- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Scott City council hires former SEMO public safety director as city administrator (11/15/17)
Caring for veterans
First, let's acknowledge that the Department of Veterans Affairs provides, through its extensive network of medical facilities, a level of care that not only benefits, but is appreciated by thousands of veterans who seek medical attention.
But the glaring instances when the system breaks down are in need of more than attention from lawmakers and other federal officials -- the same officials who have the power to right the injustices that are visited on far too many men and women who have served in the military and are entitled to these services.
While conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center grab the media spotlight, the plight of some veterans in their efforts to obtain medical records and successfully cope with mountains of red tape affect far more deserving individuals. Federal legislators make headlines when they travel around their constituencies to listen to veterans who are having trouble getting treatment. But they already know the scope of the problem because of the daily grind of dealing with needs and issues that are handled by their staff members.
The question isn't whether there is a problem. There is. The question is what can be done to adequately provide good medical care to veterans who are entitled to it.
In this age of computers, it is difficult to understand why records can't be processed almost instantaneously and delivered to whatever agencies make evaluations about providing benefits and care.
It is a shameful blot that those who serve our nation and suffer the consequences of that service are hurt the most by the treatment they receive from their own government's bureaucrats.