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sfc_darrel 04-08-2007 08:55 PM

Talk Show Lost Interest When Vet Wouldn't Complain
Talk Show Lost Interest When Vet Wouldn't Complain
By Fred Lucas Staff Writer
April 04, 2007

( - A syndicated television talk show was less than receptive to positive comments about the American government's response to veterans' needs, according to an Iraq war veteran who was a guest on the show.

According to Keli Frasier, an Army Reservist who served 11 months in Iraq, Montel Williams, host of "The Montel Williams Show," quickly moved to the next segment after she made positive comments about the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"This soldier isn't going to complain," she quoted Williams as saying to other talk show staffers during a commercial break.

Frasier also said the portion of the taped interview in which she praised Veterans Affairs was cut out when the show aired Tuesday.

Last Thursday, Frasier, 24, left her hometown of Clifton, Colo., along with her husband and eight-month-old son for the taping in New York City of what she believed would be an interview about veterans and their post-war injuries or illnesses.

"I got there, and it was a political roundtable," Frasier told Cybercast News Service Wednesday.

The theme of the show, she said, turned out to be promoting the notion that Veterans Affairs and other government agencies weren't doing enough to help veterans and others.

"I understand the VA can take a long time with some people, but I told him, in my case, they took a little while, but they did just fine," said Frasier, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a common problem among war veterans.

She stressed that the interview was, overall, a good experience and that the staff treated her well. The Williams show contacted her after she was featured in a New York Times article about veterans with PTSD and other problems.

"The show just definitely was not what I expected," Frasier said. "They talked about the presidential candidates and how the government is not doing enough to make things better."

A public relations firm representing "The Montel Williams Show" asked Cybercast News Service Wednesday to submit questions by email but has yet to respond.

Other guests on the episode of the talk show included former New York Gov. George Pataki. Frasier recalled that another guest whom she spoke to after the program had also expressed surprise about the angle of the show.

Matt Burns, spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Wednesday he had been disappointed to hear about the reported incident.

"If this report is accurate about the treatment of a veteran and a hero who tried to describe her experience, I see it as an insult to the 235,000 people who consider it an honor to care for American veterans," he said.

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