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Schumer Joins Military Vets In Decrying Postal Service Cuts

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stands with veterans on Long Island who say they rely on the post office for regular distribution of prescription drugs.
Desiree D'lorio
/
WSHU Public Radio
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stands with veterans on Long Island who say they rely on the post office for regular distribution of prescription drugs.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined military veterans on Long Island to denounce funding gaps and changes to the Postal Service.

A recent slowdown of mail delivery has impacted veterans who rely on the post office to deliver much-needed prescription drugs.

Long Island has one of the largest military veteran populations in the state. Schumer said at least 50,000 of them depend on critical medications that the VA sends through the mail.

“About 80% of all the medicines that veterans get is done through the postal service — from Northport and from everywhere else. And why do they use the postal services? It's the quickest, cheapest, best way to do it. It's worked for generations,” Schumer said.

Pat Yngstrom fought in Vietnam. He said it usually takes three days for his medications to arrive, but his most recent delivery took a week.

“If I get my pills late, I'm putting myself in danger. That should not be happening. You have a lot of senior veterans from World War Two and Korea who have been affected by late mail,” Yngstrom said.

The U.S. Postmaster General said he will suspend changes to mail service until after the November election amid concerns that delayed mail delivery could impact mail-in ballots.

Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to vote this weekend on legislation that would inject the post office with $25 billion in additional funding. Senate Republicans said they’ll include $10 billion in post office funding in the next coronavirus relief bill.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.