Dec 5, 2012

Pearl Harbor reminds us that we need to do better for our veterans

Dec. 7, 1941 is, as President Roosevelt said in his speech to Congress,  "a date that will live in infamy." The morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese war planes attacked U.S. military targets in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USS Arizona was bombed, killing 1,177 navy crew. Along with attacks on other installations, a total of 2,402 American lives were lost.

Of course, we know how this story ends. Thanks to millions of U.S. troops, we went on to trounce the Japanese. We continue to owe a great debt to those who have served in the military, but I am sorry to say that in many ways, the nation is not serving veterans as well as it should.

Veterans are still waiting far too long for their benefits to be processed, despite attempts spanning over a decade to improve the process. The influx of claims from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is part of the problem, but not the only one. A recent report reveals that in 2012, the average pension claim and disability claim took the V.A. 262 days to process! The wait is unconscionable for every veteran, but even more so for the elderly. Read more.  

Elderly and disabled veterans and their widows who meet certain requirements may be entitled to benefits that can help them pay for the help they need either at home, in an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. Moreover, it is not necessary for the veteran's disability to have been the direct result of military service. More on V.A. benefits for long-term care

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