Vets & Their Families Speak Out
East Orange, N.J.
Thank you so very much for shedding light on my brother Juan Jimenez’s plight [Joshua Kors, "How the VA Abandons Our Vets," Sept. 15]. I know his story is shared by many veterans. Juan had the courage, the tenacity and the desire to have his story heard. He will forever be my hero. Juan embodies courage, strength, compassion, passion and a strong desire for justice–especially when it comes to his Army brothers. Again, from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul, I thank you.
LAURA JIMENEZ BURROUGHS
I read about Sgt. Juan Jimenez and the VA. This is the same thing I have been fighting as a Veterans Service Officer for the Marine Corps and Veterans of Foreign Wars. No one wants to take us seriously, and the VA continues to run us over. There is a high concern for Iraq veterans (and there should be), but we are forgetting our World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans. We need to put the train back on the track and force the VA to listen to us and care for us. I need help for the radiation veterans, for the Navy WWII vet who was sunk in the Pacific and ignored by the VA. I wish I was capable of yelling and having people in America hear me. Help us turn Veterans Affairs around to the needs of the Veterans!
I feel abandoned by the VA also, although my story is different. I served in the USAF from 1962 to ’65 and had an honorable discharge. I retired from my civilian job at 62. I applied for care at the VA and was rejected. They said it’s because I have money saved to retire on. I have had to get health insurance through the state pool for $2,800 a month. What happened to my so-called GI benefits? Will they not allow my burial in a military cemetery either?
"How the VA Abandons Our Vets" hits the nail on the head. Older vets are getting the same treatment. My husband served twenty-three years in the Air Force–Korea, Japan, France and two tours in Vietnam. I finally talked him into going to the VA to try to get his disability upped from 10 percent. The VA denied his claim. My husband has Alzheimer’s disease and is soon going to need more care than I can give him. He doesn’t want to pursue his claim, as he thinks the VA may take his 10 percent disability away. All veterans deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion. They certainly are not getting it from the VA.
Los Gatos, Calif.
I am a Navy veteran who cares deeply about her service to the country during Vietnam and her service now to veterans who come to the VA. I often read your magazine. However, Joshua Kors’s article makes me re-evaluate everything you publish. Like Kors, I sat through two weeks of the VA trial he wrote about. Unlike Kors, I saw both sides of the story. Whatever happened to balanced journalism? This story couldn’t have been more distorted and at times simply wrong. Shame on Kors and shame on The Nation for not demanding balanced and fair reporting.