Most veterans are law-abiding citizens
I resent the implicit criticism of Seattle veterans expressed in the article on recent VA fraud. [“Seattle VA fraud case spurs drop in mileage claims,” NW Monday, July 29.]
The article states “A funny thing happened after federal authorities arrested several military veterans last year and accused them of lying about how far they drove … A bunch of others, who didn’t get busted, stopped filing for so much money.”
I believe, and Veterans Affairs should also clearly state, that a vast majority of veterans submitted the claims within the established guidelines. Moreover, I believe many veterans were victimized by these same clerks at the Seattle VA, by not receiving the legitimate claims they submitted.
In my case, between 2011 and 2012, it took as long as eight months to receive my claimed payments. When I called to inquire about the delays, I was put on hold, once for 4 hours.
I was persistent and, with the help of the new travel-pay supervisor, I recovered substantially all my claims. However, I know many veterans simply gave up after encountering the obstacles put up by these clerks, never receiving the money they are entitled.
The great majority of veterans served honorably and maintain our dignity as law-abiding citizens.
Makoto Fletcher, Issaquah