Healthcare on the mind of Washington's veterans - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Healthcare on the mind of Washington's veterans

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YAKIMA, Wash -- The Washington branch of the American Legion held its annual meeting in Yakima this week. Top on is its list of issues - healthcare and the Veteran Administration medical system.

As World War II veterans age, and more soldiers and marines come back from Iraq and  Afghanistan, the VA medical system is struggling to care for them all.

Veterans from across the state are urging the President and Congress to provide more money for their healthcare. Especially new money for staff at the VA Medical Centers.  

"Its typically taking a year for a claim to be processed for a veteran to receive their monetary benefits for a disability, said Kathy Nylen, of the American Legion. "And when you can't work that's a long time."

According to Nylen, the VA is doing a better job of treating mental problems and helping veterans adjust to life back in the U.S. after returning from war, but it still has a long way to go before it meets all the needs of veterans.