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Letter: Congress must act in service of nation’s Vietnam veterans

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed on Sunday. For the people who served during Vietnam and survived the indescribable horrors, coming home had its own kind of distress.

When I got out of the Navy in the early 70s, I needed a home for my young family. As a veteran, I was promised a VA-guaranteed mortgage. So I filled out all the appropriate paperwork, attached a copy of my DD-214 and applied for one. Shortly thereafter I received a nice letter confirming that due to my service, and honorable discharge, I was eligible for the VA mortgage.

After a bit more time, I received a letter from the VA that said the house I was interested in was worth what I was going to pay. A week later I opened my mail and read that my VA loan was rejected. That’s all it said. No explanation why.

So I called the VA to ask just what the heck (not the word I used) was going on. They looked up my file and told me I hadn’t been at my present job for 12 months. I very politely replied (not so politely) that I had just gotten out of the service a few months ago and had a job within a week of getting home.

Members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard pledge to never leave a fallen comrade behind. After their discharge, the Department of Veterans Affairs is charged with fulfilling this very same promise on behalf of a grateful nation. The problem, however, is that many veterans have difficulty accessing these programs.

We owe veterans more than just a handshake and a slap on the back. Congress and the next administration must fix the existing VA system and ensure that our U.S. military veterans receive the support and care that they deserve

It is time for the U.S. government to honor the promise they made to our veterans. As a veteran, I fulfilled my side of the contract and I think it is their turn to keep theirs…or give me back my four years.

Norbert Rug

Lockport

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