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Letters to the Editor

Nov. 4, 2012 - 04:22PM   |  
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How to solve VA backlog

Regarding “Waiting on VA,” Letters, Oct. 29 issue:

I would like to apologize for what these disabled veterans have gone through. I agree with retired Lt. Col. Robert Blair’s solution to the claims backlog: Get it right the first time. But that will never happen because of the caliber of people completing the claims. I say that because they can’t get it right the first, second, third or even the fourth times.

My solution is simpler. Every veteran who files a claim, regardless of what it is for, should be awarded temporary 100 percent disability until the claim is adjudicated correctly. If it turns out to be an overpayment, then all overpayments will be waived. Think this would speed things up a bit?

It is unreasonable for any veteran to wait two to three years to have his claims completed. The Veterans Affairs Department comes up with excuse after excuse for the backlog.

A couple of years ago, VA hired additional people to handle the claims. How did that work out for them? Now the most recent excuse is that the claims are more complicated.

The claims are no more complicated than following any war. How many Vietnam veterans suffered for years before VA acknowledged that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was real? How many Vietnam veterans died painful deaths at home before VA acknowledged Agent Orange? It only took 25 years for PTSD and 40 years for Agent Orange to be recognized.

What do our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have to look forward to?

Every elected official should be outraged. All Americans should be outraged.

Homer Ford, combat wounded Vietnam veteran

— Muskogee, Okla.

Military votes count

A report from the Military Voter Protection Project states that more than one-third of active military are not going to vote.

Being on 100 percent disability from the Vietnam War, I can understand not paying attention to politics when you are fighting to survive.

Having said that, I know politicians use us like pawns.

If you don’t see that, collectively, your vote counts, then you and our military are doomed to be at the mercy of people who can’t relate.

If you are fighting and dying for our democracy, then you should know it is your duty to vote.

— Gregory Topliff, Warrenville, S.C.

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