LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Wannabe veterans do cause real harm

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I would like to comment and add to the comments in the letter from Al Conetto and others in recent "Our Readers' Opinions" column. Conetto's letter voices the opinion of how many of our veterans feel about these "Wannabe heroes."

Another aspect of this situation needs to be addressed. Many of these idiots are causing our wounded veterans a huge amount of damage by falsifying records and trying to claim disabilities for wounds they did not receive in wars in which they did not see one day of combat.

I am a veteran of the Korean War. Many have not heard of it, as it is the "Forgotten War" It was one of the bloodiest wars in our history. Approximately 55,000 dead and over 100,000 wounded.

The Pentagon estimated military casualties on both sides - North and South Koreans - came close to 2.4 million. North and South Korean civilian casualties numbered close to 2 million. These huge casualties were accumulated in only three years of this war.

I finally applied for VA assistance after 55 years of paying for my own insurance and the operations I had gone through as a result of being wounded three times. Short story? It took nearly three years to be approved by the VA in Seattle.

Falsified records by these "lying pieces of waste" are causing a backlog of legitimate claims and the backlog is enormous. With modern computers, these jerks are able to duplicate almost any document they want and there are thousands of them doing so.

If I had not had a true, original copy of my DD-214 and a history at Madigan Army Hospital, I would not have been approved. All of the Korean combat veterans' records burned in a fire in Missouri, so without our records many are not being approved. Hundreds of legitimate veterans from our other wars are going through this seemingly endless process every day.

These types of actions are not "protected speech." These wannabes and phonies should be exposed and have to serve time at hard labor for a minimum of three years. That is the length of time most of us true veterans served. You should rethink your position taken in your editorial.

Leon Olsen

Walla Walla

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