Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Veterans for Common Sense Power House for sake of all veterans

While there is an ever growing list of groups working for veterans, there is one that stands out above the rest. Veterans for Common Sense, under the leadership of champion advocate Paul Sullivan, has been behind most of the changes in how we treat our veterans. Admittedly, I am in awe of Paul's work as well as his humbleness.

The truth is we need Veterans for Common Sense because what politicians manage to do well is say one thing but do another. They are the watchers of what is done and when words do not translate into action, they let us know about it. These are just a few of the recent reports VCS has released.

VCS in the News

Speaking at the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (CIAV) conference in Washington, DC, VCS revealed how recent VA audits of eight Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) offices found an overall error rate of 28 percent among selected claims. Our presentation was covered by Kelly Kennedy at Army Times.

Also last week, VCS was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) discussing problems veterans face dealing with VBA. VCS highlighted VBA's frustrating and burdensome 23-page claim form with NPR reporter John McChesney.

In a piece of good news,VCS plans to closely monitor VBA's plans to build a new system to handle the expected hundreds of thousands of new disability claims filed by Vietnam War veterans who remain ill due to Agent Orange poisoning.
In another piece of good news, VBA plans to overhaul how VBA employees are judged for their work - the infamous and misleading work credit system
. We'll be watching this development, too.

Unfortunately, in a piece of bad news, VCS remains outraged that VBA still fights against our Vietnam War veterans seeking healthcare and benefits due to Agent Orange exposure while aboard Navy ships off the coast of Vietnam. Please read this shocking and shameful Congressional testimony by VBA's Tom Pamperin before the Senate today. Pamperin told Senators that "VA does not support" S 1939.

This means President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki oppose reasonable Agent Orange benefits for blue water Vietnam War veterans. VCS asks you to contact your Representative and Senator as well as VA and voice your support for all of our Vietnam War veterans.

So how about it folks? Ready to get to work and make the call for Vietnam Veterans?

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