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The Treatment Of Veterans

This is a rant! You have been warned —

Last Fall my Mother had increasing problems doing the simple, normal things that everyone does in the morning. She was losing confidence in her abilities and was very annoyed as a result. She was entitled to the assistance of a home health aide paid for by the Veterans Administration. She didn’t really want to do it, but I finally convinced her to file the paperwork.

When the forms were filed we knew that it would be months before the VA responded, so we didn’t attempt to check on the status of the claim during the Winter. In the Spring we started to make inquiries, and things went downhill from there.

She got so frustrated that I got the paperwork and had her file the form to permit my brother to look into it, but they can’t find that form either. They have a website that is supposed to make all of this easier and more convenient, but with over three-quarters of a century of experience in the computer industry, my brother and I still don’t have the access we were assured was available at the site. How WWII and Korean War Veterans are supposed to use the site is a complete mystery.

Now, the system was held up long enough that Mother has passed without receiving the benefits that my Father paid for with over two decades of service that included two wars.

Now Arlington National Cemetery is jerking us around. They are requiring us to provide documents on my Father that they already have, plus a new form that requires me to swear that my Mother isn’t a criminal.

The same Republicans who think that sending in the troops is the only way of dealing with foreign nations, the ones who constantly proclaim their ‘support for the troops’, are the people who cut funding for the VA while creating more and more people who will need VA assistance.

No more wars, no more ‘authorizations for the use of military force’, no more new weapons until the Veterans Administration is funded to process claims within four weeks, and has the facilities and resources to help all of the veterans who need help. That’s what people were promised when they joined the military, and it’s time the nation kept its promises.

3 comments

1 Kryten42 { 05.07.14 at 10:41 pm }

It’s just totally immoral, unethical, and wrong. I am 100% with you. It isn’t just the USA either sadly. I have my own story regarding Military service. But you will have to wait until 2018 for that, unless I find out for certain I am terminal, in which case… check your mailbox for a package one of these days. ;)

BTW, that’s not a rant m8. That’s a statement of fact about the disaster that passes for Government there. :) But venting is necessary for sanity these days. Things really have changed. But hey… soon we will all be ranting here! Abbot does love your example of Government! Yep!

Sorry my friend.

2 paintedjaguar { 05.08.14 at 12:30 am }

I sympathize. After my dad died we were lucky enough to find a competent officer out at Tyndall who helped us through some paperwork. The insurance run-arounds before and after my mom’s death, though — bloody nightmare.

What you’re describing sounds like one more instance of running the government like a business — to be specific, like an insurance company. First, cut customer service personnel and budgets as much as you can get away with. Automate anything you can, so that clients are forced to do the work formerly done by customer service reps. If someone manages to file a claim in spite of your efforts, then delay, throw up chaff and lose the paperwork until they give up and go away.

Having been an AF brat myself, I’ve never felt any animosity towards the military and I’ve argued with civilians about military benefits. On the other hand, as I’ve told some ex-service pals, when the government is busy screwing its hapless citizens right and left, there’s really no reason the armed services should expect to be exempt.

3 Bryan { 05.08.14 at 8:00 pm }

If Abbott is going to adopt US policies I feel really sad for Australians because the policies don’t provide any of the benefits claimed for them, and create unnecessary pain for the regular people.

Kryten, they pulled this crap on Agent Orange in SEA, and whatever the problem is with ‘Gulf War Syndrome’, i.e. deny that there’s a problem until they get buried under a mountain of scientific evidence that contains the bodies of thousands of veterans.

PJ, Congress is the source of all the problems. They change the laws affecting benefits, and there is never a provision that maintains the benefits that were in place when someone initially enlisted.

Mother had good health care, but the changes that provided it were the result of a law suit won by a local attorney who was also a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and a retired Air Force Colonel, Bud Day. Tricare for Life was a direct result of Colonel Day’s law suit and it saved my Mother thousands of dollars in costs. She received what my Father had been promised when he enlisted for service in World War II, and when the Air Force was created.

I got out after 8 years because they were talking about making 30 years the minimum for retirement.