To the editor:
``I don't get anything for being disabled,'' Arthur Burton was quoted as saying in an article about the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Kansas meeting in Lawrence this past weekend. Mr. Burton, of the Jayhawk Chapter of the DAV, went on to explain that his disability compensation that he gets from the Veterans Administration is subtracted from his military pension. Did you know that was U.S. law? Suppose a KU professor was struck in the eye by a basketball, and, God forbid, blinded. Would he get disability compensation from the state, and, when he retires, his full pension? Interesting question isn't it? U.S. soldiers, wounded or injured in the line of duty, who remain on active duty, or in the reserves, `til they retire, have their pensions slashed by the amount the VA awards them for their disability.
On May 1 of this year I sent a letter to Togo West, the just-appointed Secretary of Veterans Affairs, requesting to know just how many vets are in this category. To date, no reply. A copy of that letter will soon go to Rep. Snowbarger.
Also this weekend, on Saturday, a letter was published in the Public Forum section of the Journal-World from Mr. Leo Langlois, Commander of American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14, responding to an article that appeared May 26 in the Journal-World, about falling membership in veterans organizations. On Friday, June 12, George Will used his column to lobby for money for battlefield preservation. In other words, last week, articles, letters, and columns of or about some aspect of veterans appeared in the pages of the Journal-World. Perhaps, in a some minuscule way, at least in Lawrence, we're approaching critical mass regarding public awareness of veterans issues, and therefore time to write this letter. I think the law diminishing a military pension by the amount a vet received for wounds or injuries suffered while on active duty, is unfair, discriminatory, not to mention, an insult. It should be changed.
P.S. Bob Dole gets both his full pension from the Senate and his 100 percent VA disability pension.
Lt. Col, USA, Ret.