1. Join Army 2. Get STD 3. Profit! ...wait... what?

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[Sex]
Scores of veterans across the country are getting lifetime checks from the government for gonorrhea, genital herpes and other venereal diseases they caught while in the ranks.

The disability payments are made under a little-known provision from three decades ago that entitles vets to monthly benefits for sexually transmitted diseases they contracted, or simply aggravated, while in the service -- even if they became infected on their own time years ago.

Under the rule Congress created at the end of the Vietnam War, even genital warts are considered a "service-connected" condition entitling a vet to the same $100 or more a month for the rest of his or her life that those who suffer wounds or battle injuries can receive.

This enrages some veterans of combat in Iraq, particularly those who have had to battle the backlogged Department of Veterans Affairs bureaucracy to be deemed worthy of benefits for clearly war-related disabilities. For them, the fact that the VA's resources and taxpayers' wallets are being tapped for such claims is hard to stomach.

"It's a crock," said Jerry Yarbrough of Gibson County, Tenn., who suffered major systemic damage from heatstroke as an Army fueling specialist in the early days of the Iraq invasion and continues to fight for full benefits now that he's "a virtual prisoner in my own home."

The number of veterans getting benefits for sexually transmitted diseases is unclear. Repeated requests to the Department of Veterans Affairs for that information went unanswered.

But a review by Scripps Howard News Service of more than 60,000 cases under the purview of the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration reveals that there likely have been thousands of vets since 1972 who, collectively, have drawn millions of dollars in payments for conditions they readily acknowledge came from illicit sexual activity.

Among those receiving VD disability payments is a Texas veteran of a four-year hitch in the mid-1980s, who convinced the Board of Veterans' Appeals that he deserved to be considered 30 percent disabled -- worth $350 a month now -- because his genital warts left him seriously depressed.

Another veteran, this one from Wisconsin, waited 30 years before applying for benefits for the residual effects of gonorrhea he acknowledged he contracted from a prostitute during his basic training at Fort Polk, La., in 1972.

This former soldier, who mustered out of the Army in 1975, said he continued to suffer from recurring gonorrhea-related urethritis when he sought benefits in 1996. Eventually, the appeals board deemed him 10 percent disabled, and thus eligible for a monthly check of about $100 for the rest of his life.

The question of compensating veterans for sexually transmitted diseases is one that apparently has not arisen in Washington since 1972, when Congress changed old rules that had categorized the contracting of such diseases to be an act of "willful misconduct."

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lets take care of them!
Posted by jessie on 2008-12-05 15:36:14
It's important to take care of our veterns whether it's for stds or any other problem they may have.
 

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