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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 1, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Injured veterans

An incredible disgrace

As a Vietnam veteran, I am recommending that no man or woman consider enlisting in any branch of our military at this time.

The Seattle Times story of Nov. 26, titled “Rule change leaves some injured veterans fighting another battle” [Nation & World], confirms that even after our government continues to promote the benefits of military life, once enlisted, they refuse to provide proper care for military members.

The lies and deceit become readily apparent when our young men and women are sent to war and after being injured, our government and the Pentagon conveniently find rules and excuses to refuse the medical care they need and deserve because their injuries “are not war related.”

If after a Marine corporal was injured twice in Iraq by a roadside bomb and a land mine resulting in traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss, and after a woman Army sergeant shattered a hip and crushed her back and knees while diving for cover during a mortar attack are not war related injuries, I don’t know what would be. Yet, both of these heroes and others have been denied thousands of dollars of benefits due to a little-noticed Pentagon rule change last March that redefined a combat-related injury they said was consistent with the “wounded-warrior” law passed by Congress last January.

Our government’s refusal to support our injured troops is an incredible disgrace to our military and to our country. Our military disability system must be changed to show absolute support for our troops before any more of our young men and women should consider enlistment.

— Gary Wilson, Shelton

Comments | More in Health care, Iraq war, Politics

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