Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 10, 2013

Area veterans must continue fight

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — The time is now for all veterans especially our local veterans. It is time to stand up for what we need and want and if you don’t want anything then sit back and do nothing special. To each and whom know the fact that veterans are the reasons The Washington Post states that it is time to shake up the dysfunctional VA. It goes on to say that the Veterans Administration is the most dysfunctional of all the agencies of the federal government.

I have been a strong supporter of the department’s effort to improve operations but the time for good intentions are over — so veterans what are you going to do. So veterans remember do nothing get nothing as I sit here and listen to the leader of the VA say that by the year 2015 the nearly one million claim backlog will be cleared up.

Now you and I don’t believe that — remember when you went off to war they gave you a rifle and a few bullets. Remember how you fought. So why can’t you fight now for your benefits and health care now?

It goes back to do nothing  get  nothing. I will be so glad when we can say done something got something. The VA is projected to hit a one million claim backlog. Over 600,000 are more than 125 days old. Just maybe your claim is somewhere in there.

Now let’s get to the good stuff as some of you know by now that I have been working on trying to get a veterans outpatient clinic for going on 17 years. I wish I could say that it is coming soon. But the Veterans Affairs has announced plans to increase Telehealth service from 460,000 last year to 825,000 by the end of 2013. So it would not surprise me if Mercer County is in that number. What a shame the fact is we have the space and promise of some of the equipment, but I guess that doesn’t mean a thing. The fight is not over for this veteran.

Al Hancock