Trouble with VA goes way back
I would compare the Veterans Administration to the TV program "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." A few days ago, a Vietnam veteran friend showed me a report from the Chicago Tribune. It was a shock because of the VA Claims Processing System. I've known for a long time the VA has been falling way behind with thousands of veterans going way back to the Persian Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan with their combat and wounded veterans desperately making an attempt to get their deserved benefits.
The report that prompted me to write this letter was unbelievable. Some veterans even had trouble making the Veterans Administration believe they were even in a war zone. The most sickening part was about a veteran who tried twice to prove he served and he still couldn't get through to them.
The report also mentioned the large amount of money it cost and will continue to cost to pay compensation for all the claims now and in the future because of the wars that are expected to go on and on.
The president is now saying all of our troops will be home by next July. You have to wonder, at the cost of not (only) money, but how many more American lives.
RICHARD D. BLOOD
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Obama must help older people
What does President Obama think the older people are supposed to do to stave off death while he makes himself look good by sending all the money to all of these other countries.
We have not had a raise since he has been in office.
The Democrats complained that President Bush spent too much money, but he did take care of the older people. He did not cut out the yearly Social Security check. The Obamas are rich, they don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.
Why doesn't the president borrow some money from China and start giving the old people a raise? President Obama has not shown me a thing as far as being a president.
H. BUDDY ROGERS
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Families offer their gratitude
To the citizens of Cleveland and Bradley County, the Swilling and Chastain families extend to you our heartfelt thank you for your generous display of respect, gratitude and patriotism as Staff Sgt. Berthold Allen Chastain's remains were transported to the cemetery Feb. 2.
To the students of Cleveland Middle School, who lined the route in front of your school to pay your respects, thank you. To the teachers and principal who made that tribute possible, thank you.
To the members of the Cleveland Fire Department, who so beautifully displayed the American flag over the route at the intersection of Keith and 25th streets, thank you.
To each and every citizen who took time out of his or her day to pay your respects to and recognize the sacrifice of a fallen soldier who gave his life to preserve our freedom, thank you.
Your display of patriotism, gratitude and respect is a memory that every member of the Swilling and Chastain family will remember and carry with us for the rest of our lives.
It warmed our hearts and touched our souls in ways that words are inadequate to express. Though words cannot begin to express our thanks, we hope that you will understand the deeper meaning behind the only words we have to express our gratitude: Thank You.
THE SWILLING FAMILY
THE CHASTAIN FAMILY
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Nothing unusual about snake death
Reading your article (Jan. 31) on the young man who died after being bitten by a copperhead snake, there is nothing unusual about this.
Some 50-odd years ago, a woman whose husband was a member of a particular church where the handling of snakes was commonplace made his wife place her hand in a cage with a copperhead snake. The snake bit her. She died.
The bite of a copperhead snake is lethal.
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Health law aids those who need it
I am a disabled registered nurse who worked 35 years and then became disabled. I thought I did everything right to ensure my future. I had long- and short-term disability insurance and maxed my 401(k) so that my employer put in its 5 percent.
Then I became disabled. Lost my home, my car and my ability to earn money.
I am so thankful that I have Medicare and all the preventive measures that the health care reform law affords me and also the lowering of the doughnut hole for prescription drug coverage.
My son works in cosmetology as well as my mother -- a profession that does not offer health care insurance to their employees. I live with my son since I lost my home -- he takes care of me.
I can't believe there are people who would deny me and my son and my mother health care. Call me a socialist -- I don't care -- just let me get the health care I deserve as a human being who worked all her life taking care of others.
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Liberals would like a different Palin
Why do most liberals and the liberal media dislike, and in some cases, despise Sarah Palin?
Perhaps if she would choose socialism over capitalism, believe more government is better, and decide that higher taxes and more spending are needed to boost our economy, those on the left would think her better fit.
Maybe those on "The View" on TV would believe she had better decision-making skills if she had decided to terminate the life of her unborn mentally challenged son instead of giving Trigg life.
If only Sarah would renounce her belief in Creationism and accept Evolution, the liberal intellectuals might think her more suitable as well.
Just imagine, if Sarah had been a community organizer instead of a City Council woman, a college professor instead of a city mayor, or a state senator instead of a governor how she would have been received.
I am convinced if Sarah Palin had been a liberal Democrat with the same political experience but had been chosen by Barack Obama as his running mate in 2008, the liberals and liberal media would have embraced, deified and crowned her. Would I vote for Sarah Palin for president of the United States? You betcha!
JOEL W. SELF
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Gays already live among population
The years of service provided by the retired officer who wrote to bemoan the recision of the military "don't ask, don't tell" policy is greatly appreciated.
To say medics will be subjected to AIDS and other diseases with the successful repeal of this antiquated policy is not only ignorant and bigoted, it's inaccurate. Civilian hospital workers are at an equal, if not greater risk of exposure as they care for IV drug users, babies born to mothers with HIV and AIDS and all other walks of life.
Surprisingly, he was aware they changed the name from Gay Related Immuno Deficiency (GRID) to AIDS when heterosexuals' rates of exposure skyrocketed in the early 1980s.
Currently, homosexuals are already living among their heterosexual counterparts. They're forced to lie about it and to be ashamed of who they are as they fear the loss of their rank, jobs and livelihood if ever ousted.
Sadly, he must be unaware they can't marry, as he stated. Thankfully, President Obama was able to change our military. We will no longer watch Republicans spend another $600 million over a 15-year period toward the expulsion of ousted homosexuals putting their lives on the line for our country's freedom.