False disability claims disturbing

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It is deeply disturbing to have read recently about the number of false claims for disability being filed by a minority of troops returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones and the apparent inability of the Veterans Administration to detect those dishonorable claimants. As a combat veteran of the Viet Nam war I am doubly concerned because I well remember the poor performance of the VA during the 1960s and 1970s and I must wonder that things have not improved much in 40 years.

Our combat vets are returning with terrible psychological and physical wounds in many cases and deserve our caring and concern for the price they have paid for wars that were, like Viet Nam, unnecessary. Regardless of one's opinion of the current wars it is the responsibility of all citizens to support those women and men who chose to serve in the Armed Forces. They deserve no less.

Part of our duty, also, is to tell those whom we know to be lying about their service and claiming false disabilities, knowing that their claims will probably be honored at the VA, that they have dishonored the uniform, the United States, tax payers, and those vets who have legitimate claims. I have observed this behavior first hand on the part of a recently retired National Guard officer and find this disgusting in the extreme.

Please extend a welcome home to every veteran who has served and behaved honorably both during their tour of duty overseas and upon their return home. In the case of those individuals who have behaved in such a disgusting manner as to file a false claim for disability try to find some sympathy for them because, unlike the actual wounded who do not seek piety, those claimants are truly pitiable.

Bill Vogel

Soldotna



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