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Army Blames 'Miscommunication' in Fort Drum Flap

The Army Surgeon General says he was mistaken when he denied that the Army had told the Veterans Affairs Department not to help injured soldiers challenge their disability ratings.

VA spokesmen told NPR last week that an Army team sent to Fort Drum in New York to review disability issues had told the VA office there to stop helping the soldiers, to leave that to others. Soldiers said the VA had helped them get better disability ratings, and they felt that the Army was damaging their cases by cutting off that assistance.

Army Surgeon General Eric B. Schoomaker says the whole thing was a misunderstanding, and it is fine for the VA to help the soldiers.

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Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.