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Veterans Fight to be Believed

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by Roerich, Sep 3, 2006.

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  1. Roerich

    Roerich M.D.

    Veterans fight to be believed

    By Alison Rehn

    September 04, 2006 01:00am

    WAR veterans are being driven to breaking point and at least one has committed suicide because investigators hired by the NSW Government to verify their pension claims are effectively labelling them liars.

    Dozens of veterans said they were upset and angry at ex-servicemen who work for NSW-based company Writeway Research Service, which investigates veterans' pension claims.

    The Government pays Writeway to verify wartime events which veterans claim caused them stress.

    In most cases, Writeway find the historical evidence to back up the veterans' claims, leading the Repatriation Commission to grant veterans part or full pensions.

    But in some cases Writeway does not find any evidence and publishes findings to that effect, leaving an already alienated group of veterans questioning their tours of duty, resulting in depression.

    Alan Parfitt claimed he developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving in Vietnam.

    Mr Parfitt was psychologically scarred after he hacked a dead body from a fishing net which had wrapped around a boat propeller.

    Writeway researchers could not find any evidence to support this and so the Repatriation Commission did not grant Mr Parfitt a pension.

    Mr Parfitt appealed and the Veterans' Review Board found the event did happen, and was highly critical of the Writeway report.

    "The Writeway report was wrong," the board said. "The board ... expresses concern with the inaccuracy in a report provided for a fee."

    Four-and-a-half years after he first applied for the totally and permanently incapacitated pension, the Repatriation Commission granted it.

    Raewyn Bastion's husband Bill committed suicide after he began the battle for a pension.

    Writeway researchers looking into an incident Mr Bastion claimed caused him to develop post traumatic stress disorder suggested "boredom, tedium and isolation" were the biggest issues facing troops at Ubon in Thailand, where he was stationed in 1962.

    Mr Bastion was denied a pension.

    He appealed, but mid-way through the process committed suicide.

    Yesterday Mrs Bastion said her husband "couldn't face anymore".

    "He came home at one point and said, 'What do I have to do to convince these people I'm not lying, kill myself?'," she said.

    "He was rushed to hospital. I had only had him home a few weeks before he did just that: killed himself."

    Mr Bastion was granted a pension several months after his death.

    Veterans' Affairs Minister Bruce Billson said it was "wildly unfair and inaccurate to fit up Writeways as somehow doing something sinister".

    Writeway director John Tilbrook said attacks on the company were the "personal vendettas" of a number of veterans.
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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    I think its disguisting really, and no secret to me actually, because knowing what goes on behind closed doors here is an eye opener. What these twits don't realise, is that most events are not documented in war or peace keeping missions. We do not do something, then document it for later, just so people can know what goes on... geez... that would be real nice wouldn't it, having public records of what really does go on in peace keeping and war...

    I can see one side to say yes, do it, and I can see another to say, no way. People think they want to know, but providing nothing illegal is being done from the good side, then trust me when I say, people really don't want this stuff documented, because if public records released it after a century, people would not be impressed by the realism of humanity.
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