Letters to the Editor

VA still stalling on Agent Orange health benefits for Vietnam veterans

Re: Congressman Vern Buchanan's DD-214/ID card legislation. I applaud the effort to streamline veterans ID; it is but a step in the right direction.

I already have a very nice card from the VA for my medical care that identifies me for that purpose. I, for one, have had my DD-214 and used it to obtain the medical care which, may I add, has been excellent.

However, my claim for Agent Orange compensation has languished for years. I keep getting letters from the VA administration that tell me that they "are still working on my case."

The Vietnam Veterans of America has been pursuing that same claim, and they are hamstrung by the VA's lack of response.

Even your own office, Congressman, will only respond with, "That claim is in process."

It has been over five years since I first filed the original claim, yet the latest correspondence from the VA tells me that they need yet more information.

My DD-214 clearly shows that I was in Vietnam, and my medical history also shows that I have been and am being treated for what are called "presumptive illnesses" related to Agent Orange exposure.

I am certain that I am not alone in this frustrating situation.

Thanks for the card idea, but is there something you can do that fixes the VA's attitude that says, "Delay, deny, and wait for them to die?"

I, like my fellow Vietnam veterans, am not getting any younger, and another ID card doesn't help me one bit.

Michael D. Herring