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Delays, inconsistencies plague veteran affairs

Chris Adams and Alison Young of Knight-Ridder Newspapers sued the Veterans Administration to obtain records never before released to the public. They showed that "injured soldiers who petition the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those payments are often doomed by lengthy delays, hurt by inconsistent rulings and failed by the veterans representatives who try to help them." Knight-Ridder compiled a database comparing VA regional offices, finding "wildly inconsistent results" in providing care to vets. Ted Mellnik of the Charlotte Observer assisted with formatting the database for display on the Web site; here's how the series was done.

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