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Resource ID: #25610
Subject: Veterans
Source: The Bay Citizen
Date: 2012-12-20



While the Obama administration declared care for returning U.S. military personnel to be a top priority, reporter Aaron Glantz found something entirely different when he drilled down in the San Francisco Bay Area - home to more than a quarter-million veterans. In a series of stories for The Bay Citizen, which is part of the Center for Investigative Reporting, Glantz exposed an alarming failure inside the Department of Veterans Affairs, where mistakes and massive delays in processing disability claims for ailing veterans were the norm, sometimes leading to tragic consequences. Glantz was the first to detail this trend, finding that tens of thousands of Northern California veterans had been waiting an average of 313 days for a decision from the Oakland office on compensation claims for conditions as serious as traumatic brain injury. The Oakland regional office ranks fifth in the nation for number of veterans served - nearly 1 million veterans from the Oregon border to Bakersfield. The story was so shocking it prompted 16 members of Congress to demand immediate help for veterans filing through Oakland. More action quickly followed. Glantz had found through his reporting that the problem was not limited to the Bay Area. Next he set out to show it. The decision to dig deeper - to go beyond the local story - helped bring greater context to such a critically important issue. Through rich storytelling and clear writing, Glantz ably captured the plight of our veterans in his series, Returning Home to Battle.

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