Dear Editor: Congress, do what is right for our nation's veterans. Each year as Congress assembles, new bills are introduced as previously introduced bills die. Some bills relate to Vietnam veterans who did not have boots on ground. Many served at sea and in the air who need VA benefits.
It is well-known that Agent Orange dioxin, an herbicide used in Vietnam from 1962 to 1973, is cause for many life-threatening diseases for those who served. Congress and the VA are well aware of this fact. Even though this is well known in Congress, they continue to fail our veterans who fought the battle.
Without proper funding, the VA cannot help many suffering veterans of the Vietnam War. The backlog of submitted claims is overwhelming. It can take a year or more for the VA to review a claim. Often, the veteran is asked to provide more evidence in support of a claim.
Many veterans do not know how or where to find additional supporting evidence. Veteran service officers are trained by the VA to help; even they are overwhelmed with inquiries. They can only provide so much time, therefore placing the responsibility upon the veteran to locate evidence. Many veterans just give up not knowing how and where to find required evidence relevant to their branch of service. The VA should provide these resources to help the veteran.
It is about the dollars and politics, not about the veteran. What is a veteran worth? The American people must step forward urging the Congress to do what is right for our nation's veterans.