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Does government do right by vets? It happens

HOUGHTON – Although they are quire rare, and they might take years to settle, there are cases in which the government steps up and justly compensates veterans for their sacrifices made in service to the country.

Jim Klutts, director of the Veteran Affairs office in Houghton County, recalled a case in which the wife of a Vietnam veteran came to the office to check on the progress of a claim she had filed that had languished quite some time with no action taken on it.

The claim has been pending so long that her husband had died of a condition presumptively related to the chemical weapon Agent Orange. Because of that, Klutts was able to file a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation claim for her.

“One morning, she called me and asked, ‘Why do I have $530,000 in my checking account?'” Klutts said. “I said, ‘Well, it’s because your claim came in.’

“They paid her all the way back to (his service tour in) Vietnam, which is very unusual. But it happens.”