Saturday, October 6, 2007

Veterans Disability Benefits Commission

The long awaited report was released this week, and I was pleasantly surprised by their recommendations, all in all it was a far better proposal than I had imagined. Bak when the commission was set up Republicans got to appoint 10 members and Democrats were allowed to appoint 5, it appeared to be a stacked deck the way Congressman Steve Buyer then House VA Chairman wanted.

However the report endorses the fact that regardless of where or how a military member gets injured or gets a medical condition while in service it should continue to be service connected due to the fact that military members are on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year while they serve. Medical problems caused by training are just as severe as combat caused injuries.

They call for an immediate raise in compensation up to 25% (I think that will happen, when pigs start flying) does this mean we are now being under compensated?

The VA Watchdog has numerous articles about the report here it is 562 pages long and takes a few minutes to open, even on a cable connection.

Well worth the read, however the suggestions made about PTSD reviews for TDIU veterans will cause a lot of heart burn within the veteran community. But the report is a much better piece of work than I had anticipated. I SALUTE their product.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Welcome to my world and views

I am a totally disabled Army Infantry Staff Sergeant. I enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War era, October 1973, I served on active duty until September 1982 leaving the Army as a SSG/11B3M at Fort Irwin, California after serving as a Platoon Sergeant in Company B 1 Bn 31st Infantry.

I had served in the 9th ID from 74-75, the 2nd ID on the DMZ, Korea from August 75 - September 1976. I was then assigned to Fort Gordon to train new soldiers on Basic Rifleman Training and shot on Fort Gordons Rifle Team. M14 Match weapons. I left Fort Gordon and went tothe 3rd Infantry's, 2/30th Infantry Schewinfurt, Germany. Due to medical problems with my wife I was compassionately reassigned to Fort Lewis, Washington in September 1979 to HHC 2 Bn 1st Infantry, 9th ID. In June 1981 I was reassigned to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California where I stayed until me ETS.

I then later joined the Georgia Army National Guard Augusta Ga, the 878th Engineer Battalion in 1988, when the orders came down in the summer of 1990 they asked for volunteers to "fill out" the 48th Infantry Brigade and they were activated for Federal Service in Operation Desert Storm. I was assigned to HHC 1/121 Infantry Battalion, Milledgeville, Ga. I was assigned a 4.2 mortar track and crew. I earned a Army Achievement medal for my performance in readying the platoon for deployment.

I returned to Augusta, after the war and to my regular job as a Letter Carrier for the Postal Service, where I remained until my health forced me to leave in May 2000, I had suffered my 7th heart attack and my triple by pass operation in Feb 1997 had failed, the two stints placed had also failed.

My claim for Social Security Disability was quickly processed and approved, I filed in October 2002 and had the approval and first check in April 2003. My claims for service connection with the Veterans Administration became a nightmare, both claims were filed at the same time, I did not achieve any success with the VA until March 2004 and they awarded me a 50% service connection despite my records showing entitlement and justification for the 100% award. I appealed, I wrote Congressmen, Senators, members of the House and Senate VA Committee's, I became totally disgruntled with the VA claims system.

After more than 4 years of appeals, the Regional Office in Columbia, SC finally awarded me the 100% SC at the Permanent and Total (P&T) level. This after letters to President Bush and VP Cheney. The claims sytem is badly broken, the political process does not work when dealing with Regional Offices. This has led me to become politically active, I have learned after researching voting records of ALL politicians that the Republican Party has less than a 30% voting record for laws that will entitle veterans and or their families for additional benefits, meanwhile the Democratic Party elected officials have an average voting record of 80% for veterans issues.

I know the Republicans talk the talk, but when it comes time to walk the walk, they DON'T. For the past 15 years, it is the democratic party that has supported veterans issue's. WHAT? The republicans claim to be pro-military, pro-veteran then why doesn't their actions match their words? Financial cost, it comes down to money and taking care of disabled veterans and their families has not been a priority for them.

I have therefore, decided to vote my families needs and my needs with the democratic candidates and the Democratic Party. They have the record for the past 15 years showing me they are fighting for the things I and my family need. I don't know about anyone else, but I was promised that my family and I would be cared for if I some how became disabled or killed while on active duty, and the VA and Congress have been failing us veterans and our families for decades now, and I admit it has been both parties doing it since the end of WW2.

My decision to support Democratic candidates is based on the voting records of the two parties for the period since Desert Storm, and the Democrats have shown me they "honor" our service and are willing to put the nations money where their "mouth" is.

This website is dedicated to veterans, laws for veterans, news article that affect vetrans and their families, and actions taking place on Capitol Hill from either the House or Senate VA Committee.

Please feel free to make comments or send me links to things I might miss. Since I am disabled I expect I will be making posts daily, unless I am out of town for doctors appointments. Welcome to my world Mike

I also write regulary on Daily as Testvet6778

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