Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Veterans get screwed (Again)

My Dad was a career Marine and veteran who lives in the lovely rolling hills of Terra Alta, West Virginia. His place in the hills is near the spot where West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania come together. In fact, he's not too far from Pittsburgh, where he goes to the Veterals Hospital from time to time for various healthcare odds and ends.

That's my Dad in the picture at the airport coming home from Viet Nam. My Aunt Pat is next to him, beaming with pride and relief. Click pic to enlarge.

Whis is why I was so disturbed to learn that: (AP)--
about 11,000 patients treated at the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh are at risk for identity theft.The Veteran's Administration said another 5,000 in Philadelphia may also be at risk of identity theft.A Veterans Affairs Department subcontractor lost a computer containing their sensitive personal data.Blue Bell (Pennsylvania)-based Unisys Corporation was assisting the VA in insurance collections for the hospitals.The missing computer was used in Unisys' offices in Reston, Va.The computer is believed to contain names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, insurance carriers and claims data including medical information.

After asking someone to fight and die for our country you'd think we could take of them when they come home. And since budget cuts and Whitehouse priorities are such that Vets are getting a smaller and smaller piece of the pie, AT THE VERY LEAST you'd think we could protect the privledged information!!

This is not the first time the identifications of our Veterans have been compromised.

The latest disclosure comes after a string of recent data breaches at the VA, including the May theft of a computer from an employee's home. It had personal data for 26.5 million veterans. The computer has since been recovered, although the Army Times claims that the arrest in the theft didn't address the problem.

The VA has also acknowledged losing sensitive data for more than 16,000 veterans in at least two other cases in Minneapolis and Indianapolis.

This is how we treat the men and women who protect our nation. This is the kind of country we live in! One that sends kids off to die and when/if they come home, we don't give two shits about them!

I used to beproud to be an American. Now I am just disallusioned.

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