With a nudge from Capitol Hill and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the Department of Veterans Affairs' own Office of the Inspector General poked holes in rosy statistics about veterans' access to mental-health care.
VETERANS of America's continuing wars have found once again that after all the red, white and blue flag-waving, they are considered a cost of doing business — expenses and statistics to be manipulated.
Five years ago, the shocking symbol of benign neglect was Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Wounded veterans from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan were being treated and housed in fetid, moldy rooms and buildings.
At the same time Walter Reed made headlines in 2007, the alarming scale of veterans seeking help for mental-health problems was beginning to be acknowledged. The cases of post-traumatic stress disorder were climbing, and the Veterans Health Administration's limited capacity to offer help was coming into focus.