Veterans March on Wall Street – Roundup

The attack on Scott Olsen and his rescuers at Occupy Oakland is what got vets’ attention, but here’s another reason for vets to march:

October 5, 2011 – A new lawsuit claims that 13 banks and mortgage companies — including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and PNC Bank — charged hidden, illegal fees to military veterans trying to refinance their homes.

The lenders, unable to charge certain fees under U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs rules, simplyincreased another set of fees without making it clear to veterans that they were doing so, the suit alleges.

Around the same time, JPMorgan acknowledged that it had overcharged thousands of active military personnel on mortgages and improperly foreclosed on the homes of nearly 20 enlisted men and women.

Around the same time, JPMorgan acknowledged that it had overcharged thousands of active military personnel on mortgages and improperly foreclosed on the homes of nearly 20 enlisted men and women.

And another….

Ruling on behalf of veterans, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last spring found the VA in violation of the constitutional rights of veterans by failing to provide efficient and effective care and benefits. The court said veterans experience “unchallengeable and interminable delays” in service, in part because of what it said is the “VA’s unchecked incompetence.” The Justice Department is appealing the ruling.

Coverage of the march:

Marine Corps Times:

Spurred by an injury to one of their own, military veterans are mobilizing to increase their presence and profile in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Joe Carter, a retired Army sergeant and national head of Iraq Veterans Against the War, said he hopes vets can parlay higher visibility in Occupy protests into heightened awareness of issues that are crucial to vets: high jobless rates, declining benefits and lingering postwar trauma. According to a recent Department of Labor report, unemployment among 18-to-24-year-old vets is over 20 percent, compared with a national unemployment rate of about 9 percent.

Business Insider has a great slideshow.  Best shot:

NYT:

Veterans marched from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Zuccotti Park on Wednesday in support of Occupy Wall Street and held a moment of silence for Scott Olsen, an Iraq veteran critically injured during the Oakland protests.

WSJ:

NEW YORK — About 100 military veterans are joining the Occupy Wall Street protest by marching in uniform through Manhattan.

The march began Wednesday at the Vietnam Veterans Plaza near Wall Street. The protesters planned to end at the Zuccotti Park encampment.

Police separated them from the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange.

twitter.com/#!/Clarknt67/status/131746844865859586/photo/1

New York Daily News:

“As veterans who have served our country in the military, we now have a unique opportunity to continue serving here at home through our participation in this civic movement for change,” [Iraq Veterans Against the War] chapter president Andrew Johnson said in a statement.

Democracy Now:

“It’s clear that veterans are part of the 99 percent. Veterans, when they leave the military, are much more likely to face unemployment and homelessness,” says Jose Vasquez of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Many people are forced to reenlist because they’re facing a tough economic situation.”

Clarknt67 at DailyKos has a nice collection of pics from the event.  I’m really pleased at how the signage turned out.  Military service should just be the beginning of a lifetime tradition of service to our communities and to our fellow citizens in need.

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