Veterans story ranges from claims backlog to Georgia job fair
by Don McKee
Columnist
March 29, 2013 12:00 AM | 930 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
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The column about the Veterans Administration’s backlog of nearly one million unprocessed benefits claims hit home with local veterans:

Raeanna Duck: I would like to thank you for taking a part in bringing recognition to this problem. I am a disabled veteran and the thought of a fellow service member dying while waiting on the process is gut-wrenching. These individuals are seeking help from the organization put in place for that specific purpose and being placed on a waiting list to be either confirmed or denied benefits, unable to receive the assistance needed until a decision is made. Soldiers coming home from combat with symptoms of PTSD waiting nearly 2 years without needed counseling is a recipe for disaster. This opens the door to violence, unemployment, drug abuse, disintegration of family, even suicide. I desperately hope that this brings much needed emphasis to the problem as well as placing pressure on our legislators in Washington to execute a plan to correct the backlog. I will be passing the petition to my fellow veterans as well as anyone else who will listen.

Frustrated Veteran: As a veteran, I can attest to the backlog in claims. I submitted a claim July 13, 2012 and have yet to hear a response. When I call to get an update, all I am told by the representative is that the claim is in the processing phase. You can tell by the way that he/she is speaking that what they are saying is being read from a script. It is my opinion something drastically needs to change. Veterans are not getting the treatment nor respect that we deserve. If the VA is unable to process claims in a timely manner, perhaps they should consider hiring qualified veterans to fill those positions which would allow veterans who are unemployed to gain employment. Now there is a thought.

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On another side of the veterans story, a Georgia job fair will be April 17 in Glennville as part of the state’s effort to help find employment for returning veterans. This event is sponsored by the state departments of corrections and defense and the National Guard. There will also be representatives of the departments of public safety, natural resources and juvenile justice available to answer job-related questions.

The agencies are looking for veterans to fill jobs in administration, transportation, communications, probation, IT, engineering, counseling, maintenance, state patrol, and correctional office. The Department of Juvenile Justice says it has career opportunities available in nearly a dozen areas, including security emergency response teams, registered nurses and physicians, professional social workers and special education teachers.

The DJJ even offers a one-time salary increase incentive to current and former military service members on some of the jobs if they have active duty service. Veterans may register for the job fair at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MilitaryJobFair. Also there is the Operation: Jobs website as part of the state’s initiative at http://www.operationworkforce.com/.

For able-bodied veterans, no doubt, the best benefit is a good job.

dmckee9613@aol.com
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