Veterans Group Could Lose Constitutional Battle with VA

November 19, 2011 | Benjamin Krause

Last May, the VA lost its three-year case fighting against Veterans for Common Sense. But a recent appeal by the VA could unwind all that. The May ruling told the VA to pull its act together and stop denying disabled veterans their Constitutional right to Due Process and unlawful government denial of Property.

The VA is coming back swinging like the Russian in Rocky IV. Let’s hope Veterans for Common Sense is able to hold its ground. This win against the VA is huge. If the Super Committee makes deep cuts to veterans benefits, a Constitutional win like this could ensure veterans still get the benefits they deserve.

The issue? Veterans for Common Sense wanted help from the Court to force the VA to provide the care it is legally required to provide to veterans suffering from PTSD. The Court held that the VA’s delays were so egregious that they violated veterans’ Constitutional Rights to Due Process and were an unjustified denial of Property.

According to the court, “The VA’s unchecked incompetence has gone on long enough; no more veterans should be compelled to agonize or perish while the government fails to perform its obligation.”

That’s right. Veterans have Constitutional rights, according to the 9th Circuit, to health care and veterans benefits. But the VA is not happy. They do not believe the Court should have any power to order the VA to do its job and deliver the services to which we are entitled.

VA fights back. Like the Russian, the VA is down but not out. Like all Executive Branch decisions lately, the VA seems inline with other Agencies – no oversight required. Don’t tell them how to not do their job. Suicidal and homeless veterans be damned.

I’d like the VA attorney’s to say “no Constitution for you” to the 18 veterans who commit suicide every day. Or to the over 1 million pending disability claimants stuck in the system. These veterans need help and the bean counters at the VA do not want to provide it.

Unfortunately, on November 16, 2011, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to appeal its recent loss, en banc. This means all 11 judges will preside over oral arguments for both sides. Oral arguments have been set for December. Who knows how long the new decision will take to be announced.

Oh, and that decision in May – it no longer stands. So, this further delay will continue to preclude veterans from holding the VA Constitutionally accountable.

Do your part. Veterans for Common Sense needs our help. In a letter to subscribers, they requested all veterans with awful Regional Office experiences to speak up to their respective local media. Here’s your chance to make a difference.

Soldiers, it’s to suit up. DisabledVeterans.org has teamed up with Veterans for Common Sense to provide help with a Regional Office Survey. Let’s hold the VA accountable, in court. The results will help confirm what we all know, the VA is not doing its job effectively. Let’s make the public aware that we are a united voice of one. No one gets left behind.

http://www.disabledveterans.org/guides/rate-em/

About Benjamin Krause

Benjamin Krause is a Veterans Benefits Attorney and journalist who investigates problems veterans face with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. He regularly reports on veterans' benefits news and analysis on the website DisabledVeterans.org.

Comments

  1. This Marine Veteran has been stuck with denial denial on VA knee surgey 2003. I have old age, DJD, not he the kneecap is fractured and drops 2" below kneecap. All xrays show that and the fracture the occur during surgery 2 implant a knee unticompartal device. Left knee is 12" bowed from a normal stance 4 a West Texas cowboy. If this happens the veterans have been murdered by the gov't!!!

    • Marguerite says:

      The government is happy to send you to war while they stay home and keep their hands clean. It is total BS that when our soldiers, Marines, etc are wounded, our government turns it back.

      Bravo Sierra to the max

  2. The only comment I have is that I never asked for an increase in my rating for 20 years for DJD and now the VA tells me that I have no change, Isn't the definition of Degenerative that it gets worse over time? 20 years and not change…..please. Sometimes I disagree that the only thing that they look at is your degree of bend in the knee, It is not diagnostic and therefore should not be used in that capacity. The Dr. told me that I was too young (48) to worry about my knees. Unbelievable!

  3. All I can add is: we cannot afford to remain complacent-our Govt is full of deception and treachery. We must all embark on guarding our Veterans Benefits. I suspect strongly that at this period of so called "austerity" our benefits is being look at and being a targeted for our scrupulous politicians who are seemingly looking for lame ducks constituents that they can easily pick up and toss around.. Please me if my instinct is deceiving?? Thanks all!

  4. PTSD is a four letter acronym that the VA dislikes. Recently I sustained a catestrophic injury which allows me to choose between work continued troop suport or fade away into the shadows of obscurity. Commenting on an article in referencing a 4 B suet being BROUGHT against the Govt for failing to provide care to wounded contractors OF OIF/OEF find myself released by my employer the DOD by CPO and OPM without awareness and after false assurances I would be able to return to duty when well enough. But my TBI doesn't allow me to tolerate 20 hrs at work thus looking at Retirement. However by the way I supposly employed past my term 2 yrs ago, Govt should of released me than. Their mistake, my family inconvenienced. sol, Freedom of speech who knows. Our soldiers are fighting bravely but redtape is not allowing care. Those with PTSD are told Survivors guilt, they avoid stigma and turn to alcohol or drugs the military JAG recommends Cha[pter or BH diagnose personality disorder/mental illness or depression. Than VA does n't have requirementv to care for our troops. I retired 1recognized only 10% nothing has changed much. Bogus the troops deserve better.

  5. Apologized for typos and sp.

  6. I suffered with PTSD for 35 year before I was finally diagnosed by VA Doctors, but the VA said I was suffering from an anxiety disorder. A divorce upon returning home from Viet Nam, all those years of drug and alcohol abuse, getting fired from jobs for aggressive behavior, and a miserable existence for the most part. But it wasn't from the bad trip in Viet Nam, or so says the VA.
    xin lỗi

    • To Joe…I want to say thanks for the post and for your strength to endure. Your post is a mirror image to my life after war and I just want to say stay strong out there my friend. There are people/soldiers like me that are very thankful for people like you. You (and me whenever I can get it all together) can show those who want to give up that you can make it and there are people out there that really care. Too many of our fallen brothers get left behind when they return from WAR and it is understood that we understand that and our government does not. You are a true inspiration to young war veterans like me and again I just want to say thanks and you are never alone.. LINKEDIN ACCOUNT… ANDY SPRINGER, or the same on FB feel free to contact. I was a Artillery Forward Observer in the Army and went to Afghanistan for a year. I lost many friends in war and I dedicated my life to keeping their memory alive through my music. That is what keeps me strong and is my therapy and strength to endure. I will be releasing my music next year. The world will know me as AWALL but you can think of me as a very appreciative war veteran that is glad he ran into you in cyberspace. I salute you brother!

  7. It has taken me almost 20 years but the V.A. finally acknowledged that my P.T.S.D. had progressed to a much worse condition. They finally rated me at 70%. I have been fighting with them since 1993 about my knee. They finally performed the surgery in March of 2010, but still will not compensate me for. Constant denials because I had no xrays. How can they tell if your Anterior Cruciate Ligament is torn in an xray? They can’t, it is not a bone. But the M.R.I’s I had done much later showed the damage done. I submitted those but they said since the M.R.I. Was not done while in the service, then there i’s no proof. I underwent physical therapy in Okinawa. My knee works but it should have been fixed back in 93. Just be careful with the V.A., they will screw you!

    • I hear you I am in a similar dilemma. When I got out and applied for disability they said put everything on there. Yet they'll pick and chose for you. I have flat feet, needless to say the Army was not kind to my feet. By the time I got to AIT i was having problems with my knees, left one really bad. I ended up getting a medical chapter out because I was constantly in pain. I was a mechanic so up and down leaning over. Right after I got out I got 10% each knee. How do you pick knee and not the others? They all affect one another.This was in1998 I think in 2004 I had a surgery(the one with the scope) I ended up losing my GIBill( had to work and had my kids at home. They approved me for voc rehab I have been going to school for a little over a year. Some where I got and overpayment and they have been screwing with the money ever since. Not to mention my pain meds were taken because I came up dirty… for what they had been giving me.I have been ignored, hung up on, I don't want to go there because I am also suppose to be on BIPOLAR /DEPRESSION meds as well as blood pressure and I don't want to get into trouble or maybe lose it and get thrown in Jail or the looney bin (LOL) Even my rep from Voc Rehab is giving me the run around.Oh yeah best part is I still receive the same% of disability (less than 250) and money for school stipend is less than 600. When I see that most all other programs get paid at E5 w/BAQ and Housing. I'm drowning and seriously thinking of getting an attorney.

  8. There are many Vets who deserve and need some type of compensation and care for their service connected disabilities but there are many who fake their condition or lie about their condition being service related and just want "welfare" from the VA/taxpayers. I've known Vets who are rated at 100% disability and get around much better and have a better quality of life than some Vets who get 20% or less and Vets who play basketball, construct buildings, etc., but act like invalids when they show up for their VA appointment. It's like seeing people parking in handicap spots who walk perfectly fine when they jump out of the car- they are really just sorry and lazy.
    The VA has the responsibility to weed out those who don't really quailfy for disability or who are not as disabled as they would like you to believe. If everyone were completely honest and trustworthy then we wouldn't have these problems. Experience has shown most people are readily dishonest when it comes to money – especially if it's money coming from the government/taxpayer. This dishonesty causes many of you who really deserve VA compensation or treatment to have a much more difficult time receiving it.

    • I agree totally. But, the VA is suppose to an advocate for the veteran. The truth is they treat all with an adversarial first approach.

      • Dave Davis says:

        The truth is that most veterans have been in some way shape or form been HAD by the system. HADS is the new acronym it stands for hide, alter, destroy or shred the veterans information that way they can string your claim around for years through their remand and deny program.

    • Disabled Veteran says:

      You, sir, are so wrong in your "assumption". Some vet dont just jump out of a car. Most vets understand that the handicapped parking are for mobility restricted persons. Remember, sir, you are not handicapped unless the VA says you are handicapped. If the VA authorizes a Disabled Veterans license tag, it must be for a reason. Unless you know the fellow veteran and know his situation, you being critical of his situation is just being contentious. I would suggest, if you saw a Veteran jump out of his car after parking in a disabled parking space, go introduce yourself to him, ask what his disability is and perhaps make a friend. If it is non-handicapped wife or kid that "jumped" out of the car to run into the convenience store from HIS car which had the Disabled Veteran license tag, now you have something to complain about. By the way – "Welcome Home" to you.

      • I wasn't specifically referring to Vets parking in Handicap spots – but to people in general. That comment was not for those who qualify for handicap parking, but for those that we all have seen using someone else's permit for themselves. In my state, you basically need to a medical statement that you need the use of a cane, crutches, wheelchair, etc to qualify for a handicap permit. Do you mind that someone who doesn't need a handicap spot uses it anyway and denies that spot from someone who may actually need it?

        • i believe that state license application has queations about handicapped restrictions. Most state's have a fine for using handicapped stickers illegally. I don't understand why anyone has a problem with the world doesn't seek professional help. The VA has very good and qualified professionals.

      • wildbronco says:

        Disabled Veteran, Thank you sir. I am disabled also, but according to the VA my physical disabilities are non service connected, but I draw 100% for PTSD. I have three inoperable herniated discs in my lower back, L4/5, S1/2 and two fused discs in my Neck C2/3 as well as acromiocavicular degenerative desease in both shoulders. There are days when I do not need a cain to get around and days when I can't walk two feet without it. During the winter months it is worse than during the summer months, and yes I have handicapped plates for my car, but they are not disabled vet plates. I leave those for the vets in wheel chairs. Yes I sometimes park in the handicapped parking, but usually not if I can find and empty parking spot near the entrance to the building I am going into. And thank you for your service sir.

    • Doubting Thomas says:

      EXCELLENT…………………

      Spot on! You know the problem,yet,Washington is punishing all meritorious veterans because of Double Dipping frauds.

      There is a Purple Heart commander in Upstate New York who insulted a veteran saying you did not "walk in my shoes in Viet Nam" this grand pooh bah as his wife named him was secure working in a motor pool in Nam,one night running for wearing flip flops,he scratched his heel and they GAVE HIM a Purple Heart,he did not earn it.

      He so callously told this to a Recon Infantryman ,an Infantryman who was wounded 3 times,spent a year in Walter Reed Army hospital and who was decorated and lucky to be alive.

      These are the some of the types of frauds that are heading and keeping these veterans groups going ( they are in it to solely save their Compensation), not all are like the Upstate NY Grand Pooh Bah, thank goodness, oh by the way, this character (J F let's call him) has a postal pension (earned ) I must say yet ,he ridiculed this same truly disabled veteran accusing him of jealousy because he (J F) worked and the disabled Combat soldier after many surgeries to save his leg and life was unable.!

      The case is,he is not disabled and claims he is, he is one of the frauds ruining the VA system because of GREED and lies all because he has a "cracker jack" Purple Heart, he is to obtuse to know the difference between a PH that was earned and one they gave him …

      If you knew this man he would sicken you,why,because he has NO SHAME

    • Who made you a doctor and just because you see someone walking upright does not mean they do not have a disabling condition .They could have heart condition prosthetics a number of condition are not visually apparent. When you start spouting off about people being dishonest,you might ask yourself what gives you such high moral authority.You do not know what you're talking about ,the Va. does not just hand out money to everyone who applies for benefits .It takes years to prove a case and an extreme amount of evidence. The only way you get benefits fast is when your sent home in a f/// body bag then they will dig a whole for free.Someting else veterans are tax payers .Also in private life if you get injured,you get represented by a profesional lawyer .When you win your case your compensated and you move on with life best you can usually no one tell you how to invest that money and no one like you stands over them worried about the bullshit you just stated.

    • I agree about the VA service – BUT your comment about people with Handicap parking getting out looking FINE – Don't judge that so harshly. MY husband is missing 2/3rds of his lung – YES he gets out of the car and walks away just FINE – BUT he can't walk far without being out of breath – IN FACT I do MOST of the driving now!! So PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE A PERSON BY HOW THEY WALK AWAY FROM THE CAR –

    • I too suffer with an unseen medical issue; some days I can walk fine, some days I walk with a limp and some days I stay at home because my pain is so bad. My husband does all the heavy grocery shopping, etc. So, you cannot judge a book or person by the outward appearance…..and yes I have a disabled Veteran tag on my car.
      I would willingly trade my compensation to be healthy person again…who in their right mind wants medical problems, sickness, or mental health issues.

    • I agree with you and see this especially at the Loma Linda VA Hospital, Wilshire VA Hospital and at different Post. We need to weed out the dishonest Veteran and pay more attention to the really needed Veterans. At Loma Linda I talked to a Veteran who was getting a injection for back pain, he told me that he is 100% disabled but yet voluntar to work at the Loma Linda Hospital. One other Veteran who was getting a injection for back pain came with his son and was walking with a cane. When I asked him what his problem was he told me he had back pain and would like to get 100% disability. I asked him what kind of work he was doing and he told me he was a mechanic working on cars at his home address. When are we going to have a VA undercover agents to check this corruption with the VA. We have could programs for the Veterans but it is being abused. I am still working as a DOD Civilian with 60% disability and a Viet Nam Veteran.

  9. Whatever the VA denies your claim for, DO NOT give up! You quit they win. I speak from experience I was continuously denied compensation for PTSD for 67 months. But, I never allowed my claim to go to appeal I kept on introducing new evidence, which kept my original claim active. Then I found what seemed to be an insignificant piece of information from the Marine Corps Quartermaster office( I was in the Army supporting the marines). Bottom line I was awarded 70%, plus unemployable status which compensates at 100% retroactive for 67months. Don't give up the fight. You will prevail because you have what is right on your side.

  10. Thelonious Burden says:

    It took me over 25 years to finally get my disability rating…70%….unemployable pay rate 100%. It is interesting that it took so long, yet paid retroactively so little. My injuries weren't my fault, just serving my country as a faithful Marine. My problems psychologically still exist and often times are severe. I intent to continue my request fro PTSD, which was my original diagnosis in 1973, now i've got to push back against the VA to have that diagnosis reinstated. It a shame that we have to suffer at the hands of the civilian work force and many civilian doctors who work against the cause of disabled veterans for the purpose of denying that which they rightly deserve…find a good doctor working for the benefit of the veterans??…..they are often reassign or retire from the VA altogether.

  11. I'm reading the comments , yet I'm a female w/ service connected disability… some of the doctors don't want to give disability to us & if they do it's low. My disability has cost me 2 marriages . Which created another problem. I'm still fighting to get an up grade because my life has been forever changed…. I was told my symptoms was not treated & documented while on active duty…. They fail to understand some symptoms don't accur til something triggers it. PTSD & Depression has triggers…

  12. Doubting Thomas says:

    Ironically in the case of Viet Nam veterans,everyone now has PTS…

  13. Doubting Thomas says:

    Ironically in the case of Viet Nam veterans,everyone now has PTS…
    I would like to know how anyone not involved in direct combat or combat support now has such a devastating syndrome?

    There are so many frauds jumping on the "compensation wagon" who are lying their asses off to the Veterans Administration for MONEY…..

    I ask a valid question,would these veterans be fighting as hard for treatment without compensation?

    Now,how can those that are working for the VA be so taken
    en by these charlatans and frauds?

    The US Postal Service has been crying as of late because of financial woes,I am not picking on the post office because it is not they alone who are guilty of having maintained workers for periods of 35-40 yrs working never complaining of PTS or inability to continue their jobs until they earned most lucrative pensions,only to then retire willingly!

    The next day after retiring willingly from a job they have held freely and ably they run to the VA and say i am UNEMPLOYABLE and I have PTS,most of these (mercenaries) were never in harms way in Nam,yet,they now come to the VA and lie about things that never happened.

    The country is messed up because there are more men without honor, they are the ones wearing the ice cream hats at your local Veterans parade usually leading the parade or hanging out at bars in veterans clubs.

    I am a veterans advocate,i have helped many deserving men who served with needs at the VA.The Veterans administration is fair and honorable when dealing with men who have honest issues,do you not think they know who the frauds are? it is the government themselves that were told to award "all Viet Nam veterans" because of the so called backlog.

    You men of shame who reap benefits that others paid for with heir lives makes you scoundrels and "words" not able to use here,you all know who you are,you are no longer honorable veterans you are mercenaries who are being paid for your services.

    Truly disabled veteran deserve health and benefits,those of you who have lied,let's hope you don't end up spending that "undeserved money" atop your lucrative pensions and 401ks for money to by MEDICINE

    As an Infantryman who fought with heroes,who spent much time in hospitals and who is lucky to be alive,one who is severely disabled and is forced to now listen to men I once knew as friends lie about their service,it is happening across the nation.

    The VA needs to recall all unemployable veterans and assess them,if they can work they should return to their positions they willing retired from

    NO DOUBLE DIPPING CONGRESS or Stop complaining

    GOD Save the Republic!

    • I agree! I try not to use VA facilities because of the "professional" crybabies you find milking the system. I've seen too many scammers go to veterans facilities, piecing together war stories in order to apply for undeserved benefits. These guys make it difficult for others.

      On the other hand there are some truly bureaucratic nightmares going on in the VA.

    • Thank you for your service. I served, not in combat, but am taking advantage of free healthcare at the VA. I am unemployeed and working on my masters degree ( so i can work with those who served). It amazes me how many "kids" with no injury will but in front of someone in a wheelchar or crutches or missing a limb. I know how blessed I am, so I tell them, please sir, you go right ahead, I can wait! Thank you for your service! theodore_christian@yahoo.com

    • wildbronco says:

      Doubting Thomas, I have three Campaighn Stars on my Nam Campaign Ribbon, as well as my Division being award the PUC and the Vienam Cross of Gallentry with Palm for actions in Ira Drang Valley in 1965. I sir have PTSD, and I am sorry to bust your bubble but not everyone is effected in a like manner by this Neuro_Psych problem. You cannot pigon hole all who suffer from it into a neat little box and say yep you have and those who do not fit in your box do not have it. Sorry but life does not work that way.

    • I don't know where you've been for the last forty years. I'm sure as hell glad you're not an advocate for me! I was diagnosed five years ago with PTSD and depression three years ago. I don't get shit for either othe two diagnoses. I worked for the last twenty-one years after retiring from the Army. a lot of us from the pre-hero era have these conditions. A lot of us couldn't discuss it on active duty because we would have lost our security clearances and would have been forced out of service. I've seen it happen. If you had a civilian job it was even worse. However, because in those days everyone who ever wore a uniform wasn't considered a hero no one, including the VA, cared. Nothing pisses me off more than when those who are designated to be advocates for veterans make such accusations. Until you've lived in the other guy's skin you have no idea what he lives through. Unless you're a doctor, and I don't mean a VA contracted one, you have no idea what these folks go through. Advocate mu ass!!!

      • David Davis says:

        I agree Chief take this guy and the VA lawyers and put them on a hill somewhere and have the enemy bomb em from the front and the friendly's hit em from the rear. This guy thinks the world is out to cheat em. He has no idea of what the military is all about. He has a lot of BS and needs to express it on the front lines anywhere.

    • 11ACR Trooper says:

      Judge not least you be judged………..hope you someday realize that some diseases and conditions carry no physical scars yet grave mental challenges
      11ACR Trooper

    • David Davis says:

      You say the VA is honest in dealing with veterans well that is BS The VA would not allow me to see my military medical records in 1967. They informed me that they were government records and I was not entitled to a copy of them or to view them. This continued for years. In 2005 they found another record which was falsified by the US Army If these records had been given to me years ago I could have done something with them. Now the battle of spoliation rests in my hands as it did in Cushmans. Think about what your saying when veterans are being lied too.

  14. I was just told yesterday that my appeal for Housebond Aid & Attendance was sitting in a vault for one year before it would even be opened for review. This was all started by my doctor requesting the services for me, he filled out the form and sent it in for acceptance. It was denied without even being reviewed. I am mostly confined to my bed everyday because of all the pain after having 20 surgeries on my left leg to include 3 complete knee replacements in which the first 2 completely failed. I have my walker and wheelchairs next to me and have home aid come out several times a week to assist me. I am a service connected disabled US Marine that now have to fight against a corporate entity who cares nothing about the people they have constitutionally ordered to provide care for. This also includes the 4-6 month waiting list to see our primary care doctor, or 1 year to see a specialist. If I were able I would find private care… But I don't have any other insurance and no doctor will accept my case because of "the complete chop job the VA did on my leg." I've lost all faith in the system.

  15. robert raub says:

    late summer 1968. i went to viet. tdy. va. said i did not. i sent copy of my orders and have not heard back from the va.

    • Michael Hearne says:

      I hope you sent a copy and not the original. The VA is notorious for shredding claims evidence.

  16. you don't have to be in combat to suffer from ptsd.. i've had it for forty years, since 1968. i have learned to deal with it rather going through the VA. They make it worse.

  17. The VFW has put into their annual report to Washington that service-connected hearing loss should be compensated for 10% presumtuosly. My husband's claim for his service-connected hearing loss after 10+ years in anti-aircraft and heavy field artillery have been recognized for service-connection only, with no compensation. Our claim has languished on someone's desk for over two years. Please contact your Congressmen to request that they honor this request. There are many, many vets out there
    who deserve hearing-loss compensation, but receive nothing.

  18. I have read all the comments and they are the same does not the VA see that! Denied is what it is called. It was mentioned that Veterans should not perish because of not being treated for PTSD but they do. I am now a Surviving Spouse and I am trying to work with the VA to get compensation because my Husband suffered from the VietNam War . Just how does one ever get compensation Never Quit is very true because I never will.

    • thank you for your service to your husband!

    • You hang in there and keep fighting for what is due you and your husband. It take's alot too deal with us veterans, healthy or other wise. Going with us to our appointments in the VA, system. Just too be told to come back again for the very samething. Dealing with the "Rush Hour" communte too en from any hospital over two hundred miles away. Make sure that you have his medical records from the VAH, and outside doctors office. Goto http://www.VAWATCHDOGTODAY.ORG/ and it will show you how too go about filing.. You can even post questions on Jims' website, and there is a "Step by Step" site also.. May the Gods of War, guide your fight for justice…

  19. LAWRENCE F. BONI says:

    THESE YOUNG PEOPLE PUT THEIR BUTTS ON THE LINE FOR THIS COUNTY, AND THEY SHOULD GET ALL THEIR BENEFITS AND MORE. NO CUTS

  20. Heylottylotty says:

    Please note that SOLDIERS are ARMY. It is not a generic, catch all term. Check the definition if you will. There are others who fought and do fight for our Country. All of the branches of Military support protecting the US of A.
    As a U.S.Navy veteran from '66-'72, I experienced much in physical and psycological involvement. Not that my exposure was more or even much different than thousands of others, although I do know that all of us as humanbeings are different in what we feel and how we react to death and stress. Exposure to chemicals, extreme heat (jet engine blast), high pitch noises, etc. don't always show up in a month, year, or even decades. Of course unless a "damage" is evident immeediately how can one point and say it was caused by "X"? (1 continues below)

    • Definition of SOLDIER

      1
      a : one engaged in military service and especially in the army
      b : an enlisted man or woman
      c : a skilled warrior

      The term "soldier" is a catch-all and has been for some time.

  21. Heylottylotty says:

    Part 2 was deleted by moderator… How do we fight for something when just the rememberance of events cause us recoil and anguish. It is often more difficult to seek help than it is to try and live with the open and festering mental issues. The commenter was right about so many Vietnam Vets seeking help this late in life. Most have "just dealt with it" as we have been told so many times over the years. Time, as running water, breaks down the walls many of us have hidden behind for defense. Remember us, we are the ones who came home to no one cheering. No one glad to see us return. Often our families welcomed us. Thanks.

  22. Heylottylotty says:

    The "program" said my comment was too long so I broke it in 3 comments. However the second was blocked (I know not why) and the last just doesn't show up. My loss….

  23. The VA has been doing this for ages to veterans and their families. They will drag this one out too. A VA claim waiting for denial or approval is the VA making a bet that you will die before they review it. Then they just write it off. I know because I have seen it. Watch them shake when you mention the over 70 project. They pulled this one in 2000. If you made a claim and was over 70, you went to the bottom of the claim pile. Results were often the veteran would die before his claim was even opened.

  24. What I find even more frightening, is the VA saying that veterans who have applied with them who have MSW and Provisional Mental health licenses aren't "qualified" to work for the VA! theodore_christian@yahoo.com

  25. I was recently awarded SC Comp. Disability Benefits after a five year appeal process. I am incompetent by a VA Rating Decision in 2005 for a Pension and I have a custodian assigned by the VA. However, this recent BVA Decision and award (SC Comp.) is being delayed by the RO as they are stating that I need to wait to establish a custodian for my benefits. I am terminally ill, however, this is probably the reason the VA RO is delaying any payments with duplicate custodian actions. Wait till my attorney and my local/state/national news outlets hear this.

  26. Pat Martinez says:

    why is it everytime it comes to vet we have to fight another war? at home Just do the right thing. Is is not your money?

  27. freakydeaky says:

    You people have no idea. Try working as a disabled vet at a VA Hospital…….
    if you only knew the rest of the story………………

    VA employee

    • anotheridlost says:

      please share, the va website says most claims take 2.5 to 4 weeks to decide, im sure everyone here has waited way way wayyyyy longer then that.

    • Disable Veteran 76 says:

      That's one of the biggest problem, nothing agaist the VA disable vet employee,but for those of us that are disable and waiting on our benefits I think we deserve people that arent disable to give a helping hand, and get these claims done. As a disable veteran I wouldn't feel right if I couldn't put forth 100% and help those that are and have been waiting on their benefits.

    • I really understand were you are coming from. I have talk to persons who work at VA, but, can not voice their concerns out loud to help veterans.

      I am a female veteran and have voiced my concerns many times at VA every single time I feel that things can to better for Veterans and employees.

      I know their are some employees at VA who really do a great job, and their are some employees working could not care less what happens at VA.

      What I have noticed at VA in Washington, DC, is that the space does not fit
      the need for Veterans who need certain care.

  28. It is so sad to read all the comments by our Veterans of the problems they have experienced with the VA. My husband, a veteran himself, is a County Veterans Service Officer. He volunteers his time to file VA claims, Appeals, etc. for the veterans that live in our area of Tennessee. I realize the VA system, like so many other Government entities, is slow and cumbersome and I am sure there are mistakes made, but there are just as many successes as well. It does take persistence at times to finally obtain the benefits that our veterans deserve. My word to our veterans, is don't give up! I am not defending the VA in any way, but I really feel it is a system drastically overloaded, aniqated and in need of streamlining or an overhaul. Throwing more bodies to catch up the backlog will not do any good if the system itself is broken. (Part 1)

  29. Having worked in the Computer field for over 30 years, I see some (not all) of the problems being that most of their records, communication, etc. are in the 18th century. They are attempting to move from paper to digital, but that too takes time. I wish I had a silver bullet or magic wand to fix the problems, but simply do not. I firmly believe that our veterans have served this country and are due the benefits they were promised when they put their lives on the line. Are there people that would take advantage of the system, sure… there are always those out there that will do that veteran or not! But I want to encourage our veterans to be persitent and not give up. There are those out there that want to help and will help you get the benefits that you deserve, however long it takes! (Part 2)

  30. Terry Simpson says:

    I go to the VA in Mountian Home,Tn. They have been great help with my PTSD.
    The Staff there really try to help a vetern with PTSD.The Common Sense is also trying to help where some VA places are giving Vets a hard time. The medcial help is good for me.

    • wildbronco says:

      Terry Simpson, Hurrah for Mountain Home, thanks to their assistance and efforts I was finally able to get VA Disability at 100% for PTSD, they are the best VA Hosptial I have ever been to.

  31. doubting thomas and px7 ,,,, I never knew so many people who try to judge others ,,, not even knowing their case history. Don't try to be a doctor when you're not even human……..

    • Michael Hearne says:

      You just hit the nail on the head. The worst of them aren't even vets. When I was discharged in 1975, I grew my hair a little longer (the civilian style of the time) and left and right people made horrible faces, spit in my direction, and actually called me a traitor. Not one of these jerks ever bothered to find out that I had a DD-214 in my wallet. In fact, I'm willing to wager that few of them were even veterans. I suppose that they assumed that anyone who was in the service was automatically a gung-ho radical (just like them).

  32. I guess I've been really lucky with the VA in Columbia SC…..BUT The first place I went through was East Orange NJ., where they did a 'drive by' evaluation….and gave me a 20% service-connected (for a broken neck while on a deployment!)…after 29 months of fighting for it…..and a bunch of operations,somehow I still move semi-OK, but have a boatload of problems because of it,but in SC. I was told to get a re-eval…..and the doc at Dorn VA kinda asked me;"who the f**k looked at you??? How did they miss this??!!?"….now I'm up to 70%,and glad that I got that….Still trying to figure out how working in,on,and around M1 tanks ,for over 20 years gets a 0% for an 85% documented hearing loss…..I'll deal with it,there's people out there way more messed up than me.

  33. The VA has NEVER really been totally in the corner for injured veterans.

    When I retired I was rated 40% disabled for all of the sundry injuries fully documented in my medical records over 22 years, without much of an actual exam.

    Oddly enough a civilian doctor spotted my back injury on a simple x-ray (without being told I had any injury), but the VA could not find it at all on an x-ray, and only spotted some "disk misalignment" after a series of x-rays, a PET SCAN and and MRI.

    After I retired I was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). This came only two years after I left service.

    The Oncologists tell me that only two known things cause this cancer. One is, exposure to radiation and the other is exposure to benzine. Both of which I was in contact with regularly, while in uniform, but neither of which I have occasion to contact since leaving the Army. But the VA, in its infinite wisdom ruled, even on appeal, that "the cancer showed no symptoms while I was in service, and is therefore NOT 'Service Connected.' "

    My assigned VA doctor has only seen me once since 1999, that is by my choice, since the first words out of her mouth when I went for my initial retiree check-up, was "I am tired of you people coming in here faking injuries trying to get more disability"

    This comment was sent my way before this so called doctor even began the exam or even said "Hello".

    I am not a fan of the VA, since they have done precious little to alleviate my pain and suffering after a career in the military.

    On the other hand AETNA paid all of my medical costs for the cancer treatment since the local Military treatment facility refused treatment, due to lack of facilities" and TRICARE only acts as the payer of last resort, and they even charged their 20% co-pays back to AETNA leaving the government paying $0.00 for this veterans life saving treatment. During my chemotherapy NO ONE from TRICARE or the Army or VA even inquired as to my treatments success or failure, even though TRICARE was paying part of the initial outlays (which they recouped), yet AETNA had the thoughtfulness, to call me at home after the chemo, to ask if there was ANYTHING additionally, that they could to to make my recovery period more comfortable.

    "Booo" for VA, "Yay" for Aetna.

  34. VA seems to stand for "Virtual Apathy", under the current and past few administrations we have endured.

  35. Tommy O'Donnell says:

    I have been in the V.A. system since '71. My wife is an iraq, afghanistan vet. I've been fighting the V.A. for years. They don't give a hoot about the female vet either.

  36. DocGay-What can one do if the VA doesn't help you??I am fighting with the VA right now it has been about one year and I keep getting the OLD DC side step.I get a letter every now and then saying "We are still working on your claims for Agent Orange".For Christ sakes the Government and the VA has known about AO for 40 plus years.AO was sprayed all over the world back in the 1960's mostly in the tropics.Now I am sick and eat up with just about everything AO causes.But as the old saying goes"JUST HANG IN THERE".The name of the GAME is WAIT and WAIT some more.With the so called CIC we have we will be lucky if we ever get any benefits.HELL if we were HOMOSEXUALS we would get our benefits right away.To everyone waiting just hang in there people.De Oppresso Liber

    • wildbronco says:

      Doc as one VN vet to another I do understand where your at. I was to some degree rather fortunate with my claim for PTSD, in that it only took me 20 years. I filed for PTSD in 1982 and it was finally granted in 2002, but only after I actually did supstansive damage to a Neuro-Psych lock down ward in a VA Hospital. Oh and I was actually physically removed from that ward and escorted off the VA hospital grounds and told never to return. They then transferred me and my rec ords to another VA Hosptial that was an 80 mile oneway trip. I received better treatment at the second one up to an including a full psych eval, where I was finally able to be award 100% disability for PTSD. I have diabetis as a result of AO also. I was also granted CRSC in April 2009 from DA in leiu of Retirement.

    • Michael Hearne says:

      A friend of mine has been waiting on his claim to go through since 1971. He was able to work for years, and only during the past 10 began to get very ill. He is presently dying from esophageal cancer. In any case, with only a few months to live, he has finally been approved. Similar to my own case, it is very difficult to prove anything at all after 41 years.

      In my opinion, this is no accident, the VA commonly shreds proofs, calls "Liar" and examiners are paid to fail claims. I would never believe these things prior to seeing them with my own eyes.

  37. I am a 100% service connected Vet and I have been suffering for years and still cannot get the healthcare I am entitled to and I have been treated so badly by the White City Domicilliary that I have given up and am just hoping I die sooner than later. It saddens me that the VA Medical System gets paid to kill Vets. How many more people have to die before people rise up and do something about the corruption in this United States of Greed?

  38. I have been dealing with VA since 1969. While they have generally improved over the years, I've noticed that during DEM administrations, quality goes up; during REP administrations quality stagnates or decreases. Just an observation.

    • Don't you realize that we have a DEM administration right now, that has stagated this economy and has been able to do nothing in congress except pass two months at a time of budget proposals. DEM blame the REP and the other way around, maybe it's time for the people's party (Tea Party). Both Democrates and Republicians are doing nothing in congress except get rich on insider information.

  39. Don't judge people who jump out of their car in handicap space. After walking around for 10 minutes I am lucky to be able to walk.

  40. The VA. like any other organization shouild be monitored and not (micromanaged) this in itself is where lies the problems,those on the outside trying to tell those on the inside how to do their jobs.So let's take a "Deep" breath and re-think our approaches and try to negoiate change rather than to "Demand" change it will in my opinion cause a smoother change to take place and "Claims" will be processed in a more timely fashion. God Bless America!!!!!!!

    • Dave Davis says:

      You show me a good loser and I'll show you a consistent loser. The truth is if the law isn't complied with and congress does nothing to ensure that those who served this country are provided for under those laws then taking "Deep" breaths just leads to taking deep breaths. Americans need to help veterans and stand up to this injustice the same as we do for other countries who mistreat their citizens around the globe.

  41. John Browning says:

    GOD knows what VA is doing. Hold the paper work on the older veterans and when they die we can sweep all paper work under the carpet. What a management system. Government, we may be old but not dumb.

  42. Hangfire58 says:

    Is this part 2 to this article or is a part 2 planned? I have been gathering the information I'll need to file for an increase in my disability rating and would like to know if any of the info from these articles will help me. My Dr. at Wright Patterson AFB would like to remove 3 discs and fuse my cervical spine from an injury that I get CRSC for. Will I lose the CRSC if i get the requested increase? Will the VA approve an increase in disability after I have the surgery? I have a lot of questions.

  43. Yes my friends there are certainly frauds out there.I personally know of a few. One 135% disability. Smokes like a freight train. Drinks like a buffalo and is filthy rich. How did he get it his way. A peersonnel Sgt while in the service. Well he was smart enough to go to a local VA Clinic and pull out all the bull-S. He and I used to be best of friends. I have not spoke to him in a couple of years after he called bragging about his acomplishments. I asked him if he was still being seen about his issues in VA hIS REPLY. :"HELL NO I STAY OUT OF THERE". I have been fighting VA for 10 years and it goes on. DELAY,DENY,DIE. God Bless all you real soldiers. Errol

  44. Okay 1 is that veterans like me are fighting.for.there benefits non stop and trying.ti get helped I was UN employed trying.to survive with a son and a family Ans I don’t apperciate people saying **** cause I walk. UT don’t look hurt I have back issues and also have issues with ptsd and also knee problems and other stuff just because I don’t have a missing leg dowsnt mean I’m not hurt okay. For 1 a lot if veterans my generation of vets are getting pushed away I’m tired of this comptention deployment crap. Our war is different from Viet Nam and ww2 so why can’t we try to fight together against this. ******** VA cruption

  45. Okay 1 is that veterans like me are fighting.for.there benefits non stop and trying.ti get helped I was UN employed trying.to survive with a son and a family Ans I don’t apperciate people saying **** cause I walk. UT don’t look hurt I have back issues and also have issues with ptsd and also knee problems and other stuff just because I don’t have a missing leg dowsnt mean I’m not hurt okay. For 1 a lot if veterans my generation of vets are getting pushed away I’m tired of this comptention deployment crap. Our war is different from Viet Nam and ww2 so why can’t we try to fight together against this. ******** VA cruption

  46. My late husband was a Nam Vet, he'd fought the VA since 1972 for help, finally only got 40% Disability. He appealed, nothing happened.
    Now how can I get help from the VA?

  47. David Davis says:

    My fellow veterans, Ask not what the DVA can do for you, but ask what you can do for the DVA. The DVA can hide, alter, destroy your records for years. If you make one late submittal or request they will in fact deny your claim again and again. Then you can appeal it and they can delay your claim through the usage of congressional procedures and laws for years. Now you can give up or ride the hamster wheel. I don't have much use for politicians like Filner however, his last speech in which he said the DVA needed to be blown up was correct. If our government won't change it then we have a choice continue on with an antiquated unjust system or blow it up Get rid of the corruption and abuse of power and the system may work. Why wait for more veterans to die, loose their homes and families. Now is the time to put the pressure on our own government. Make those calls and let congress know enough is enough.

  48. macldoo1952 says:

    I was told that if I sue the VA for medical mal-practice and win, that I will lose my monthly disability checks until all the money I get has been repaid to the VA with my monthly VA Diability checks? I find that hard to believe since nobody would ever "win"? Does anybody know the answer? Thanks to all my fellow Veterans!!

  49. I had viscous veins real bad the VA hospital gave me surgery because of the pain after surgery strip the veins out but caused worse pain then before now I can't walk long distance or sleep without an aching and pain can I hold the VA
    Responsible ?

  50. Bob Boushley says:

    Here’s something you can chew on. I a
    veteran(72-76). Have gone through life
    with depression, skin issues. I go to VA hospital and they don’t even want to address my concern of Toxic Poising.
    I enlist proudly doing Vietnam Era(God please them soldiers who gave 110% percent) we were not welcome at the airport as today, a matter of fact while I was in Illinois the broke the window out in my windshield and we ran back to base .
    As we get older we may or may not
    realize that working around those aircraft
    could of affect us for the rest of our lives.
    VA covered up Agent Orange and we were not provide with ASHO required protection. OSHA covers the Safety and health of works through the USA industry. The did even tell us we were would with unsafe chemical so we could taken action to protect ourselves.
    If I knew now what I could of know now about back then, I would have made different choice.
    I’ve received document from CDC(Center of Disease Control) that support what I’m
    experiences and I’m being told that the DOD will not recognize this document.
    I go to VA and they don’t give me time of day as far as over exposure JP-4 online
    I’ve have stacks of proof. I feel as those I
    might be looking forward to the biggest battle of my life and my health for the rest of my life. I lost my family, business, people I care far and really don’t care to
    look forward to the rest of my life.
    Why should this be the biggest battle I have to face and it not only my option.
    Because I’m not the same people that went and signed up my life for my country.
    I always show respect to Veterans if just become more personal all you returning VET. I went to internet in June because of
    my skin issues that just won’t go away over my whole body. When I keyed ” Health effects of Jet Fuel. I went crying
    to my parents and told them I believe I have finally what made me the person I
    am today. Disabled through Social Security and live completely alone by
    myself with a family that has I given up on me. I know there’s more like me out there., please contact me so as we brothers do not have to face this alone.
    You’d think the VA would have to prove otherwise.

  51. Dragostella says:

    -So true. I'm fighting with the VA for two-yr.,over medical bills,. Just don't understand ,"WHY" all the "B.S".

  52. I have noticed some younger veterans talking about using violence if the va doesn't act soon. I hope to god no but I imagine the va will just shake it off laugh and collect their bonuses.