MAKING veterans wait nine months to get the benefits they earned is a disgrace to America.
The system is set up to make a decision within four months of the veteran filing for benefits.
But even with a maximum set at 125 days, Veterans Affairs cannot meet this standard.
The average claim takes 273 days to process. That's nine months.
Imagine a congressman having to wait nine months for his paycheck.
But the VA seems set up more to serve the bureaucracy than to serve veterans. The agency employs an army of more than 600,000 people to dispense benefits.
The Army has fewer than 600,000 uniformed soldiers on active duty - and their benefits are probably not as good.
The conservative American Action Forum said the agency has 613 different forms for benefits.
Enough is enough. It's time to streamline this process.
Presidents and members of Congress love to grandstand as defenders of benefits for veterans, but no one seems interested in making sure those benefits are dispensed in a timely fashion.
That is simply inexcusable.
Veterans should get an answer within 30 days.
Given West Virginians' high rate of participation in the nation's defense, this state's congressional delegation should lead the charge to fix this process once and for all.
OHIO started the month of July with its pedal to the metal. The Buckeye State became the 34th state to adopt the 70 miles-an-hour speed limit.
Drivers can now do up to 70 on more than 570 of Ohio's 1,332 miles of interstate highway.
Congress repealed the 55 mph national limit in 1995. Despite predictions of calamity and carnage on the highways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in October 1998 that "the traffic death rate dropped to a record low level in 1997."