Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: veterans

July
5th

FIREWORKS: Opponents wrongly exploit veterans

Re: “Budget cuts won’t crimp fireworks or annual Freedom Fest at JBLM” (FOB Tacoma blog, 7-1).

If fireworks are so bad for our precious vets, why does Joint Base Lewis-McChord have an Independence Day fireworks show? Why do U.S. military bases across the world normally have fireworks shows?

It’s very disappointing, but typical, that opponents of Independence Day celebrations would use our vets to further there agenda.

June
28th

VETERANS: Little help from regional office

Re: Veterans’ uphill road back, struggle with suicide” (TNT, 6-).

This article accurately describes most of the veterans I know, including myself. However, the statement that “the VA just reported it had cut the backlog of claims pending more than 125 days by 15 percent in recent weeks” is incorrect.

Data from eBenefits state that the completion date for my claim should have been in Feb. 6. It was filed on Oct. 12, 2011; 624 days later, the Seattle regional office of Veterans Affairs is unable to provide an estimated completion date for this type of claim.

When Sens.

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June
18th

MILITARY: Nation needs to put its veterans first

Re: “VA asked to keep eye on vets’ credit” (TNT, 6-15).

Your article about a new monitoring program to guard veterans credit neglected to situate this small step in the long journey to actually keep our promises to take care of veterans.

The truth is, we’re far behind. The Veterans Affairs Department backlog stretches to more than 800,000 claims. And although the VA itself is exempt from sequestration, these sweeping budget cuts have cut homeless shelters for veterans, furloughed medical staff at military health clinics and cut job training.

We know the reasons for these cuts: to reduce the

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May
28th

MILITARY: Memorial Day means little without veterans benefits

Men and women are not “heroes” just because they put on a U.S. military uniform, and they don’t want to be called heroes. They simply want the rights and benefits that their government promised them when they signed up with a recruiter.

What they don’t want is a government that forces them to fight unnecessary imperial wars of aggression in the Third World, then can’t provide long-term care for the wounded and traumatized when they come home. What use is honoring yesterday’s fallen if we don’t provide for those who are falling today – falling into unemployment, depression, addiction, suicide

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March
27th

WAR: Welcome home to Vietnam veterans

Re: “Everyone in Legislature votes to honor Vietnam veterans” (TNT, 3-26).

Most of my Vietnam vet friends had a similar experience as I did when we came home, and it was not a positive one. I changed out of my uniform in a San Francisco airport bathroom to avoid the sign-waving antiwar protesters in 1970.

Since Vietnam, we have learned it isn’t soldiers and airmen who wage war, they just carry out the political decisions of our government.

Saturday has been designated “Welcome Home to Vietnam Veterans Day,” so if you know a vet, or see one wearing the

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March
14th

VETERANS: Vets penalized for filing appeals

Re: “Puget Sound veterans wait longer on claims” (TNT, 3-13).

As a veteran with a simple claim who has been waiting for almost two years, I thank you for shining a light on our plight. If a veteran appeals an initial ruling by Veterans Affairs, it gets even worse. The wait then extends out to as much as eight years, and the agency refuses to look at any new claims from the veteran until the appeal is resolved.

The VA considers something as simple as adding a dependent a new claim. Adding my wife of 43 years is still

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Feb.
28th

MILITARY: Put veterans ahead of unneeded weapons systems

Re: “Younger veterans struggle to find jobs” (TNT, 2-24).

As they face challenges finding a job, many young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with disabilities; nearly half have filed some kind of claim. Yet the budget cuts now being proposed in Congress could actually make it harder for veterans to get the care they need.

The federal government has threatened to triple veterans’ health care premiums to help pay down the deficit while discharging more than 100,000 troops, effectively sending them straight to the unemployment line.

Veterans understand just as well as anyone that the government needs to

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Dec.
31st

TAXES: Where’s the shared sacrifice?

Part of the proposed changes to the federal budget is to use a concept called “Chained Consumer Price Index” to compute cost-of-living increases for recipients of Social Security, veterans benefits and g0vernment pensions. In short, the concept calls for reducing benefits because seniors and the disabled will be forced to choose to downgrade their purchases to lesser costs for basic items.

For example, seniors and the disabled will choose with less money to switch from a name-brand can of tuna to a store-brand of tuna, shop for clothing at Walmart rather than JC Penny, and so on. A lot of

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