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GannettUSA Today

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Veterans at risk yet again

It's happened again to America's veterans, another record-keeping computer lost by the Veterans Affairs Department. This time it was a desktop maintained by a subcontractor and affects only 38,000 veterans. You may recall in May, 26.5 million veterans' records were jeopardized when a laptop was stolen from a VA employee's home.

Bad luck? A coincidence? That's hard to believe. Veterans have every right to entrust their records to the VA. That trust is shattered when they learn their privacy may have been violated. Identity theft is hard enough to avoid without a federal agency - and its employees or subcontractors - aiding and abetting it.

The VA has some quality assurance issues to address. They must ensure that one of our most cherished communities - our veterans - is safe from economic harm caused by no fault of their own.

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