A Veterans Bill of Rights petition is being circulated by Project Foot, a charity for homeless veterans and military families. The Veterans Bill of Rights addresses key issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs such as veteran homelessness, PTSD, d iscrimination, reintegration and hidden government programs.
Dear Leaders of this Nation,
We the People of these United States do humbly ask that you codify once and for all a Bill of Rights for our Veterans and their families.
American military personnel and their families have offered their lives to defend our nation and its way of life. As such, there are certain rights that our society must afford to them to ensure that their service does not hinder a fair chance at the American dream.
1. All who are eligible, or may be eligible, for any military or veterans benefits should be treated with the utmost in respect and dignity at all times regardless of age, gender, branch of service, disability, military rank, sex ual orientation, gender identity, location, mental illness, substance abuse status, incarceration status or type of discharge.
2. All service members, veterans and military family members who are, or who might be eligible for federal or state benefits have the right to be accurately and fully informed of those benefits on a regular basis. There should never be a “hidden government program” that is not prominently publicized.
3. All service members and military family members have the right to the best available reintegration training and lifetime support that should begin during their service when possible. The right to reintegration training should not be limited due to type of discharge.
4. Although it is impossible to provide all services at all facilities, the overall quality of services available should be equivalent regardless of geographical location within the United States and its territories.
5. All reasonable government efforts and policy changes should be made to ensure that employment rates for veterans in the United States are maintained at a rate that is equivalent to or higher than the average of the population at all times.
6. No Veteran should ever be left homeless. Any homeless veteran who has served 180 days or more of active duty should be entitled to transitional housing accommodations that are equivalent to the base housing that would be afforded to an E-1 on active duty with the same family status. In the event that conduct in one of these facilities becomes an issue, incarceration or treatment for the behavioral issues should be used as alternatives.
7. Chemical, radioactive, or environmental exposure: All service members, veterans, and military family mem bers have the right to know the existence of any exposure or potential exposure and to receive notice and reasonable treatment for any exposure in a timely manner.
8. Combat stress reaction (CSR), Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Shell Shock, Battle Fatigue and any future names for any diagnosis that results in similar symptoms that are, or may have been caused by combat exposure duri ng warfare or training exercises are to be treated at all times in a professional and medical manner. No service member or veteran who suffers from such a condition should ever be treated with less respect than if their injuries were purely physical.
9. Incarcerated Veterans should remain eligible for and should be afforded any medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatments to which they would otherwise be entitled. Additionally, upon release from incarceration, reintegration support should be afforded to them.
10. Children of service members or veterans have the right to quality education while accompanying a service member on orders.
The petition can be found at http://www.Veterans-Bill-of-Rights.org.