VA info

----- Original Message -----
From: George Fryett  To:   Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 6:31 PM  Subject: 5 June 1982
Considering what is going on now for our Veterans, I wanted to share this with you All.
 5 June 1982
    Then you begin to think that on June 5, 1982, that if we were to have a thought that one time 20 years ago I promised my country I would dedicate my life, loyalty, and whatever else was required of me to preserve the peace that we have been fighting for centuries.
    I came home so many years ago, went to a doctor and said,
Veteran: "Doctor, I hurt."
Doctor:  "Why do you hurt, son?"
Veteran: "I hurt because this happened to me a few years ago and this is why."
Doctor   "Well, prove it to me."
Veteran: "But doctor, here are the records."
Doctor:  "What records? This doesn't mean anything. You've just grown older. The hurts you have now come from old age.  The fact that you suffer from malnutrition, dysentery, a hand grenade wound, dislocated shoulder, malaria and a few other insurmountable things that were presented to you during a time of extreme deprivation due to the fact that just because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time this means nothing and due to the fact that this is in black and white here, that's 20 years old.   We don't want to bother with it."
Doctor:  "Oh, hello, son, what can I do for you?"
Veteran: "Well, 10 years ago, doctor, I was wounded somewhere in Vietnam."
Doctor:  "Oh? Prove it to me."
Veteran: "Prove it to you, what do you mean? Here are my records, here is my DD-214."
Doctor:  "Well, I'm sorry, son. You've just grown old."
What you have just heard is a small dramatization which will
probably continue to go on endlessly. Today is 19 June 1982.
    Orwell's 1984 is just around the corner.
    Are we perpetuating ourselves and our society towards an existence of fear?  Ah, think about it. What do you mean fear!  We live in a free society. We have free enterprise. We have freedom to speak for ourselves. We have freedom to be truthful and honest and be accepted for those truths.
    Ah, Do we?  Should we continue on and take the souls, the bodies, the self-confidence, the self-esteem, productivity, the desire to survive and continue to meet it with indignation, constant reprisals to people who feel that they have done their job and they need help, they want help.
    Some have even gone to school and become educated to assist themselves and others with problems. But yet in our society we live with an existence of the need for balancing the budget.  Sometimes in order to balance the budget we have to make cuts. What is happening is the establishment of the priorities somehow or another have gotten misplaced.
    Some of our leaders have chosen to be more concerned to pacify the wrong people so consequently wrong targets are developed.
    Targets specifically meaning the choice to pick our people within our society, take away from them those that have earned such things as social security rights, other rights of monetary, medical and self-survival rights away from them and give to those that don't even have anything to do with our existence and the day after tomorrow after they have gotten their ultra million dollar grant.  They will turn against us with the arms we have supplied them with and we will say, "Oh, that's O.K., we needed that.  Economically society needs something to bring its people together."  So if we do it in a war-like attitude supportive of other nations that call us warmongers, but what do they do?
    They perpetuate this thing of defense budgets and things like that and we are right there, right there supporting them but yet we have people who have been given the title of being a Veteran.
    A Veteran of what?
    Well, we all don't need to define that.  But then this veteran is now confronted with being lied to, developing scar tissue that will never heal itself, developing a lot of phobias that should never be there but they are.
    Why are they? Why are they, they are there in the name of progress.  What kind of progress we making?  In my eyes, as long as we forget those that came here years ago to get away from the demeaning attitude, the fear attitude and then find that we are going back into repeating the way it was -- a fear attitude.
    Big Brother.  We don't want Big Brother and we don't need Big Brother. What we need in order to bring our people back together to work together is to allow those who have already served their time for our country, for our present life and future life, to be taken care of.
    Naturally you constantly hear them say to you, "Are you going to give me remuneration, how much money are you going to give me?"
    That comes out of the fact that when they first went in and said, "I have a medical problem," you said to them, "Hey, it's psychosomatic, it's in your head, it's a dream."
    You subjected them to all kinds of scientific modern day medicine practices that at any other time could be very well termed a sort of an atrocity, a sort of brain washing, a sort of reevaluating that individual so that they don't know any better.
    They go into deep confusion, then along with the exploitation of other things the good guy is no longer there. The man that ran away, the man that went out and destroyed. Many millions of dollars are spent to save his life, his self-esteem but what has happened to the veteran?
    The veteran, ah, that's a figment of the imagination. There is no such thing as a veteran.

0074Fellow Viet Vets: We Viet Vets have all been exposed to Agent Orange in Wet Yam... er, I mean... Viet Nam.
Here are web sites that may be of help for your VA claims... and your own understanding of the Agent Orange problem. 
- Doc Ralph, Viet Vet - '63-64, '66.

0087FYI -- We are leaving "Full Headers" on this va validation of its routing to V-N.
I, Michael J. Davis, do hereby certify that the following is being dispatched as a complete, true and correct copy of the MSG, as received from the va's News Listserver as it is being prepared for forwarding on/at 2007:05:08/1741Z.
ps: Our projections for this "Advisory Panel" are that it will be conducted with lots of "Hoop-La" [similar to the fanfare and glory-mongering that was accorded to the va's Claims Processing Task Force] and that, when all is said and done, virtually nothing, if anything at all, will be accomplished [similar to the lack of accomplishment by the va's Claims Processing Task Force].
Let's each put a flag in our "Tickler File" to check back on this item, at least, as follows:
      - About May 23, 2007, which will be a week following their "... three-day inaugural meeting, beginning May 14 in Alexandria, Va.  The committee is scheduled to discuss its general work program, future meeting dates, and plans for site visits to VA facilities around the country...";
      - About a week after the date their scheduled date for the publication of their findings, to review those findings and see what they suggest doing about any problems they found, and;
     - About a year after the publication of their findings, to see if anything was actually accomplished.
For those who seek more information or who may be interested in presenting testimony and/or evidence, see the last para. of the press release:
"...People seeking more information about the committee or who wish to register to make a statement of up to five minutes should contact VA's Tiffany Glover by e-mail at"
Recent VA News Releases
To view and download VA news release, please visit the following     Internet address:
New VA Advisory Panel to Improve Services for Returning Combat Veterans WASHINGTON (May 8, 2007) - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson today announced the formation of a formal, 17-person committee that will  advise him on ways to improve VA programs serving veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and their
"This panel will report directly to me," Nicholson said. "I am asking for their ideas and input on how VA can consistently ensure world-class service to America's newest generation of heroes, particularly severely disabled veterans and their families."

The Secretary's announcement about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) panel, called the Advisory Committee on OIF/OEF Veterans and  Families, comes on the heels of his presentation April 24 of recommendations from a presidential task force to improve services to the nation's newest generation of combat veterans.

"A number of panels already have been asking tough questions about our programs for veterans transitioning to civilian life," Nicholson added. "This committee, to be chaired by retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, consists of OIF and OEF wounded veterans, family members, survivors, leaders of the major veterans organizations and long-time veterans advocates."

"This group of people have experienced war and our system of care and can advise me from first-hand experience on how we are doing and what we need to do better," Nicholson added.

The new OIF/OEF advisory committee will hold a three-day inaugural meeting, beginning May 14 in Alexandria, Va.  The committee is scheduled to discuss its general work program, future meeting dates, and plans for site visits to VA facilities around the country. 

The schedule includes briefings by senior officials of VA's key programs, comments by members of the public who register in advance with the committee, discussions about "seamless transition" goals and procedures affecting combat veterans moving from the military to civilian life.

Members of the VA Advisory Committee on OIF/OEF Veterans and Families are: Lt. Gen. Barno of Washington, D.C.; Dawn Halfaker of Washington, D.C.; Lonnie Moore of San Diego; Jack L. Tilley of Riverview, Fla.; Gary Wilson of Carlsbad, Calif.; Liza Biggers of New York City; Pam Estes of  Dayton, Md.; Caroline Maney of Shalimar, Fla.; Kimberly Hazelgrove of Lorton, Va.; Michael Ayoub of Ashburn, Va.; Rocky McPherson of Tallahassee, Fla.; John Sommer of Annandale, Va.; Dennis Donovan of Atlanta; Frances Hackett of South Plainfield, N.J.; Paul F. Livengood of Manassas, Va.; Tim McClain of Alexandria, Va.; and Chris Yoder of Baltimore.

People seeking more information about the committee or who wish to register to make a statement of up to five minutes should contact VA's  Tiffany Glover by e-mail at To unsubscribe from this list, or to update your name or e-mail address, please visit the following Internet address:

0100 AWARDS REPLACEMENT:  Retirees who have lost medals or decorations, or never received ones they earned, may request them at any time. The government will generally replace lost or destroyed decorations for service or valor at no cost. There may be a charge for campaign ribbons and badges. At  you can view decorations and ribbons, Army right breast pocket ribbons for citations and commendations, specialty and staff badges for each service, U S Merchant Marine ribbons, plus State and Other Foreign Decorations. Former service members and the survivors of deceased veterans can obtain replacement medals or make appeals by writing to their respective service below.  For Air Force (including Army Air Corps) and Army personnel, the National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals. The Standard Form (SF 180), Request Pertaining to Military Records is recommended for requesting medals and awards. This form can be downloaded in PDF format at
Army: National Personnel Records Center, Medals Section (NRPMA-M),  9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100. Send appeals to: Commander PERSCOM, Attn: TAPC-PDO-PA, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471
Your letter should include as much of the following information as possible:
Full name
Social Security Account Number and Former Service Numbers if any
Date and place of Birth
Inclusive dates in the service
Complete Mailing Address
Telephone & Fax Number plus Email address (if you have one)

Make it easy for them to contact you, the easier the better.  Be sure and include a copy of your DD214 and/or Separation Documents plus any other documents germane to your request.  Indicate what you are looking for in the way of an award or correction regarding an award in your letter. If it is for corrections spell it out. Highlight the error on a copy of the related document and in your letter include what you think it should be. On medals and campaign ribbons if you are not sure indicate that you believe an award is indicated for a specific time frame and place of service and that you feel you qualify. Ask that your records be reviewed for additional unit or individual awards and decorations not reflected on the enclosed DD Form 214, or DD 215 correction of the DD Form 214, and issuance of a complete replacement set of awards and decorations. The more information you provide them the easier it is for them to verify and award you the ribbon.  If your information is lengthy then put it on another sheet of paper and reference it in your letter. Be sure and put your full name, SSN and date on that sheet at the top and bottom.  Upon receipt NPRC pulls the records, attaches the request and sends the case to AFPC to work. Veterans should be prepared to wait at least four-six months for a response.  Any request for changes to a DD Form 214 should be accompanied by the necessary documents to substantiate the claim.   [Source: TREA News Flash 10 May 07 ++]

0101Read the excuse the VA gives.  Unfair comparison.  Management spends their time finding ways to cutback instead of doing their job then there wouldn't be half the problems the VA has.  Excuses and smoking mirrors.  What happened to VA supposedly to err on side of veteran, to assist in proving his claim.  Even the private sector and other government agencies (i.e. Social Security and Immigration) the individual is allowed to have paid lawyers represent him, a veteran isn't.  Aliens can, but not veterans.  rojoeagle
 VA CLAIM BACKLOG UPDATE 07:  Veterans filing disability claims with the Veterans Affairs Department wait for an average of almost six months for a response -- about six times longer than is typical in the private sector.  Pending disability claims with the VA take an average of 177 days to process, according to VA records. For some, the wait time is almost a year. And for veterans appealing a decision on a claim, the average wait time is 657 days. For people filing disability claims with insurance companies, about 75% to 80% of claims are handled within 30 days, said America's Health Insurance Plans.  Federal law requires disability claims with private insurers to be settled within 45 days, although extensions of 30 days or longer are possible. "The backlog issue is not going to go away until the federal government rolls up its sleeves and takes a serious look at expediting the resolution of claims," said Luz Rebollar, a national service officer with AMVETS who guides veterans through the VA claims process.  The biggest factor in the growing backlog is the increased number of veterans using the system. The VA processed almost 775,000 claims last year, pushing the backlog total to about 600,000.  With the VA expecting 800,000 claims this year, in part because of the thousands of troops returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan, the problem is poised to get worse before it gets better, said Dan Bertoni, the Government Accountability Office's(GAO) acting director of education, work force and income security issues.  "We had a claims system that didn't work well in peacetime, and it's certainly showing strain now." Bertoni said. 
    The VA says it's unfair to compare processing times with that of the private sector because the department must prove that the injury or ailment was service-related -- a complex process that includes many hurdles beyond its control.  The types of injuries suffered by troops, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, also are difficult to evaluate. These claims can involve post-traumatic stress disorder and environmental and infectious disease risks. And claims are becoming increasingly complex, as veterans include more potential disabilities per request than in the past, with each requiring a separate evaluation and rating, the VA says. Some claims involve injuries or ailments that are decades old, further complicating the evaluation process. "There is a large block of time involved in all of this evidence-gathering," said Ronald Aument, the VA's deputy undersecretary for benefits.  Still another problem is the VA's difficulty in obtaining medical records and other evidence from the Defense Department, which uses a different computer system, requiring medical records to be physically delivered. The agency says it's working to reduce the appeals processing times by paying greater deference to decisions made at the appeals level. The VA also plans to hire 400 additional claims specialists by summer to help chip away at the backlog.      
     Aument says his goal is to reduce the average wait time for claims to 160 days by 30 SEP 07 with the agency's long-term target for processing a claim in 125 days. Speeding up the process anymore would require changes in laws that would cut corners and "infringe on veterans rights." That's not fast enough for some on Capitol Hill. "No veteran should have to wait six months or a year for their claim to be decided and then endure an appeal that adds another year or two," said Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, at a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee hearing in March about the claims backlog. "For some veterans, this is not mere inconvenience, it is financial and potentially emotional disaster."  In a report submitted at the same hearing and to other congressional panels about the VA's claims backlog, the GAO said the backlog problems may lie in more fundamental reform of the VA's disability compensation program. The GAO suggests that the VA update its 62-year-old criteria for awarding disability claims, which the agency says often results in claimants being classified as disabled when they wouldn't be in the private sector. It also said the VA also could streamline the process by overhauling the structure and division of labor among field offices, which had caused wait times to vary greatly for veterans in different cities and regions. [Source: The Washington Times Sean Lengell article 8 May 07 ++]
Robert Johnson   Website

0102   VA NSLI:  The VA has offered numerous forms of life insurance going back to 1914. One of them is the National Service Life Insurance (NSLI) policy, which was available from 1940 to 1951. In 1984, Congress passed a law to cap the premiums of this policy at the age-70 rates. Once you turned 70, your premiums never increased. Since September 2000, a capped NSLI term policy will receive a termination dividend if the policy lapses, or if the policyholder voluntarily cancels their policy. The termination dividend will be used to purchase paid-up additional whole life insurance. Not covered in the handbook is the fact the policy is considered paid-up at age 101, per VA counselors. If you are paying premiums at the capped age 70 rates, the termination dividend with paid-up whole life option may offer you the opportunity to stop paying premiums and maintain some coverage. However, you must call the VA to determine the amount of paid-up whole life you qualify for, which may or may not cover your needs. Furthermore, the paid-up benefit will not equal $10,000. Call the VA at 1(800) 669-8477 to talk about your specific case. For more information on NSLI and all other VA life insurances, refer to VA Life Insurance handbook.  [Source: MOAA May 07 ++]
Robert Johnson    Website

0203 VET-NET  National Headquarters   Vietnam Combat Veterans, Ltd.  P.O. Box 1032, Pilot Point, Texas 76258-1032  U.S.A.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at the cases of three badly wounded veterans and their struggles to get honesty and fair treatment from the VA.  This is CNN's long-awaited program about the VA's neglect and abuse of Disabled Veterans -- something that any veteran who has filed a VA claim can relate to.  The program was broken into six parts (so it could be posted on YouTube).
Part 1 is 8:42:
Part 2 is 7:48:
Part 3 is 6:11:
Part 4 is 5:15:
Part 4 is 5:15:
Part 5 is 8:54:
Part 6 is 5:18:
YouTube statistics:
- As of 1549hrs [3:49 PM] CST 24 Nov 07:
Rating: 5 Stars
Views: 540
- As of 0242hrs [2:42 PM] CST 25 NOV 07:
Views: 589
VET-NET considers this worthy of breaking our SOP of ignoring [and not sending] e-Mail that includes the statement:
We are requesting that this be forwarded to Veterans, Veteran Family Members, and to "Civilians" [via: Blind Copy, aka: Bcc - to respect the personal information of all Recipients]. VET-NET believes this is a message that needs to be seen and heard by all Americans who are old enough to understand its consequences. Thanking you for your attention, I remain  Patriotically yours,
VCV, Ltd.; VET-NET      Mike        Michael J. Davis; SS, DFC, PH    CWO-2, U.S. Army (Retired)   National Director
ps: If you think the above might be something new, merely "isolated" cases or just a "fluke," consider spending about $5.00 to purchase [and then read] the book:  The Wages of War: When America's Soldiers Came Home From Valley Forge to Vietnam by Richard Severo & Lewis Milford  Source: Used, from $1.40 + $3.95 S&H  SERVING PEOPLE - SOLVING PROBLEMS
Tel: 940/686-VETS   e-Mail: