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Skip the lip service, take care of veterans

The recent article concerning Afghan war veterans and their multiple deployments to war zones is quite disturbing. Even more so when soldiers and Marines who are suffering from PTSD are shipped back to combat zones. The flimsy excuse that they are experienced, so they should be redeployed after seven or eight previous combat tours, is a national disgrace.

The all-volunteer Army, which I like to call the working-class Army, is being abused. These people and their loved ones are true patriots. You don’t see any protests or whining like you do in Congress from our overcompensated politicians. I would like to see real changes in Washington when they return from their summer recess, not the lip service our veterans usually receive.

They can start by changing the points system veterans receive on civil service exams for employment and promotions. Currently a vet receives 5 points for employment, 10 points if wounded in the line of duty and 2.5 points on promotional exams. These returning vets who have given their all should be better compensated. I would like to see this points system changed for the first time in over 50 years – 10 points for employment, 15 points for wounded warriors and 7.5 points on promotional exams. This is the least we can do for these brave men and women who are carrying the load for the other 75 percent of Americans who don’t serve. To all our past and present vets, stay safe and God bless.

Phil Ryan

Vietnam Veteran

West Seneca