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March 22 02:20 AM
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Look closer at VA system


To the Editor:

Today on CNN it was stated "VA workers given millions in bonuses while veterans await checks."

In my letter to the editor which appeared in the March 18, 2009 issue of the Tri-City times I wrote about thousands of veterans' letters and documents related to benefit claims being squirreled away by VA employees, with documents essential to the claims process being discovered in bins awaiting shredding at several regional offices. In 2007, workers at the Detroit Regional Office turned in 16,000 pieces of mail and 717 documents turned up in New York in December during an amnesty period.

I have urged our state representatives to conduct a formal hearing to determine the economic cost of these actions and their effect on the state of Michigan, including costs to the state pertaining to medical care. My wife and I discussed these matters with State Representative Kevin Daley at the Silver Grill in Imlay City on March 27, 2009. I, and my wife, have also written to Congresswoman Candice Miller pertaining to this issue. To the best of my knowledge, no formal hearing has taken place or been scheduled.

In these days of debates concerning health care coverage, a close look at how our government treats its veterans may be insightful. As Diane Sawyer suggested some years back, it might be time for a twist on that famous challenge, "Ask not what the veterans are doing for their country, but what their country is doing for them."

Joseph M. Sam, Goodland Twp.
August 26, 2009

Castle Creek
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