Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rick Snyder Dishonors veterans a 4th time.


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder took questions from a friendly crowd Wednesday night at a town hall campaign event at Noto’s restaurant in Grand Rapids.
It was the third stop on Snyder’s town hall tour. His campaign invited undecided voters but had the final say on the guest list.  I am told 3 non union advocates for the veterans at theVeterans home in Grand Rapids, were on the invite list and attended but were told that the veterans issue is a social issue and that Snyder would not be addressing social issues. Also one of the Veterans from the home was there.

Such a comment makes me think that Snyder needs to take his head out. Every issue is a social issue. Funding for roads, schools, etc., are all social issues. Funding for our veterans and the administration that abuses them is a social issue.

3 times the Governor of Michigan was asked to meet with a small group of Veteran advocates and Veterans from the Grand Rapids home for Veterans and 3 times he has refused.

And while we find that talking to groups of people such as the event at Noto's restaurant and reading to kids at a Kentwood school is a good thing (also reported on, meeting with Veterans who vote, should not be over looked.

It is becoming clear, that problems at the Veterans home are not just limited to the local administration, but the causes of these problem lie with the Republican partys administration in Lansing and perhaps, directly to Governor Rick Snyder himself.

Recent attempts by public employees and officials of the government to silence the voices of the dissidents and advocates for the veterans,  are starting to look like standard operating procedure for this administration.

Recently the Administration told one advocate, that they did not want politicians coming to the home to do politicking, yet let Republican Candidate for US Senate Terry Land come to the homes yearly carnival and do just that. Now who authorized that, the Homes administration or someone in Lansing?

Advocates are being threatened to keep their noses out of the veterans affairs. It no longer matters that the veterans are forced to go to the advocates as they are not getting answers or relief from the VA directly. They have no choice but to go to a third party and beg for help. It makes you wonder why the VA and the State of Michigan doesn't want these advocates involved. Is it because the advocacy might work to the advantage of the veteran. This makes this writer wonder if all the State of Michigan and the VA facilities located in this State are wanting is the unnecessary death of the veteran. After all. A dead veteran can tell no tales.

Local news sources are refusing to cover any stories that question the administration or its policies at the home. Dissidents and Advocates who make comments on News websites are finding their accounts banned, canceled or their comments being moderated or blocked. Since when did Michigan become the 2nd North Korea?

Veterans at the home are afraid of speaking out because of established policies of targeting said veterans for removal from the home, either by means of discharge or by transfers.

And the home relies on Federal US tax dollars to operate.  The State gets thousands of dollars for each veteran assigned to one of the nursing units, from the Federal government of from the veterans own insurances. Many are now saying that Rick Snyder balanced the states budget in part, on the backs of Veterans.

What used to be a healthy Dorm unit of 150 homeless and income less veterans, is now down to about 50, and most have some kind of monthly income of which the veteran is allowed to keep only 100 dollars per month for their own use. Many veterans who could benefit from being in the Dorm unit for a period of time are being denied admission.

As stated before, the Dorm unit costs per Veteran starts at 2100 a month for a 10x8 foot area for a bed, dresser and small table, in a room that holds 4, each separated only by a curtain. All other areas are "common areas" used by all veterans. They also have a 3x3.5x7 foot lockable closet. And a shared toilet in each room.  At one time the Michigan Veterans Trust fund, paid for the veterans who had no income, but now the home is all but refusing admission to those who do not have an income.

The original reason for establishing the home was to give homeless civil war veterans a place to live.

By refusing to meet with Veterans and talk with them Rick Snyder is dishonoring those who put their lives on the line for this country. Without them, we would not be here today, enjoying rights and privileges that only the USA guarantees to its people.

And this is why many veterans have said they would rather live on the street than be forced to live in a place like the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans which has been turned into a prison for veterans without bars on the doors and windows. In many cases, prisoners in our state prisons get better treatment than the veterans at the Vets Home. Shame on you Michigan, Shame on you Rick Snyder.

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