Stories for October 2005

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Thursday, October 13

VA secretary to pay visit to Walla Walla

Jim Nicholson plans a January trip to the area.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson will tour Walla Walla's veterans hospital in a January visit to the community.The trip was announced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Wash., who extended the invitation several weeks ago.

Sunday, October 9

WALLA WALLA'S VA: THROUGH THE AGES

Fort morphs into hospital

Some buildings at Walla Walla's VA Medical Center are old as adobe dirt.The grounds originally were a military fort _ one of the earliest, but not the first.Although not officially a hospital until the early 1920s, much of the history of the Walla Walla V

Options that keep VA Medical Center in Walla Walla make sense

It seems a prudent course given that personnel are already in place and the location has proven to be beneficial to veterans.After months of study, the Local Advisory Panel has appropriately _ and wisely _ concluded that the Veterans Affairs Medical Cente

Sunday, October 2

Veterans emphasize importance of VA hospital

Some were tearful. Some were increasingly enraged at the thought that their health care could be moved.

_ Between his thumb and finger Patrick Donnelly held up a coin in front of the crowd at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino conference room on Friday.From a distance, it appeared the size and shape of something from one of the slot machines down the hall. Undou

Did the government make promises to veterans about health care for life?

``To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan'' _ the mission statement of the Department of Veterans Affairs, from Abraham Lincoln's second Inaugural Address.While American troops are at war in Iraq, other struggles a

Congress applies 'means test' for services

Veterans flooded the VA when it held open enrollment to its health-care system in 1996.

The Veterans Affairs health-care benefits system is complex and difficult to navigate, said John Waterbrook, benefits advisor at Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center.Making it more so, in 1993 Congress authorized a ``means test'

Long turned to VA, but he found himself shuffled to other hospitals – and billed

Gale Long's dress military coat doesn't fit perfectly these days.The jacket, normally preserved in a cedar chest at Long's Milton-Freewater home, was tailored for a slightly smaller version _ measured for the young man who entered military duty almost 63

'The federal government created a hoax'

Was there ever truly the promise of free, lifetime health care as many veterans remember?There absolutely was, said Mark Olanoff, legislative director of The Retired Enlisted Association.While there is no clear information of when the promise entered mili

Some vets remember recruiters' promise

Other veterans say they were not promised anything about free medical care.

At a July 19 meeting at the Union-Bulletin, men and women who had served in World War II, Korea and elsewhere reported a wide range in what they remembered being told about free medical care.A show of hands _ of those who enlisted and who were drafted _ r

Panel: Veterans want services in Walla Walla

But whether the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gets the message remains to be seen.

_ No Walla Walla veterans services would be moved to the Tri-Cities, nor would all of them be contracted out under recommendations Friday from the Local Advisory Panel.