Nov. 10: Letters from our readers


There are many avenues for veterans to get support

These days there are a lot of servicemen and servicewomen moving to the next phase of their lives: becoming veterans. They will be joining the ranks of others who have gone before.

Between the veterans dating back to World War II through the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm up to the wars that have been fought in the last 10 years - not to mention peacetime service - there are a lot of claims waiting to happen.

I say waiting to happen because there is a huge backlog of claims waiting to be worked.

Thanks to the computer and Internet, there is a lot of good information available to veterans as they begin the claim process. Many veterans with claims already in the process have access to additional information both on the VA website and on various websites provided by other veterans or concerned citizens trying to help.

This can be a plus!

Accessing this information offers a veteran the opportunity of being better informed about the system, including timelines and the lack thereof, what the various phases of a claim are from the original claim to filing a Notice of Disagreement to Regional Office appeal decisions to the traditional appeal avenue as well as investigating aspects of a disability.

Through the aid of websites such as mine , veteran-established websites such as Veterans Benefits Network and, just to mention a very few, veterans have access to suggestions for providing better organized claims/appeals.

They can research and assemble their information into a form that provides easier and faster examination by veteran service officers and/or the VA personnel.

Perhaps if word gets out to veterans that there are multiple avenues to explore for helping them create a well-organized claim, more claims will get through the system easier.

We as a country are sending these brave men and women to give their very lives so we can live in safety and freedom. We, as a country, owe these brave men and women big time!

It is time for us to start paying back.

Pass the word the next time you get into conversation with a veteran; let them know about these avenues for getting help; help them as they begin a difficult journey while suffering from disabilities we can't even imagine.

We owe them!



Our family is excited for 'Happy Hollandaise' show

I am so glad to see the Beaverton Civic Theatre putting on the play 'Happy Hollandaise,' opening the weekend of Nov. 25.

My son, Tim Koenig, wrote this play. And since he lives in California, this will be the first opportunity as a family that we are able to see one of his plays.

Hopefully, this will not be the last.



Hospice care is available to aid families facing a death

No one likes to think about death and dying, but it's something everyone has to face eventually. There's an incredible resource in our community that provides comfort, dignity and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness. It's Hospice and Palliative Care of Washington County.

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care.

One of the most important messages to help people understand is that hospice and palliative care helps patients and families focus on living.

The hospice team provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with loved ones.

The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid in most states and by most insurance plans and HMOs. Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and long-term care centers.

Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness. Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what's important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.

If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice and palliative care is right now.


CEO of Hospice and Palliative Care of Washington County

I have mixed feelings when it comes to casting my vote

Today I contemplate my vote for the Beaverton School District levy.

This would give them, they claim, needed funds to continue operating without cutting too much in service.

My child attends classes in Beaverton and has been identified as 'talented and gifted.'

When I approached her teacher about delivering appropriate curriculum, I was told my child's needs would be met.

Currently, she sits in class, reviewing - for over a month - the same book that is several levels below her ability.

I've been told I could give her extra instruction at home if I feel it is necessary.

She is bored, frustrated, and I'm disillusioned with our system.

After speaking with the school principal, I believe the only concern is to meet benchmarks not meet the child.

I want to support the levy, but why should I if the schools are allowed to ignore my child simply because she already exceeds state grade standards?