- - Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recently, I had a front-row seat to the sideshow that is the Veterans Affairs disability gantlet. I am a retired veteran who applied for service-connected disability compensation in May 2013. A year later, I received a letter for a disability medical examination. The letter stated that QTC Medical would be conducting my examination in Atlanta. I thought it odd and wasteful to send veterans outside of Augusta, Ga., for routine medical examinations, given that Augusta has two VA medical centers, Eisenhower Army Medical Center, four major civilian hospitals and numerous medical offices. However, enriching corporations at veteran expense is business as usual.

QTC Medical is a Lockheed Martin company. It is the largest provider of government-outsourced disability examinations. In 2011, QTC Medical processed more than 450,000 VA medical evaluations. War may be hell for veterans, but it’s profit heaven for corporations. Veteran misery is a gold mine. QTC Medical makes huge profits for Lockheed Martin. I

In turn, Lockheed Martin funnels monetary contributions to Democratic and Republican politicians, who keep up the public charade of showing concern for the men and women in uniform.

Once again, politicians and corporations are lining their pockets at the expense of injured veterans. Lockheed Martin has two seats at the taxpayer-funded government trough. They sell billion-dollar weapon systems to the Department of Defense and medical services to the VA. Greedy politicians and corporations feast at the table while injured veterans are on the menu.

KEVIN PALMER

Martinez, Ga.