Lousy Record Keeping Causes Our Combat Veterans to Suffer


Stanley Friedman

Stanley Friedman served his country honorably during World War II. From being shot at to seeing fellow soldiers blown apart, he carried out his duties beyond what people should be expected to do. When he came home, he suffered from what he later discovered was post-traumatic stress disorder, but he couldn’t get help for his ailment from the VA until he was 92 years old.

It seems the VA loses military records and then expects the soldiers to somehow reconstruct their service record for them.

This is especially true for those who served before 1973 because of a fire that destroyed millions of files at the National Personnel Records Center in suburban St. Louis, Mo. Duplicate records were not kept.  When veterans turn up to collect benefits and the files are missing, they don’t easily give the veterans the benefit of the doubt according to a Fox News report.

It’s not only the fire. They are sloppy record keepers. And there are the emergency situations – if a person is evacuated due to injury, records are not properly kept.

Stanley Friedman was only one of countless thousands who couldn’t get help because the VA didn’t believe him, even when he gave details about every event.

It took over 60 years for him to get their help after he served in his country in World War II.

Thanks to lawyers who assisted him, some of his records were found when he was 92. It was then that he got help from the VA for his PTSD. He was able to spend the last two years of his life in a veterans home which provided him with comfort and support until he died two years later.

Friedman tried to get help for decades.

“I have a huge box of letters that he sent to the VA over the years in his attempt to get benefits,” said Friedman’s wife of 61 years, Minna Rae. “He tried over and over and over again to get help, but they just kept turning him down.”

Veterans of all wars are in similar battles with the VA.

John Marshall Law School’s Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic was able to help Stanley Friedman. They do pro bono work for veterans. The head of the team said he couldn’t believe the incompetence.

“Frustrating does not even begin to tell you the truth of the matter. I’ve found it incredibly unbelievable as a taxpayer the amount of bureaucracy and ineptitude that was occurring, not only in Stanley Friedman’s case, but in other cases,” one lawyer said.

If they were illegal aliens, Luis Gutierrez would be there getting them help.

Veterans being forced to reconstruct their service record is, as one lawyer put it, “especially cruel” for an elderly victim.

The VA system appears to be antiquated and technologically dated.

The securing of our veterans’ records is a serious problem and people need to know how our veterans are made to suffer at the hands of bureaucrats using dated technology.

Source: Fox News