Here's how not to Treat a Veteran

dyingwhilewaiting

Here at JVS Works, we have spilled a fair amount of e-ink talking about the obstacles faced by the men and women who serve our country when they return to the civilian world. We have talked about JVS' Veterans First which helps servicemen and women find jobs and receive training. We have stressed the importance - economic and moral - of employers filling open positions by "hiring a hero." Soon to come in JVS Works, we'll be giving you an update on a veteran who was himself unemployed, joined a firm as a human resources officer and then went about hiring more veterans from his new place of employment. (Stay tuned)

Periodically, as must be the case with many a veteran, we come across situations so appalling, it's a wonder the perpetrators can look themselves in the mirror. We look to be as fair and balanced as possible when assessing a circumstance, but after reviewing Aaron Glantz's report for the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), it's very hard not to see red.

"Number of veterans who die Waiting for Benefits Claims Skyrockets," reads his story published today on the CIR website and discussed on National Public Radio's Take 2.

Glantz's story puts a too human face on this tragedy. He talks of World War II veterans languishing away in nursing homes, waiting for much needed pension checks that might help make those final years easier. He writes of an Iraq War serviceman who took his own life after his claim for insurance benefit to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was denied. Glantz writes of "tens of thousands of veterans being approved for disability benefits and pensions only after it is too late for the money to help them."

Some 900,000 servicemen and women nationwide have been waiting nine months for a decision on their claims. The average wait time for a Los Angeles veteran is a year and a half, easily the lengthiest duration of any other place in the nation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs

seems to agree that long wait times are not good, but a spokesman says the fact that payments are still made posthumously is to be applauded.

“It’s a good thing that the VA pays benefits to honor the service of veterans and the sacrifices of their family members despite the fact that a veteran has unfortunately died,” Dave McLenachen, director of the agency’s pension and fiduciary service is quoted in Glantz's write-up.

Read the rest of this excellent article here, but be prepared to be outraged.