Thursday, January 11, 2007

Honor And Sacrifice: The Two VAs

Honor And Sacrifice: The Two VAs
Correspondent Wyatt Andrews has a glimpse of some casualties of war you may not have heard about: veterans buried by bureaucracy.
(AP)We often lament the fact that over 3,000 Americans have died in Iraq, but here's another number the nation has yet to confront: 176,000. This is the number of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have filed disability claims with the Department of Veteran's Affairs -- a number that has swamped VA, or to be more accurate, buried the VA in paperwork. Because of a pre-existing backlog of claims (which depending on how you count it ranges from 400,000 to 600,000!), thousands of returning vets are waiting far too long for claims determinations--and benefits--at a time when they've been retired from the service and are out on the economy, looking for work, searching for the next phase in their lives and expecting a bit more from the people who sent them to war.


Sean Lewis- right leg


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