagan administration alternated between ignoring and ridiculing the protestors. The veterans escalated their protest by going on a hunger strike and Reagan retaliated by evicting them from the Wadsworth lobby. The starving veterans regrouped. They redeployed their protest in front of the White House and forced congressional veterans’ committees to meet with them. Fearing the collapse or death of one of the veterans, Congress agreed to a settlement: the veterans would end their fifty-three-day hunger strike and Congress would override Reagan to keep the VA’s outpatient centers open, refrain from cutting veterans’ benefits, and conduct studies of PTSD and Agent Orange.
In 1984, the air force released the preliminary results of the Ranch Hand study. Despite its flaws, it found that pilots involved with spraying Agent Orange had higher rates of skin cancer, liver disorders, circulatory problems, and that their children had higher rates of birth defects, infant mortality, odd rashes, and things described as “birthmarks.”16 However, the study claimed that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove that any of the health problems found were due to Agent Orange. In other words, the study proved that there was a correlation between Agent Orange exposure and various illnesses but it did not definitively prove that Agent Orange was the cause.
In response to the government’s rejection of almost all disability claims based on Agent Orange exposure, Vietnam veterans launched a class-action lawsuit in 1979 against five manufacturers of Agent Orange, hoping to win some compensation for their injuries (U.S. courts have consistently ruled that soldiers cannot sue the government for injuries suffered in war). In 1984, the chemical companies offered $180 million to the veterans if they settled the suit out of court. The veterans took the settlement because hard scientific evidence for their claim that Agent Orange was directly responsible for their illnesses was nonexistent, thanks to the government’s refusal to undertake the kind of large-scale and meticulous study needed to prove it. Without such evidence it was highly unlikely that the veterans would prevail against the army of corporate lawyers and paid “experts” that the chemical companies would employ in court. For the chemical companies, $180 million was a small price to pay to avoid admitting guilt, garnering bad publicity, and receiving the subpoenas that might have brought to light internal documents proving that they knew about dioxin’s toxicity in 1965, if not earlier.17
The Agent Orange study mandated by Congress—the hard-won demand of the hunger-striking veterans—was abandoned in 1986 by government bureaucrats at the Center for Disease Control (CDC). After spending $46 million, they claimed that no scientifically sound study could be performed. They claimed that the military’s shoddy record keeping about what areas of Vietnam were sprayed, when, and which ground units were where at a particular time made it impossible to determine who was exposed to Agent Orange. Senior CDC official Dr. Vernon Houk said, “If we could find a population of people who were exposed in sufficient numbers, we would have proceeded with our study. We just simply could not find them.”18 If Houk had really wanted to find large numbers of people to examine for Agent Orange exposure, he could have looked in Vietnam. Subsequently, the House of Representatives Government Operations Committee found in 1990 that officials in the Reagan administration “controlled and obstructed” the CDC study because they did not want to admit the government’s liability and pay disability benefits.19
Although the CDC failed to produce an Agent Orange study, it did release a report in February 1987 that showed that Vietnam veterans were dying at a rate 45 percent higher than their non-Vietnam veteran counterparts. They also had a 72 percent higher suicide rate and a high incidence of violent deaths, including homicides, suicides, motor vehicle accidents, accidental poisonings, and drug overdoses. That same year, the VA mistakenly leaked a suppressed study that showed Marines who served in Vietnam died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma at a 110 percent higher rate20 and lung cancer at a 58 percent higher rate compared to other veterans.21 This was the largest study of deaths among Vietnam veterans ever conducted by the VA at the time and involved more than 52,000 death records.
The final report of the Ranch Hand study was released in 2005 over the objections of some scientists involved with it. They revealed that some members of the “control” group, air force veterans, who were not involved in Ranch Hand but served in Southeast Asia, were exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides because they had served in Vietnam. Therefore the basis on which the air force concluded that there were no significant differences in cancer rates between the two groups was totally undermined. When one scientist, Joel Michalek, reanalyzed the data to compensate for the flaws, he found that the cancer rate doubled among Ranch Hand veterans with the highest level of dioxin exposure. He also found that the cancer rate increased in direct proportion to dioxin levels, the first time such a trend had been seen in the Ranch Hand study. When Michalek tried to get an outside contractor to formally reanalyze the data, the air force sent him a letter on July 6, 2006, ordering him to delete the data.
In the end, the chemical companies and the VA were tremendously successful in robbing ill Vietnam veterans of the compensation and care they deserved. The $180 million settlement fund was depleted by lawyers, who received $9.2 million of the money, and was hamstrung by the stringent terms of who was eligible to receive money. Only a quarter of the 200,000 veterans and their families who filed claims actually received compensation.22 Out of 92,276 Agent Orange claims filed with the VA by veterans and their families, only 5,908 had been approved as of 1998,23 despite a 1991 law, which listed some illnesses linked to Agent Orange that would automatically qualify veterans to receive benefits.
Today’s war on veterans
In addition to coping with unsanitary conditions and neglect at VA facilities across the country, today’s veterans and their loved ones continuously battle military and government bureaucracies for proper diagnosis, adequate care, and disability benefits. As one former army private put it: “It is a shame that a man goes to war for his nation, and when he comes home he has to go to war to get his benefits and is treated like a criminal.”24 The private who said this suffers from severe PTSD but received a disability rating of only 40 percent. Now he is trying to support his wife and two children on $700 a month and is nearing bankruptcy because he is unable to work. He has been waiting five months to receive treatment at the nearest VA hospital. Like the ex-soldiers who joined Shays’ Rebellion, crushing debt continues to plague veterans and their families.
The number of veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq entering the VA system today is staggering—100,000 entered the system last year and over 300,000 are expected to enter next year.25 The VA has a backlog of more than 600,000 applications and appeals for disability benefits that will take an average of six months to process and only a very small percentage of which will be successful. This case load is expected to grow by 1.6 million in the next two years.26
As of July 2006, 152,669 veterans filed disability claims after fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, and only 1,502 of them received disability ratings of 100 percent.27 A mere 3 percent of soldiers going through the medical retirement process have been given permanent disability benefits, down from 10 percent in 2001.28 Although 26.7 percent of disabled airmen have been given a rating of 30 percent or more, only 4.3 percent of disabled soldiers and 2.7 percent of disabled marines made the grade. Since the year 2000, 2,497 airmen have been found unfit for duty for medical reasons and given lifetime retirement benefits while the numerically larger army with its higher tally of wounded has given those benefits to only 1,763 of its soldiers. In the last six years, the military has discharged 22,500 personnel due to “personality disorders,” disqualifying them from receiving disability benefits and saving the VA $4.5 billion over the course of their lifetimes. The number of personality disorder discharges has grown steadily since 2001.29
Clearly, these veterans are the victims of ruthless cost-cutting bureaucrats at the Pentagon and the VA. “Our job was to deny claims. We celebrated beating veterans, especially those representing themselves,” admitted Craig Kabatchnick, who was a senior appellate attorney for the VA’s Office of General Counsel.30
Like the private sector, however, that ruthless cost-cutting does not extend upward. Last year, budget officials at the VA received “performance” bonuses of up to $33,000, a figure equal to about 20 percent of their annual salaries, even though these officials “forgot” to include the cost of caring for injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the VA’s 2005 budget, leading to a $1 billion shortfall in the middle of the year. Annual bonuses to senior VA officials average more than $16,000—the most lucrative in the government.31
While VA officials rake in bonuses, on any given night, there are 195,000 homeless veterans, 9,600 for whom the VA does not have beds. In the last two years, one-third of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans classified as being at risk for homelessness lost their homes.32 Given the VA’s extreme neglect, it’s no surprise that the suicide rate for veterans is double that of the civilian population (incidentally, this study did not include veterans from the latest Iraq or Afghanistan wars).33
Once again, veterans and their supporters have been forced to resort to lawsuits to overcome the VA’s criminal negligence. The family of Iraq veteran and marine Jeffrey Lucey sued the head of the VA because Lucey committed suicide after being denied treatment for PTSD on multiple occasions.34 A separate class-action lawsuit against the VA has been filed charging the VA with violating veterans’ constitutional right to due process because of the multiple layers of bureaucracy that veterans must wade through, inconsistent standards used to judge disability claims, and the length of time that veterans wait for their cases to be processed.35
The health-care crisis facing today’s veterans is only beginning. Consider this: in World War Two, two Americans were wounded for every one who died. In Vietnam and Korea, the ratio was about three to one. In Iraq, sixteen soldiers are wounded or get sick for every one who dies. Better armor, helmets, and emergency care are saving more soldiers. Those who survive the first few minutes after an explosion have a 98 percent chance of surviving.36 But the improving survival rate means that the VA’s health-care system will be burdened as never before. Already, the mental health care component of the system has been overwhelmed. More than one-third of the 1.6 million veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have reported everything from PTSD symptoms to brain injuries, yet out of 1,400 VA hospitals only 27 have programs dedicated to treating PTSD.37
Another cause for alarm is that 100,000 veterans out of the 700,000 who served in the first war on Iraq later reported mysterious illnesses ranging from chronic fatigue, brain cancer, and birth defects in their children.38 (Congress only paid benefits to veterans who became ill within two years of 1991, eliminating 95 percent of applicants from eligibility.39) Causes range from the destruction of Iraq’s WMD facilities, which released chemical and biological weapons into the air, unsafe anthrax vaccinations, desert parasites, and exposure to depleted uranium (DU, an armor-piercing radioactive substance used to case munitions). The U.S. used 320 tons of DU in Iraq and Kuwait in 1990–9140 and has used 130 tons so far in the current war.41 DU has the potential to become this war’s Agent Orange.
American socialist Eugene Debs famously declared: “The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose—especially their lives.”42 Thanks to modern medicine, fewer troops are losing their lives on the battlefield, but more and more are losing their limbs, their health, their sanity, their families, and their lives after they return home. The fate of today’s veterans depends directly on how organized, determined, and militant they are in their fight against the government, the generals, and the politicians on both sides of the aisle that sent them to kill or be killed for oil and empire.
Pham Binh is a socialist activist in New York City. His blog is at http://prisonerofstarvation.blogspot.com.
1 The Washington Post series can be found at http://www.
2 Hope Yen, “Neglect blamed for Walter Reed woes,” Associated Press, April 11, 2007, http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6550075,00.html.
3 Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492–Present (New York: HarperCollins, 1999), 79.
4 The Articles of Confederation created a federal government with almost no national army to speak of and that relied on state and local militias instead. This worked against external enemies, like the British or the Native Americans, but fell apart when dealing with internal enemies, like debt-ridden veterans.
5 Zinn, 95.
6 New Voyage Communications, “The March of the Bonus Army,” 27 min., 1 sec., PBS, http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/playVideo.do?videoID=142&encodeType=rm, accessed August 8, 2007.
9 Zinn, 407.
10 Ron Kovic, Born on the Fourth of July (New York: Akashic Books, 1990).
11 Richard Black, “Agent Orange use ‘understated,’” BBC News, April 16, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2954729.stm.
12 Laura Wright, “New study finds Agent Orange use was underestimated,” Scientific American.com, April 17, 2003, http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000BAF8A-F589-1E9D-A9B3809EC588EEDF.
13 Agent Orange Lawsuit.com, FAQ, June 7, 2007, http://www.agent-orange-lawsuit.com/facts.html#3.
14 Richard Severo and Lewis Milford, The Wages of War: When America’s Soldiers Came Home—From Valley Forge to Vietnam (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989), 378.
15 Michael O’McCarthy, “Killing U.S. troops slowly,” consortiumnews.com, March 9, 2007, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/030807b.html.
16 Severo and Milford, 400.
17 “The story of Agent Orange,” U.S. Veterans Dispatch Staff Report, November 1990, http://www.usvetdsp.com/agentorange.htm.
18 Ed Magnuson, “A cover-up on Agent Orange?,” Time, July 23, 1990, http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,970675,00.html.
20 Severo and Milford, 410.
21 “Story of Agent Orange.”
22 Agent Orange Lawsuit.com, June 7, 2007, http://www.agent-
23 Clark Brooks, “Agent Orange study findings called flawed,” Greenville News, September 24, 2006, http://www.vn-
24 Joseph Galloway, “U.S. troops are entitled to decent treatment,” McClatchy Newspapers, March 7, 2007, http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/special_packages/galloway/16853394.htm.
25 Dan Ephron and Sarah Childress, “How the U.S. is failing its war veterans,” Newsweek, March 5, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17316437/site/newsweek/.
26 Linda Robinson, “Insult to injury,” U.S. News and World Report, April 16, 2007, http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/
27 Aaron Glantz, “Active-duty GIs call for withdrawal,” Inter Press Service, October 31, 2006, http://www.antiwar.com/glantz/
28 Kelly Kennedy, “Wounded and waiting,” Army Times, February 20, 2007, http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/02/
29 Joshua Kors, “How specialist Town lost his benefits,” Nation, April 9, 2007, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070409/kors.
30 Lisa Sorg, “The VA is waiting for us to die,” Independent Weekly, March 14, 2007, http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=46354.
31 Hope Yen, “Lawmakers want VA to explain bonuses,” Associated Press, May 3, 2007, http://www.boston.com/news/nation/
32 Thomas Watkins, “Need outstrips beds for homeless vets,” Associated Press, March 31, 2007, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,-6523236,00.html.
33 “Suicide risk much higher for male veterans,” Reuters, June 12, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19187272/.
34 “Parents of veteran who killed himself sue Veterans Administration chief for negligence, ” Associated Press, July 26, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/26/america/NA-GEN-Iraq-Veteran-Lawsuit.php.
35 Michael Weisskopf, “Behind the veterans’ legal battle, ” Time, July 24, 2007, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1646753,00.html.
36 Ephron and Childress.
38 Kelly Kennedy, “Study: Sarin at root of Gulf War syndrome,” Army Times, May 30, 2007, http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/05/military_sarin_gulfwar_070525w/.
39 Ted Rall, “Suckered again,” Common Dreams, March 14, 2007, http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0314-20.htm.
40 “DoD updates its depleted uranium environmental exposure report,” Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses, http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/news/na_du_ii_19dec00.htm.
42 Eugene Debs, “The Canton, Ohio, speech,” International Socialist Review 20, November–December 2001.