Skip to comments.After 8-year delay, VA program hopes to help vets
Posted on 09/06/2009 5:00:56 PM PDT by 444Flyer
HOUSTON (AP) - The drone of helicopters still haunts William Callahan decades after Vietnam combat left him paralyzed, but he said government bureaucracy stood in the way of getting the one thing that made the echoes stop and kept him independent: a service dog.
It took four years and giving up on a Veteran's Affairs canine program for Callahan to find Taylor, a specially trained Labrador retriever.
Although the canine program's Web site touts that it "routinely" gives veterans service dogs, the program's director Neil Eckrich said only two dogs have been paired with veterans since Congress authorized the program in 2001. Eckrich acknowledged there were difficulties with the program, including the time it took to conduct studies on the dogs' benefits and problems promoting the service.
Finally, about eight years after the program began, many hope it will start finding homes for the four-legged companions that can help disabled veterans be more independent, better deal with post traumatic stress syndrome and to just be a friend. The VA is now working on improving the program and in Washington, increasing funding for such programs is getting bipartisan support.
Callahan, 63, began trying to find a service dog in 2004, and his local VA office said the program didn't exist - even though that wasn't true. He eventually turned to one of the more than two dozen nonprofit groups in the U.S. that train dogs for injured veterans.
Paralyzed from the waist down and facing the diminishing use of his arms and hands, Callahan said he needed assistance picking up items from the floor and someone to seek help in emergencies.
(Excerpt) Read more at apnews.myway.com ...
Does the tax payer not pick up the tab for a human aide in this situation. I believe so!!!
Wonder what the budget is for this program that placed two dogs in eight years. I’ll bet a bevy of bureaucrats is making a fine living shuffling papers somewhere. And this is the government efficiency that will challenge the insurance companies that BO touts in his HellCare plan.
Insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
WASHINGTON, July28The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) today praised the House of Representatives for standing up for disabled veterans and their family caregivers by overwhelmingly approving the Caregiver Assistance and Resource Enhancement Act.
The measure, H.R. 3155, would greatly expand the level of support services provided to family and non-family caregivers of severely wounded and disabled veterans, including specialized training and monthly cash stipends to eligible family caregivers. The bill also would provide one-stop access to support services via the Internet and make counseling, mental health services and medical care available to family and non-family caregivers of veterans.
Insanity is sticking the tax payer with the cost of a pet!
Thank you for your service!
The director of this program said they only placed two dogs in 8 FRIGGIN YEARS!!!! He said they had “ problems promoting the service.” What a total crock.
When several families sued the VA because their veteran family member committed suicide, the VA got together the Best suicide prevention program anywhere in the world.Hundreds of VA suicide Prevention coordinators across the country hired and put into place ( all with Masters degrees in mental health ), total revision of follow up within the VA system and a system within the suicid eprevention program for constant monitoring of the veteran’s progress.
Moreover, ‘getting the word out ‘ was a major PR and mass outreach and the whole thing was put together and going strong with thousands of veterans able to connect per year...ALL THIS WAS DONE IN ONE YEAR!
Is this only for the Houston area? There were more than 2 dogs placed with wounded warriors at Walter Reed alone.
I believe it’s on the national level. I wonder if the dogs at Walter Reed were privately funded?
From the story:
“...Donations allow nonprofit groups to train dogs without government help, but the organizations often have waiting lists and sometimes veterans have to travel to get the dogs and pay other fees.”
What I want to know is why this program is controlled by an organisation that does not seem to know it even existed for eight years?
I hate to say it but the VA is the biggest waste of money next to welfare that this country has, Benefits Veterans have earned the hard way don’t get to them, and care they need is often sidelined or impossible to get because the government employees at the VA just don’t care except for their pay checks.
I applied for VA healthcare based upon my hearing loss and perforated eardrums I suffered, and was turned down, not because I didn’t have service related injuries but because I didn’t meet their criteria for care a magic number based upon my family’s income at the time, six months later they wanted me to reapply because the magic numbers had changed.
In between those two events, I saw what the Local VA hospital had done to Vets in Miami and decided getting AIDs or Hepatitis C wasn’t worth a free anal probe for colon cancer.
When the government fixes the care at VA hospitals maybe then they can talk about healthcare for all Americans until then the fustercluck that is the VA is our best example why Government does not need to ruin healthcare.
Exactly Cobra! The VA is a nightmare!
Everything has it’s limits. When you are paying for their loved ones are professionals to help them. You have reached that limit.
My son suffers from TBI, a result of his second tour in Anbar. VA has him at 80% disabled. HE has himself at - up and ready.
After coming home, we were delighted that he found a dog - a Bassett hound he named Booze.
The change has been remarkable, now a year on he holds a full time job, has his own place etc. Something about a dog, you just cannot find in a medical book.....
However calling the dog in at night is a bit problematic when we are dog sitting....
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.