Jack Stevenson: A VA story

Commentary by  Jack Stevenson

Commentary by
Jack Stevenson

By the 1990s, the Veteran’s Administration was receiving claims applications from Veterans of World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam.

The “word on the street” was that it would be necessary to submit an application three times because the first two applications would automatically be rejected.  Applications based on wounds, injuries, or illness sustained years earlier while in military service required documentation.  Perhaps, some of those applications were not properly prepared, but the frequent rejections fostered the impression that the delays were deliberate.  Deceased veterans do not resubmit claims.

I noticed a job announcement for a low level job processing veterans’ claims.  Although I was retired from military service, I thought that it would be a way that I could make a worthwhile contribution, and I applied. The manager of the field office reviewed and ranked the applications.  He ranked my application number one. The field office manager had to send the applications and his ranking of them to a central office for approval, Baltimore, Md., in this case.

The Baltimore office refused to allow my application to proceed.  They said, in writing, that they wanted someone just out of college with one but no more than two years of experience as an automobile claims adjuster.

It is unlikely that a candidate fitting that profile would have had military experience or have acquired empathy for military veterans.  A person with those qualifications might eventually become effective, but probably not for several years.

Meanwhile, if you have to wait a long time for an insurance adjuster to inspect your fender bender, perhaps it is because the automobile insurance company is short on staff.

Jack Stevenson, now retired, served two years in Vietnam as an infantry officer. He retired from military service and worked three years as a U.S. Civil Service employee. Mr. Stevenson also worked in Egypt as an employee of the former Radio Corporation of America (RCA). He currently reads history, follows issues important to Americans and writes commentary from his Florida home.

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