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As I See It

Changes in veteran’s service funding troubling



Sometimes you have to wonder what the real motivation is. The Wisconsin Legislature made changes last year to how County Veterans Services Offices are funded. These are the agencies, staffed by military veterans in each Wisconsin county, help other veterans get the government assistance to which they are entitled. And it has worked pretty well, for a long time. The first CVSO was appointed in Wisconsin in 1932. Since then, according to the County Veterans Association of Wisconsin, CVSO’s have helped veterans in the state acquire more than $2.5 billion in federal and state benefits. But the system has changed from fixed block grants to a reimbursement system. But we’re learning that more often than not, those reimbursements are not granted. Many county agencies are being denied reimbursement for things like transportation to military hospitals, which were funded in the past. Critics say the new rules are too broad, and that there is no formal appeals process. And they say the Department of Veterans Affairs has not been helpful in understanding the changes. The changes certainly aren’t doing anything to improve local delivery of benefits to our military veterans. As we approach Memorial Day, when politicians will proclaim how important our veterans are, remember that their actions speak louder than their words.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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