Veterans on VA: 'Get the politics outta the system'

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Mar 09, 2007 12:46 PM

In the wake of the Walter Reed and VA controversies, I went over to the VFW National Convention at the Omni Shoreham to see what vets were talking about this week-- with each other and with Congress.

That's what my column's on today:

I learned long ago thatif you want to hear the talk among veterans, you gotta go to the bar atthe VFW Post. That’s where you’ll find men who’ve gone from the Hallsof Montezuma to the halls of modest Midwestern ranch houses, men who’vetamed the wild blue yonder glugging from tame blue cans of Miller Lite.Seemingly ordinary men who have been extraordinary heroes.

They’ve fought for their lives in jungles and deserts, so theycould come back home and live them out on the plains and in the mountainsof the country they kept free. The American veteran is a proud man,often reticent about his experiences far from home, but happy to talkabout the home he fought so hard to protect...

Hear what they have to say about a problem they knew about long before it became front-page news:

“Whew, got my bloodpressure up a little bit,” the Major said between sips of beer. “But Igot a pill for that. Luckily, I don’t have to wait for the VA to giveit to me.”