Florida veterans concerned about VA turmoil

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (AP) — Concerns long waits and backlogs at Veterans Affairs hospitals crept into Memorial Day tributes in the Tampa Bay area.

Gulf War veteran Dave Daily and other veterans at a parade Sunday in Longwood Ranch blamed bureaucratic red tape for the problems recently revealed at VA hospitals nationwide.

Daily told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1w94ULa ) that middle and upper managers are to blame for holding up claims, not the doctors and nurses.

Vietnam veteran Alan Merklein praised VA Secretary Eric Shinseki announcement Saturday that VA clinics are expanding capacity and patients are being transferred to private hospitals to expedite their care. Merklein says that is "exactly what they should be doing."

Daily and other veterans said working with "service officers" associated with veterans' organizations sometimes sorts out some problems with VA claims.

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Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com

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