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One of the items that you brought up is a matter that has come to me from other veterans as well. We touched on it when we talked about the postal employees. Although this matter may not come directly within the purview of this committee, I am concerned about the reemployment rights of veterans with State and local governments. I am wondering if you have secured statistics to indicate those States and local governments that haven't included reemployment rights, and if this information will be available to us.

Commander Sanson. I believe, Mr. Speir, you have some information on that.

Mr. SPEIR. We can make these statistics available to you, to the extent that we have them of record. We would be pleased to help you rectify this long fault that has existed in the whole field of veterans legislation ever since 1940, frankly. These veterans in local and State governments have been deprived of a right that has been given to veterans who left private employment for service and we would be pleased to cooperate in any way that we can.

Mrs. Grasso. I particularly appreciate this because I had not been aware that the situation existed until one night, when I was getting off the plane and trying to get to my home, someone stopped me and said, “Did you know?” That was last week, and I said, "No I did not know.” Now you have included the matter in your testimony. I think that sometimes our consciousness of the existence of a discrepancy is not aroused until actual cases do occur. It would seem to me that this is an area in which we should be moving:

Commander Sanson. This matter has been coming up quite frequently in recent weeks and during our legislative committee meetingrs. We decided that it was so important that we wanted to include it in our testimony to call it to your attention.

We are still doing quite a bit of research work on it and as soon as we have statistics that would be of use to you, I will see to it that you

get it.

Mrs. Grasso. I thank you because I am sure we all would like to have the statistics. Thank you for all of your testimony.

Commander Saxson. Thank you, Mrs. Grasso.

May I say one thing, Mr. Chairman. As Mrs. Grasso stated, I was in the State of Connecticut a short time ago and I have heard wonderful things about many Congressmen throughout the country and their efforts for veterans but I don't think I have ever heard such beautiful praise for a Congressman that I heard about Mrs. Grasso by our AMVETS. They tremendously love her and I wanted to carry this message to your committee.

Mrs. Grasso. Thank you.

Chairman DORN. Thank you, Mr. Commander. I share the sentiments expressed by the AMVETS of the State of Connecticut.

Mr. Brinkley ?

Mr. BRINKLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Commander Sanson, I have two areas and I would like to go through those, if I may. First is the emphasis you bring to the returning Vietnam veteran, for a young man who survived combat in Vietnam and withstood the bullets there, it looks like he should have been met with brass bands and it certainly is our responsibility to see that that is approved and corrected.

Also, this district court decision to which Mr. Wylie referred, it is an awesome possibility there because of a precedent which it might set. Can you imagine a conscientious objector attending an anti-war rally, breaking an arm and being treated at a VA hospital ? So the possibilities, Mr. Chairman, are limitless. In this case, this certainly should be appealed and most certainly should be reversed by the Supreme Court.

I would like to comment also on alcoholism. Too often we do consider people afflicted with this to be public nuisances but there is responsibility here and I am glad you brought this out. There is responsibility in the larger sense to try to prevent this disease which plagues this Nation, both veterans and nonveterans alike. When the problem is intensified by the service of a veteran, his country should assume in return, treatment. I pledge in this area, both preventive and remedial.

Commander Sanson. Thank you very much.

Mr. BRINKLEY. I certainly support your statement and your goals. There is one thing that possibly we might be negotiable on with AMVETS and veterans organizations, the date of Veterans Day of November 11. I think if we can all of us look at this in the larger sense, realizing that this was Armistice Day. Initially, the day of Armistice Day was a different day and I know that you know very well I believe it was in 1954 by act of Congress that it was changed once already and by further act of Congress it was changed again to the present day of November 11. My State of Georgia has returned it to the old day. This may be well. I am not certain. I am not adamant either way. but it seems like there could be some room for accepting in spite of my State's action and in spite of my willingness to consider the return of the old day, that perhaps we ought to give this further consideration toward keeping it the date we have it, the long weekend, not only for the businessmen but if we can make it truly symbolic as honoring all veterans, then there might be further consideration given to it by all veterans organizations.

I don't oppose your position. I just think possibly we ought to give more thought to it.

Commander SANSON. We would be happy, Mr. Brinkley, to have our legislative director back to the Hill and discuss it with you at greater length at any time.

Mr. BRINKLEY. I appreciate your allowing me to make that speech and we appreciate your being here. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Dors. Mr. Huber, do you have any further comments?

Mr. HUBER. Only, Mr. Chairman, that I agree with what the commander has said. I have introduced the suggestion that we have a joint House-Senate recognition of returning POW's and MIA's in order to dramatize our appreciation of the Vietnam veteran. I have had some interesting comments by the leadership on that request. I do think you point out a lot of things I was not aware of and am certain this committee will be looking forward to working with you and your group in solving these problems. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman DORN. Thank vou, Mr. Huber, and thank you, Mr. Commander and your group with you. I want to thank you again for a very fine statement.

Commander Sanson. It has been a great pleasure, Mr. Chairman.

you and

Chairman Dorn. We look forward to working with

your group during our session. Thank you very much.

We are running a little bit behind time here. The committee will now hear from the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Frank R. DeGeorge, national president, who is accompanied by his executive director, Mr. James A. Maye and there will be order.

Mr. DeGeorge, we are happy to have you with us, of course, and Mr. Maye and the other people you have with you. If you would identify others who accompany you, the Chair would appreciate it. You may proceed in any manner that you care to. If you want to summarize, you can do that. If you want to read your testimony you may. As chairman of this committee, we are happy to have you. STATEMENT OF FRANK R. DE GEORGE, PRESIDENT OF THE PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA,

OF AMERICA, ACCOMPANIED BY JAMES A. MAYE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND ALAN S. LANGER, NATIONAL SERVICE DIRECTOR

Mr. DEGEORGE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee. I would like to make a formal presentation rather than summarize, sir.

At this time, I would also like to ask your acceptance of an addendum to your presentation, sir.

Chairman Born. Without objection, it will be included.
Document referred to follows:]

PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA

LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTIONS FROM THE 1972 CONVENTION

1. Resolution 72-C-2 Starting Date of the Vietnam War

Whereas on November 8, 1950, the first American USAF advisers arrived in Vietnam to assist the French and South Vietnamese, who at that time were deeply engaged in the Indochina War, and we have remained in Vietnam during twenty years of continuing combat,

Whereas after the fall of Dien Bien Phu in May, 1954, and the partitioning of Vietnam at the 17th parallel, French forces withdrew and the American presence was gradually increased and escalated as more and more Americans were committed during the ensuing years of insurgency,

Whereas many Americans were killed and injured during the twenty years of continuous strife, the first combat death that the Government oflicially recognizes occurred in 1961, over 312 years before the date now set as the start of the Vietnam War, August 5, 1964,

Whereas the U.S. Senate has twice voted to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that was passed as a result of the attack by the North Vietnamese on August 5, 1964, against U.S. Navy ships cruising in the Tonkin Gulf. The Administration has publicly stated that it does not regard the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution as the basis for its authority to operate in Vietnam, therefore there no longer exists any validity for retaining August 5, 1964, as the starting date of the Vietnam War: Therefore be it

Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America, in convention assembled, does hereby recommend and support that the Congress of the United States set February 1, 1965, as the starting date of the Vietnam War for the purposes of the Veterans Administration and all other branches of the Federal Government so that all Vietnam Veterans may receive their full entitlement to benefits. 2. Resolution 72-C3 Equalization of Aid and Attendance for both SC and NSC

Whereas PVA has gone on record supporting an Aid and Attendance allowance of $336 for service-connected spinal cord injured, and

Whereas the nonservice Aid and Attendance allowance is $100, and

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Whereas there is no difference in the amount of care needed by either the service-connected or nonservice-connected injured : Therefore be it

Resolved, That the amount of Aid and Attendance to be allowed should be one and the same for both divisions, that of the service-connected present allowance of $336. 8. Resolution 72-C-4 Equalize Aid and Attendance

Be it Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America give continued and active support for legislation to equalize A & A allowance for all recipients of increased compensation and pension because of need of aid and attendance to the amount of at least $336 per month. 4. Resolution 72-C-6 Power Windows and A/C as Adaptive Equipment

Whereas under the present law adaptive equipment does not include power windows or air conditioning,

Whereas thermal control is of great importance in the care and treatment of a paraplegic,

Whereas power windows are a definite safety necessity for operating a motor vehicle when using hand controls: Be it

Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America recommends inclusion of air conditioning and power windows as items issuable under the automobile adaptive equipment regulation. 5. Resolution 72-C-8 Air Conditioning for Total Living Environment

Whereas presently a veteran who has incurred a service-connected spinal disorder is eligible for an air conditioning unit under a doctor's prescription as a necessary part of medical treatment, and,

Whereas this air conditioning unit will provide thermal control for his bedroom area only, thus making the veteran a prisoner of one room: Be it

Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America recommends that the Prosthetics Department of the Veterans Administration authorize the issuance of air conditioning for a total living environment as a necessary part of medical treatment to eligible veterans. 6. Resolution 72-C-9 Special NSC Auto Grant

Be it Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America support legislation to provide a specal one-time auto grant in the amount of $1,500.00 to those catastrophically injured nonservice-connected paraplegics and quadriplegic veterans receiving A & A allowance, provided he will be able to operate the automobile or other conveyance in a consistent and safe manner which will satisfy the standards of his respective licensing authorities. 9. Resolution 72-C-10 Equalization of VA Benefits for all SC Veterans

Be it Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America give continued and active support for legislation to equalize all VA benefits for Vietnam veterans on a par with those received by WWII and Korean veterans: Be it further

Resolved, That requirements of eligibility for VA Benefits be no more restrictive for Vietnam veterans that those which have been extended to WWII and Korean veterans. 8. Resolution 72–0-11 VA Small Business Loans for Vietvets

Whereas the Vietnam veterans of our nation are presently denied the benefits that have been given to wartime veterans in the past relative to the availability to receive business loans, and

Whereas the increasing unmployment rate, espcially for spinal cord injured veterans, is at an all time high : Be it

Resolved, That the Veterans Administration make available similar benefits to the Vietnam Era veteran as were available to other wartime veterans in the field of business loans. 9. Resolution 72-C-12 Separate Pension for NSC on Aid and Attendance

Whereas nonservice-connected tend to lose each time there is an increase in the social security payments, and

Whereas nonservice pension schedules are confusing because they do not reflect the increased need of those who are entitled to aid and attendance, except in an additional provision, and

Whereas a separate schedule would be more understandable and could more easily reflect the needs of the nonservice-connected : Therefore be it

Resolved, That a separate pension schedule be supported and promoted by PVA for those who are in need of Aid and Attendance. 10. Resolution 72-C13 Increased Dependency Income Exclusion

Whereas under the present system a veteran with two or more children is granted 10% exclusion when the Veterans Administration is computing his net worth, and

Whereas this system is totally inadequate to fulfill the needs of the nonserviceconnected veteran in receipt of pension : Be it

Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America recommends that a nonservice-connected veteran be eligible for full pension benefits without regard to income. 11. Resolution 72-C-14 No Reduction in NSC Pension

Whereas veterans pension for nonservice-connected disabilities prior to July 1, 1960, provided that if a veteran has no wife, child, or dependent parent, and is being furnished hospital treatment, institutional or domiciliary care by the VA, 50% of his pension will be withheld effective the first day of the seventh month following the month of admission for such treatment or care. If the Veteran is discharged or released for approved reasons, the withheld amount of pension will be paid in a lump sum without delay, and

Whereas the final date of filing under the Protected Pension Plan was July 1, 1960, a new pension plan went into effect whereby a veteran without dependents is hospitalized in a VA hospital by the VA, the new pension system requires that his pension be reduced to $30.00 a month after two full months of hospital care, and

Whereas no excess payments will be made to veterans without dependents and he will lose the amounts of money withheld, and

Whereas the cost of living has increased greatly since July 1, 1960, making the reduction to $30.00 per month insufficient to pay for necessary creature comforts such as haircuts, shaves, laundry, tobacco, etc. not to mention rent and other monthly expenses to keep an apartment or home: Therefore be it

Resolved, That no reduction of pension be made until the first day of the seventh month following the month of admission and then only the amount designated as Aid and Attendance shall be discontinued. 12. Resolution 72-C-15 No Reduction in Pension for Hospitalization

Whereas the nonservice-connected veteran with a 100% disability must seek independence in a society with a continual cost of living increase, and in many cases, must find additional sources of income to subsidize his pension, and

Whereas the nonservice-connected veteran with a 100% disability needing major surgery can usually be confined to a hospital for a period of more than two months, and

Whereas gainful employment ceases and his independence is jeopardized if he is confined to a hospital for a period exceeding two months, and in certain instances, he is forced to prolong his stay in the hospital, because of his financial status: Therefore be it

Resolved, The Veterans Administration make no reduction in Pension and Aid and Attendance until the seventh calendar month after hospitalization, and then said reduction should be confined to the portion of Aid and Attendance only. 13. Resolution 72-C-16 Increased DIC for Survivors

Whereas for many years the dollar amount given for a wife or dependent is $28, and

Whereas this figure is totally inadequate and unrealistic: Be it

Resolved, That the Paralyzed Veterans of America recommends the following scale in lieu of the present inadequate and unrealistic scale : $150 a month for a wife ; $75 a month for each child. (SC). 14. Resolution 72-C-17 Emergency Transportation for SCI

Whereas research data (see Barrow Neurological Institute) shows that an astrounding rate of recovery results from appropriate treatment within two to four hours of spinal cord injury, and

Whereas military helicopters are now utilized in certain areas as a local activity in transporting injured persons to hospitals : Therefore be it

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