Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Wives

[Note: This is a re-posted and updated entry that needs to be put up over and over to remind folks of the role played by the wives in all of this struggle.]

They write. They call. They fax. They file form after form. They drive wherever they need to go in order to document, present, appeal, or argue their case. And they are frequently shut out.

No sailor wants to make that last voyage without providing for his widow, and/or his family. One of the ways to do so is to file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs under the Agent Orange Act of 1991. Unfortunately, and apparently illegally, the DVA stopped approving claims in 2002 for Navy Veterans who served in the “off shore waters of Vietnam”.
…John was hospitalized three nights ago with what has been diagnosed as pneumonia resulting from multiple myeloma. The doctors aren’t holding out much hope. What can I do? We’re out of money. John’s claim was denied because he did not set foot on the ground…
In many cases, those sailors with pending claims die before their claims are decided. Their claims die with them. Their widows get…absolutely nothing.

In 2002, the DVA modified their procedural manual to stipulate that a veteran filing for Agent Orange Presumptive benefits must provide proof that he actually set foot on the ground in the Republic of Vietnam. The DVA made this change after issuing a “precedential opinion” in 1997 from their own office of General Council. They did all of this on their own, without any instigation from Congress, or the various Veterans Service Organizations. But they also made the manual change without offering it up for public comment first.

…My husband served three tours on Destroyers off the coast of Vietnam between 1965 and 1971. He never set foot on the ground there. In 1998 Bob was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, and a year later with cancer of the prostate. They operated, and he tested clear of the cancer for a while, but in 2005 his PSA suddenly skyrocketed. He went in for tests and they found the cancer was back and it had spread throughout his body. They removed one of his lungs late last year, but by summer the other was full of cancer. He was hospitalized repeatedly. None of the treatments really worked. They sent him home last week, in time for his 60th birthday, with days to live. His claim with the VA died with Bob this morning at 5:17 AM. I have no idea what I will do now…
We receive four to seven of these a week. Every week. Fifty two weeks a year. We read them through our tears, and theirs. God! How could so many sailors have been so blessed with such strong wives!?

How could an agency of the United States Government act in such a crass and inhumane manner? Not only was their action illegally done, it was unjustified and unjustifiable, and we felt confident the court would say that in its decision in the Haas case. It was a cruel and heartless action, done coldly. 

To be perfectly honest, we pray that people like Anthony Principi, Jim Nicholson, and the author of the precedent that was used to change the manual, Mary Lou Keener, rot in the lowest level of Hell for all eternity. So grievous were their actions that even that fate may be too good for them.

…he had been treated for heart disease and other problems for about five years, all after being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Yesterday after lunch he went in to take a short nap. When I went to wake him for our afternoon walk, he was gone. He should have gotten VA benefits, but he was denied and never appealed it. The Lord knows we could use the money for his funeral, and to pay off the mortgage on the house. I don’t want to lose this place. It has too many memories of us in it…
They come in emails, and in their words, through our tears, we see theirs. And in their words we see behind their tears an aura of nobility, grace and strength. These are not women to be trifled with, to be shunted aside with barely a glance, or ignored completely.

These women fulfilled a compact with their sailors, and because their sailors fulfilled a compact with their government, and died as a result of that compact, their wives must be compensated, even though their husbands were not.

We strongly urge the citizens of this nation to take up this cause and make it one of their goals, to see that justice is done for these good and strong women – the wives, widows, and daughters of our Blue Water Naval Veterans of the Vietnam War.

What the DVA did in 2002 was not only illegal, but because it was illegal, it was stupid. Because they did not follow due process of the law under the Administrative Procedures Act by putting their changes out for public comment, they made a clear and unmistakable error. Any of their actions subsequent to that policy change are therefore illegal if the DVA personnel followed that policy in the changed manual section.

The Courts, or better yet, Congress, which could save the Veterans and their Wives a lot of unnecessary legal action, should issue a law connecting prior claims denied under these illegal changes. Because the DVA erred, anything that was ruled subsequent to that error based on that error, must be reviewed and overturned and benefits issued retroactive to the date of the claim. That includes any claims that died when the claimant died, any claims that were rejected based on the erroneous policy change, and appeals that were denied based on that change. Everything in those categories should be reconnected and reprocessed back to the date of the original claim, non-severed by any failure to appeal as well. It was the DVA that erred, not the claimants.

The court or Congress, should also rule that all these claims should be processed to the issuance of benefits within 6 months, including retroactive benefits.
…God gave me thirty wonderful years with my sailor, and I treasure every second of those years. Even the cross words that were sometimes exchanged will be sorely missed. When he took that final voyage last spring, the VA had not completed his claim. Now they won’t even answer my letters and calls. I had to put the house up for sale last summer, and am now living in a small apartment downtown so I can get around. But it is a dangerous neighborhood. I’ve been mugged twice, but all they got was a few dollars. They could have asked me for it and I would have given them the money. Ralphie would have given them each a bloody nose for their trouble. Sometimes, when I am trying to make a decision, I think, “what would he have done?” I was a housewife, I get no retirement from Social Security. I have a little bit left from Ralph’s IRA, and from the sale of the house, but that will be gone in a few years. I don’t know what I’ll do then…
We owe these courageous women a debt that goes far beyond mere gratitude. In many cases, we owe them our lives. Not many of us are financially secure. The presence of VA Benefits will go along way toward building that financial security for us to leave behind. Our wives, and children deserve it because we earned it, and they did, too. They care for us in our pain and illness, they comfort us, they haul us around to doctors, clinics, labs, and offices, and in between all that other stuff they write, phone, fax, and email on our behalf.

Gentlemen, Attention on Deck! To the indomitable and courageous wives, widows, sweethearts, and daughters of the
Vietnam Veterans of the Blue Water Navy, 

Hand salute!

Two!

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Dear Congress



If you think the Medicare Rescue that is coming due in a few years is a critical issue that needs a resolution soon, you have not been paying attention to the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

While you have been squabbling across the aisle at each other over Medicare, and Obamacare, your Department of Veterans Affairs went down the tubes. 

Gone. 

Broken.  

Corrupt. 

An abject failure for General Shinseki.  And it is not his fault.  It is the fault of a Congress that failed to pay attention to what the people in the DVA were doing.   

We want to tell you that going by the old rule of thumb that ‘politics is the art of delaying a decision on an issue until the issue is no longer relevant’, is no longer possible.  At least not in the case of the DVA.  You’ve done that, for example, with the Blue Water Navy-Agent Orange Exposure issue.  Some of their claims are a decade old or older.  Apparently, we are taking too long to die for your rule of thumb. 

Congress, you have not been paying attention to what the DVA has been doing.  First, they have been amassing an enormous amount of real estate holdings that require ever increasing amounts of cash to purchase, and even more to maintain.  The bulk of these holdings are empty and have been for years.  They serve no purpose.  There is no reason to acquire more, and certainly no reason to keep [and maintain] the huge empire of empty real estate they now own.  This is nothing more than a testament to the monumentally stupid mentality in DVA management.   And lest anyone thinks that this is a partisan issue, it is not…it has been going on for decades, through the administrations of several presidents from either party. 

Congress, you have not been paying attention.  Every time you voted to pass an appropriation for military spending to support the wars we’ve been fighting for the past decade, you have neglected to pass proper proportional increases in spending for the care of those who placed themselves VOLUNTARILY in harm’s way for their country, and suffered wounding, injury, psychological trauma, or death.  That includes appropriations for the increase of staff necessary to deal with the enormous number of those Veterans included in that group, and the additional ones seeking their GI Bill benefits.

Congress, you have not been paying attention while the DVA acquires land and builds “rural” health care clinics across the country, ostensibly to make it easier for veterans to reach care provided by the DVA.  This is a fraud.  Those Veterans served by the “Rural” Health Clinics received treatment at their local health care provider at the same cost the VA charges [to the tax payer, not to the Veteran!] in its hospitals and clinics.  THE DIFFERENCE IS IN OVERHEAD!  The DVA pays no overhead costs for the visits a Veteran makes to a private physician.  For its own “rural” health care centers the DVA pays to acquire or rent the property, construct a new, or remodel an existing structure, equip it, staff it, and maintain it.  The difference is that the DVA pays for a Veteran to travel to a VA Regional Hospital in non-emergency cases, or to transport a stabilized patient in emergency situations where admission to a hospital is required – and that difference is enormously weighted more heavily to the acquisition of the new rural health care centers and their ongoing costs.  The “rural” health care system is a wasteful fraud.

Congress, you have not been paying attention to the growing backlog of claims.  The backlog has stood for a number of years at about a million.  Now, with 45% of troops coming out of the military as the Global War on Terror goes dormant, the claims backlog will reach two million very quickly, perhaps by the end of the year.  The end of any war means the return of troops to the job market.  Many will return to their old jobs, while many [a large portion of that 45% figure] will take advantage of the GI Bill benefits and go to school, keeping them out of the job market for a year or longer.  But the bulk will come home and take off their uniform for the last time, and try to find work.  It boggles the mind that the DVA does not have a program that dedicates jobs for Veterans within the DVA.  Why are returning Veterans not actively recruited to work in the Veterans Affairs Regional Offices [VARO or RO]?  We mean heavily recruited, like having someone from the DVA do recruiting and initial screening as part of the Armed Forces separation process?  They are by law entitled to Veterans Preference in Civil Service hiring, so give them an advantage and help many of them avoid the job market altogether.  What you get is a person who is disciplined, mature, shows initiative and innovation, and who knows the Armed Forces, is likely IT savvy, and is eager to stay out of the job market. 

Congress, you have not been paying attention while you throw billions of dollars at the Department of Defense [DoD] and the DVA in an effort to have the computer systems of each department be able to talk to the other, and transmit data and data requests back and forth.  Each effort failed because of both departments playing the “turf war game.”  This is gross incompetence and negligence.  It is a simple process of matching data elements from each side and having each side create new data elements for those that do not match.  Then each side agrees on a common computer language in which to transmit data.  It is called ‘standardization’.  Placing threats of sanctions on both departments if the next effort fails would work only if those sanctions were real and had teeth…along the lines of suspension, investigations for fraud, corruption, negligence or malfeasance, and likely firing with a forfeiture of pension and benefits after being found guilty.  Failure is not an option. 

Congress, you have not been paying attention while the DVA pays out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.  You should be asking why anyone well compensated for their work would require a bonus!  And for a department disintegrating before your very eyes, it hardly seems likely that ANYONE in the DVA deserves a bonus at all. 

Congress, you have not been paying attention.  The DVA has no standardized claims rating system.  A claim in Sacramento, California for Traumatic Brain Injury rated at 80% disability will see a 30% disability in Milwaukee, and a denied claim in Miami.  In Dallas or Denver, it might never even see the light of day, having been lost.  The best thing the DVA ever did was to put up the Veterans Online Application [VONAPP] system on the Internet where the Veteran, or someone helping the Veterans can data enter an entire claim, get a Claim number and a receipt for the claim, and wait for the Regional Office to contact them with a request for documentation.  It starts the claim process rolling, and in the event of a claim being lost, it provides a point and date to restart the claim.  If the DVA can do that, they can also very easily standardize the claims and rating systems [Two separate entities—you must be determined to have an eligible claim in all respects except medical to get a rating, which is done by way of a physical examination called a Compensation & Pension [C&P] Exam.  The result of the C&P Exam determines the rating, or level of disability].   

Congress, you have not been paying attention to the fact that because of the claims backlog and the anti-Veteran attitude in the DVA, many Veterans die before they should because of a lack of medical care for which they are eligible but not approved, and many Veterans die in poverty and leaving their widows and survivors in poverty because they die before their claims for compensation are approved, and many Veterans languish in pain and despair while waiting as long as a decade or longer for benefit approval that they have earned. 

Congress, there is no great fix for this.  More money, vastly more money is required to fix it, but money alone will not fix this.  Unless you tie accountability and real penalties for failure and fraud and negligence to the increases required to fix this, and make such waste and fraud as the Rural Health Care system and the employee bonuses illegal, you will only get more of the same.  Unless you instill upon every employee of the DVA that the care of the Veteran is a higher priority than the taxpayer’s dollar, your fix will fail, for that priority must also be embraced by Congress. 

Your inattentiveness over the past decades has created a monster, and it may eat us all alive faster than anything Social Security will do.  And that monster is already upon us.


Dear Congress, think what this all will mean to future generations of potential recruits.  What message does your inattentiveness send to them? 

VNVets


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets


"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets


"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln


"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington


Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Uncaring Government


A few years back we provided some ideas for the restructuring of the Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA].  One of the ideas, which we did not originate, was to approve all claims with a minimum of eligibility checking…an amount that can be done electronically by the VONAPP system.  However, it is now just about the only way to fix the God-awful mess the Department has become. 
                                        
The claims backlog is well over a million deep and soon to be two million as 45% of the Veterans from the current combats are filing claims for disability.  PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI], are leading complaints in this class of wounded warriors. 

Obviously, there is no prioritization of claims going on.  One western Regional Office [RO] has a backlog of 22,000 claims, and as a result is putting on hold all Blue Water Navy claims! 

One fix would ease things by synchronizing the computer systems carrying medical information about troops past and present between the Department of Defense [DoD] and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Billions of dollars have been wasted on this in the past by ignoramuses who refuse to cooperate in the process.  The process is quite simple, you get into a room together, you list out your data elements [or provide a data elements dictionary], and what they mean, and match them with those of the other guy.  Once that is done, you turn it over to the programmers, and suddenly, you get a list of serving military members being discharged with their ailments coded in the DVA system’s language. 

An overnight computerized batch run of those discharged would be sent to the DVA.  If you have also data-matched the severity of the ailment to the DVA’s ratings percentages manual, then the computer could easily create a new approved account for benefits for that transitioning trooper who is now a Veteran.  No human intervention required. 

Think about that for a moment.  All the new Veterans coming out of active duty would no longer have to file a claim with the DVA for benefits and care.  They would have one generated for them as part of their military separation.   This would also include eligibility for such things as the GI Bill, in addition to compensation and pension benefits and medical care.

Think what that does to the backlog. 

Lest you think that this is an oversimplification, we want to assure you that ten years ago, we were doing exactly this kind of work between the State Police and the Department of Welfare in a large state.  It is a tedious job to match the data elements [last name, first name, middle initial, service number, date of birth, address, SS#, dates of service, branch, wounds and injuries, dates of wounds or injuries, etc.], but once it is done and the programmers have mapped them on each side, then the DoD should send one of these through at discharge or separation from active duty on every single Veteran.  Then the DVA would not have to make info requests of the DoD when adding someone into the system that may not have been eligible at separation. 

With that done, the backlog should begin to diminish, slowly, but still diminish.  Once and for all time, we would hope. 

The DVA is a sick puppy.  Its top management has no clue what is happening in the ROs.  Neither does middle management. 

Meanwhile, yearly bonuses are paid at both levels.  We would ask, “For what?”  Who in their right mind would deserve a bonus while millions of Veterans are stuck in the purgatory of a pending claim? 

That is a national disgrace. 

The nation asks these men and women to go to war, and if necessary lay down their lives, or sacrifice their bodies to grievous and traumatic injuries, and shake their minds traumatically, yet makes them wait for [often] years for claims resolution. 

YEARS!

In the case of the Blue Water Navy Veterans, some of their claims are now over ten years old.  TEN YEARS!  And the DVA is shuffling them to the bottom of the pile while it clears the new warrior class. 

They want us to die and go away. 

Now it is time for Congress to step in, and pass the Agent Orange Act, and do so in the expanded version WHICH WILL NOT INCREASE THE BACKLOG! 

But Congress has its own mess -- the Budget.   

We’ve told them how, and where to find the money to fund the bill.  We’ve told them that using the Vietnam Service Medal will not cost anything more because of the administrative cost savings in processing the claims.   

Is there no one in any of the three branches of the Federal government of the United States that has a humanitarian bone in their body? 

Congress and the Executive Branch are empowered to send our men and women into harm’s way.  Yet when it comes time to pay the butcher’s bill, neither is willing to spend the money necessary to do it swiftly and fairly, and as Lincoln put it in his second Inaugural Address,
“…to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan…”
The United States government is doing a piss-poor job of it. 

And it will pay.  In the end, if things remain unchanged, which it looks like they will, the next generation of fighting men and women will choose not to serve the United States in that capacity because the United States does not keep its promise to them.  They will not go in harm’s way on behalf of the United States as the United States no longer cares for those who have borne the battle, or their widows or orphans.  The United States will try to reinstate the draft and will find a mass migration into Canada that makes the draft dodgers of the Vietnam era look like tourists.  The power of the US Military, the one constant thing that makes us the leading power in the world, will cease to exist.

And when that happens, the United States will slide into the third world, and ignominy, for allowing the example of the “shining city on the hill” to dim and flicker out of view. 

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

And another thing….


While we are on the subject of the VVA’s lack of effort regarding the passage of the Agent Orange Equity Act, we were informed of another issue that has VVA members across the country up in arms about an action taken by their national leadership.   

As we have been informed, in November of last year, a request sent to the VVA by the Yale Law Clinic to have VVA provide a letter of support for a female Veteran [not a Vietnam Veteran], who was being denied spousal rights by the VA for her same sex marriage partner, was voted on by the VVA National Board.  The Board voted to send the letter of support on behalf of Ms. Carmen Cardona, a disabled Navy Veteran whose case, Cardona v Shinseki, is currently in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  Secretary Shinseki has recently notified the court that the VA will not be defending the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ [DOMA] in this case, a decision buttressed by a finding by US Attorney General Eric Holder, and one certainly condoned by President Obama, as he recently endorsed gay marriage. 

Here is the transcript of the NY Times article:

Veteran in DOMA Case

Just hours after President Obama announced on Wednesday that he supported same-sex marriage, the Department of Veterans Affairs said it would not defend the constitutionality of two federal laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

The declaration was made in a Connecticut case in which a disabled Navy veteran is challenging the constitutionality of the two laws, one of which is the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.  The former sailor, Carmen Cardona of Norwich, is asserting that the government improperly denied her benefits.

Ms. Cardona says that after she married her partner in 2010, the V.A. regional office rejected her application for a spousal increase in her monthly disability compensation, citing federal statute defining a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex.”

Last year, President Obama ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the constitutionality of DOMA. But Ms. Cardona filed her complaint before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, where cases are generally argued by lawyers from the Department of Veterans Affairs, not from the Justice Department.

Until Wednesday, it had been unclear whether the V.A. would continue to defend the law.
In a statement released through her lawyers at the veterans legal services clinic at Yale Law School, Ms. Cardona said: “I am proud that Secretary Shinseki has joined me, the Connecticut Attorney General, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America and so many others in recognizing that all veteran families deserve fair treatment.”

But it is not clear that the V.A. has actually given up the fight against giving Ms. Cardona spousal benefits.  In a letter explaining his decision to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Eric K. Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, said that the department would remain a party to the case.  The Republican-controlled House has hired a private lawyer to handle the DOMA cases the Obama administration has decided not to defend.



[Note, this whole issue may become a moot point by upcoming events.  First is the election.  Should Mitt Romney win the elections, he would most certainly instruct his Attorney General and his VA Secretary as well, to defend the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA].  Second, the Federal Circuit Court in Boston ruled a few days ago that the DOMA is unconstitutional, setting up a likely decision on appeal by the US Supreme Court.  Either, one or the other, or neither might affect the outcome of Cardona.]

We wonder about a number of things here.  Why VVA?  What prompted the Yale Law Clinic to make such a request?  Did they make requests of the American Legion?  AMVETS?  VFW?  NAUS? 

We cannot know the answer to these questions but we can make some educated guesses.  We suspect that indeed the Yale Law Clinic made the same request of the other National Veterans Service Organizations, and were quietly turned down.  But not by all.  In addition to the VVA, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and several other organizations also endorsed the Veteran. 

Still, one wonders why the VVA would even entertain this highly-charged and volatile political move. 

Then we wonder why the National Board addressed this issue directly without holding it until the annual VVA convention for the delegates to address, or putting it out to the states to poll their members.  Perhaps they felt there was too long a wait for that, yet that still does not excuse such a precipitous act by the National Board. 

And of course, we wonder why the National leadership of VVA would spend time, effort and risk the wrath of their membership on a question involving a non-Vietnam Veteran, especially in light of their lack of effort on behalf of the Blue Water Navy legislative issue.  That they would do so with such a political hot potato issue boggles the mind. 

John Rowan has been president of the VVA for seven years.  If decisions like this are a hallmark of his stewardship of his Vietnam Veteran peers, then perhaps it is time for a change in leadership, and a good housecleaning in their main office. 

Lest you think this is a non-issue, it is still evoking a great uproar among state and local VVA officials and members across the nation.  Many have sent letters of protest to VVA HQ.  Some have resigned from the VVA. 

To our knowledge, they have not received a response.  This is another sign of a leadership failure. 

Clearly this was an action motivated by political philosophy, rather than due process and openness.  Quite frankly, we think this was an action more in tune politically with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, not with the VVA. 

Once again, VVA has reneged on its responsibility to its members, and to all Vietnam Veterans. 

Meanwhile, thousands of Vietnam Veterans, who are in need of assistance with the government to regain their status under the Agent Orange Act, go without so much as a murmur from VVA HQ.  

What a shame.  What a sham. 

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.