Forgetting veterans by Tuesday
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Saturday, May 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Veterans are honored with monuments — symbols to remind us that freedom is not free but paid for in blood. Those who served offered up their lives in the name of freedom. We remember their sacrifice always — but especially on Memorial Day.
For many, the battle is not over. The wars of Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan burn deep within us. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, diseases caused by Agent Orange exposure or dust inhalation from explosives. Some veterans' wounds aren't obvious, like an amputee's, but they are no less debilitating.
Soldiers, sailors and airmen submit claims to the Veterans Affairs administration for benefits, providing hundreds of pages of evidence to prove their disabilities. The VA offers little assistance in how to locate the evidence, leaving the veteran on his or her own. Many are denied benefits because they served on missions that remain classified. These records should be made available.
Congress does nothing about this. Bills are introduced but fail to pass, often because of the cost involved. We who served are not worth the dollars, we're told. Yet there are dollars for myriad worthless pork projects.
Do not our veterans deserve to be helped by our government?
Yes, the politicians will offer praise and promises to help our veterans tomorrow, only to forget by Tuesday.
Legislators: Do your job and pass bills to help our veterans in need.
John J. Bury
Media, Delaware County
The writer is retired from the Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.
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