Letter: Veterans need to learn rules of the game

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

There has been a need for veterans’ complaints to be handled. What should veterans do when they need help in applying for service connections? There are rules and regulations.

1. The VA has rules and regs that they should and do follow.

2. Veterans must understand these rules and regulations. There are rules and regulations for ball games and almost everything we do.

Most vets I have the pleasure of speaking to do not understand the basic rules. Most just know they served in some branch of the military and therefore believe they are automatically authorized for all veterans benefits. That’s not the way the game is played.

Look at the veterans benefits booklet issued by the VA. Read it and try to understand what is written there or online. A veteran with 50 percent service-connected disability is in Priority Group 1. A veteran with no service-connected disability is in Priority Group 8 or higher. That’s how the VA Medical Center looks at incoming personnel.

Is that fair? It’s the way the rules of the game are played.

It pays to learn how the game is played. I read a letter to the editor from a woman who complained that a family member who had served in Iraq for 13 months had a problem and wanted the VA to help him, with no results. That Iraq deployment must have been 10 or 15 years ago. Why did this person not do something soon after returning to the United States?

That letter is what got me to thinking the veterans need a coach. The Rowan County Veterans Service Office is at the old mall.

I am not an expert on the subject. The experts are not writing letters. So what are the veterans to do?

— Hugh Martin