"John McCain, his staff has really tried to be a source of information and a source of assistance, but I think that, over the past five or six years, his office has become overwhelmed," he says. "There's a case overload. Clearly running for president is what his priority is now."

So Vera went to Congressman Ed Pastor's office. (He'd worked for Pastor, a Democrat, previously, doing constituent services.) And although Vera's a smart, well-connected guy, it still took him 10 months to qualify for benefits from the VA, which diagnosed him with a full-blown case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"In the military they tell you what to do and they give you the services because they want a fit force," Vera says.

Iraq veteran Andrew Vera
Jamie Peachey
Iraq veteran Andrew Vera
His fame’s based on his POW status, but
Senator John McCain’s made a point of voting against fellow veterans.
Associated Press
His fame’s based on his POW status, but Senator John McCain’s made a point of voting against fellow veterans.

Once he got home, he adds, things changed. He's now a member of Vote Vets.

Things changed drastically for Brian Callan when he came home, too.

Callan, a veteran of the first Gulf War, was shot by police in the parking lot of a Toyota dealership in Phoenix in 2001. It was obviously a suicide; Callan egged on the cops.

He had been diagnosed with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and his family felt strongly that he didn't get adequate services from the VA; New Times' examination of medical records and a comparison to recommended treatment protocol confirmed that ("Welcome Back Warrior," Paul Rubin, November 21, 2002).

Callan's mother, Jerri Glover, who now lives in New Mexico, recalls that Brian was a big fan of John McCain. He wrote the senator letters on random topics such as the collapse of the Enron Corporation. Two months after his death, Glover approached the senator's local veterans affairs staffer, Tom McCanna, and asked him to help her get the information she needed to file a tort claim against the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Phoenix. The family felt strongly that poor medical treatment led to Callan's behavior and ultimate death.

She still has a copy of the typewritten letter she sent to McCanna, dated November 14, 2002. After she didn't hear from McCain's office, she put a sticky note on the letter: "McCanna never followed thru — did not receive forms."

Callan's mother tried the local Veterans Administration office, with no luck. Finally, a friend of Brian's spent hours on the Internet and found the forms. The claim was denied.

Glover was disappointed, and not, she says, because she wanted the money for herself.

"I really wanted to sue the shit out of the government and then start up a clinic to help the PTSD vets," Glover says. "That was my whole idea. I did not want other guys to suffer like Brian did, in not getting any help."

She's quick to add that later, when she couldn't get the Navy to release Callan's medical records, McCain's office finally expedited the request. But what the Navy finally sent was a mess, with pages missing and out of order, barely usable.

"When I received them, it was a farce," Glover says.

"They can spend a billion a week on a war, but they can't spend whatever it takes to heal the [people] they've ruined?" she says.

"It just makes you lose faith," she adds. "I just thought that his office would help represent his constituent who was so loyal to McCain. And to his country."


John McCain's treatment of his constituents is best described as benign neglect. For years, many Arizonans have referred to their senior senator as "the senator from Washington, D.C." He's more interested in the national platform than the home trenches.

But it's on the national stage where McCain's performance has been the most disappointing to his fellow veterans.

Since 1987, McCain has voted against dozens of measures designed to assist veterans. Most recently, he skipped the vote on the Webb-Hagel 21st Century GI Bill, which funds higher education for post-9/11 veterans with a sliding payment scale depending on length of duty and disabilities sustained.

Alfredo Gutierrez was a longtime McCain fan; the two met when McCain first arrived in Arizona, and although they're in different political parties, the Democratic former majority leader of the Arizona State Senate always spoke highly of McCain — mainly because both men served in Vietnam.

But Gutierrez is furious with McCain over his voting record, particularly on the GI Bill.

"I came back from the Army, and if it wasn't for the GI Bill, I surely wouldn't have made it through college. The only way I got started and I ran for office was because I could afford a house was because of the GI Bill," Gutierrez says.

"So this guy who has built a whole political career on his status as a veteran and a POW," he continues, "he'll vote to send the guys to war . . . but he won't vote for the GI Bill. That's pretty amazing. It's stunning stuff to me. It's the height of hypocrisy."

And, Gutierrez adds, it goes beyond the GI Bill. "His voting record is abysmal."

Here are a few examples of pro-veteran legislation that didn't get McCain's support:

• January 2008: McCain didn't vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, which included an increase in basic monthly pay for active military by 3.5 percent and permitted vets who are 100 percent disabled to receive both retirement and disability pay.

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10 comments
rejco
rejco

John McCain is as DIRTY as politicians come...

Nikodisias Papalapsuslos
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

Jon156
Jon156

One Q! can New times find out what Senator Mc Cain has done FOR Arizona!??? I have the feeling he has done NOTHING to help AZ!!

Shawn
Shawn

This guy is a joke I myself am a 100 percent disabled OIF Veteran, I contacted his office for help in 2005 for help in my case against the Army. The Army was trying to Medically Board me with 10 percent disability and I was unable to return to work with severe PTSD and multiple injuries to include Traumatic Brain Injury, this guy blew me off like I had an STD, I had more help with Jon Kyle... thanks war hero...may u burn in hell.

Micah
Micah

You are idiots. I'm an Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Vet and the VA has done alot for me as well as any of the other Vets that I know who were unfortunate enough to have something debilitating happen to them. McCain is one of if not THE biggest advocate for Vets out there. He is fighting for concurrent receipt as well as better quality of care for our Vets. The VA has alot of issues and I'm always aggrivated with them but the VA is not John McCain. Why don't you look to the Democrat controlled house and Nancy Pelosi with your complaints. Or maybe even go to the VA and talk to people who have been using the system before you shoot your ignorant mouths off. Also you may want to actually show evidence of McCain being anti-vet rather than just spew your BS.

Maxine
Maxine

Being a total political news junkie I knew about McCain's anti-veteran voting before but finally found the real deal exposed in LA Weekly. I just wish this news were out there big time as John McCain voted against helping veterans for the reason that if they have GI benefits they may choose to go to school instead of re-enlisting to go back to Iraq.

In my opinion, McCain if elected will bring us to World War III.

misslisa
misslisa

Veterans who need help need to leave Arizona, by any means possible, and move to a state that has excellent benefits for them. My dad moved back to Kentucky and is milking the vet benefit system. I hate to see him do it because he only spent 2 or 3 years in the service, so I don't think he really "earned" it. But the VA in Louisville apparently doesn't turn anyone away and provides immediate medical & psychiatric help. For veterans who need to be in a nursing home, the Veteran's Home in central KY provides outstanding care, and the waiting list last I checked (5 yrs ago) was only about 5 weeks.

Debbie Mosley
Debbie Mosley

Yea, my husband knows what it is like to ask John McCain for help! Back in 2000 his ex-wife left Arizona with his two daughters, lied said she was going to Fort Polk, Louisiana,when she actually went to Fort Campbell KY... It took us a year to track her down. When we asked John McCain for help we were told "sure no problem" My husband still has not had contact with his two daughters since 2000. Even though he has shared custody. Even though Arizona ruled she was in contempt of court they have done nothing. What is a Man who serves his country in the US ARMY, get wounded and disabled, has PTSD, can't find work, etc. to do? Yea John McCain shafted all of us!

Pamela
Pamela

Finally someone's revealing his weakness, that he talks about being a POW but doesn't really help fellow veterans.

 
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