U.S. reneging on promise to veteransA promise made should...


November 19, 1995

U.S. reneging on promise to veterans

A promise made should be a promise kept. All the facts I have are out of the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Magazine. The Disabled American Veterans are charging Congress with going back on its promise of protecting veterans programs.

It has already made more than $10 billion in cuts over the last few years, but Congress wants to do more cuts. Members of Congress want to cut more than $7 billion of veterans programs in the next seven years, doing away with more than 41 hospitals and about 2,000 staff members. H.R. 104-159 calls for about $1 trillion in cuts in compensation, pension and health care for the veterans and their survivors. There are other cuts Congress wants to make in the veterans programs, so this governing body can spend $245 billion on other things.

Under a provision in the VA appropriations bill (H.R. 2099), mentally incompetent veterans with no dependents would not receive service-oriented disability compensation if their net worth exceeds $25,000 because the House says it would save about $172 million. The House wants a refund of $16.8 billion from the VA. Although the House approved billions in appropriations for the VA, there exists $13 million less than last year and $900 million less than the requests from the VA. The House provides $183.5 million for hospital construction and existing hospital projects, down from $354 million in fiscal 1995. This gives no money for new hospitals. The VA needs $343 million alone for new hospitals.

A DAV representative gives us all something to think about when he said, "Certainly, the entitlement of a veteran injured in the defense of his country deserves a higher priority than the vast array of tax entitlements [for businesses] and certain wealthy individuals seeking to avoid their fair share of taxes."

The things that the House and the Senate want to do to the veterans should make every American upset. Congress hopes to do away with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA hospitals. It wants to put the veterans under the Department of Health and Human Services. Our benefits are not welfare; we enlisted into the military to serve our country.

If they cut out veterans benefits, what support will future soldiers have? Where are the men and women going to go who are now the hospitals? Where are disabled veterans going to get care? Wake up, America. The veterans were there when you needed help; now we need your help.

When I and many other veterans enlisted, we signed an agreement with our country. It stated that our medical needs would be taken care of -- and they were. Congress wants to renege on this deal.

William Rau


Stallions vs. Browns for all the marbles

I was shocked to read Ken Rosenthal's column of Nov. 13, regarding the loss of the Stallions as a result of the return of the NFL Robber Barons. He really has no shame. After berating Jim (( Speros and the Stallions and then ignoring them (along with the rest of his compatriots) for the entire season, Mr. Rosenthal has finally understood the reality of professional football in Baltimore. It's true that it is the quality of the players that makes the difference between the NFL and three-down football (although I'm sure it's news to him that some of us have come to prefer three downs). Unfortunately, he and others have missed the point as to what "quality" means.

It is hard-working, approachable, dedicated individuals putting out on every play, not grossly overpaid, over-promoted prima donnas like Deion Sanders. It is also a class organization dedicated to a community that is now giving it the shaft.

Yes, I'm sure that the stadium will be filled with people for Cleveland Browns games next year. As for me, I will travel to Toronto or elsewhere to watch the Stallions play rather than pay a "license fee" to purchase NFL tickets.

Or maybe we should fight it out at the stadium -- Stallions vs.

Browns (by Canadian rules to make up for the smaller roster) for the right to play here (along with all of the financial plums to be given away by the governor and the mayor). Winner take all.

Surely, Vinnie Testaverde could never accomplish in three downs what he has never been able to accomplish in four.

Bruce Johnson


Builders official says Brown's letter is wrong

My letter is in response to Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown's letter in The Sun for Carroll County on Oct. 22, relative to affordable housing.

zTC He apparently believes that home builders are the only people in Carroll who are interested in promoting affordable housing within our borders. Let me remind him that over the years many task forces and appointed committees have affirmed the need for homes that are affordable to every socioeconomic group in Carroll County.

Simple research indicates that Carroll County issued far fewer residential building permits than any other jurisdiction in the metropolitan region during 1994.

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