UPDATE: Veterans for Common Sense (VCS)

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The May 19th update from Paul Sullivan and our friends at Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) contains several news clips of high value.

Veterans for Common Sense presented new information about the urgent need to fix the VA at a conference of more than 50 non-profits.   The VCS presentation was covered by Army Times.

Posted by Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News Network for Paul Sullivan, VCS

Also in this update, the highly credible reporter Sy Hersh has reported very disturbing allegations of possible war crimes in Afghanistan.

VCS in the News

Speaking at the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (CIAV) conference in Washington, DC, VCS revealed how recent VA audits of eight Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) offices found an overall error rate of 28 percent among selected claims.  The VCS presentation was covered by Kelly Kennedy at Army Times.

Also last week, VCS was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) discussing problems veterans face dealing with VBA.  VCS highlighted VBA’s frustrating and burdensome 23-page claim form with NPR reporter John McChesney.

In a piece of good news,VCS plans to closely monitor VBA’s plans to build a new system to handle the expected hundreds of thousands of new disability claims filed by Vietnam War veterans who remain ill due to Agent Orange poisoning. In another piece of good news, VBA plans to overhaul how VBA employees are judged for their work – the infamous and misleading work credit system .  We’ll be watching this development, too.

Unfortunately, in a piece of bad news, VCS remains outraged that VBA still fights against our Vietnam War veterans seeking healthcare and benefits due to Agent Orange exposure while aboard Navy ships off the coast of Vietnam.

Please read this shocking and shameful Congressional testimony by VBA’s Tom Pamperin before the Senate today.

Pamperin told Senators that “VA does not support” S 1939.

This means President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki oppose reasonable Agent Orange benefits for blue water Vietnam War veterans.

VCS asks you to contact your Representative and Senator as well as VA and voice your support for all of our Vietnam War veterans.

Posted by Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired for Paul Sullivan, VCS

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.