VA agrees to Houston cemetery settlement

VA agrees to Houston cemetery settlement
U.S. Army photo

The Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to a settlement of a lawsuit alleging religious censorship at Houston National Cemetery. Local veterans and volunteer groups had accused VA and cemetery officials of banning them from using religious speech - including the words Jesus and God - during services at the cemetery.

Under the settlement, VA has agreed to not ban, regulate or interfere with prayers, recitation or words of religious expression unless asked to do so by family members of the deceased. Veterans families will be allowed to hold services with any religious or secular content they desire.

Also under the settlement, local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and a local organization named the National Memorial Ladies will resign their positions as official VA volunteers and instead will be free to make their services known to local funeral homes that make arrangements for the families and do so in their private capacity. Families can then decide what, if any, services they would like these groups to provide at their committal services.

As part of the settlement, VA has agreed to pay plaintiffs an amount for attorney fees and costs.

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peaceword

November 12, 2011 - 1:44pm

DeBakey VA Hospital Medical Exam Time Delays Regarding Visible Cancer Tumors: . . .I have informed the office of Mr. Shinseki, Secretary of the Veteran's Administration that Intend to file lawsuits over the following Cancer issues and, in addition, will petition both the courts and the family of Doctor Michael DeBakey to consider removing his name from the wrongfully and malfeasantly administered Michael DeBakey Veteran's Hospital in Houston as it is currently administrated from Houston, Texas and Washington, DC. . . .The current situation at Michael DeBakey Veteran's Hospital in Houston presents the real possibility that the Michael DeBakey family might be sued as "Interested Parties" or other party classification in lawsuits filed against Cancer Treatment wrongdoing emanating from Michael DeBakey Veteran's Hospital in Houston. . . . I have a visible tumor which is currently one half inch diameter on my left palm. It is about 1/8 inch high. Three months previously, this tumor was a very small one eighth inch diameter tumor. Possibly related is my exposure to a lot of Agent Orange, 1967-1968, in Vietnam . . . 07 Nov 2011: After this tumor grew to about 1/4 inch diameter & the edges were black & blue, I visited the Astro clinic at DeBakey VA Hospital, Houston. My regular Doctor had been transferred to Lake Jackson VA; and, I was examined by a "Registered Nurse." She told me my hand would be scheduled for a "Cat Scan within five days." . . . 10 Nov 2011: I phoned the Debakey VA automated appointment desk & "voice mail" explained I was scheduled for a visit, 19 Dec 2011 to some "unamed Clinic" with no room number at Debakey VA. The voice mail did not say I would have a "Cat Scan within five days." . . .I next phoned several Debakey VA numbers, but could not identify said "unamed clinic." . . .I then became angry, phoned VA, Washington, spoke with "Octavia," the office clerk for Secretary of Veteran's Administration, and informed her that I suspected that I had experienced error and neglect by reason of the fact that I had a rapidly growing tumor on my left hand and was scheduled a further diagnostic visit one month in the future at DeBakey VA to have it further diagnosed, by which time it might grow into the bone and become "inoperable" and "untreatable." I said that my experience with a long-distance, "LONG DELAY DIAGNOSIS" could possibly cost me amputation of my hand and/or arm or even cost me my life. I also said that I was likely a veteran member of a "CLASS" of many veterans "similarly-so-situated," who have been denied timely medical exams and care related to "HIGHLY VISIBLE CANCER TUMORS" growing in their bodies who transition from "treatable" condition to "untreatable" while awaiting future appointments to be further diagnosed regarding HIGHLY VISIBLE CANCER TUMORS on their bodies, which are disease problems far different and more serious than sprained ankles and Hay fever. . . . I explained that as a consequence of the fact that Veterans are likely transitioning from "treatable" to "inoperable" and "untreatable" cancers become fatalyf more severe during the time they must wait for further diagnoses of "HIGHLY VISIBLE CANCER TUMORS" growing in their bodies , it must be assumed that such deliberate VA delays, "year-after-year," are "producing a dead body count of Debakey VA neglected Veterans" who become worse while waiting for the VA to diagnose and treat in a timely manner regarding "HIGHLY VISIBLE CANCER TUMORS" growing in their bodies. . . .Therefore, because of the high liklihood that such DeBakey VA Hospital deliberated neglect of a large number of veterans produces a dead "BODY COUNT" of Neglected Cancer infected veterans dying from neglect at the rate of several hundred per year, it could truthfully alleged that the DeBakey VA hospital is currently operating in a wrongful manslaughter "MALICE MODE" contributing to the wrongful death of Veterans who might be saved by timely diagnoses and intervention to operate on "fast growing Cancers." . . .In essence, there is a pattern of wrongful neglect in timely addressing "HIGHLY VISIBLE CANCER TUMORS" growing in Veteran's bodies. . . .This type of neglect deliberately applied to a Class of Veterans who are visibly infected with "HIGHLY VISIBLE CANCER TUMORS" growing in their bodies is "negligent Manslaughter" if the vetern dies as a consequence of said time-delaying neglect. . . .This situation is very comparable to Michael Jackson's doctor who was founf guilty of Michael Jackson's death by means of "Negligent Manslaughter" that occured from his doctor's wrongful behavior. . . .If you are a Veteran with a Cancer disease problem that you believe has been neglected by DeBakey Hospital, you may contact me through the American Legion; and, I will try to assist you. . . .If you wish, You may leave your eMail address so I may contact you by eMail. I prefer not to communicate by phone.

Davjohn

October 20, 2011 - 7:48pm

This is fine, as far as it goes. The cemetery director should have been fired, and the local supervisor should have been demoted. Houston is the only place where this occurred, so I have a hard time believing VA was the culprit. This was just another ACLU-atheistic move to distance America from Christianity. Also, "... an amount for attorney fees and costs." is a lollipop for a broken arm. All of the families that had to pay for private services that are, in fact, military honors should be compensated in punitive and restorative damages. It's time for these insults to stop. We are supposed to be a free country. Since when does a free people have to fight its own government for their rights?

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