To the Editor:
I would like to thank the Dukes County commission, especially commissioners Carlene Gatting and Tristan Israel, as well as our county treasurer, Noreen Mavro Flanders, our previous county manager, Russell Smith, and our new county manager, Martina Thornton, for their sincere concerns and persistence on behalf of Island veterans these past four years, in trying to get our VA outpatient medical clinic returned to us. The commissioners kept us on their agenda at each meeting, and they kept constant pressure on the Providence VA and Thomas Antonaccio, their so-called health systems specialist and public relations officer.
Representative Bill Keating and Lance Lambros also deserve a great deal of credit and thanks, as they are the only politicians who have bent over backwards for us. They have done more than all of our other Massachusetts politicians put together. I would consider voting for Congressman Keating, but I have a very large, bold R after my name, so that won’t be possible.
From the beginning, several letters were written to President Barack Hussein Obama while he was in Washington; he was also well aware of our ongoing problems during each of his three Island August vacations, and he has not given us the slightest indication that he had any concern for our health care issues here.
I was not surprised to find out that, according to Veterans Administration statistics, the backlog of veterans’ disability claims has jumped by 179 percent during President Obama’s first term in office, reaching 883,949 outstanding claims and that a new Military Times poll of active duty, National Guard and reserve members states: Romney bests Obama two to one.
I would also like to thank Ed Lambert and Matt Pitta at radio station WXTK for following and reporting on our progress regularly. Both Island newspapers followed us as well, and I found that the Vineyard Gazette was clearly more accommodating and accurate in their reporting throughout this entire time.
This problem came to light shortly after we put our house on the market over four years ago, and hopefully now that it seems our VA outpatient medical clinic has been returned to us and seemingly better than before, our house will now sell, and we can finally leave our native Island and move to the red state of South Carolina. We will do this knowing full well our fellow veterans that we will leave behind, many that I grew up with here, will have their medical needs properly and honorably attended to on this island.
Woodrow (Woody) Williams