Friday, February 24, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Crime in progress part 20 News flash!

What do the veterans need to do to bring about changes that are needed at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans?

Veterans are being forced to pay for meals that are substandard. 3 times this week their dinner consisted of soup and and a sandwich or salad. Tonight, Friday they were served 8 thin slices of salami, or 2 peices of low sodium cheese on white bread, choice of Half a cup of tomato soup or Black bean market soup. That was dinner. Next meal is 13 hours away at breakfast.

The last thing these guys need is fatty food like Salami. Add to the insult of only half a cup at a time of soup, and you realize these guys are getting NOTHING that is solid food. It is no wonder many get hungry towards midnight and end up snacking on the wrong kids of food because it is the only thing available to them. Meaning, they raid the candy machines for high sodium chips stuff.

It is being reported that Rankin's Dom unit, (the dormitory unit) had its monthly meeting this week. Present were Acting commandant Sara Dunn, chief of staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs James Dunn, another man who claimed to be the new ombudsman for the home, and various Rankin Staff members were present. James Dunn was asked by one of the veterans if he would be willing to meet with veterans in a separate meeting, without any staff members, because some veterans were afraid of speaking up, due to threats of reprisal by staff members.

Dwight Furgasson (SP?) one of the Rankin counselors stated that there were no such treats, and that the veterans did not feel that way. It is being reported that 2 other veterans who attended the meeting then stood up and stated that what the first veteran had said was true, and that they too were being told that people would not stand up and speak up out of fear of being targeted and kicked out of the home. Also, that there were many issues dealing with the staff, that needed to be addressed, and so those veterans did not want to speak up with those staff members being present.

Jim Dunn did not answer the question directly. The question was dodged when they started talking about the veterans who feared to speak up.

Also, just last night I was informed by 3 separate veterans on 3 separate occasions thru out the day, that someone has a voice recording of Dwight Furgeson (SP?) stating words to the effect that, "if anyone from Rankin contacts the Press, and gets them to report in a bad way about the home, that people on the unit would suffer greatly". I am trying to get a copy of that audio and if I get it, I will post it.

Another complaint I am hearing a lot about is that many staff members, including and specifically, the social services director Gary Davis are telling veterans that it is a privilege for them to be here at the home. Only recently have some veterans started telling Davis and the other staff members, that it is a PRIVILEGE for them to work here on taxpayer dollars, and that we earned our right to be here with our service to our country.

And finally, a news flash: US Department of Veterans Affairs is being contacted tonight because a member is filing harassment charges against the home and the staff.

Decorated Vietnam Veteran, and former Detroit Police officer, Fred Plicta is filing a complaint about being targeted and harassed by staff members, for creating a hostile environment for veterans, and illegal detainment.

Fred Plicta has had his power wheel chair taken away from him because of his driving, which they claim is bad, but which is proven to be better than a lot of other veterans in the home.
Then they claimed it was because Fred drinks (alcohol). It is being reported that Fred was in his room, and they demanded he take a breathalyzer test, and he blew over .08 which is legally drunk in the state of Michigan. Fred, suffering from agent orange exposure, is slowly wasting away and weights 110 lbs soaking wet. As a result of his test, Fred is being held against his will, in his room and is being told he cannot leave the room, under threat of being moved to the court yard (lock up).

Last we knew, drinking was not a crime in Michigan and since Fred does not drive, and has to use a manual wheel chair, being drunk in his chair shouldn't be seen as a crime either.

More on this as information becomes available.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Embezzlement of donations at Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

Updated Grand Rapids Home for Veterans : Crime in progress Part 13 entry, due to new information becoming available today. Seems another group made a donation that never got to the veterans as well.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans: Crime in progress part 19

Balancing the operating budget on the backs of veterans. VETERANS now being charged for healthcare that is supposed to be already paid for.

Today I was sitting outside in the make shift smoking area, where 2 overhead heaters barely kept the little hut warm enough to stay in. This smoking "hut" is located in the Kozy Corners outside pavilion, and is basically a 30 foot by 20 foot area, that has removable canvas walls, and 2 hanging vertical blind type doors made of long clear plastic that is 8 inches across.

Well, I was informed today that Some 100 percent disabled Veterans are now being charged for their medical care.

Four different veterans told me that as of January of this year, the home is sending them bills for their health care, despite being paid over 6 thousand dollars a month for room and board.

As a standard, a veteran who is 100 percent service connected disabled, does NOT have to pay to be here, and that includes health care.

But if they get sent out for anything, that is, if they have to go to one of the local hospitals, they are now being told they have to pay for it in addition to the costs they are already paying with their disability checks from the Veterans Administration (which covers their cost of living here).

I have no idea what is going on, but it sounds like someone is trying to get more money than they are allowed to be taking.. In other words, more stealing from veterans.

I see this as trying to balance their budget on the backs of veterans. They claim they are loosing over 18 thousand a day, due to the "privatization" fiasco.

Either way this is NOT right, and we are looking into it. A son of a veteran who is here, told me that when he got the bill for his fathers outside health care (trip to the local hospital) he took it to a lawyer who told him not to pay it, because his father is 100 percent military related disabled.

Well, we will see what happens.. I will post more on this, in this section of the blog, when I find out more.