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Letter: Outrageous? Let's talk veterans

To the Editor:

Recently, the CEO of AOL made some terribly insensitive comments regarding employee compensation and health care. Some have called his actions horrible and/or outrageous. I would contend that his words were idiotic, compassionless and showed the depth of his ignorance regarding his own employees. To say that his words were outrageous may have been a little too strong.

The employee’s at AOL deserve the apology that the CEO gave them. Make no mistake, what he did was stupid; but does it rise to the level of “outrageous”? No, I do not believe that it does. His words did not cause any of the employee’s to lose medical coverage or have a disruption in their retirement packages.

Outrageous is the fact that we have hundreds and possibly thousands upon thousands of American men and women who have come back or are coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan who are being denied medical coverage through the Veterans Administrator for injuries suffered while on active duty.

Outrageous is the fact that these men and women have to go charitable organizations, like the Disabled American Veterans or other citizen-led endeavors, to get the help that they were guaranteed when they volunteered to defend our country.

Outrageous is the fact that the VA is denying coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder saying that it was a “pre-existing” condition or some other outrageous excuse.

Outrageous is the fact that many of these men and women come home and find their jobs gone and have to work part time or for much less that when they left or, worst of all, doing the most menial of jobs.

I could go on and on about the lip-service being paid to these Americans who had the courage and fortitude to volunteer, but I think you get the point. Simply put, hold your outrage for those things that are actually outrageous.

Steve Murphy

St. Paul