Guest Post: The Economic Abuse Of Veterans In America
Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market
The Economic Abuse Of Veterans In America
Volunteering to join the military has always been a process rife with internal and external conflictions. A vital aspect of one’s ultimate decision to do so often depends greatly upon the era in which one becomes eligible. U.S. citizens leaped at the chance to defend their country at the onset of World War II because the enemies were indeed a legitimate and obvious threat to the freedom and sovereignty of all nations. During Vietnam, the waters were muddied (at least in the view of millions of citizens), and many Americans did not see the fight as their own. The line between our system, and the enemies we were supposed to despise, had become progressively more foggy and disjointed. For any wise and honorable man to go out of his way to risk his life, the fight must be clearly just, otherwise, he may feel that his death will serve no purpose.
No matter what era of war an American soldier happens to take part in, his desire is usually simple and honest; most seek to defend the underlying principles of freedom which have guided the soul of this country for generations. They seek a righteous cause, and transparent leadership.
Unfortunately, for decades, sincere leadership by our government, from Washington D.C. down to the good-old-boy networks of county politics, has all but been erased. Not even a trace of truth permeates the bedrock of our legal or bureaucratic structure anymore. The system has become so corrupt, so leprous and putrid, that it now actually influences originally honorable men and women to do great evil just to survive and to thrive. Our administrative structure encourages and even breeds thieves, murderers, and tyrants. It is a self-perpetuating monster machine.
U.S. soldiers are in a unique position in the middle of this plague of political power gaming. They are usually the first to bear witness to the blunders (or crimes) of government. They get to experience up close on the ground where decisions go wrong and how. They are among the first to witness the changes of mood within our political dynamic, and the first to know when a government has gone rogue. When these soldiers leave the service as veterans, many have seen the ugliest of the ugly faces of the officialdom running the show. They become a liability to the carefully crafted image of the U.S. government and the military industrial complex because they know the ultimate truth.
The mistreatment of veterans is often examined with shock and dismay, primarily because the general public cannot fathom why federal, state, and local governments would work against men and women who once served their interests. However, when one understands that the establishment system views veterans as a political and social threat, a cultural base that is respected by average citizens and carries weight when exposing corruption, the abusive actions of the oligarchy make perfect sense.
I could delve into the disparaging world of Veterans Hospitals and the horror stories surrounding the dime-store-style socialized medical care that men and women receive there (I could also point out that this is a perfect active example of what medical treatment would be like under Obamacare). I could write for hours about soldiers exposed to chemical and biological warfare from Vietnam to the Gulf War; soldiers who went on to suffer recurring health problems, and who were quickly swept under the rug by Washington. I could even outline the numerous instances in which the DHS, the Bush Administration, and the Obama Administration, have all attempted to categorize veterans as “possible terrorists” who present a danger to national security:
While it is absolutely imperative that veterans and current serving military alike research every aspect of these issues, I would like for a moment to focus on a far less discussed crisis that looms over former military; financial subversion.
Today, most people are suffering an economic loss of one kind or another, and the knee-jerk response by those in financial dire straights might be to question why they should care at all about veterans being squeezed by the system. I would point out that while the credit crisis is certain to strike the vast majority of average Americans, it has crashed like a ten-ton sack of bricks upon the heads of veterans in particular.
While the U.S. Interagency Council On Homelessness did launch a program called “Opening Doors” in an effort to reduce veteran homelessness, claiming a 12% reduction in 2011, the official number of homeless former serving still stands at 67,000. This, unfortunately, is a misleading stat, and only counts veterans who have are considered “consistently without shelter”. In reality, it is estimated that 200,000 or more veterans are homeless on any given night:
That is large population of people under consistent poverty (23% of overall homeless by some measures), and this is not even counting those veterans that just scrape by. Approximately 40% of these homeless veterans suffer from war related psychological disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and are not responsible for the difficulties they face in the job market.
The unemployment rate for veterans continues to be epidemic, with official numbers between 8% and 9% (and we all know how the Labor Department undercuts real unemployment statistics). For younger veterans, especially those involved in Gulf War II, unemployment has skyrocketed to 30%:
One would think that a military background with years of training and command experience in the midst of the most chaotic environments the world has to offer would translate well in the business and working world, but the numbers say otherwise.
Government programs to aid veterans are tossed to the public every year like trick-or-treat candy, but in most cases, they are only a half-hearted attempt to pay lip service to the problem, falsely reassure Americans, and place a band-aid on the gaping wound. This has become painfully apparent after the 2008 derivatives bubble implosion, which has now triggered the bankruptcy foreclosures of over ONE THIRD of all veteran households:
A homeowner’s mortgage assistance program under the U.S. government does exist, but only covers active duty military. Veterans are forgotten.
The most active banks foreclosing on veterans include JP Morgan, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, and PNC. All of these institutions have been cited for using illegal and hidden fees to increase mortgage liability. This tactic has been specifically and violently applied to veterans in particular, and over 30,000 cases of possible banking fraud against veterans were exposed in 2011 alone:
Why would banks place such priority on aiming their crosshairs at veterans? There are a multitude of reasons. Most veterans have made a career out of following a chain of command and paying heed to authority figures. Often, this mindset is carried over into the civilian world, where new authority figures like lawyers, judges, bailiffs, even bank representatives, are given far too much credence and are approached with a subservient attitude. Many veterans also spend so much time within the unique legal structure of the military system that they lose familiarity with civil law, and become frustrated with its operations and complexities. Some find it impossible to adapt. To put it bluntly, corporate banks see veterans as easy targets.
To make matters much worse, local bureaucracies have been more than happy to aid major banks in their criminal enterprises, and veterans have been principle victims. Instead of providing relief and aid to those in financial distress as was originally intended when the bankruptcy court apparatus was created, it has now become a network of parasites honing in on the fiscally weak and using their despair and confusion to rob them of every last possession.
I have WITNESSED this first hand while examining the case of Warren Bodecker, a Montana local and WWII hero who helped to liberate over 2000 prisoners near execution from the Los Banos prison camp in the Philippines.
Bodeker’s 89 years of life have been filled with amazing accomplishments and a certain level of success. It is saddening that in his old age, during days in which he should be allowed some measure of peace, he has come under attack by so many despicable circumstances and people.
Warren’s wife, after battling cancer for a decade, had finally passed. Her body was put to rest on the family farm, but her medical bills were not. With debt and interest payments mounting, and Warren living essentially alone, the stress and fear of insolvency ruled his waking moments. He then made a terrible error; he trusted his fate and his home to the bankruptcy system. Warren’s story in his own words can be found in the video interview below, conducted by the founder of Oath Keepers and Constitutional Lawyer Stewart Rhodes:
I analyze and write about legal corruption on a regular basis. I have uncovered and outlined banking criminality for years. But, to watch this tyranny wrought upon an individual right in front of me, a man I know to be good hearted, a person who absolutely does not deserve it, is difficult to endure.
What I found most disturbing in this case was the number of deviants who came out of the woodwork to claim their pound of flesh. The Trustee, Christy Brandon, has gone out of her way to intimidate Warren, which puzzled me until I learned that she had also appointed HERSELF lawyer for the estate. If proceedings became “adversarial”, under the law, she would be conveniently awarded a percentage of the bankruptcy loot. Warren’s former son-in-law (whose motivations remain mysterious and suspicious) wrote secret letters to the courts accusing him of deliberately hiding gold and silver assets. Warren’s own lawyer advised him little, and in some cases very poorly, pushing him to wave his homestead exemption and feeding Warren to the wolves as it were while he quietly collected his salary.
The vet was surrounded by frenzied piranha. With little understanding of bankruptcy law or what was expected of him, he didn’t have a chance. The system, his lawyer, and the Trustee all asserted the same lie; that if he just quietly rolled over, all would be well. He has now lost everything, including his home. He will be forced to exhume his wife’s body from the land he also planned to rest on, with no conceivable future beyond homelessness and regret.
The system not only failed Warren, it hunted him down and mauled him. At every level, the legal structure sought to harm him, not protect him, or to conduct fair justice. It became clear to me after speaking with Warren, even more so than before, that there is no recourse through the legal realm. It is utterly broken, and beyond all possible repair. If a veteran and WWII combat hero can be treated so egregiously, what possible chance do the rest of us have?
Warren is just one example of a detrimental and sometimes organized crippling of veterans and their economic safety across America. Sometimes it is done out of mere greed, sometimes it is done out of idiocy, sometimes it is done with downright malicious intent, and sometimes it's a combination of all three. In light of this, and as Warren Bodeker's situation proves, there are no solutions within the bounds of the establishment anymore. The problem, then, goes to those of us who are aware, and to those who also share a military background. It is up to the Liberty Movement to rally around veterans, and for veterans to rally around each other. The enemies they face today are much more insidious than any they ever faced on the battlefields of the past. There will be no relief or comfort unless we support each other.
If you would like to make a donation to the Warren Bodecker Fund, please visit the link below and scroll to the paypal button at the bottom of the article:
If you would like to question Christy Brandon, Trustee for this case, on her side of the story, or if you wish to ask her why she is handling the situation in such a manner, you can use the contact information she provided on her publicly released court documentation (please remain courteous):
Attorney Christy Brandon
Brandon Law Firm, PLLC
P.O. Box 1544
Bigfork, MT 59911
Phone: (406) 837-5445
Fax: (406) 837-5420 Christy@brandonlawfirm.com