Local News

Veterans Fighting Battle for Benefits

Posted November 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— They served their country. Now they say they really need their government's help. More and more veterans are having a hard time getting the benefits they say they deserve.

Many older veterans say that when they joined the military years ago to serve for 20 or 30 years, they got an agreement from the government that they and their families would be covered for medical care until their deaths. Over the years, they say there has been nodirectcut, but that military cutbacks are affecting their health care.

Retired Army Sgt. Roland Narducci says he feels he has been placed on second-class status, and more and more veterans say they feel that way as they age and as Congress votes to cut back military expenses.

Retired Sfc William Butler says vets' medical benefits have begun to shrivel.

Part of the problem is caused by the closing of some military bases in an effort to cut taxes and the federal deficit. There are fewer doctors to provide care than there once were. That leaves many veterans, such as Narducci, feeling like they are not getting what they were promised years ago.

Veterans' Administration hospitals do help veterans, but only if the vets meet certain requirements.