George Weers

“On advice of my local Veterans Administration (VA) representative I contacted Congresswoman Cheri Bustos to request assistance in location of my military records. The VA claimed to be unable to find the records. The documentation of the, alleged, search, provided by the VA, clearly demonstrated that minimal efforts were being expended. Worse yet, the VA adopted the position that it was my responsibility to provide proof of military service. After more than a year the VA abandoned the bureaucratic procrastination and stated that it was my responsibility to find, retrieve and submit my records to the VA. This was the point at which I contacted Congresswoman Bustos.

Congresswoman Bustos assigned a Constituent Advocate to my case. Within days of initial contact they provided and processed all necessary documentation to renew the quest for the ‘missing’ military records. A few weeks after submission of the requisite documentation I was contacted by the VA to inform me of appointments regarding my claim.

That, had it not been for Congresswoman Bustos, my veteran’s rights would have been denied is obvious. However, I have to ask why.

Why is the intervention of a Congressional Representative necessary to ensure that veterans are treated fairly?

If, as some claim, the VA is underfunded then WHY? This country, incessantly, demonstrates ample appetite to design and purchase, increasingly, destructive implements of war. Such appetite is not blunted by the fact that we already have sufficient weaponry, with which the planet can be instantly immolated. Instead of another aircraft carrier, why can’t the VA be funded?

Can it be that the American people have no appetite to acknowledge the human cost of our war mongering habits? What better way to ignore the cost than by denying the crisis with veteran care? These comments are, in no way, an indictment against any VA personnel. Every VA representative with whom I have come in contact has been courteous and eager to help.

These comments are, however, a challenge to understand why the veterans, who so willingly have risked their lives, are ignored by a failing bureaucratic system.

My claim is now being processed by the VA for three reasons.

1) I am, and always have been, tenaciously focused on my objectives.

2) I received good advice from my local VA office.

3) Invaluable intervention from the office of Congresswoman Bustos.

I have to wonder. What will happen to the veterans who lack such tenacity and support?”

George Weers, Pekin