A Veteran's Fight For Benefits

The Capital-Journal:

Walking up and down the sidewalk near the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center, Tim Sanders looks like a model for the "Army Strong" ad campaign.

Except, that is, for the placard he is holding high proclaiming, "Vets are losing their benefits." [...]

After tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is considered 50 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He suffers physical, emotional and now bureaucratic problems. [...]

Now 32, he is entitled to care at the VA medical center and normally receives a VA check for $730 each month. This month his check was reduced to $196. He can't pay his rent or other bills. [...]

"I believe our government is being a tyrant. I'm proud of my country. I'm not proud of my government," he said. ...(read on)

Tim Sanders' story is not a unique one. Not at all. The VA is already overwhelmed by the growing backlog of claims it currently has, and the agency is nowhere near prepared to deal with veterans' needs for decades into the future thanks to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Bush Administration's record on veteran's issues could hardly be any worse. What's more, if Bush had his way these problems would only get much worse after he leaves office. It's worth noting that based on McCain's record, which is completely at odds with his mouth, should he ever manage to succeed Bush, it's a safe bet that they will.


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