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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016

11/21/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letter: Are veterans getting a fair deal?

We just observed Veterans Day. My heart goes out to all veterans. I was married to a veteran; he was a tank driver. He loved his tank and serving his country. He gave 17 years of service. He was hurt on his tank, and for many years he's been fighting for his benefits. This April will be three years since we went to an appeal hearing. My husband and best friend passed away this April of pancreatic cancer not knowing if his claim would ever be answered. I heard a guy on TV say our government just waits for older veterans to die. That's what my husband thought too.

My question is, will the government wait for me to die now so they can write our claim off? This is so sad and depressing. Are there veterans here who have been waiting not months but years? Are there really any answers to why they wait so long? Can't they get enough help to get back to the veterans? I've written all kinds of letters, but they're too busy or just don't answer. Are there veterans here going through the same thing?

I'd like to hear from you and what you think. You can contact me at (928) 757-4579.

Jenny Roland


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens


This obituary was about three times this long and was so touching - the ceremonies were described in great detail and the American Legion post here was named after this young Wallapai boy who gave his all.

In the World Wars, everyone knew who and what they were fighting against and we were so much more together as Americans I think.

The last few wars have been much harder on everyone but especially the military and their families I think because the enemy has been blurred.

I am so sorry for what you and he went through and are still going through. It just should not be.

Thank you for his service. And your's as his wife. May he and Sam Swaskegame forever rest in peace. I love the military and am amazed that young American men and women still join up willingly and give their all no matter who is President. And they always make us proud overseas and are looked upon by citizens of other countries admiringly. They are simply the best.

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Jenny: A different time -


Wallapai Boy Laid to Rest
A burial service unique in US history was accorded Sam Swaskegame, world war hero who made the supreme sacrifice..laid to rest in Mountain View Cemetery w/military and tribal honors...member of the Wallapais....called to the colors of 1917.....he scouted w/other tribesmen the localities of German positions, swimming streams, trailing up machine gun nests..apprising the Army of their whereabouts.

On the Marae Sam was killed...Wallapai tribal mourning, also in the homes of the county people...as a mark of deep affection in which the returning boys were held...when his body was received from France...it was met by Legionaires and remained in state...Tribesmen from all over in attendance...took part in an impressive cry over the body.

Following the Indian service, the Methodist Church held a semi military service, that spacious edifice being filled to the doors...overflow crowd filling the streets...flower and greenery draped car bearing the remains...Pallbearers were Indians Fred Mahone...Sailors Tom DeVine (Andy's brother), etc. Oatman Legion post sent delegation w/stand of regimental and post colors....

The procession being one of the longest seen in Kingman, the first car having rounded the curve a mile from town - last cars were crossing the tracks at Fourth Street.

At the grave..as all that was mortal of Sam Swaskegame was lowered into it's final resting place, the Indians performed one of the most touching services seen in the SW.....finally, the firing squad composed of...Paul Morton, Howard J. Smith (uncles), Casey Jones (cousin)...fire the final salute...bugler sounded taps...the earthly service for Sam Swaskegame was over. In the trenches, Sam importuned sorties to whip the Germans, said I didn't come to hide but to fight.

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Article comment by: Roberta Willette

We know that the Veteran Administration drags their feet. And yes, I think the govt is mostly to blame. who cares about the Vets, past present or even future? I dont think this country does. We have all sorts of heroes who have been wounded, maimed and killed in the many wars we've gotten dragged into. The least America can do is help out the ones who are alive and need it. Shame on our country and our Government. Another thing is, they could have gotten the new Kingman hospital for a song for our Vets, but they didnt want it

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

I have to ask....what veterans service group is working with you? When I retired and filed my paperwork...it took over a year even with their help. A friend who retired about the same time was still sending letters over 2 yrs later.

There are many groups and all of them have people who know the ins and outs of the system and can contact people at the DVA directly about claims. My experience has been with AMVETS, DAV, and the FRA.

I do have to say....if his service was a while back and no claim was filed until 20 yrs later....the process can be long and exhaustive.

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Article comment by: Enough Already

BS. It is not only the GOP.Dems are also at fault.

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Article comment by: Doing Research

Yeah, the GOP is really good at de-funding veterans programs because they count as "social programs."


It would be great if the GOP treated our military personnel as more than just a part of the tank or humvee, and treated them like the heros that they are.

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