The frustration of Vietnam veterans echoes today among new veterans
of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who deal with a current backlog that
has left nearly one million veterans waiting for their benefit claims to be processed.
In a February 6, 1991 broadcast highlighted Sunday on Melissa Harris-Perry,
NBC News reported on Vietnam veterans suffering from illnesses they
contracted due to exposure to Agent Orange, the chemical used widely
during that conflict. The devastating effects of Agent Orange to the
men, women, and children of Vietnam were already known, but even in the
1980s, the men who were exposed to it during their tour of service had
to fight to get treatment and benefits from the Department of Veterans
“The V.A. basically told me to get lost,” Jim Donaghy, a Vietnam
veteran, said in the clip. ”The rage is incomprehensible. It goes beyond
rage, it’s betrayal.”
March 29 marked 40 years since the last American troops left Vietnam,
and March 20 was the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Later on Sunday’s MHP, former U.S. representative
Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq veteran to serve in Congress joined
journalist Aaron Glantz of the Center for Investigative Reporting and
Kayla Williams, a fellow with the Truman National Security Project
Center for National Policy, to talk about the veterans benefits backlog
and how to fix it. See the discussion below.
WATCH VIDEO: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/31/backlog-of-veterans-claims-recalls-vietnam-era-benefit-battles/