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Our military veterans should have best care

March 13, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Five years ago this winter, the American public focused its outrage on reports of terrible failures in the care of some wounded service men and women at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Unqualified personnel and disgusting conditions in some facilities, including cockroach and rat infestations, were found by reporters.

Congress launched an investigation and ordered the Pentagon to improve conditions not just at Walter Reed, but throughout the national network of Veterans Administration health care facilities.

Two years ago, Congress ordered the VA to expand treatment programs for veterans, with emphasis on the hundreds of thousands returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is the VA doing a good enough job for our wounded warriors?

Many veterans have high praise for VA facilities serving Minnesota and Iowa. Clearly, the agency includes many dedicated employees.

But questions still arise. For example, it was just a year ago that a scandal rocked the Dayton, Ohio, VA hospital. There, it was learned, improper sterilization procedures had put some veterans at risk of contracting hepatitis.

The welfare of military veterans is an ongoing concern of many Americans. Congress should order a new, comprehensive investigation of whether things have improved during the past five years.



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