Some veterans' matters have been getting a lot of ink on the pages of The Post. Its editorials on the creation of a Department of Veterans Affairs and news stories concerning the possible addition of a statue of a female nurse at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial have prompted passionate opinion pieces and letters aplenty. But while all the ink is being spilled about these gestures it's too bad that truly critical veterans' issues aren't getting as many of The Post's column inches.

The sign on the door of the federal veterans' agency is important only if it focuses more attention on what goes on inside. Memorial recognition for the women who served as nurses in Vietnam is overdue, but tangible responses to the readjustment problems that many of them have had to face by themselves would probably be more welcome.

Though this is Washington, let's not get too hung up on symbolism. ROBERT M. LLOYD President, Chapter 43, Vietnam Veterans of America Washington

James Kilpatrick's piece "How Much for Veterans?" {op-ed, Dec. 10} suggests that the easy way to achieve health, wealth and the American dream is to serve a little time as a goldbricking GI. For this brief, nonhazardous interlude in their lives, Mr. Kilpatrick thinks it is too much for veterans to get free hospital care, a cheap loan for their house and a civil service job.

While it is true that some veterans only served a few months in war and never heard a shot fired, they came when they were called and they didn't know that their time would be short or that they would never be in combat. They took the risk, while many of their brethren went to Canada or the Harvard Divinity School to prepare themselves to be hawkish policy-makers.

It is also true that the VA loan is a valuable benefit. However, we know two 40-year-old men with the same background, and when we compare their situations, we don't see that the loan is such an incredible gift. After high school one man went to college, went on to a job and served honorably in the Reserves. The other man went into the Navy for four years. They are now both professionals and make about the same income. But the first one lives in a $350,000 house, while the veteran lives in a $190,000 house bought with a VA loan. The fact is, the years the veteran served in the Navy put him behind his friend financially, and he will probably never catch up, even with his VA loan.

Mr. Kilpatrick's notion that female job applicants are disadvantaged with respect to veteran applicants suggests that war starters and planners deliberately excluded women from the draft to deny them future government job opportunities. Again, those who take the risk in wartime are entitled to the benefit regardless of their sex.

Mr. Kilpatrick's questions "Where are we headed in terms of 'veterans' benefits'?" and "What debt is owed them today?" were valid years ago. Apparently unbeknownst to Mr. Kilpatrick, the questions have been answered and Congress has enacted laws that adequately compensate veterans within reasonable limits. In making his argument -- as he acknowledges, "not . . . very clearly" -- Mr. Kilpatrick makes a subtle shift from "the country owes a debt to those who have served" to "the government's obligation to those who serve." This shift proffers the position that it is the impersonal government that must decide veterans' benefits and that the people of the country are not responsible. That is simply a mistaken notion.

We find it laughably ironic that Mr. Kilpatrick thinks veterans are riding a gold-plated gravy train. If that is so, why is there such an unwillingness to sign up, serve and earn those benefits? According to him, the best future is in the "Be all you can be" military. We disagree and so do most other Americans. From the standpoint of health and wealth, young people will come out farther ahead by working for a defense contractor with employee profit-sharing and health plans rather than by relying on the VA for security. BILL A. RODERICK Fairfax RICHARD LEACH Springfield

As a veteran with a severeservice-connected disability, I would like to express my disgust with the recent editorials objecting to the establishment of a Department of Veterans Affairs. I do not object so much to The Post's opinion against such a department as to the tenor of its editorials, which appear to me to be strongly antiveteran.

It is true that the editorials, almost parenthetically, support care forservice-connected disabled veterans. However, if one gets the true message The Post is sending, it is: Let's push the veterans, who served their country, down to the lowest echelon of government, with meager services and budgets. The most recent editorial on the subject {Dec. 14} bears this out. That editorial, moreover, does not make sense when discussing Cabinet-level departments for women, Native Americans and the elderly -- veterans are included in all of those groups. MYRON B. LODGE Silver Spring