The Buffalo News - Sunday Viewpoints

Government treats veterans with disdain

2/22/2004

Many of the employees who were exposed to cancer-causing radiation at the Bethlehem Steel Plant in Lackawanna between 1949 and 1952 were combat veterans of World War II. These workers were the so-called lucky ones who came back.

When these people went into the service of our country, they had knowledge of what they were facing. They had the ability and the training to defend themselves. After surviving the greatest conflict in history, our government put them on a radioactive work line without telling them. It ruined their health and shortened their lives. They didn't have a chance.

Now, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation program has denied nearly 90 percent of cancer claims filed on behalf of these victims. This program is a failure and the bureaucrats who administer it do not want to pay the claimants. Is this how our government takes care of its honored veterans?

EDWIN A. WALKER

Eden

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