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Veterans health care problems are shameful

June 4, 2014 at 1:04 a.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

I served in the military.

The state of the Veterans Affairs is shameful. It is also very expensive. The VA has been underfunded since the end of the Vietnam War. There was a huge influx of wounded soldiers returning from battle; soldiers who in wars past would not have survived. The VA is funded yearly, and we now know the bureaucracy is encouraged to downplay the financial needs to support the system. The VA has become a large part of the yearly budget battles. Congress blames the bureaucrats for the cover-ups, and they are only trying to keep their jobs. The hospitals and clinics are understaffed, both because of budget concerns and because what health care providers, unless unusually dedicated, want to work for the VA when they can make 10 times as much in private practice? The VA is simply a symptom of the much broader problem facing our country: health care.

If soldiers are being denied health care or delayed health care, so are millions of civilians. You cannot separate the two.

As for our returning forces who have fought for our liberty, I quote my master sergeant at Fort Benning Georgia - "(expletive) rolls downhill, and guess who's at the bottom of the hill."

It makes you really appreciate that congressman on the 5 p.m. news. Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter, soldier. You're the ball this is being batted back and forth across the net.

G.P. Hardy III, Victoria

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