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Paralyzed veterans meet in St. Louis

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The outgoing Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, Jim Nichols addressed the National Conference of Paralyzed Veterans of America in St. Louis on Tuesday.

With over 900,000 service members still on active duty, some military officials warn that the VA is un-prepared to handle the needs of returning troops.

With a budget of 77-billion dollars and 235,000 employees Nichols says the VA has more than sufficient resources to meet the needs of all veterans, not just those returning from the Middle East.

"Anybody that has an emergent need at the VA is taken care of immediately everybody. And anyone who needs an appointment over 9 out of 10 of them get an appointment within 30 days."

Still, some veterans groups such as Veterans for America have leveled criticism against the VA for chronically slow processing of disability claims.

They say the situation will only get worse as 750,000 returning Iraq and Afghan War veterans are likely to access some form of medical care from the VA.


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