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Access to Veteran Affairs Services

In March of 2013, The Department of Veterans Affairs reported over 600,000 veteran unprocessed claims.  In November of 2013, the Head of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Eric Shinseki claimed they had cut the number of claims by a third.  In the meantime,  the Washington Times reported that despite the improvement in the number of VA claims, 700,000 former servicemen and women remain waiting for medical benefits owed to them because of a backlogged system that takes an average of 300 days to navigate.  We’d like to focus on what veterans in our region and across the country are experiencing as they claim their need for services with the Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Rick Lawson –  He served in Balad, Iraq in 2004 and 2005.  He also served four years in the Washington Army National Guard from 2002 to 2006 before receiving a medical discharge.  Today, he’s an veterans’ advocate and hopes to work toward a degree in public health.
  • Benjamin Krause – He enlisted with the US Air Force in 1996 and served in the Air Mobility Command for operations in the Middle East and later with the Special Operation Command, where he participated in operations in Eastern Europe until 2001.  He’s the founder of, an organization that helps veterans navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs to access disability services.  He’s also a newly minted attorney this year in Minnesota