Did VA, Army Blow Ft Lauderdale Gunman Mental Health Warnings?

115
1637
Esteban Santiago-Ruiz Ft Lauderdale Gunman
Advertisement
Get the Voc Rehab Guide

Esteban Santiago-Ruiz Ft Lauderdale Gunman

Family members of the Ft Lauderdale shooter say the Iraq War combat veteran “lost his mind in Iraq” and later showed symptoms of PTSD before shooting.

Shooter Esteban Santiago-Ruiz allegedly suffered from severe mental health problems after returning from his tour in Iraq with the Puerto Rico National Guard from April 2010 to February 2011.

His aunt, Maria Rivera, reported he was hospitalized for mental health issues after returning from Iraq, and that “he lost his mind in Iraq.”

One month before the shooting, Esteban told the FBI he was suffering from mind control linked to ISIS videos. He also temporarily lost custody of his firearm but was reunited with the weapon after passing a mental health exam.

His brother Bryan said Esteban has been receiving mental health care in Alaska. We are not yet sure what health system was providing the care.

Esteban then legally carried a pistol through airport checked baggage prior to arriving in Fort Lauderdale. He reportedly loaded the pistol in the bathroom prior to shooting civilians at the airport there killing five.

Who Failed To Catch Mental Health Crisis?

I cannot help but wonder, was he receiving that mental health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs? If he was not, why not? If he was, what was the agency doing to resolve his ownership of a firearm while beliving he was under mind control linked to ISIS?

We will probably not know the answer to this question for a few weeks, but it certainly highlights failures between DOD and VA where veterans fall through the cracks who obviously suffer from mental health problems.

DOD has a known problem handing off troubled veterans once they exit the military, and dramatic increases in funding to government contractors to support the Transition Assistance Program (TAPs).

Those handoffs are further complicated when servicemembers exit the military with discharges other than “honorable” where the so-to-be veteran is not afforded the same access to services like TAPs as their colleagues.

This shooting certainly suggests DOD could to more to ensure all combat veterans receive the assistance they need who are experiencing service-connected disabilities like mental health disorders exhibited by Esteban prior to the shooting.

Some Background Pre-Ft Lauderdale

Here is what I pulled in from around the web.

A spokesperson for the Alaska Guard stated Esteban served almost one decade in the military starting in the Puerto Rico National Guard, starting in 2007.

He later transferred to the Army Reserve and later the Alaska Army National Guard in 2014.

In August 2016, Esteban received a general discharge for “unsatisfactory performance” following numerous instances of AWOL. This means he likely did not benefit from TAPs to transition out of military service.

Earlier in the year, Esteban was prosecuted for strangling his girlfriend. The charges were still pending at the time of the Florida shooting.

Just prior to the shooting, he was noted as living an isolated, loner lifestyle with limited access to resources.

Was VA providing the shooter’s mental health care? How about DOD? Who was responsible for his health care?

Esteban reported himself to FBI officials in Alaska two months ago reporting that the government had forced him to watch ISIS videos. The FBI interviewed the war veteran but ultimately released him.

According to USA Today:

Authorities in Alaska who last year referred Santiago for mental evaluation said Saturday he was allowed to retrieve his 9mm pistol in early December. Santiago could not be denied his weapon because he was not declared “adjudicated mentally ill,” Alaska U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said during a press conference. Federal law prohibits the mentally ill from possessing weapons, but only if they’ve been formally declared adjudicated.

Local law enforcement noted Esteban previously made comments of being under mind control of the US government.

According to SunSentinel:

Authorities have not identified a motive for the shootings, but on Saturday Marlin Ritzman, the Special Agent in Charge of the Anchorage field office, said that Santiago shared “disjointed comments about mind control” by the federal government, triggering a call to city police officers and a brief stay at an undisclosed treatment center in Alaska.  

Anchorage police confiscated the firearm that Santiago had left in his vehicle, but Santiago reclaimed it on Dec. 8. Officials said they had no choice under the law but to return the firearm. Officials initially said Santiago left his newborn in the car with the gun but on Sunday clarified that the baby was safely in FBI care.

It seems clear based on these various reports that Esteban was suffering from a mental health disorder prior to the shooting. His family believes he basically “lost his mind” after serving in Iraq.

Where was the Army or VA or TAPs in ensuring this veteran received the help he needed? He clearly knew he needed help when he reported to the FBI asserting he was under ISIS mind control.

Why did FBI not refer him to VA? Or did they – – and the referral still did nothing to prevent the shooting?

Shooting Fallout

The shooting will no doubt cause the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to defend their efforts in addressing post-traumatic stress disorder of veterans of the current and previous wars.

VA studies suggest one in five servicemembers of the most recent wars suffer from PTSD. Another study by RAND suggests around 14 percent of servicemembers may struggle with PTSD and another 14 percent suffer from major depression.

Since Veterans For Common Sense highlighted VA failures in addressing and treating PTSD and suicide, the agency has maintained improvements. Still, family members of veterans who commit suicide are very critical of VA programs funded to treat PTSD that deliver lack-luster results.

As the facts roll out, it looks more and more like our federal government failed this young man and those he killed last Friday.

Are they liable for allowing the veteran suffering from alleged mind control to reclaim his pistol one month prior to the shooting? Did someone drop the ball by not referring this veteran to immediate mental health professionals?

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

115 Comments

  1. Once again I. Wanna go on the record and say…” Thank you very much Mr.Krause for doing what you do so professionally “””…currently there isn’t anyone/ anybody/ anywhere providing veterans with as much information on a daily basis continuously as yourself…At least at the end of each day we vet’s have “you” to keep us knowledgeable about the. V.A./BVA/DOD!!! Please keep up the excellent work. Just wish you would place a post once aweek on how the. U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals is ruling on veterans issues. The last I heard some 75% of all the cases submitted to this court are “rejected/returned” in favor of veterans. Just praying that more knowledgeable people/veterans/ professors/ attorney’s etc represent the law with your “”Zeal””. Never has one person done so much in so little time!!!!??? You are aappreciated seriously.

    • I agree. Wish we had some people here in Indiana like Ben who has the cajones to be real or just as out-spoken about a totally broken system, and gives a little voice to the censored and hated ones, like us.

    • @Big Biz, I appreciate the kudos. Luckily, I have awesome readers and comments like you who are willing to jump out into the wild west of the Internet and bring back even more red meat to evaluate.

      • Benjamin, yes, I agree with the other veteran readers. You are an excellent in evaluating all the issues surrounding the VA, veterans, and our governmental administrations. We appreciate you. I was reading the article that you linked concerning the families of Veterans who did not receive appropriate VA mental health care and are now not living. This is true about the VA medication formulary. The VA formulary is very limited. This is another health care area that the VA does not try to improve and just settles for whatever due to the costs of the medications. If the VA cannot find medication on their formulary to help the veteran, the veteran is out of luck. The VA will not try to purchase the newer medications that have less side effects as compared to the older psych meds. Benjamin, the older medications that are used to treat voices, delusions, and hallucinations or whatever have horrible side effects with including tremendous weight gain, agitation, restlessness, and tardyskensia. The over use of the older anti- psychotic medications can cause involuntary movements with the limbs with reduced control. The VA does not even have newer antidepressants. The VA many times if cannot find a medication that will work will resort to ECT therapy. The ECT can damage the memory with leaving the veteran more damaged than before when the treatment was first started. Some vets may have a little success with ECT but from what I have witnessed the success is very limited. I only know what I have witnessed. Benjamin, the VA needs to revamp it’s medication formulary to reflect the newer improved medications. This is a serious area of concern that needs to be evaluated with the goal of offering more solutions to the Veterans so they can live with some sanity. If veterans refuse to take medications that either have harsh side effects or do not work for them, then the VA locks them up and injects them. The VA starts injections with the medications. Many of the psych medications also leave the veterans sometimes zombied out. The older psych medications also lead to diabetes. Also, when I previously was speaking about the eyeglass lens protection Crizal PREVENCIA. Anyway, this protection is needed for lenses today with selectively filtering up to 20% of harmful Blue-Violet Light while allowing beneficial Blue Turquoise light to pass through. The VA cannot afford this as well. With the new technology, it is absolutely necessary to prevent damage to the eyes which can lead to severe vision loss and blindness. The VA not only skimpy with it’s medication formulary but the veterans’ eyeglass lenses. Benjamin, I am not commenting on your website to cause havoc. I am only sharing about these issues because if the VA is going to survive and remain afloat, major changes need to occur in all aspects. I am only wanting the care to be better for all the veterans.

      • Benjamin, what I am about to say is very important for vets with mental health disorders, issues, and disabilities. I honestly believe that the VA needs to go back to the basics with using different types of therapy. One on one therapy to deal with the actual source of the traumatic issue. Benjamin, yes, medications are helpful but they are only a bandaids. Now it depends on the individual though. Benjamin, I am not joking when the psychosis is exposed it breaks the power of it. Now the individual has to be on medications initially while out of reality in the delusions. Also, by learning not to speak back to the voices is helpful but it is innately learned through experience. Also, if an individual is full of paranoia to check out his own reality with the external reality. Benjamin, it is the intensity of the feelings that contribute to the psychosis. Benjamin, when I was reading about the veteran going to the FBI to speak to them about the voices, if the FBI had had a real trained psych professionals who knew how to deal with psychosis and not just book knowledge, this shooting could have been prevented. He should have been asked if he would like to go voluntarily to a safe place to further share about his voices. Benjamin, it seems as though the leadership did not even try to help him. Yes, I agree meds are needed to reduce the intensity of the feelings so the anxiety can reduce which will reduce the psychosis. Ben, they did not even try to help him or the people in charge did not know what they were doing. Ben, therapy is very important in dealing with these symptoms but like I have mentioned many times before the VA refuses to treat with this path. Ben, I share my experience. Please check with mental health experts. Thanks and thank you for your efforts.

  2. Burning the midnight oil Ben? Me too, again. Good article.

    First off. I put nothing nothing beyond or past, this government and their secretive crap they’ve pulled over the years on soldiers, ‘test humans,’ or their black ops sci fi like stuff or programs/projects they do. Some history on the matter that we are allowed to read about is enough proof for my own thinking. Hell, mayber they should check that guy out for some implanted artificial intelligence chip some idiots are experimenting with to make us better human beings or more controllable. Who knows? We live in crazy times with some very crazy psychopaths in leadership and authorities. Oh, who can’t be trusted at all.

    That said. Watching the news with that Robin Meade on Headline News (idiot) makes it sound like all veterans are nut cases and need the help of big brother to control or monitor our entire lives since we are all so dangerous. All we should be able to do is weave baskets, not try to hunt or fish let alone have a firearm or ball bat. Group think. So the double edged sword strikes again. It shows some major changes need to be done, but also is another mark, or number, for the statistics of veterans going “Postal.”

    At least this incident can’t be labeled ‘false flag’ or something. The other down side is we only know or hear what the mainstream media and our masters will allow us to know. As the drums for WW3 or 4 keeps beating loudly. Another thought: Is he yet another one that was ‘forced’ to take some kind of head medication that like most other shooters were taking or on? Who knows that or will it be known?

    It is happening in my state with all the finger pointing at veterans so much that according to some animal rights extremist we shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog we are supposedly so messed up. All of us, period. They won’t go on camera or on the record when some of them spout off such crap. But there again in any local meetings we aren’t allowed to challenge such thought products of any special interest group that is pushing their own agendas and to hell with everybody else.

    Like with pain meds and the phony war on drugs this will be another excuse for the government or the VA to exact “Collective Punishments” on us all. Who cares if war crimes and such things like forced blood test are akin to war crimes, or is? As we slide down the path of living Soviet Union style or worse.

    Have a good day Ben and all others.

  3. Test post. I am being censored by Yahoo and others over free speech issues apparently and have to use my old email here since the new one won’t work with WrodPress. So have to post this to subscribe to the site and get replies using the old info until I get things changed somehow. Nice living in America today huh?

  4. I have watched various news sources and read as many and not *yet* has their been one mention of whether he was receiving VA Mental Healthcare, the dialogue refuses to qualify what and where that treatment was and instead, the news media is hellbound on painting this as yet another troubled Veteran…never wanting to talk about the damn causation let alone where the failures in treatment and follow-up.

    This was a tragic situation that paints a snapshot of how dysfunctional our current government agencies are, from the FBI to VA and DOJ/POTUS.

    I am thinking this unfortunate event in Florida may have placed a serious dent in Obama’s Tuesday “Farewell Speech”, where he no doubt was (and still will) claim to have cleaned-up the VA and blah, blah, blah…

    More questions than answers and I get so upset when I read some American’s comments on some of the various news sources online where there seems to be a % of butthurt snowflakes that are all too ready to already blame this tragic event on Pres. Elect Trump…nevermind the not-so-commander-in-chief.

    I still think there’s WAY MORE to this story to come out. The gov’t may not know what’s in store for them because I know from my own circle of friends, you never want to piss-off a Porto Rican family…the most tight-nit families I have ever known. This family is already speaking-out and expect more.

    Great article, Benjamin. Unfortunate event but it’s also unfortunate that this story follows right in-pace with what you have been posting last week…freaky the way life works. Am thinking there surely has to be a VA story up in Alaska to be had. Hope your networking brings more info.
    Rant Out.

    • I too would like to know if he at any time stepped into a VA…although I highly doubt we will ever hear if he did.
      I would also like to know how thorough the FBI investigation into him was up in Alaska. More so now If it is shown he was into jihad starting in 2007.

  5. There seems to be, in my opinion, more to this story than what’s being portrayed by the MSM.
    Lot’s of questions, no real answers, YET!
    As namnibor has pointed out, these family members are going “…to be speaking out…” in the coming days, weeks.
    Hopefully, they will garner more people to make Obama’s VA look more incompetent than most of us on here already know!
    This young man, in my opinion, had dropped through the cracks. Why did they not address his “mental condition” more thoroughly? Was the mental health agency he went to that inept? Why didn’t the military do a better job evaluating his mental health status or issues?

    • I would think his brother Bryan may not. He is listed as a connection on his brothers MySpace page.
      Regardless of whether he was a jihadi sympathizer or a young stupid kid trying to appear edgy, the FBI seriously dropped the ball on this, along with whatever clinic he went to for that evaluation.

  6. I just received this article from “military.com Daily News” this morning.
    Titled;

    “VA Workers Got Millions in Unjustified Incentives”

    “Stars and Stripes | by Nikki Wentling
    7 January, 2017

    Y’all need to read this bull crap “Gimpy” Gibson is trying to defend!
    It concerns an IG report, Jan. 5, 2017, where $30+ million was doled out to VA employees. Which they should never have received in the first place. There’s also other payouts scheduled for the future. He’s also wanting more for “bonuses”!
    “Gimpy” Gibson is, of course, defending this illegal payout.
    I guess it’s time for these employees to start receiving $1 per paycheck, “Holman Rule”, until all monies are returned. If they quit, then put leans on all that they own. If they are hired on the outside. Garnish their wages.
    At the same time, “Gimpy” Gibson’s job should be eliminated until a new Secretary of VA is appointed. Then the new Secretary can do that job.

    • “The Titanic Sails at Dawn: Warning Signs Point to Danger Ahead in 2017” At the Rutherford Institute site.

      I guess the VA way is going all out into civilian life. Non medical people to assess mental illness? Socialist styled health care, blood screening for all, the cover-ups, etc.

      Local news reported about how the authorities are wanting all citizens to rat on one another, as well as kids against parents for whatever. Then on to wanting hairdressers to report whatever they hear about to law enforcement. From animal abuse to possible domestic issues to veteran husbands with various illnesses and disorders. Look out old Soviet Union or North Korea we are going to beat the record books in tyranny and fascism. Burning us heretics on a pole will be next.

      All those “incentives” and bonuses must be the cause for VA activist and family members to want to silence us or do us in for trying to get them fired or held accountable for corruption to incompetence. Trying to get anyone fired or to lose a job is not the real issues going on here. Unless they really deserve to be fired or let go, or to perhaps have them change positions in their work place away from us and our care.

      Now, today, if we air our concerns and issues over anything that makes us, or me, #10 veteran, #1 enemy of the state, media, and to all the corrupt. Oh well. Must be directly over the target as they say, for the flak.

  7. I was treated very differently by the VA Clinic in Downtown Los Angeles on my first crisis in 1983 and later in 1991 than in Denver in 2014. Treatment for mental health crisis has become a put off as in “we don’t believe you have a problem” or “it is best for you to sort it out for yourself.” Actually it is because of a lack of resources. Obama Care has made private practice much more lucrative and the physician can choose their patients as easily as the patient can choose their physician. The department director chooses which physician sees which patient in the VA and some of the physicians should be there in the first place. More so now when there is greater choice for competent mental health care givers.

    • @Lem,
      Yes, one CAN definitely say Obama has made it abundantly clear outside Physicians can charge more.
      For example, “OBAMACARE’s” raising the premiums to where patients can no longer afford it. In some instances, patients are forced into decide over food, healthcare or the penalty. Sad, to say the least.
      Yesterday, a rep from Louisiana, who has 30+ years as a physician, described how a married couple are now charged over $36,000/year, and have a $6,000 co-pay!
      Basically, confirming what President Elect Trump and Vice-President Elect Pence has been saying.

      Here’s an article, (video), from Fox News, dated 9 Jan. 2017 – (7:39 minutes long) over what the White House, ie: Obama, is up to.
      Titled;
      “Sean Spicer: Trump Hits Obama – White House w/allegations: “Leaking Classified Info To NBC…”

      If true, which it seems it is, person’s “…who willingly, or knowingly, divulge Classified Information are subject to US Code 18.C…!”
      The penalty could result in numerous penalties! The worst being the death penalty.
      I believe this ‘code’ also references those who receive Classified Info as well. Especially, if they do not have security clearances or the “Need To Know”! Remember that phrase while you were in the military?!

      • You missed the point. Before Obama Care insurance wouldn’t cover mental health or drug rehab. The only employment was upper end — Beverly Hills etc. or the VA. Now everyone who has insurance can see a therapist or go to Drug rehab. So there are too few qualified care givers to go around and the competition to get their services has increased their compensation.

    • Lem,
      Here’s just one article concerning the West Los Angeles property “willed” to veterans.
      It’s from the “Los Angeles Times”, dated 27 Jan. 2015, by Gale Holland.
      Titled;
      “U.S. Settles suit over misuse of West L.A. Veterans Campus”

      After that date, and within a year, McDipshit gave it back to the VA. In complete violation of court ruling.
      The veterans of West Los Angeles had been fighting the VA for over a decade for the property.
      This ruling, until McDipshit changed it, was a major win for homeless veterans.
      There’s many more articles over this issue.

      • State Veteran’s Home. But I don’t think you are correct on the acreage. And it is handled by the Governor not the VA. There has been a long standing suite by an heir trying to change properties for the home to a lower value land. It is on Prime land in Santa Monica.

        So read carefully the article and don’t insert names that don’t belong.

    • @Lem,
      You might also want to check out that 330+ acres, willed to veterans forever, McDipshit took from Homeless Veterans, ILLEGALLY, in West Los Angeles last year.
      He violated a federal court order by doing so!

      • Actually that was a military facility before it became a VA facility like most VA facilities. You are right in a way, Congress did change it “forever” until changed by another Congress because that is all the authority any Congress has. Another fake news story mistaking Griffith Park for the West Los Angeles Medical Center and Veterans’ interment area.

      • Lem, you are 100% incorrect over that 330+ acres in West Los Angeles being a military facility before it was a VA area.
        It was privately owned property, then willed to veterans by the owners.
        The veterans who took it to federal court won. Then McDipshit came out there last year and illegally gave it back to VA!
        Check your facts. I’ve been monitoring this issue for over three years!
        The law firm handling this situation still continues to fight for the veterans!

      • Which specific property are you referring to? The Veteran’s Home? Wadsworth? The Cemetery? Brentwood? The Federal Building?

        Who owned and willed the property and for what purpose? I think you are talking about the Veteran’s Home which is run by the State of CA which developers have been trying to get their hands on for years as well as the Brentwood property that was formerly a Calvary base.

      • P.S.
        Lem,
        That property was willed to veterans back in the 1890’s by a prominent family!
        ______________

        As far as private healthcare insurance,
        My wife’s insurance, prior to Obamacare, Kaiser Permanente Insurance DID pay for mental health issues and if needed did pay for drug rehab.

        For some reason your comments on here try to undermine truthful statements made by persons who have dealt with these issues a lot longer than you!

      • Oh, and by the way Lem, Kaiser PermanenteIns (in California) was around BEFORE President Clinton, (1992)!
        I know this to be factual.

  8. My ex husband is an Iraq veteran. We spent our honeymoon in Walter Reed. He had PTSD. I am Psych major and although I am not a licensed mental health therapist, I was a suicide prevention counselor for almost 10 years. I am sad to say the VA did very little for my ex. His rage, lack of self control, insane mood swings are, in great part, responsible for the end of our marriage. He used to go to the VA monthly and get a bunch of meds prescribed. I asked him over and over again if he had any talk therapy, any deprogramming therapy, in addition to the medication, and the answer was always no. There was a suicide a week in Walter Reed when I was with him. He never saw anyone while I was there. We were both broke and going to college, but I kept pushing for him to get treatment somewhere else. His mood swings and anger were scary. He threw things in the house. He screamed. His eyes would glaze over sometimes. He was isolated. He finally went to therapy some 4 years later when his mom paid for the sessions. Unfortunately, our marriage was at the point of no return for quite sometime and we amicably divorced. I believe he still deals with a lot of it.

    • Maya, my ex-husband is Viet Nam vet who receives disability. Marriages these days are difficult, even if one has not been diagnosed with an illness, especially of ptsd. Even though I gave 4 yrs of peace time service and should have known a lot of the military way, most of his illness was hard for me deal with, I guess because I had problems too.
      Your psychology learning and experience probably kept you and your husband together much better than you realize; I had studied and worked in the field myself, but that did not prevent my marriage from breaking up, also. Sometimes it is better for us to see and work on a problem if we are not living it. I don’t know whether I would go back and change anything, as he and I are better friends today than we ever were when legally married. We are able to enjoy each other’s company when we want to and appreciate each other more. It has not been easy, but it is better. If we can take everyday as a learning experience and forgive ourselves, I think it does get easier. I have learned to prioritize who I give my time to and how I choose to act and re-act to situations, and if I even allow myself to be in certain situations. And if I feel I have made a mistake, I don’t go crawl in a hole like I use to, but get back up and do it again. And when I get tired, I rest and take time for myself– because I can’t help anyone if I let myself get down.
      Maybe the incoming administration can shake things up and start off with a program of re-integration back into society. War doesn’t just affect the veteran, but family, also.

      • The VA Clinic in Los Angeles provided my wife with therapy that helped her deal with it for the last 34 years since 1983. We celebrated our 45th anniversary January 1. But the Vet has to ask for therapy for his spouse. At the time I was diagnosed with PTSD and not yet with the TBI from a 1969 MVA.

  9. I am a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, and agree that unless he was adjudicated as mentally ill, he should not have had his rights infringed.
    On the other hand, most states have laws against possession of firearms in domestic violence cases. His weapons should have been removed based on his domestic violence. Does Alaska have a law based on that? Or does one have to be convicted before they are removed?
    Other news reports show he went back to living with his girlfriend fairly quickly after that domestic violence incident.
    As for getting mental health care by either the DOD or VA…some looking to point fingers away from themselves might suggest he was unstable prior to his service.
    If you follow the timeline, he entered service in 2007. His tour in Iraq was 2010, so he had a period of service that suggests it was honorable. He continued serving in various units that appear varied simply based on his moving around.
    He would have had up to 9 years of service prior to getting a General discharge for unsat performance, so I will not believe his mental health was a problem prior to serving in Iraq.

    Now, American Thinker has a post about his possible tied to radical Islam, with links to a Got News article by Pam Heller saying they found his MySpace page he created using the name Aashiq Hammed…in 2007.

    • A General Discharge under Honorable Conditions doesn’t deprive one of VA benefits. I believe you have to get a Bad Conduct Discharge to rise to the level of being deprived of VA benefits but I could be wrong. There may be some Administrative Discharges that apply. Even General Discharges from Boot Camp when having served more than 90 days qualifies for VA Benefits. Some General Discharges (conditions are stated) deprive you of GI bill educational benefits.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Krause.

      • @Lem- You require an HONORABLE Discharge to qualify for VA Benefits, or unless Obama shredded that requirement as well? Last I checked, Honorable Discharge was still required because I know someone that has been attempting to get his Other Than Honorable Discharge upgraded officially….in order to obtain VA Benefits.

        However, it would not surprise me one bit of this policy is highly dependent on whom you talk to at the VA as they barely know their own regs.

      • Whoops, didn’t read your statement fully. General under “other than Honorable Conditions” are not eligible and many of the ones stated as “under other than Honorable Conditions” will be upgraded because the Commander issuing the discharge went overboard.

        I was with a Vietnam veteran, in one of the VA rehab housings for homeless in DC, who was convicted of murder by a General Court Martial and had his discharge upgraded to a General under honorable conditions. He disarmed a man in an EM club and in the process accidentally shot and killed him. Then out of anger pumped 2 more bullets into his body. (The last part was the reason for the upgrade) If he had been white and the victim black instead of the other way around at the time given the circumstances leading up to the shooting he would not have been convicted of 1rst degree murder.

        Having just come back from Vietnam the diagnosis of PTSD entered into his DD being changed to General under Honorable Conditions and his ability to get released from Leavenworth, and entered into VA health care after 28 years.

      • That’s what I’ve been thinking nam…what any veteran is told about qualification for benefits may differ depending on which clerk one might talk to, and if it’s before or after lunch.

      • Lem you are correct about “General Discharge under Honorable Conditions doesn’t deprive one of VA benefits”.

      • You are right, but the VA has been denying veterans with those type of discharges. It was reported not very long ago that the VA made the determination and made the wrong determination and the veterans paid the price.

        I just don’t understand why doing the right thing is so hard for the VA to understand. Doing the job right the first time, would serve everyone a lot of grief. But nope, lets see how many Veterans we can give the shaft too. They will never find out anyway. Wrong!

      • Thanks Seymore. I just looked it up. Things have changed a little. Now you have to be on active duty for 24 months or have a service connected condition that caused your discharge instead of the 90 days of service required for those discharged prior to 1980.

        There is also a different “priority list” that requires only 10% instead of the 30% and 50% levels that used to exist.

        I just got off the telephone with the endoscopy unit in Cheyenne and they didn’t send the full Rxs to the pharmacy. Were asking me to buy Dulcolax and Magnesium Citrate.

        Some confusion in the ranks by changes due to Obama Care. Some low priority veterans have to buy all over the counter meds and pay co-pays.

      • Lem,

        Correct. A General Discharge under Honorable Conditions does allow VA Benefits. However, it does have an effect on certain benefits.

        Have assisted 4 or 5 younger veterans here in Honolulu with package submissions to the proper service boards to get those discharges upgraded to Honorable.

        Last time I did this was 2013, so things could have changed. If the Discharge is over 15 years old, one must apply to (respective Branch of Service) Board for Correction of Records. This process begins by completing a DD Form 149.

        If Discharge less than 15 years old, application must be made to the Discharge Review Board on DD Form 293.

      • You can receive VA care with an Other Than Honorable discharge, for service connected injuries. If one of those service connected injuries happens to be a TBI, then you also have a good chance at getting your OTH upgraded.

  10. Not at all. The FBI failed this country by this man’s Radical Islamic Muslim Views in 2007 social media posts! Two years before he became an Army enlistee and being deployed in the fight against terror, I believe he had an agenda before his military time!

  11. One thing that has come out is that Esteban Santiago-Ruiz , like the Orlando shooter, was employed by a private security firm. Esteban was employed by Signal 88 Security which had offices in both Anchorage and near Ft. Lauderdale where the shootings occurred.

    The Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was employed by G4S security Solutions. Which also has offices in Anchorage and near Ft. Lauderdale where Esteban was the shooter.

    Both also were fathers of young children and both had been or were current subjects of FBI investigations.

    • @Seymore and others,
      How accurate is the reporting over his (possible) ties to (RADICAL) Islam?
      Or, could these be “false narratives” from FBI or other security agencies to distract us from the truth? Basically helping these agencies to C.Y.A.!
      Something I, and possibly everyone, would want to know!

      • Unless other evidence is found tying him more recently to radical Islam, it looks like he wasn’t much more than a stupid kid.
        Although the picture of him with a mid-east scarf holding up 1 finger like ISIS likes to do suggests he continued towards radicalism.
        There is also a post showing he posted on some weapons forum about downloading ISIS videos.

      • Not sure on the ties to Radical Islam but would point out the man did serve our country. The information that has been pouring out with lightning speed is all questionable.

        It is clear the information releases are to try to shape a narrative about the shooter and not get down to the facts in the case.

        Facts are this man had been harassed by someone in Anchorage using the police as a weapon against him and he did go to the FBI to report a problem. Instead of investigating the problem, he is lock up for observation and discredited by the FBI.

        FBI & APD news conference on Esteban Santiago
        You tube: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHGgfVljCpc”

      • Several questions I have is what was the name of the FBI agent who was following Esteban Santiago? Was he or she one of the Victims? Did they try to get close to Esteban while he was on the plane?

        What did they say to Esteban?

  12. Hey Elf,

    Did you catch the article in the Daily Caller about all the melting snowflakes feeling the butt hurt.

    “There Are No Jobs’: Obama Loyalists Scramble To Find Work”, Ted Goodman, 1/08/2017.

    I guess no one wants to hire the fraud prone, incompetent, butt hurt, winey snowflakes that worked for Obama and Hillary.

    Read more: “https://dailycaller.com/2017/01/08/there-are-no-jobs-obama-loyalists-scramble-to-find-work/”

    • Seymore,
      Great article!
      Guess no one wants to hire known Liars, Crooks and Thieves!
      Maybe they should go to Qatar and ask Hillary and Obama to support them!!

      • Elf,

        It is what is sure to happen with all those VA employees when Trump starts shaking that rats nest out.

      • Seymore,
        Wouldn’t it be great if David “Little” Cox were to tell all those union members to “STRIKE” on Jan 20th!
        Remember what happened when Reagan took over!

    • Oh, I am pretty sure the VA will quickly gobble them-up, regardless of qualifications, just to feed “little” Cox AFGE some fresh union dues paying members and for the VA to further bolt-down the deck-chairs on the V.A. Titanic. Wait for it…

      • namnibor,
        This is all contiguous on if President Elect Trump, or Vice President Elect Pence, turns loose the “hounds of hell” on VA and the union.
        I’ve got this intuition, back in my mind,
        1), the DOJ, FBI and other law enforcement agencies are going to do something on all the illegal waste, fraud and abuse taking place.
        2) the union is going to “take a hit” like the air traffic controllers union did, back in 1981 or 1982!
        Remember, it took that union years to get some semblance of their former self together. Yet, never did get as powerful.
        This is what needs to happen to the AFL/CIO and all the other unions in America!

      • I cant wait for the Head of the union to go to Washington and kick Trumps Butt, I hop he’s has been jumping rope and running a mile a day to prepare and when he gets there Donald Trump give him a Good left hook and knocks that smile right off his face.

        That how embolden, VA employee have become. Immunity has to go and employees must be held accountable. period.

  13. This veteran is like many others, improper care or care refused. A veteran must have a service adjudicated disability or the VA can refuse treatment and yes they like to say the person is faking. I had to suffer for forty years with out care and I had to endure all that comes with it alone, So what does a person do, its all to common SELF Medicate.

    When you do this, your a drunk, your a drug addict, your just plain crazy to others. It took me forty years to receive care such as the alcohol and drug program and inpatient PTSD treatment and guess what, since I was treated, I have not touched one drop of booze in 10 years, I can sleep at night, I can speak with people and I feel good every mourning and thank God for letting me wake up.

    Those forty years were hell, but the VA did not care. If the clerk or whom ever did my claim, did not write that letter of denial due to my records being destroyed in a fire, when they were not or could of not been in the fire.

    The last forty years would have been different. I have been called a success story by the courts and by the VA PTSD program manager, whom I had one on one treatment and this psychiatrist, was on the board for PTSD in Washington.

    So yes I believe that the VA should have done more. I sure am glad that I had good family support. I’m sure my wife at times questioned if I was worth it (marriage), now that I have been treated the world seems upside down or just the opposite.

    So if the VA would stop treating veterans as lying about their condition, treat them as if they are telling the truth. If they are, were faking the truth would come on in the wash.

    Last year 14,600 veterans took their lives, ? is how many of those veterans were denied their claims and therefore was declined care. Another ? how many veterans that took their lives were mistreated by VA staff, How many called the Hotline and nothing was done. ? how many were given medication and then the medication taken away or changed just to see if it works. Test subjects

    The VA is the biggest teaching hospital in the U.S. and we are their Test subjects. Were not human, we are just a piece of meat, they don’t care if what they are doing may cause a veteran to take their own life or in this case innocent people.

    How many hearts must be broken before those responsible are held accountable.

    I say to VA employees to start right now to write down everything they know that is going on and report it, not to their bosses but to the New secretary. They see first hand and know whos doing what and if its found out that certain employees knew something was wrong and does not report it, they are just as guilty as the ones doing the wrong.

    Its time for VA employees to join the Veterans and do their part to blow this think wide open and save thousands of jobs.

    • @james Gallegos – – – Right on! When I first went to the VA, they missed my PTSD because I was not drinking. I had a problem with Alcohol during my early active-duty years. Attended a live-in program at NAS Corpus Christi, TX in 1982. It was all very clearly documented in my medical records that I gave to them when I was first accepted at the VA.

      One day, while in the VA – – – something triggered me into a flashback in front of a large number of people. Amused some, Scared the shit out of others! In any case, very shortly after that incident – – – I was placed into treatment for PTSD.

      To this day, I do not understand why the VA continues to “require alcohol abuse” in order to make a PTSD determination. Seems to me that (as has been noted thousands of time) we all have different triggers/responses to various stimuli/situations – – – – yet, we all suffer from PTSD. Rape Victim PTSD differs from Combat PTSD – – – yet both are very troublesome to live with.

      Completely agree with the rest of your post.

      As the great Virgil Ivan Grissom would have said: “Fuckin’ A, Bubba”!

      • I don’t know why you would have to attend the drug and alcohol admission. Think of it this way you are now trained to help someone else that does have a problem or illness. It is an illness and one doctor placed into my record’s

        Mr Gallegos is not to be punished for his willful drinking as he was drinking to self medicate.

        I am have been taking a medication called naltrexone it to curb the urge to drink and it work’s.

        I would advise anyone suffering from ptsd to go to a program. But it’s up to the individual to do or apply what they have learned.

        Plus ? You find out that your not the only one suffering and most feel comfortable speaking to other’s in the same boat.

        Guys coming and going and graduate weekly during your I think 8 weeks treatment. Topeka Kansas vamc has one of the best I have been too.

        Their is nothing wrong asking for help and I hope you have a better out look on life after your treatment.

        I was told by staff. Now when you are discharged it’s going to seem like other people are crazy. Turn our world upside down.

        It’s a shame that some veteran’s will go into treatment. Just to return to their VA and a VA employee will belittle them. Trying to get their goat head. After treatment you learn to not get mad and are able to do the right thing and see how stupid some people are and you just laugh.

        The VA does not like you to stay calm. When they are trying to make you mad and you ignore them and say have a wonderful day.

        Some can’t take it and will report you as being disruptive for being a smart ass. So if your nice you can get into trouble and if you complain you get reported.

        Go figure. !

      • Yep James, the VA, I believe does almost everything intentionally to sabatoge the veterans. There was a comment made earlier on this blog pertaining to what Rod Beckham mentioned about invisible wounds. I know for a fact that with therapy that certain parts of the brain can heal itself. These therapies or all the avenues for treating invisible wounds that Rod spoke about can stimulate the neuron cells to where the brain can start to regain some functioning. The person may never be the same like before the injury but the different areas of the brain has the potential to be accessed. The hippocampus which houses the memory can regenerate. This is fact. Cognitive retraining I know for a fact can assist an individual in regaining functioning. One thing about the VA, the VA wants the veterans to stay sick. The VA’s number 1 goal is to sabatoge the veterans. This is a fact. The VA wants the vets dead. The VA does not overall offer real hope. I have witnessed a guy who was paralyzed now walking 3 or 4 miles a day. So sometimes I almost believe if one would stay away from the VA, their life might improve. The VA causes alot of this shit or make things worse. Anyway, enough of my soap box.

      • For me the biggest deficit is the effect of stress. After a 6 month rest I can last about 3 months on the job before my performance starts deteriorating. By 6 months I’m usually incompetent. That seems to stay the same even after being medicated for temporal lobe seizures. I don’t notice the seizures on Keppra or the after affects but I still crash after 6 months trying to do a days work 40 hours per week. Because of the seizures I can’t work with equipment including a dishwasher so not many physical jobs I can be employed at. But I do find physical work that I can do safely that doesn’t have mental stress I can do fairly competively.

      • I have a diagnosis of substance abuse that was entered in my record in San Diego because I was seen in homeless garb. Glad the VA checks every blood test for substance abuse now. Shouldn’t be difficult to get that erroneous diagnosis removed from my adjudication file.

  14. BP- Buddy Program
    HD- Honorable Discharge
    MC- Medical Conditions
    MSC- Military Separation Code

    I have a Military Separation Code [MSC] on my DD-214 that is inaccurate. My wife was the one who informed me about the MSC’s are around 2 years ago. I have an Honorable Discharge [HD], and had thought that I received the HD under Medical Conditions [MC]. Question: Does anyone know how to go about submitting a request to have the MSC changed on my DD-214?

    Here is some additional information about my situation. I enlisted under a Buddy Program [BP]. The kicker is this, my buddy whom I enlisted with, had the same Military Separation Code [MSC] as I do. After looking up the meaning of the MSC, the MSC on our DD-214’s requires the individual to be discharged. The MSC DOES NOT allow a person to re-enlist. Yet my friend, who has the same MSC on his DD-214, was allowed to re-enlist when he shouldn’t been able to. Plus, he received a sign up bonus as well.

    When my wife informed me about the Military Separation Codes [MSC], I was discharged from the military for over 40 years. According to the MSC on my DD-214, I can’t file for any benefits from the VA. Many years ago, I filed for a claim, but no butthead at the VA Office informed me about the MSC on my DD-214.

    For all of these years, I thought that I had an Honorable Discharge [HD] under Medical Conditions [MC]. I was misled all of these years, because I was unaware about the Military Separation Code [MSC]. I didn’t know that the MSC’s even existed at the time I was Honorably Discharged [HD], or at the time I filed a claim. No VA personnel shared anything with me about the MSC’s.

    I appreciate any input about this matter. I would like to get this all cleared up. I forget to mention, that I was diagnosed with PTSD by a VA Psychiatrist. This matter is hindering me from getting proper medical care from the VA.

    • Proper medical care from the VA for PTSD. You mean treatment with hallucinogens, like Tramadol, and the Clockwork Orange hyper-violence forced video method.

      • @Seymore Klearly – I hear you Brother! Only thing, the VA’s Tramadol don’t do squat. Tramadol is a muscle relaxer [Schedule IV Medication]. I’ve already had an anti-anxiety medication that works for me. VA gave it to me before, but will not give it to me now.

        What I need solved is the Military Separation Code issue. I know how the VA is with giving out mind altering scripts. I just want to get my DD-214 fixed. Any suggestions???

      • ANutterVet,

        Tramadol is synthetic morphine and while it is only just over 10 percent of the effectiveness of morphine for pain. It is 10 times more addictive then morphine.

        It is also prescribed by the VA to treat PTSD.

        It is also connected to a number of Veterans deaths caused by Mixed Drug Toxicity.

      • @Seymore Klearly – Tramadol is a Schedule IV opiate-like medication, whereas morphine is a Schedule II medication. There is a big difference between the two drugs. I’ve taken the VA’s Tramadol as a breakthrough medication due to painful muscle spasms, but it does not work for me. I had Tramadol in the Private Sector from Walgreens and it was so, so. My wife can’t take Tramadol because she said that she can’t sleep [it is like taking a diet pill]. This confirms to me, that it is true that medications can react differently per each person. Schedule II drugs are highly addictive, whereas with Tramadol it will most likely depend on the person. I know its a tough call.

        Let’s bypass the Tramadol for now, I really need help with my Military Separation Code issue. I can’t get any benefits without this being changed, even though I was diagnosed with PTSD by a VA Licensed Medical Provider.

      • @Seymore Klearly – I would like to make a very critical and important point here about medications. You referenced that Tramadol is 10x more addictive than morphine. My body chemistry must act different compared to what is documented and published on verified medical websites. I had no problem with stopping Tramadol what so ever. I experienced no physical or psychological symptoms when I stopped taking Tramadol. This goes to show you that medications can react differently per each person.

      • When I was prescribed Tramadol in 1998 the reason given was it was “less addictive.” But then I’ve never had a problem with addiction to medicine. Cards — that is different.

      • By pass the Tramadol for now? Fuck that, Tramadol is a very dangerous drug that is being prescribed by the VA to unsuspecting Veterans. Just because they only recently listed it as a scheduled medication it has been around for years. Although no one could buy it because it was not carried by any pharmaceutical company.

        Two quick examples of how deadly Tramadol is compliments of the Candy Man from Candy land at Tomah.

        1.) His research published in 1994 completed at Tomah using a mixture of California Rocket Fuel and Tramadol.

        “Serotonin syndrome resulting from coadministration of tramadol, venlafaxine, and mirtazapine.” Houlihan David
        “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14970364”

        From Wikepedia
        ““California rocket fuel” is a medical slang term for the combined administration of mirtazapine (a NaSSA) and venlafaxine (an SNRI). This combination is usually used in the treatment of severe and/or treatment-resistant depression.”

        2. The death of Jason Simcakoski at Tomah where Jason was loaded up on Tramadol shortly before his death.

        “https://www.revealnews.org/article-legacy/opiates-handed-out-like-candy-to-doped-up-veterans-at-wisconsin-va/”

        I can go on and point out the bogus research by VA researchers who have been categorically disproven in their bogus research on Tramadol.

        As for the addictiveness of Tramadol go to Google news and do a quick search on the word Tramadol. This bull shit highly addictive hallucinogen that the VA is passing out is killing Veterans.

      • Tramadol is deceiving because it may not be at the surface as *effective* on pain but it in-fact affects/effects the exact same brain area any other Opioid but accelerated addictiveness and as mentioned, serotonin syndrome enhanced when combined with other meds or on it’d own.
        I learned this from a private insurance M.D. years before ever firstly going to the VA for a period of time…that was back in 2002 and it was known back then because that Dr. back then did not like to RX Tramadol and only did so when people could not tolerate actual codeine-based pain RX…and now you see TV commercials with huge law firms asking if you have ever been prescribed Tramadol….the ambulance chasers would not be spending advertising $$ if it were not a real danger and also lucrative.
        Rethink Tramadol. Look past the fairy dust. Just texted an in-law that’s an RN and she concurred and asked…is the VA still RXing Tramadol? yep!

      • @Seymore Klearly and @Namnibor – Hey thanks for the information on Tramadol. This can get overwhelming. The VA does this on purpose! Those nincompoop asinine buttwhacks. Always screwing over Veterans. Hyper anxiety, I need to relax a bit.

    • @ANutterVet – – Regarding the Discharge Code on DD-214, I can provide you with tons of info on that. Shoot me an e-mail to the address contained in my letter you read, and make sure I know who it is from. Tell me your story very generically – – – Branch of Service – Years – and your sep code, and I can help you with a lot. You and your wife will have to do the work, but I can provide you with a lot of info (that I will not post publicly) that will help give you the fairest shot at getting that fixed.

      • @Disgruntled Veteran – Thanks DV. If I recall, maybe my mistake, I don’t remember you giving out your contact information. Can you tell me what page it is on in your file? Or, about where it is?

      • @Disgruntled Veteran – Hey, I scanned your file. You redacted [blacked out] your email address at the top of your paper. Any suggestions on how to contact you?

      • @Disgruntled Veteran – Due to the complexity of the Military Separation Code issue, it would be a better idea if I could call you on my dime. I don’t want anything to be taken out of context with this situation. It’s very sensitive, and not only am I labeled, but my best friend is labeled as well. After discussing this with my friend, we believe that someone who we know in the Ship’s Personnel Office changed our codes. I just want to see if I can get the dam code changed. What is on my DD-214 DOES NOT represent me. Thanks Brother!

      • @Disgruntled Veteran – Sorry man. I guess it really shows the affect that a lack of sleep has me. I found it. No dah. I’ll send you my phone number, than please send me yours. I’m putting your email in my Outlook database.

  15. Hey Seymore,
    I’d love for David “Little” Cox to tell all the union employees to STRIKE on January 20th or the 21st. By telling them it would “benefit them in many ways!”
    Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

    • It would. Better yet, he could just tell them all to flee the country to avoid charges of genocide committed against Veterans.

  16. Did they ever say who the fifth person, in the Ft. Lauderdale shooting was? Could be the one who was following him. There are many questions, and few answers. All I can figure is, he was messed up. Sounds like PTSD. One wrote, he slipped through the VA cracks. Some BIG CRACKS. I am bothered by the way he surrendered. Terrorists don’t surrender like that. Not that I can remember. Great articles for a while now. Ben, ya done well.

    • Same as Sgt Bales. Read the book or view the movie, “Anatomy of a Murder”. See if it doesn’t give you some insight.

  17. All are valid questions however I must give pause to his 2007 Myspace allegiance to ISIS and wonder if the recruits are being properly vetted prior to being trained by our military.

  18. Thanks. “Anatomy of a Murder” does relate. I wonder if that “MySpace” account is Estabon’s. Troops are NEVER vetted properly. They should be, just aren’t. /

    • I have to disagree in that at least prior to the end of the Cold War, the troops were properly background checked and more, if clearance required of same.
      I think what can be found is it was actually under Pres. George W. Bush, that the Army specifically, seriously lowered recruitment standards because there was a period a large influx of active gang members, various gangs, and namely from California, were allowed in Army and the story I read is many of these gang members then used that military training when discharged, to further train other gang members, leaving trail of mayhem to even today’s Chicago. Those were many years ago worth of Stars & Stripes but I remember it taking place.
      There’s many Vets that believe the influx of Military Sexual Assaults/Trauma stemmed from this influx of ‘bad seeds’….and many believe this was all done to avoid at all costs an official DRAFT for these wars and also reason you have Units returning 3,4,6 times to battlefield…all to save some $$$ on the bottom line and political points for not activating the draft.
      I for one think a DRAFT would make the USA take more cautionary pause to think before starting more war.
      Anyway, I believe the various military branches USED to vet recruits very well and something tells me we could trace this back to Pres. Clinton’s first term.

    • J03n,
      Don’t you remember, back a few years, where the Army was caught enlisting criminal gang members!?
      It was all over the news.
      So much for “vetting” anyone!

  19. The AFL-CIO sold out workers via the states workers compensation systems where these injured workers would be eligible (via their contracts unbeknownst to the workers ) after receiving 2 years of temporary disability benefits as with newly founded union connected WC attorneys, who would then tell the injured workers to file for SSA benefits , which were then offset with the “future” total disability benefits they never got from the employer. Those who should’ve gotten total permanent disability benefits from the employer were litigated for decades to force ( I call it extortion) by the employer/insurers defense attorneys on the injured workers who received mere pittance for a total disability. This was done after the 1984 Social Security Act where illegals could get social security benefits COMES WHICH out of injured workers FICA and then there was the 1986 Amnesty Act ALL done under Reagan & the Democratic held Congress.
    YEP! The AFL-CIO has screwed millions of it’s own American injured workers with no representation but just love to bring in illegals ( via trains, buses, planes, boasts, trucks cause they’re all run by UNIONS) who are poorly trained, who barely understand English and don’t really give a rat’s patootie about anyone they have to take care like the vets or any other patient cause they have no allegiance to a country that doesn’t expect anything from them and it’s a win win for the unions that get a never ending supply of increases in union dues.
    The AFL-CIO is the employers best friend so they all make and save money at any cost and those employers includes the DOD & VA.

  20. @Lem,
    Here’s the article, which explains in detail how the property in West Los Angeles was being misused by VA upper management for decades.
    This is why the lawsuit was filed.

    You asked me who was that prominent family who donated it?
    It was “Arcadia Bandini de Baker”! In 1887, the de Baker family willed that property to veterans, NOT THE FUCKING VA!
    A distant relative was on the original lawsuit. Because, the “VA was illegally making millions of dollars”, and not performing said duties for veterans!

    This information was available to anyone who wanted to see how the VA fucks veterans out of property designated, or willed, to them.

    • A very large part of West Los Angeles, Brentwood and Santa Monica were part of a Mexican Lang Grant. Not all of it was willed to veterans. The part that was is managed by the State of CA. Other parts were taken by the U S government for a military cavalry base and following WWII became the West LA VA including the part called “Brentwood” and used for Mental Health and homeless veterans not qualified for the State Home.

      You are not clear on which part you think is which. Part of the ranch was developed into “Brentwood” the place O J Simpson lived. Again, look up articles about what you seem to be talking about and you will find the CA veterans home is the part in litigation, not the Department of Veterans Affairs part transferred to the VA from the Army. There is also an effort by Congressman from the area of Santa Monica and Brentwood to get part of the Brentwood VA side sold off for development because of the price value of the property and other base closings of lesser values that could be used instead. Besides the Brentwood and Santa Monica people don’t like having homeless veterans hanging around to get medical and mental health care in their area.

      • Boo Hoo that the Brentwood and Santa Monica people don’t like having to view homeless veterans…Boo Hoo. Then maybe they should send their own offspring to war.
        I’d say one of those “Poop Canons” should be set-up right about around that area.

        @Lem- Crazy Elf is providing the facts and you seem to believe your own dialog on this. That land was indeed FOR Homeless Veterans!!!!!! Sec. McDonald in fact messed with that agreement….illegally.

      • I lived in Los Angeles for 10 years and read the ongoing litigation and the attempts to obtain parts of Brentwood VA during the 1980s. There are 2 different pieces of land being spoken of.

        Crazy Elf is saying the VA took some land left to the Veterans. That sounds like the CA Veterans Home (qualified for a VA Pension, similar to welfare, and single to get in). There have been attempts using the Trust to take back that property and substitute a lesser valued property. But that was under CA State Administration. If the Department of Veterans’ Affairs took any land it would have been that portion in an agreement to transfer management from the State to the VA.

        Many States have Veterans’ Homes managed in that manner. CA isn’t the only State with their own Veterans’ Homes. The Mexican Land Grant that all came from was huge. And there is an old trust that the family’s descendants are heirs of. Some of the descendants want more and try to break the will from time to time and take back a portion of the land granted by the will that made the trust to the Veterans’ Home. I believe that originally it was also a farm maintained by the veterans themselves for self maintenance. So there is some extra land that is just lawn in all of it and in a very expensive land location. Naturally there are developers instigating litigation to try to get it for development.

        But all of the wrangling leads to confusion about which piece of property is being litigated about and including the attempts to close and sell parts of the Brentwood VA Mental Health Center.

        I don’t think the Veterans’ Home Can be changed. It has repeatedly been upheld as for the use of Veterans even when directors tried to empty it to facilitate its sale.

    • @Lem,
      Here’s a more current article concerning how VA doesn’t live up to their agreement on behalf of veterans.
      Titled;
      “An Examination of Waste and Abuse Associated with VA’s Management of Land-Use Agreements”

      Dated Feb. 10, 2015

      That land “…was donated, [1888], ‘in perpetuity’ to serve veterans…” NOT VA’s piggy bank!
      It’s estimated the VA, in West Los Angeles, has, (as of the filing of the lawsuit), garnered more than $40 million in illegal contracts.
      Lastly, that property, which is close to Brentwood, is some of the most expensive property in LA County.
      This is why McDipshit wanted it. And why he went against (homeless) veterans and gave it back to the VA!
      In violation of the federal courts ruling!

      • Are you saying that California turned over the management of the State Veterans’ Home to the VA? Possible because it would still be used by Veterans but it wouldn’t be part of the ranch that became a cavalry base and then taken over by the VA and the Cemetery.

        Are you confused about which part the litigation is over? Check your story with the L A Times version.

  21. Hey, namnibor,
    Looks like “Lem” doesn’t know how to read. Let alone comprehend facts and figures on what actually took place out in Brentwood, Ca since 1887-88 until 2015-16!
    He’s so full of bull shit it’s pathetic! Must be a fucking TROLL! I refuse to debate STUPIDITY any longer!
    The L.A. Times version happened BEFORE McDipshit gave the property to the VA.

  22. Benjamin: The ABC World News Tonight just had a few statements from this Veteran’s wife and she said that Santiago-Ruiz had indeed gone for help at the Puerto Rico Veteran Affairs Hospital and they would not help him (is what she said), however, the news still will not qualify WHO gave him the mental health eval up in Alaska when the FBI sent him to be checked-out, to only give him his gun right back to him because links to ISIS could not be verified….by Gog…he was TELLING THEM! WTF?

    I am not so much a betting man but I would safely wager that since he is a Veteran, the FBI more than likely had…the VA up in AK evaluate him and THAT is being scrubbed possibly on purpose from the dialog…would not want any more dirt on Obama’s “legacy” would we a day before Obama’s Farewell Speech?
    Anyway, that’s the current poop. At least the Puerto Rico VAMC failed, so did the FBI, and it’s no excuse for ties to terrorism, but I worry that Santiago may be too easy of a scapegoat and the VA would likely go to any length to keep saving some face before the exodus Jan. 20.

    • Namnibor, I know you are speaking to Ben but I wanted to comment. If the FBI had had someone on the staff at the current time when the vet came into the field office and was qualified to deal with active psychosis, the shooting could have been prevented. I honestly believe this. Many of the psychologists, social workers and therapists are book trained. Many do not understand how to help someone experiencing psychosis. Also, too, they may not have wanted to even deal with him as well. It could have been just pure negligence and passing the buck. We do not know all the facts and to what degree the vet was screened by the FBI. If the person at the FBI, really understood about psychosis, the FBI would not have let him go. According to what has been revealed with the voices and the delusions, the veteran was not stable. I would not have set him free. I would offered him a safe place. Also, the VA, I agree has failed once again from the facts that we know at this time. Thanks.

      • @Angela, thanks. I may rarely address something prefacing it with “Benjamin”, but even then, it’s info shared for ALL, just want to try to earmark his attention to more pieces to the puzzle coming together.
        Also, you make a great point and delineation between ‘book smart’ and ‘experience’. All too-often these days they are only trained by what drug company to give the patient’s mind to…unfortunate state of affairs in Mental Health and to think the VA barely has made much stride post lobotomizing Veterans to “quiet them”…scary Psych History of recent past they do not want you to know.
        Also, especially post-9/11 days, one would *think* that *anyone* that comes voluntarily to the FBI saying they have anything remotely associated with ISIS, is a Veteran, and has a gun….automatic holding period, brain scans, written tests, the whole works, while also providing a safe space…why did this guy fall through?
        People are also way too easy to believe whatever may be viewed at say a certain MySpace account or whatever, and all I am asking people to at least keep in consideration that something smells rotten with this entire story.
        Why?
        Since scrubbed, but if anyone else initially saw the FL Airport even when out on the tarmac he laid down and tossed his weapon…almost orchestrated like…it’s bothered me for a bit now and am just saying no excuse for violence or his acts, but I smell a rat and the VA has a lot of rats. Wait for it… Alaska HAS to have a story. Or…would that hurt the local dialog up there in ‘Sarah Palin Country’? 🙂

      • Yes, namnibor, the comment about the veteran laying down on the tarmac and tossing the weapon which appeared almost orchestrated. I noted this as well. This is very unusual and rare for someone who is mentally sick to do this. You know why I say this. If he were out of reality, he would not have known to do this. Not saying that he is totally stable either. What he did he was aware. When someone experiences deep psychosis, there is a lack of awareness. Do you understand where I am coming from? The FBI should have not let him leave their sight and should have prodded him to find out what was really going on. I agree with you Namnibor. There is something and someone behind this. Thanks.

      • I know what you are saying nam, some information seems rather slow in coming, although that ABC News report about whether he created the jihadist identity, Aashiq Hammad was eye opening, because as far as what I have read, that name only came from his MySpace page.

      • Same as Sgt. Bales. He made his statement and knows the price. Oklahoma City Bomber (can’t remember his name) did the same essentially.

        The rat is in the statement. It may be delusional or it may have real basis.

      • Finally the media does some digging.

        This ABC News article quotes his former girlfriend as saying he went to the VA, but could not get help.

        It also mentions the FBI getting his laptop from a pawn shop and scouring it for evidence of whether he created the identity Aashiq Hammad.

        Of course the VA spokeshack is spinning like a fart in the wind to absolve the VA, including citing privacy.

        The hack also cited his service in the national guard without ever mentioning his Iraq tour.

        ABC News repeatedly tried calling the VA in San Juan and their calls were never answered…just like veterans.

        Heckuva job VA!

        “https://abcnews.go.com/US/santiagos-terror-ticket-fort-lauderdale/story?id=44648391”

      • I bet VA Public Relations Rosemary and Friends are spinning-up a golden clad meat grinder fart for this one. There’s also been quite a lot of scandal down at the VAMC in particular. Ben ran an article on here just last year, I recall.

        However, my strong gut sense says he was turned away or scuttled off from the Alaska VA as well. I hope to be wrong, but Veterans have been known to ignite themselves out of desperation in front of VA locations and then there was last year’s Naval Yard attack…am thinking if anything, this should show President Elect Trump’s team where to look further in the needed drained swamp. ALL Agencies went to shit the last 8 years…incl. the Secret Service.
        kudos to ABC for doing actual reporting and sleuthing…I hope and expect to see a return of such Jan 20 onward.

  23. Hey, y’all, here’s a current video, 9 Jan. 2017 by “Political Madness”, (5:49 minutes long).
    Titled;
    “$20 Million Paid For Afghanistan Firewood!!! Jason Chaffetz “What The Hell Is Going On???””

    That ain’t the only fraud being committed!

  24. It’s good to hear talk that is basically honest, and mostly has no hidden agendas. Honestly guys, I thought I had that Los Angeles land grant understood. Obviously, I don’t. I totally believe that Santiago had at least one honorable discharge. Now that the VA is in the mix, I’m quite concerned that we will never get to the conclusion…, at least the truth. Shut it down…

  25. DOD/VA Interventions and Responses to “Invisible Wounds”

    DOD/VA/Army medicine continue to insist that there is no effective treatment for TBI/PTSD brain-injured service members, even as they spend billions of dollars on hopeful, unproven, unscientific, undocumented, off-label and even dangerous interventions with drugs, devices, processes and providers. Meanwhile, the suicide epidemic across the force and within DOD, to include Special Forces, reserves and the National Guard, continues unabated.

    The Institute of Medicine recently issued a report that highlights the plethora of ineffective off-label “treatments” being used across the military, and their negative utility. The report and a summary notes: “The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments spent $9.3 billion to treat post-traumatic stress disorder from 2010 through 2012, but neither knows whether this staggering sum resulted in effective or adequate care. . . .” [NOTE: the overwhelming number of veterans treated for brain injury in TreatNOW Coalition HBOT clinics with diagnoses of only PTSD have been shown to have undiagnosed TBI. The amount spent on TBI, and the off-label treatments that they fund, track closely those noted by the IOM for PTSD.]

    The TreatNOW Coalition has been tracking some of the “treatments” veterans receive in military and VA facilities. These have been reported to us by veterans treated with HBOT by the Coalition. In no case has the intervention referred to “wound healing.” In research into the research being conducted on TBI and Concussion, we did not find any mention of healing the physical wound to the brain.

    The Interventions/Treatments for PTSD/TBI at Warrior Transition Units, Intrepid Centers, DVBIC, Walter Reed and across DOD/VA/military medicine include:
    • Pharmacological Treatment Options, including black-box labeled drugs (warn of risk of suicide), starting with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as: Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Venlafaxine (Effexor)
    • Over 114 medications, all prescribed off-label for TBI [including now LSD and meth] [Coincidentally, anyone caught using marijuana without prescription — in some cases the only anti-headache therapy alleged to work for some — is subject to Article 32 and Other Than Honorable discharge.] NOTE: there have been reports that the DOD may be experimenting with hallucinogenics for PTSD.
    • MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine)-Assisted Therapy
    • Botox injections
    • Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB)
    • Neurosteroid replacement
    • Psychotherapy by many names and in many guises:
    • psychopharmacology
    • neuroplasticity coaching
    • cognitive psychotherapy
    • cognitive therapy
    • cognitive rehabilitation
    • neurocognitive therapy
    • cognitive control training/therapy (CCT)
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT )
    • Cognitive Processing Therapy
    • brainwave optimization biofeedback
    • psychoanalysis
    • affective neuroscience
    • psychophysiology
    • evidence-based psychotherapy (i.e., talk therapy)
    • psycho-educational computer based treatment
    • Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy
    • Narrative Therapy
    • Heart rate variability feedback training
    • Biofeedback
    • Intervention Prevention
    • Exposure-based therapy [Includes in-vivo, imaginal/guided imagery, or narrative (oral and/or written) exposures to traumatic memories, situations, or stimuli. These therapies also generally include elements of cognitive restructuring (e.g., evaluating the accuracy of beliefs about danger) as well as relaxation techniques.]
    • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Intensive trauma therapy (a blend of hypnosis, art therapy, and video technology
    treatment)
    • Imagery Rehearsal Therapy
    • Group interventions for trauma-related psycho-education and social support
    • Psychotherapies, including exposure to traumatic memories, stimuli or situations;
    • Cognitive restructuring of trauma-related beliefs
    • Occupational and behavioral therapies
    • Speech and language therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Outdoor sports therapy
    • Group therapy
    • Life coaching
    • Immersion therapy
    • Cranial sacral massage
    • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
    • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
    • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TCMS or rTMS)
    • Cognitive electrical stimulation (CES)
    • Near-infrared therapy (NIR)
    • Bright-light therapy
    • Polychromatic Light Therapy (PLT)
    • Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT)
    • Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy
    • Off Vertical Axis Rotational Device (OVARD)
    • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
    • Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
    • Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)
    • Fear Extinction Therapy
    • Repetitive Peripheral Somatosensory Stimulation (RPSS)
    • Chiropractic
    • Massage
    • Resiliency training
    • Stress reduction techniques
    • Interactive Metronome
    • Stress Inoculation Training [emphasizes breathing retraining and muscle relaxation]
    • relaxation/self-monitoring techniques (e.g., “body scan”).
    • Family and couples therapy
    • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches: acupuncture, natural products, mind-body medicine, body manipulation and movement techniques, energy techniques, mindfulness
    • Medicinal oils
    • Vitamins and supplements
    • Blueberry extract
    • Detoxification
    • Tai-chi, Pilates and Yoga
    • Qigong
    • Alpha stimulation
    • Meditation
    • Hypnosis
    • Dog-petting and companion dogs
    • Horseback riding
    • Equine-assisted psychotherapy
    • Dance/drama/music/art therapy
    • Transcendental meditation
    • Battle Tap
    • Scuba diving and Aqua therapy
    • Hiking and various outdoor exercise
    • Native American healing
    • Mobile applications by the dozens, including Provider Resilience, BioZen, Virtual Hope Box, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i Coach), Stay Quit Coach, etc.
    Summary: Interventions by DOD/VA/Army medicine do not treat the physical wound to the brain. Not one of the above-listed 80+ therapies/processes/procedures/devices, countless computer applications, and 114+ prescribed drugs has been approved by the FDA for TBI, nor do they “treat” wounds. All are used off-label for TBI. All are controversial at some level. Many of them are brand-new and haven’t even been explored in the literature. No risk analysis has been performed, and no tracking is done. Yet neither the DOD nor the VA provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy used off-label to treat and heal brain injury, the one therapy proved by multiple clinical trials inside DOD/VA and around the world to treat and help heal the wound to the brain, safely and effectively.

    “There is sufficient evidence for the safety and preliminary efficacy data from clinical studies to support the use of HBOT in mild traumatic brain injury/ persistent post concussive syndrome (mTBI/PPCS). The reported positive outcomes and the durability of those outcomes has been demonstrated at 6 months post HBOT treatment. Given the current policy by Tricare and the VA to allow physicians to prescribe drugs or therapies in an off-label manner for mTBI/PPCS management and reimburse for the treatment, it is past time that HBOT be given the same opportunity. This is now an issue of policy modification and reimbursement, not an issue of scientific proof or preliminary clinical efficacy.” Xavier A. Figueroa, PhD and James K. Wright, MD (Col Ret), USAF Hyperbaric Oxygen: B-Level Evidence in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Trials. Neurology® 2016;87:1–7

    • FFS that reads like a wet dream of every wacko shrink on the planet with an unlimited budget.

      The compassion just flows from those titles created by people looking on injured veterans as little more than germs in a Petri dish.

      • @91Veteran – Did you count the colonies? When I opened the petri dish, shewwww, dis one smell like fish. Oh boy, gimme a VA cocktail to simmer me down. Should have added the word, blunt to the list as well. No kidding!

  26. Did Dr. Frankenstein’s lab just throw-up Freud’s dirty laundry? 🙂 Seemed rather, “Candyman-ish”

  27. Ben. You have always done a great job of writing & researching veterans related issues, but you miss the mark on this one.
    1. Don’t believe everything the media print or the scripted narrative .
    2. MK Ultra didn’t stop in the 1960’s.
    3. DoD, The VA or the FBI didn’t fail this soldier. The country did.

    Don’t be brainwashed by the psy-ops my fellow veterans, it’s all staged and there is more shows to come.

    • @DevilDoc2017, thanks for the feedback. Just because I do not write about something does not mean I have written about EVERYTHING I have considered on a particular topic. What I provided above is a solid starting point for this narrative. We will see where it goes from here. Whenever a veteran is linked to a suicide or shooting, the remainder of us tend to get demonized in the press, and in this instance, I felt it was important to highlight possible failures regarding his mental health treatment.

      1. I do not necessarily believe the scripted narrative – but we do know he likely exhibited mental health problems that should have been addressed but obviously were not be evidence of the shooting.

      2. The Church Committed discussed MK Ultra quite a bit in the 70’s. It is always interesting to see what our country was covertly up to 50 years ago. If we had planes like the Blackbird and programs like MK Ultra back then, what might we have now?

      3. Whoever has protocol to stop actions like this shooting most certainly failed. State and federal players were obviously alerted of problems in 2016 but failed.

  28. DevilDoc2017,

    The research called MK Ultra was only a small part of the human subject research that was going on back in the 60s and yes you are right the research is still ongoing today. Also I believe that you will find that most of us here, also know that the media cannot be relied upon to get anything more then what is stated in press releases. Not the true facts of what really happened any situation.

    In this situation it is clear that the FBI is going to great lengths to try and control the narrative in the case. One example is the press conference they held in Anchorage AK the very next morning after the shooting. Something the FBI does each time they are try to control the information or public perception of what happened.

    Here is a link to that press conference. Note how even before the conference starts the public relations person is arranging the cast of characters and moves white person back out of the way and then moves a black person in so that he will be on camera. Staging the conference.

    One thing is clear and that is some one was using the local police to harass the shooter which led up to his leaving Alaska.

    Also made clear is that the shooter went to the FBI to report something but we are only hearing what the FBI want us to believe about what he was reporting.

    His treatment for going to the FBI was to be locked up for a psych evaluation.

    “FBI & APD news conference on Esteban Santiago”
    You tube: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHGgfVljCpc”

    • Also DevilDoc2017, here is a link to a video that shows just how bogus our fake news networks are. It is a video about a CNN Crisis Actor that is interviewed at 4 different news events as a person off the street who witnessed the events. Although she is truly only an actor used by CNN to get their narrative story out about what they want people to believe people witnessed during the event.

      She is interviewed by CNN at:

      1.) She is interviewed at the Boston Marathon Bombing
      2.) She is filmed at the San Bernardino Shooting
      3.) She was again interviewed at Watertown during the hunt down of the Boston Marathon Bombing suspects.
      4.) She was also interviewed at the Sandy Hook School Shooting incident
      5.) Again she was interviewed at the NTSB Train Derailment near Philadelphia claiming she was a passenger on the train

      “Crisis Actor Caught For The Fifth Time In The San Bernardino Shooting Hoax”
      “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fguspd24hzQ”

      Another example of bogus news I would like to point out is another Crisis actor that played dual roles at the Sandy Hook School shootings. He acted in a role as an FBI Swat Member during the initial response, then played a role as a father to one of the Victims of the school shooting, and finally as friend of Obama and a lobbyist in Washington supporting Gun Control.

      “Sandy Hook ‘Dad’ Caught Playing Two Roles • Crisis Actor Parent and Swat Team Member • Part 1”
      “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP0UkqkKuF4”

  29. I continued to wake up at night, with my wife several years after I had gotten back from the Vietnam Police Action. I would wake up crying from PTSD, I was raped by other Navy personnel during the “Shell Back, Poliwag hazing that the U.S. Navy makes you participate in. I just got onto the USS Ranger and came out of Singapore. The HAZING begins. If you never had gone.” I held the rape inside me for since then. When my wife finally took me to the VA (I never told her the truth.) I told her I was afraid of the NAVY and the shame of it all. When she took me to the VAH in Tucson, AZ; I checked myself into the mental ward for observation. That night in the ward, a medic working on the ward took me into my bedroom (I could not walk because of back surgery.) He closed the doors and blinds to the windows and beat me up good. He threw me into my bed and continued hitting me. He said “be a man, support your family, MAN UP”! The next morning, there was a group meeting (including many doctors, nurses, aids and patients.) Every person had an opportunity to say what was on the mind. When it was my turn to talk, I told everyone in the room the medic that beaten me up the night before has anger management problems and he had beaten me up.
    I years later (after my wife divorced me, for being nuts), I finally told the mental health people at the Tucson, AZ VA hospital (Senator McCain is my rep., joke, but I will pray for him) . I told the head nurse, I would take a lie detector test and pay for it myself to prove that I was beaten. I did go nuts, for a while. Then realized the VA was not there to help me get better, they were there to say, “we spoke to him, or he missed a appointment.” Many excuses. I told many doctors and nurses at the VA, “It is not difficult to live, it is difficult to find a reason to live.” I really don’t have a reason to live. My wife and twin boys (IVF conception) have estranged me. I was an engineer at Raytheon, Texas Instruments and other high tech companies, but with my back injury, I gave up working because I had mental and physical issues I could not do my job and try to stay on earth for a day more. Medical marijuana is legal in AZ. I had the under secretary of the VA hospitals clear up the issue. He wrote (look it up). Put some words into google to do with Veterans okay to use opioid and medical marijuana in states it is legal in. I the VA doctor still took my morphine away and later refilled my morphine after his VA boss told him to. So I had been taking medical marijuana and morphine for 4 years and I was starting to feel better (63yr. old) until this opioid epidemic started going around the news. Many, many veterans need these medications. I went to the Patient Advocate (they should call them, “Doctor Advocates.” They help doctors get out of trouble. Sell the office space, use it as a toilet. The notes taken at the mental ward I was in has lost my records about reporting being beat up the night I spent there. Lost, cannot find. Now they want to take my morphine or MM away again. If the VA messes with my meds again, then perform the operation on my back, that it needs, I have CRONIC PAIN!! The government wants the veterans to go to private doctors so they cannot get into trouble for Whistleblowers. Did the VA lose their teniour? Liars

    • Listen never stop getting help and keep telling what happened to you over and over until someone listens.

      You need to attend the ptsd program. I believe you if that’s any comfort. We here have watched an employee push a veteran on one of the units, the employee blamed the veteran for pushing the employee.

      The employee did not know it, but it was recorded and the employee was caught pushing the inpatient.

      Go to the alchol and drug program and see if you can ween Your self off the pain medication and then use medical mj, different strains for different pain.

      Once you complete the programs and you nerve medication kicks in and use the mj, you will be way better off in my opinion.

      Your not crazy you are suffering from ptsd, I did not get raped in the service but shot in the head and suffered with ptsd and traumatic brain injury for 40 year’s, before I hired an attorney and was awarded 100%.

      That was the first time I qualified for treatment and attended both programs, quit drinking, my psy medication adjusted and I use medical mj and feel much better.

      I too as many veterans suffering from ptsd have lost friend’s and family, but if you get the treatment and follow the treatment plan your crazy ness will be controlled.

      Be ware after your treatment everyone else will seem crazy ! Lol

      But never give up. !

Comments are closed.