Letter to the Editor: Larry Burks Sr., director of military and veteran services

I am writing to update veterans and the campus community about work underway to address the backlog in processing claims for veterans’ benefits. This is a WSU problem, but it’s also a national problem, with a Veterans Administration claims backlog running into the hundreds of thousands.

All of us who support campus veterans are sincerely sorry this has happened. Eight of us have worked the last two weekends to examine every single case file and get them into the best possible shape to clear this backlog on our end.

Here’s where things stand as of Tuesday, November 13, based on all applications received:

    • 64 certifications have been completed (this includes first-time certifications, adjustments and amendments.)
    • 36 need follow-ups from VA or students. (All documentation has been reviewed and additional answers are needed from students to process the paperwork. Emails have been sent to those students).
    • 55 completed applications were transmitted to VA for certification last weekend.

My own background includes 20 years active duty in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Throughout my military career, and since then, I have supported active and retired military families to ensure their needs were met along with those of the broader community. I plan to continue doing that in the role I took on last month at WSU.

Whether you’re a veteran or not, I’d be pleased to have you stop by the Military and Veteran Center in Grace Wilkie Hall 105.

Larry Burks Sr.

Director, Military and Veteran Services