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Friday, March 31, 2006

VA's bureaucratic wheels barely turning

To hear veterans tell it this week, the Department of Veterans Affairs is entangled in red tape. Jim Manning of Neptune injured his knee in a parachute jump in 1952, and he's still waiting to hear whether he'll get disability pay of $100 to $300 a month based on a claim he filed in the late 1990s. Manning, 73, put it succinctly when he asked VA representatives: "How many years do you wait for this stuff to happen?''

Former Gov. McGreevey's father, a World War II and Korea vet, showed the same panel a letter promising action on a disability claim within 45 days. He told them he is still waiting for an answer 10 months later. Manning said the VA doesn't get all the claims it should because its reputation for delays discourages so many veterans from even trying.

The department exists to serve the nation's veterans of all wars. Just because it has to focus on soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is no excuse for forgetting the older veterans. The VA has to get its act together for all of them. It should be embarrassed to handle a claim such as Manning's 54 years after the fact.

4 Comments:

Blogger Stan said...

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12:05 AM, April 19, 2006  
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