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Many Franklin County veterans now avoid the local veterans service commission and seek help elsewher

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:04 AM
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Many Franklin County veterans now avoid the local veterans service commission and seek help elsewher
Many Franklin County veterans now avoid the local veterans service commission and seek help elsewhere


Muriel McMullen, a World War II veteran, asked the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission several weeks ago for money to buy food and pay utility bills. The rejection, he said, was stinging: "They treated me like trash. I felt like I was facing a military tribunal." At 86, McMullen is looking for a job, selling his condo and applying for senior housing. He and his wife of 49 years sometimes split meals.


As cancer ravaged Ralph Kinkead's lungs, the veterans agency that was supposed to offer him caring support -- and dollars for dignity and dinner -- gave him the cold shoulder.

He blames the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission for costing him his health, his home and nearly his life.

"They treated me bold and cold," the Vietnam veteran said. "They acted like, 'We don't give a (expletive) about you.' Between all the screw-ups and 'You have to go back and wait,' I didn't get help."

Kinkead, 62, and now in remission for small-cell lung cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange, said he was able to get both a Social Security pension and a permanent veteran's disability only after turning to then-Rep. Deborah Pryce and driving an hour south.

...

Franklin County's agency didn't help much, but Pickaway County's was "wonderful," he said.

The director of the Pickaway office said she has more than 1,087 open cases of Franklin County veterans, many of whom complain that they weren't being served here.

"We're finding ways to help them with their claims," Rebecca Lee said. Her bosses are so frustrated with their resources being stretched to cover out-of-county residents, they asked her to keep a count. She found that a third of her customers live in Franklin County.

...

Franklin County's agency didn't help much, but Pickaway County's was "wonderful," he said.

The director of the Pickaway office said she has more than 1,087 open cases of Franklin County veterans, many of whom complain that they weren't being served here.

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories...
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C_Lawyer09 Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:28 AM
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1. Don't forget the valuable resource
of local VFW and American Legion Posts, most are very good at helping vets in need, and at the very least getting them to a good Veterans Service Officer. If you as a vet get treated poorly, report it. The best way is through your political representation or the most local chapter of the Veterans Administration.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 09:36 AM
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2. We have a local DAV (disabled vets organization)
that I avoid like the plague because it's run by a rabid right-wing nut case. I'm a disabled vet and I would be the senior woman in the chapter but all they seems to want to do is tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. I've argued with the president of the chapter at local meetings. I've been unable to convince him or anyone at the meeting that some of us don't have functioning legs to pull on those straps.
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