AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

PALM BEACH — A federal watchdog agency will review the involvement of members of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in influencing decisions at the Department of Veterans Affairs after two Democratic senators requested an investigation.

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Hector Rene

This article was published in collaboration with the editorial team at Longreads.

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Photo via Matt Wade/Wikimedia Commons

My congressional office recently wrapped up a case for a World War II veteran who saw his delayed appeal approved shortly after contacting me, generating a substantial new monthly payment and back pay of over $32,000. My constituent knew something that I want all of America’s valued veterans to know: They can and should contact their congressional representatives for assistance navigating challenges with the Department of Veterans Affairs and receiving the benefits they earned through their service and sacrifice.

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U.S. Army photo.

There’s some good news for veterans in states with legal medical marijuana programs who rely on the sticky green herb and its various distillations for treatment: the Department of Veterans Affairs has officially cleared its physicians and care teams to speak openly with veteran patients about their marijuana consumption.

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Matt York/Associated Press

In 2014, a Vietnam veteran walked into my office and asked, “Can you help me? I’ve been trying for 10 years and talked to several service officers who just won’t help.” I told him I would try, but needed to review his paperwork first. Looking at his service records, I saw three Article 15s, a court-martial, and an other-than-honorable discharge. I thought there was no way I could help this veteran. Something didn’t seem right, though, so I put on my first sergeant glasses and started digging deeper, coming to realize that this veteran had been screwed by his chain of command. Long story short, I filed his claim, got him enrolled in VA health care, a large lump-sum retroactive payment, and an upgrade to his discharge. This is why I chose the veteran service officer profession.

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AP photo by Matt York

The Department of Veterans Affairs fails to report 90 percent of poor-performing doctors to national and state databases intended to alert other hospitals of misconduct, according to findings released Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

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