Archive for Thursday, September 15, 2005

VA service officers

September 15, 2005

To the editor:

The governor is trying to eliminate service officer positions at Kansas VA hospitals. She wants the money for her favorite programs.

For the last 60 years Kansas has supported service officers at the VA centers by paying a part of their salaries. Service organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans provide the rest of their compensation. The federal Veterans Administration provides their offices.

This cooperative arrangement between the federal and state governments and the service organizations has served Kansas veterans very well. The service officers assist veterans in obtaining their benefits and finding their way through the maze of forms and regulations. They also provide transportation and other support on a limited basis while coordinating volunteer support. They are much needed and their support should be increased, not cut by politicians looking for a few dollars to pump in a different direction.

Our freedom of speech does not come from politicians; our freedom of press does not come from journalists; like our other freedoms they have been won and protected for us by our veterans. Let us now use those freedoms to write to the legislators and the governor and help protect those who have given us so much. Please write and insist that the governor cease this attempt to shortchange those who have served.

Regards,

Steve Fitzgerald,

Leavenworth

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