Many veterans who file for disability compensation are in for a rough ride. In my family alone, my father, father-in-law, uncle, brother-in-law and I have had to appeal VA ratings, as have two other veterans I have helped with their claims.

The last straw was when the Veterans Administration sent one veteran to six different doctors, half of whom were in Columbia. Plus, two more doctor’s appointments were scheduled after they rated his case. None of these visits or medical reports was listed in the “Evidence Considered” section of the decision, nor were the many medical records from the local VA hospital, which were initially filed with his claim.

How can veterans get a fair shake when the VA doesn’t acknowledge medical evidence? It is a flawed system at best.

Is it fair, after waiting for over 22 months for a decision, that the veteran now has to go through a long appeal process because people at the VA did not properly perform their jobs?

Our veterans give their best to this country and deserve the same from those entrusted to help them.

This veteran’s case stems mainly from a mishap at the VA hospital years ago, which led to emergency surgery, 13 pints of blood and life support. From that point on, he was unable to work. He has suffered long-term scars, which greatly affect him mentally, physically and financially.

The system is broken at every level, starting at the top with a secretary who doesn’t feel that it is necessary to answer a letter from a veteran about the Choice Care Program or speak the truth to Congress. Until a shake-up occurs at the VA, there seems little hope for improvement.

Noreen Gray-Martin

Indigo Island Drive