To the editor of THE EAGLE:

In the May 12 Eagle, Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen writes about the failings of the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the tragic consequence of that malfeasance. Unfortunately, similar op-ed pieces that appear regularly fail to move those who have the responsibility of taking care of those who have taken an oath to die for their country if necessary -- the Congress.

Demonstrating that rhetoric trumps integrity. On Feb. 27, Republicans derailed a bill backed by the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans of America, the American Legion, and other veterans groups that had been drafted by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. This bill would have provided enough funding to adequately handle the horrendous claims backlog, as well as the lack of adequate medical care for those who have borne the battle. How does one characterize those who continue to verbalize support for our wounded patriots but who fail to provide that support?

All who have proudly worn the uniform of the most powerful armed forces in history know about the trillions spent on the best Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force in the world. Can we not ask the same congresspeople who hail the launching of the latest super-carrier or weapons system to show the same largesse when our servicemen and women return home, to provide a place they justly expect rehabilitation to the greatest degree possible, and not the dysfunctional Veterans Administration that too often does not honor those who have served with honor?

JIM NORCHI

Pittsfield