Feb 08, 2008 — There's another development in the story of VA help for Ft. Drum soldiers who are filing disability claims. Last week, NPR reporter Ari Shapiro reported the Army had told Veterans Administration counselors last year not to help soldiers with paperwork that determines the scope of benefits they receive after discharge. In later stories the Army surgeon general denied the Army had interfered. Last evening and this morning, NPR reports the Army Surgeon General says there was a misunderstanding. He told NPR he was mistaken when he denied the Army had told the VA not to help injured soldiers at Fort Drum challenge their disability ratings.
Eric Schoomaker says the VA assistance is fine with him. In fact, he said, the VA counselors practices at Ft. Drum were among the best the Army has seen. And he told NPR soldiers who feel they were "disadvantaged" by the change of practice should speak out. You can hear Ari Shapiro's story at the link below.