Vietnam vet paying his own disability benefit

LaceyFebruary 8, 2014 

My husband is retired from the U.S. Navy and we are proud that he served three tours of duty in Vietnam. However, that service cost him later in the form of prostate cancer, tied to the use of Agent Orange during that period. The VA has accepted this is a combat-related service disability and he is getting a disability payment.

The problem is that he is paying his own benefit from the proceeds of his retirement. We had hoped that that would end in 2014, but because his disability is less than 50 percent, he must continue to pay it himself. Veterans who are not retired from the military get their VA benefits but do not pay for it themselves since their other retirement is from another source. Veterans who have a 50 percent or greater rating do not pay their own. They are allowed to draw full retirement as well as VA benefits, as it should be.

I simply do not understand how or why the greatest nation in the world can treat the people who made it so great as if they are second-class citizens. Funding is the shabbiest of excuses. We throw billions at special projects, other nations and congressional pork every year.

It is outrageous to even include the VA in the military budget. Getting ready for another war should not be allowed until things have been set right for the poor suckers (us) who have already paid more dearly than the rest.

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