Are VA Employees Conspiring Against Rights Of Veterans?

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Conspiring Against Rights

Benjamin KrauseRecent revelations of a secret VA employee website may spawn a new investigation into allegations that C&P examiners may be conspiring against rights of veterans with PTSD.

Check out more on an old law we looked at that may apply to VA employees who bastardize VA laws and policy in pursuit of their own gains at the expense of veterans.

Yesterday, we covered the clandestine Compensation and Pension wiki created or administered by two VA psychologists, Mark Worthen and Brad Brummett. At least one of those psychologists openly asserts VA examiners should evaluate veterans with an adversarial, insurance evaluator objective instead of the pro-claimant, benefit of the doubt objective that is the law of the land.

Take that one example and consider all the other examples across the country where reporters document instances where VA officials violate the law and rights of veterans for their own gain in deliberate acts of defiance of the law.

So today, we thought it might be useful to talk about how this old law that focused on election problems may give rise to some knew ideas as to the criminality of conspiracy against your rights by VA employees. All it takes are two or more to partake in ruining your life to have a potential violation of the law.

When this happens, are these federal employees illegally conspiring against you? Are these acts in violation of the law? Both answers may be a loud, “Yes!”

 

CONSPIRACY AGAINST RIGHTS IS AGAINST THE LAW

These individuals may be guilty of “Conspiracy Against Rights” under Section 241 of Title 18. According to the Department of Justice, it is unlawful for two or more individuals to agree together to injury, threaten or intimidate another person related to that person’s free exercise or enjoyment of any rights or privileges secured by the law or the Constitution.

Are my disability benefits and health care rights guaranteed under the law and Constitution? Yes.

Does the law require that one party to the conspiracy overtly do anything prior to the conspiracy being a crime? No.

What is unique about this law is that it does not require an overt act prior to the conspiracy being a crime. Violations of this law, Conspiracy Against Rights, are punishable in prison of up to a life term or the death penalty, depending on the facts and injury, if any, related to the criminal conduct.

That most certainly is one stiff penalty for violating a person’s rights through a conspiracy.

 

THE LAW

Here is the law’s language:

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 241

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;… 

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

We know veterans have a vested property right in their disability benefits once awarded and resultant due process rights in light of our Constitution. We know VA likes to reexamine veterans with PTSD every few years in the event the veteran improves or devolves. These things are given.

 

WHAT HARM CAN COME FROM AN ANTI-VETERAN EXAM?

What happens if two C&P examiners decide to operate in unison with VA psychologists Mark Worthen and Brad Brummett and others on the secret CP Examiner Wiki to reduce veterans benefits? What if their actions result in delivering adversarial PTSD exams in a manner contrary to the law? What if that action results in a lower disability rating for numerous veterans or some other kind of harm? We may be talking more than mere malpractice, here.

Some naysayers probably think these psychologists are doing taxpayers a favor by sifting through malingerers. Malingering means the person is making a false statement with knowledge of the falsity to gain an advantage – basically committing fraud. However, the conduct these men advocate for is not only illegal but potentially harmful. It assumes the person is lying and requires an examiner to engage in adversarial questioning. Adversarial questioning could emotionally harm a veteran with PTSD. It could also financially harm a veteran where the adversarial nature results in the veteran giving up their benefits to avoid the harm of adversarial questioning every few years for the PTSD reevaluation.

These techniques were largely developed by insurance companies to save money on the backs of disabled people. But are the tactics justified?

 

VETERANS ARE GENERALLY NOT LIARS

Regardless of what some VA employees think, veterans are generally not liars.

In 2005, VA OIG conducted an experiment and reevaluated over 2000 cases of PTSD for potential malingering. Some veterans committed suicide. Many others were accused of fraud just for the fact of being reevaluated. The larger VSO’s refused to assist veterans caught in the crosshairs of the reevaluation under the erroneous belief that if VA accuses you of anything, you are guilty.

Later, VA OIG concluded approximately 12 cases were possibly malingering. That is 0.6 percent.

In 2012, the Army stopped pursuing an active malingering detection program. It deemed the program to be a waste of funds. The Army concluded the program would not catch enough malingerers to make it worthwhile.

In light of this, why do psychologists like Worthen and Brummett persist in grinding their ax against veterans? If they really wanted to save taxpayers money, perhaps they should advocate for VA to get the exams right the first time around? Perhaps they should eradicate lucrative bonuses based on the number of exams doctors crank out?

I have worked with veterans for a long time. I know the vast majority of veterans are not malingering. The C&P process alone is brutal, long and sometimes emotionally draining. Many veterans who deserve benefits give up because the fight is not worth the emotional upheaval. Why fake it to deal with a lifetime of adversarial attacks by VA psychologists?

Personally, I would prefer a few malingerers sneak through than one deserving veteran go without the services and benefits he or she deserves because they give up do to adversarial nut jobs who support giving veterans less rights than criminals.

But back to the point of this post.

Are some VA employees guilty of committing Conspiracy Against Rights of veterans? Absolutely.

Specifically, are C&P examiners like psychologists Worthen and Brummett likewise guilty of Conspiracy Against Rights? We need more information to know for sure, such as the contents of their secret website and other records. But, we do know based on Worthen’s writings that he supports adversarial examinations of disabled veterans. Those kinds of examinations can and do cause harm.

I hope we find out following an investigation inspired public outcry following the embarrassing exposure yesterday of such clandestine websites administered by Worthen and Brummett. These men apparently advocate for potentially harmful and illegal treatment of veterans. There must be some recourse for those veterans harmed by such deliberate and blatantly anti veteran medical conduct.

Is it time for VA leadership to throw out anti-veteran advocates like these as the agency rounds its next corner?

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34 Comments

  1. People that do this do not understand my disabled Veterans die and commit suicide waiting to get help due to the much suffering. In the past we’ve tried to get congress involved to stop much of the harms that have been going on. Especially any MST person. They would deny you benefits or if you had some benefits they would take them away using lame excuses, deny medical, get irs to target & attack you, get others to attack & slander you, make up and orchestrate other harm until you either die or commit suicide. They cannot say that this does not happen I’ve witnessed and have experienced retaliation & harms. A disabled veteran neighbor living a few doors down was suffering too much waiting for help couldn’t deal with it any long committed suicide!!! They know the harms and the unmentionable occurrences & incidents veterans & soldiers go through. Why they allow cliquish groups & corrupt individuals to hurt our veterans & soldiers I will never understand.

  2. Do they? Yes! The questions are how do you prove it, and how does one go about suing the federal government under this title in a federal court?
    How many pro bono or contingency-based Veteran’s lawyers are actually engaged in this kind of case. In other words, “it’s great to point out another failing of our government, but without a course of action with a chance of success being laid out, Veterans gain nothing!”

    • 01/14/2015

      Dear Kurt Priessman,

      Most people in thought we were looking at demons and ghosts back in 1988—it took Congress in 1998 to admit to the problems in a statement [1998 Cox Report].

      It takes the Reporters, Editors, Congressmen, Senators, the President, the Businessman, the Investors, Vendors and Suppliers to react to this.

      It takes real U.S. Attorneys with backbone [we did not have that in 1988 in Los Angeles] nor did we have Judges that could not keep their hands off the transcripts [Torrance Court House], nor did we have DAs willing to look into other motives of murder [Robyn Pantish, Dee Langlouis, Anna Halter, and many, many more].

      Until everyone gets off their asses and starts picking up the phones—nothing will get done.

      Gannett packages the news well—but it is old; the only new piece of information is 600,000 are still on the waiting list as of November 1st, 2014.

      Here in Phoenix, we have 293 dead veterans without explanation and 9121 still on the waiting list and no one seems to care. After my letter to the City of Phoenix, the Council, and the Police—-the Phoenix Police Chief was removed [PTSD case/ Union].

      Give special thanks to Mr. Krause.

      Sincerely,

      Don Karg
      .

  3. I worked for Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I know for a fact benzodiazapines were proven to worsen PTSD symptoms, even including increased suicides…my Dad was taken off Valium, a benzodiazapine in the 1998 and this was the reason cited.
    My Dad was denied care over and over. Then out of nowhere they prescribed Xanax in August 2008. He had a bad oximetry reading the same day as a police welfsre check to him home 1 week after the Xanax was prescribed. Since the VA did not read the required test to continue paying for his oxygen, and they failed to follow protocol on therspy and management of schedule 2 narcotics…..10 months later the drug Hydromorphone, Xanax and Vicodin were mailed to his home and he was dead within 24 hours.
    I had no reason to believe he wss on those drugs, as no real doctor would prescribe such a combination. I want a DOJ investigation to find out how many of the 22 suicides a day have Xanax involved. Xanax is a benzodiazapine like Valiums big ugly brother and patients are expected to bresk the bars apart for dosing.
    I am willing to give doctors names that told stories of torturing the Veterans at the order of the VA and out of conscience brought patients back to their private offices atnthe med school. Baylor filed bankruptcy and the DeBakey VA is recognized as the top VA hospital for care.
    My Dad was denied and delayed care because a committee met and decided he was too mad to be treated like a human being. Sure he was mad and so am I and they have no power over me except to retaliate and deny me his benefits. So, I will die poor with a clesr conscience and will not stop until justice is served.

    • This is a very important article/discussion of and for the truth. The true realities that are, and have been taking place in the branch of government that has as it’s mission, and it’s name The Department of Veterans Affairs.

      Bless everybody whom has contributed to this article.
      Sometimes, the healthy positive times at the different VA facilities attended, are hard to hold on too, when one remembers the by-and-by large the BAD ones…I like this article and comments specially because is not about being disgruntled or requesting freebies; instead is about human dignity, respect, clinical quality care, integrity in VA federal benefits available (not just in medical, but in education, voc rehab, home loans, homelessness)…these are all allocated by law to veterans.

      So, as any of these is prevented, corrupted, used with self-interests, and not fully deployed to any veteran who can for sure use the benefit available, I agree, why is this happening? why are vets, are we sometimes labeled, mistreated, minimized, put on a “waiting list” when the responsible VA party chooses whom to be on the “qualified” list for receiving what is available. Even if it a bread and peanut butter being withheld like in P. P. Maryland, because some employees rather eat it. These actions would not take place in a private top 50 US Hospital for sure since it would bring so many violations from insurance and patients not returning by finding a more efficient and humane treatment, and one question I always asked myself, is if a VA employee and Staff know that their job is so secured, and benefits are allocated to vets, and that they can expand on the veterans’s changing needs, then why on earth is each VA employee an advocate for all veterans with equality, justice, and compassion, why is the VA not at the top in quality care in the States with so many payed-by-schools interns, programs, technology, job security, department manager’s power to run their dpt’s hiring and keeping whoever they decide, even some of the “patient advocate” specialists seen chose whom to interview, having so and so many tools to improve and be successful why are there so many injustices?

  4. This may sound radical, but it is how some insurance companies, like Travelers, for railroad employees, which is excellent coverage, works. No matter the health problem, injury, or disability benefit, the insured is automatically approved. VA claims should be put through automatically and immediately, eliminating many thousand salaried and benefit paid positions across the vast and multi-billion dollar VA worker system. I have said for a long time on this site something that the law says. It is similar to what Ben is pointing out here, but of course Ben has a precise legal definition. Namely, it is a felony to conspire to commit a misdemeanor. Add to that now, that it is obviously a felony to conspire to commit a felony. VA staff have almost always gotten by with conspiracy that has directly caused the death of veterans, and other harm like homelessness, jailed by police or harmed by police, suicide caused by desperation that was inflicted by the VA’s conspiratorial self-serving agendas. The new Secretary and also his undersecretary for benefits have made progress on this, unlike what the former secretary was doing and allowed to go on without any correction. Major change will come when arrests are made after a prompt investigation that needs to be made mandatory by law, whenever a veteran is harmed. War is not a video game or a movie or a novel, it is real, and it harms men and women and their families in many cases. America is on top of the world with the US dollar and is the benchmark for how most of the modern world wants to live. We cannot stay on top or anywhere near the top if we do not get this chronic abuse of our veterans under control and hold those doing it responsible. Have an automatic system that approves benefits automatically, based on any licensed American doctor’s report, any county or state vocational counselor who has signed off on the contents of Ben’s voc rehab booklet and affirms they know what it takes for a vet to quality. So, make everything to voc rehab to G.I. Bill, to a PTSD rating go through automatically, then simply have an auditing system in place that kicks in if someone exploits it. All the existing laws and codes and principles are already in place, especially the specific one Ben just pointed out. This is huge, possibly one of the biggest things Ben has ever come up with on his site here.

      • So, when they do find people scamming the VA system, and the OIG has presented the facts of the matter, and the individual(s) trying to run their little rackets in this whole process, how long of a prison term will offenders be looking at? Without enforcement, without ‘teeth’, oversight of anything is a joke, and the insurance industry is constantly set upon by the insurance FRAUD ‘industry’. I would like to see the Office of Inspector General expanded and enhanced by at least one if not several billions of dollars, to keep a critical and authoritative eye on the whole thing, so that the final net result is that people who are genuinely injured/wounded/etc. are able to be taken care of, and everybody ELSE trying to pass some kind of high-dollar fake-ness, marched off the property on their miraculously recovered legs, as it were. Keep it honest, make it right, find and identify problems, pass them up the chain to the OIG, maintain a tight ship at the VA, or, get rid of it. No veteran-level-or-above racketeering or systemic taxpayer abuse due to inexcusable incompetence, negligence, freeloading, etc. There’s lots of people-problems both inside and outside the military, having top-flight mgmt that is schooled in understanding, identifying, and preventing such problems is where it’s at.

  5. Ben, I sent you an email on Worthen and Brummett with web links to some interesting things using your Contact link on this page.

    I cannot understand how creation of the wikispace page or the Listserv is not a violation of federal records laws similar to heads of federal agencies using private email addresses to communicate with others on federal business.

    • I would definitely enjoy a copy of that because my first C&P exam I had no clut to what. I didn’t get enough beauty sleep the nigh befor ( humor all laugh!) but this so called Dr. Of Psychology not, I cloud not believe the numerous lies stared, DIDNT understand the word “VEG,” and when asked if I could handle my personal answer no I cant. She asked it again, I said no I cannot, do you know Fibromalgia does then kick it with pain? I would need assistance because of the FOGGED BRAIN, often leaves with short term memory loss, now the I suffered with for several years some of my most precious of my little loved ones, I stare I want those memories back, but told not to stress out about. Good Adice. Bold, Brace, unrelenting and “they started the feud with the wrong person. Three doctors denied the right treatment, and not hear I’ve done it all and then some.
      I ask because of how she wrote and misquoted me, after reading her report first that came to mind “DOESNT she know the formate like typing with words running together and the lies.
      There is a book on Amazon and nook you can down load or same with either app that allows you to, and interesting story had a GS-13 telling he was over producing claims to quickly, so a worker told him what he could, yet when he got his neighbors PTSD, questions asked where in Vietnam, but this was a well written account of that and Nr. GS-13 yelled at him and told him a job violation. Since he was never told, where to look, and how his neighbor truly did have PTSD. I think after the names become know, and you got denied? If it was filled with “S.S.., with retector active, how some can fully function is it like what Veterans who have committed suicide? They’ve got bloody hands!
      Now I did contact the IG and my cases were reopen, I although my letter written by some suicide hotline after an all day to a REAL DOCTOR, all I want is to rest quietly and let the heat ease my aches. This too a claim to be made, and that 1-800-we DONT really give a shit individuals, they she called me from, yes, I did state my issues are related to my now aching and tired muscles. Gee, I write BOOKS! But the book may tie into this case of how they hope you give up, or do that “DENY, LIE UNTIL YOU DIE” stunt, it is the stains of the rich who just think of you as “COLLATERAL DAMAGE! ( it is a fact and the source cannot be reviewed.
      THE VETRANS GUIDE PTSD HANDBOOK; HOW TO FILE AND COLLECT ON CLAIMS FOR POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. It is $.99 on my AMAZON APP and I am sure it could be in some libraries that would be the first place to look.
      This is how we can say, “THEY WENT TO THE EMERALD CITY TO SPEAK TO THE GREAT OZ, but, they forgot to ask for a brain!” ( the supervisors) you can down load a free sample and see if it has any use for you.
      I sure hope you got a kick out of that, but I am thinking who wears the “ruby shoes?” Since knowing the OIG is giving retirement pay tells me he wears the Ruby Slippers and what a damn shame!
      Okay, yes I write long, understand this is not my dissertation, it happens to be the pain that keeps me awake and so don’t give me hell! I am on your team!
      Blessings, Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, and the Pagans too and happy kwanza too, did I miss anyone? 🙂

  6. Ben, do you think just ptsd claims are treated in this manner? I wonder if all of the claims are considered the same way, why not, saving a penny is a penny the government did not have to “GIVE TO A VETERAN”. Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading your articles and gather a lot of good information. I also forward to all of my friends and family so they can get a full understanding of what we as spouses of veterans and the veterans fight every day.

    • I think Ben published a template on Freedom of Information requests. I cannot find it now. Has anyone else requested the “complete” Secret Website? How would the new Secretary respond if he were to become swamped with that request from thousands of citizens? Even if Veterans names were redacted, it would still be GREAT evidence for the benefit of the doubt rule. …eh? Please advise if you know how to locate the template.

  7. Some of you have asked if this happens to other disability claims and from what I have experienced is most definitely. My claim has had three C & P exams and none of them had anything close to the same information. Two were through QTC and the last one was through the VA. All the QTC exams I have ever had were a joke. They did not check or do things that they put in their report that they did do. I waited longer in the waiting room than in with the Dr. (I think he was a Dr.) in all of them. Think about this, the VA contracts with the QTC Company and pays them to give them a report. If the report is good for the VA then they do not have to pay for a disability or for an increase. I would bet the farm that everyone who reads this blog has had at least one bad QTC exam that has cost them either a disability rating or an increase. I had to appeal mine until they finally sent me to an actual VA Dr. who was the most thorough exam I have ever had. This Dr. took the time to do everything that was needed for the report he was to send. Because of him and my putting things together, I received and increase that was started in 2008. The QTC exams were not considered because of how far out they were. I am still trying to get my increase higher as they approved my right knee and not the left even though they are exactly the same in all of the parts in question.
    I wonder if we (us veterans) could sue the disability system, QTC, and any other company contracted by the VA for the use of determining a service connected disability. Especially my fellow vets who have taken their lives. Something need to be done so that there is never a question, or “if we would have done that…”, or something that would never have another veteran feel as if that is the only way to fix something that can be fixed. Maybe the VA should completely get rid of their mental health department and have someone else do it. Some one who would be the veterans choice to go to and the VA would cover it in full.

    • Figure8fan, I once had a gynecologist do my exam thru QTC. An internist once, and the last time, I had two doctors that were brothers that I saw. You would think that with serious spinal and bone problems, that they would send me to an orthopedic surgeon, right? Nope. None of the doctors were qualified to evaluate me and the journey I have undergone is ridiculous and I have lost many $$$ because of it. I consider what the VA does when denying a valid claim for a disability, “THEFT BY TAKING”. If I could have someone arrested for it I would, so if you know how I can do that, please let me know…..

      • lambda, my last QTC “person” that examined me was a general practitioner I believe is what it said under his name. This was to be the last exam before I was to go in front of the VBA. He had no specialty in anything at yet he was the one that the VBA was going to rely on to wither grant me an increase or deny it. I was also going to have to rely on this individual to somehow explain why I deserved an increase. I pushed hard to get these so called Dr’s exams to not be part of my determination as none of them had any specialty close to what was needed for a fair exam.
        I wish I did know how to get something done legally as I would have done it by now. The only advice I can give if you are trying to get an increase is to CYA on everything you do from the beginning. CYA, CYA, CYA. Get your C-file, medical record and anything else related to your claim. Go through it page by page, write down anything that you question, reread, say “huh” to or anything that just sounds a little off. Research, research, research. Know as much as you can so you do not have to rely on the (whomever you have representing you) group. Some of them are really good and keep you advised on every little detail and some (like what I have) just won’t call you at all. Remember, the group that represents you (I.E. VFW, DAV, ETC…) gets paid the same amount to help you or to not help you. They receive $X.XX a week no matter if you get an increase to 100% or go to a 0% rating so they have no incentive to help. YOU have an incentive to help yourself and if you do all that you can and still lose, at least you know you put all you could into it and you need to regroup and go at it again. Don’t ever give up.
        Sorry this went long; I kinda got my soapbox out and stepped on it.

  8. My question is blunt, how many documented examples of deliberate and willful benefit fraud have they come up with, so far? I think the whole entire service-connected stuff needs to be critically examined, carefully taken apart, and the assistance of insurance company fraud specialists enlisted, as well as former service personnel who’ve literally been there, done that, heard/seen it all twice, and are wise to the ways of goldbricking, malingering, and so forth.

    Just because people have been in the military, does not mean that their conduct, actions, and character are automatically beyond reproach. They remain human while in the service, and one thing that humans like to do, is play games. Well, let’s play a game called Three Thousand Dollars A Month, For Life. That’s the approximate expected payout for 100% service-connected disability.

    Well, put it bluntly, and I will use an obscenity, next, and ask, “Who wouldn’t like to make 36 grand a year, forever, while sitting on their asses”? And, not naming names, but I’ve met two veteran-type people who claim 100% disability, and are also employed. When an insurance company, a civilian insurance company, discovers something like that, they file against the person and collect evidence against them, take them to court, and stop paying them money.

    There are some people, in my opinion, that have earned that lifetime compensation. And, there’s others, opportunists, past masters at gaming the military pay and benefits system, who have seized upon an opportunity, brought their supporting sob stories to a high polish, and act wounded and offended(they were already acting wounded, this is different) if you question the circumstance of an able-bodied, healthy man, who’s presenting a circumstance requiring a free paycheck for life because he can’t work, and then, insult to injury, goes out and gets a job, sometimes even with the VA or somewhere else in government, and, my question/issue is: Where’s the integrity, veteran’s community? If you came back from Over There, and you’re honestly mentally and physically f’ed up for life, that’s one thing. Your eyeball is physically gone, and the front of your head will never be the same. But, if you’re trying to submit a disability claim for injuries sustained at a computer keyboard, or something else like that……?

    My feeling on the VA and all its 170-billion-dollar-a-year glory, is that you should keep it honest, and failing the ability to do that effectively and competently, consider getting rid of it, to prevent such opportunism. Some people join the military in hopes of gleaning a free ride for life. And, for people that have crossed the retirement line, have put in their 20, done their time, honorable discharge and all that jazz, well, there ya go, you won the contract game, and no contest. But, when you have other people faking some kind of B.S. so they can get the same money after a 3-year hitch, or something similar, well, that’s where you call upon the entire apparatus to stand forth and bear witness on the situation, and help the institution differentiate between ship and shinola. That’s my .02, and thank god for being a civilian, again! Merry christmas!

    • Bert,

      I read your comment as a variation of, “well, you don’t look disabled”, not sure if you meant it that way, but I have heard veterans questioned that by VA doctors. I wonder where they got their ability to diagnose cancer or TBI on sight. I wonder where they got their crystal ball to see what a disabled veteran goes through daily.

      I don’t disagree with your idea of dealing with fraud, but I cannot fathom how one would do that in a system that is already very adversarial to veterans that are disabled…even by looking at them.

      The system we have to deal with is a system that requires reporting any medical condition we believe is connected to our service to be reported. I wish I had a crystal ball over 20 years ago so I would have known which medical conditions would get much worse.

      The VA, and you by your comment, likes to publicize and highlight what a veteran is paid in disability, without acknowledging the needed health care that comes with a service connected ruling.

      I was lucky over 20 years ago getting a knee injury service connected. Now, after 4 previous surgeries and a 5th for total knee replacement, I am glad it was service connected. Funny thing is, over those 20 years, there were times where I could walk and may not have “looked” disabled. There are also numerous things I have not done in those 20+ years because of it.

      • Most vets and other Americans probably don’t know something that happened this week, as reported in the major television news media. The victims of the Fort Hood shooting were awarded Purple Hearts for their wounds and injuries, from the mass shooting in that infamous home-grown terrorist incident. This is a sign of things to come. Also, if you were to look closely at the reasons the Purple Heart was awarded you would find that the recipients who survived have a bad case of PTSD. This will very likely lead to PTSD becoming a valid reason for the ward of the Purple Heart, something that veterans advocacy organizations have been pushing for a long time. The Fort Hood shooting victims in many if not all cases were administrative military personnel with no combat exposure. But, a ten minute incident left them critically disabled for life, both physically and mentally. Now if they try to go back to work they may wonder if the loud sound they heard down the hall was a gunshot or someone dropping a box of paper loudly on a desk.

      • Bert or Bart, I find it interesting you cite someone who has a financial interest in pushing “all vets are faking PTSD” stories. I am not surprised though since many VA “researchers” use the same tactic. In fact, when I came home in 1991, the VA was pushing very hard that any illnesses from the first Gulf War were just PTSD. Millions of dollars were wasted on PTSD research by the VA. Now, over 20 years later and after significant independent research, there are physical medical conditions that have been found, yet the VA continues to push PTSD. They hid research and treatment data on conditions like ALS.

        They did the same with OEF/OIF vets…claiming their main medical conditions were PTSD.

        You had a blunt question. So do I. What interest do you have in pushing his “vets are faking PTSD” story in a thread where the VA has been caught red handed violating federal laws? Is he a member of their little wiki page? Are you?

        What is your interest in seeing medical care reduced for veterans? Is there a reason you are impugning veterans? Have you served in the military in a combat zone?

      • For those that haven’t served, they don’t understand what a military career is like. Some get administrative jobs, but many get Combat Arms jobs where we endure physically demanding and punishing jobs to keep America safe. We spend months away from Family for training and then we spend months, years, away from our Family in combat zones. Yeah, i don’t look like a 100% Disabled Veteran, but how can you see my Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which has no cure that will kill me sooner rather than later. I didn’t have it before I deployed to Afghanistan, but I had it when i got back and it is due to the burn pits they want to cover up. I could have gone back to work if I could and get my 100% disability. I could not go back to work and I definitely would if i could, but my many multiple serious medical problems I live with prevent me from doing so. You talk about $36,000 a year, but i was in a job making over $100,000 a year and had to take a disability retirement about 15 years to early. During that time I would have earned $1.5 million and a good possibility more from being promoted, so I am losing about $65,000 a year, so why do you way we get free money from the VA? I would give up all the money and benefits just to be healthy again. I hate it and many Veterans are lost and take their own lives because these disabilities are so very hard to live with and they need to stop the pain. I now walk with a cane and can’t walk very far or do too much. i could easily sit in a wheelchair and not do anything, but that was not the way I was brought up. I know many Veterans that push through the pain to try to be normal again, but the physical or emotional pain is hard to overcome. I live in pain every day. It keeps me from sleeping and when I do it wakes me up. I take a bunch of medications, but it doesn’t take the pain away. The sciatic nerve pain i have in both legs is absolutely brutal and all the medication does is take the edge off the pain so I can tolerate it better. This is no way to live. I take one medication to build up my tolerance to chronic pain. Yeah, build up my tolerance. So tell me how $36,000 is going to take that pain away? Tell me how it keeps me from having to take so many medications? Tell me how to make my knees work when the weather changes and I have so much difficulty walking from all the PT and Combat Training and Combat Zones that blew out my back and forced me to leave the Military? Tell me how the compression fracture of one of my vertebra gets put back the way it was and while you are at it, can you get my two herniated discs right below the fractured disc. I got the good kind of fracture of my vertebra the doctor told me. Did you know there was a good type? Me neither, but he said it didn’t sever my spinal cord or paralyze me or it could have easily killed me, so yeah, I got the good kind of vertebra fracture. The good kind that affects my life so cruelly. When can you make the pain it causes me not hurt me anymore? Can you fix my thyroid problems caused by environmental hazards and toxins so i don’t have to take an injection every night? Can you see the depression I have? Can you make it go away? Yeah, I look good from the outside, but can you tell I have brittle bones? Can you see if I fall that my bones could shatter? Tell me how to fix that please and I will do it? Tell my why, as a 40% Disabled Veteran with two back surgeries, the Army sent me to Afghanistan? Do I look like I went to Afghanistan? Do I look like I went to Desert Storm? Do i look like I spent about 4 1/2 years sleeping in the desert, woods, and a variety of other places and away from my family? Do I look like I have had two divorces because of my Military Service? Does it look like I have any emotional pain? Does it look like my bones hurt every day? Does it look like I have severe sinusitis from the burn pits in Afghanistan? Did it look like I had sinus infection in all my sinus cavities that they Army doctors never diagnosed? Do I look like someone that had to undergo sinus surgery to get rid of all that infection? Do I look like someone who has a serious spinal condition called spinal stenosis? Do I look like someone who loses feeling in his lower body and can’t drive because i don’t know if i can hit the brakes if I need to? Do I look like someone who has parts of his body that are numb and have no feeling? Do I look like someone that has to sleep sitting up for the past 5 years because i can’t lay down to sleep because my back hurts too much? Do I look like a 100% Disabled Veteran that has all these many disabilities that I would trade anyone with for the money i get? Do I? Do I? Do I? Think about that the next time you find out someone doesn’t look like they have a disability. I haven’t even listed all my serious medical problems or my long list of medications that i have to take, so tell me do I look like someone that is a 100% Disabled Veteran? DO I……..?????

      • lambda, I agree with you. It is hard to tell on some of us the we are indeed disabled. Both of my knees are shot and by looking at me you can’t really tell. Look into my records and you will find a completely different story.

  9. In a civilized world veterans are obligated to report medical injuries or disabilities caused by military service and this is what makes us different from primitive cultures. Suicide bombers in today’s terrorist world, Kamikazi dive bombers in World War 2, have a way of spilling over into our military’s philosophy and American life. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has evolved into a gigantic, ruthless, money-oriented corporation disguised as a federal agency. It is officially and openly controlled by a Union that will go to any length to protect its bottom line, no matter how extreme the wrongdoing, law-breaking and incompetence that goes on within its daily operations. Bert’s comment is either put there by a VA Union rep or someone with an ulterior motive against veterans. Bert and the very small percentage of society that shares his hyper suspicions on veterans disability claims likely have a hidden agenda. He is accusing veterans of cheating the legal system and earned-benefits system within the VA. But, he ignores the overwhelming research and statistics as reported in this website and elsewhere. Namely, veterans virtually never exploit the system. In fact, the obvious is true. Bert has the ability to criticize veterans who fought for his right to complain and scorn his protectors, the protectors of that very liberty that he takes advantage of. He love his freedom but hates the ones who provides it. War and the military is not a video game, it is not a movie, it is not a book, it is not a conversation or an opinion. It is a fact with consequences. Bert’s logic could be applied to fire fighters, police and even VA employees, and if it was, there would be no problem of veterans complaining about how they are routinely falsely denied hard-earned medical treatment and benefits, not to mention simple things like voc rehab. The military is in a state of disarray like no time before, with Russia doing daily fly overs of American territory, with nuclear weapons in their bomb bays, because they know the VA is tied to the military and they are going to exploit this fact. If cops and firemen were treated like veterans when they get injured in the line of duty America would quickly become a third world country because cops and fire fighters would know they could not risk injury by doing their jobs properly. VA employees and executives know they can get by with murder, but that is changing. VA employees expect their medical plans to kick in, their disability plans to kick in, their voc rehab coverage to kick in, their college tuition reimbursement plans as in the case for medical staff who can get hundreds of thousands of dollars paid for by the taxpayers. But, these same VA staff members play every devious game possible all too often when it comes to honestly and promptly processing a badly injured veteran’s claim. The tide is turning; the media is on to the old guard at the VA which is slowly changing, and quick changes in key areas are coming on a daily basis as well. People like Bert should think before they speak, unless they want that same reasoning to end up in fire department and police stations and other parts of society, which it surely will if the hyper suspicious accusers fail to admit the reality of the honor and reliability of our veterans. Policemen and firemen are often veterans, so it makes no sense to say veterans are trying to exploit the system when the opposite is true. There would be no system of any kind anywhere is it were not for the fact that our military is ready, willing and able to be a service member one minute and a badly disabled vet the next. Think about that, maybe, Bert, and your friends.

    • Why do we not have someplace to report these criminals who call themselves Directors! OIG won’t take a complaint, the Veterans Advocate will take a report but never follow up with the Veteran! Do we take matters in our own hands or WHAT!

    • I wish someone would answer me and give me some helpful advice
      Thank you
      Michael C Karg

  10. 01/14/2015

    https://www.disabledveterans.org/2014/12/17/va-officials-conspiring-rights-veterans/

    Dear Benjamin Krause and Friends,

    It is hardly ever the Employees—it is Top Management that is guilty in almost every major mismanagement case.

    Top Management tells the Employees [Procurement and Engineers—in this case Doctors and RNs and Nurses] what to think and how to think; example the N.E.A.R. Lists that are in the VA 2010 Manuals.

    Like the Management [Hood] did over at McDonnell Douglas in 1991 when they were sell out the country–see the Cox Report 1998.

    And if they cannot do that [think and act like management] they are fired—that has been America for the last 50 years.

    Today we are in a heavily monopolized environment and the as we speak the power grab around the VA Hospitals are intensifying.

    Bob McDonald, VA Secretary, receive four (4) books from me [08/08/14] on his VA Hospitals and other Congressmen have six (6) books that cover the VA Head to Toe and plus more—-I am not surprised to see our media crawling at a sails pace as the Media did back in 1988 through 1990s..

    The Mofo.com 73 page Class action lawsuit [2007] is worth every penny to read again.

    I had called it Treason at the gates of El Segundo AF Base in October of 1988 [see Roy OSI] and I can call it Treason in June of 2014—had a DCIS interview on 01/07/2015.

    It is going to take everyone from all walks of life to straighten this mess out.

    Thank you for your hard work,

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg
    Defender of the C-17

  11. I sent a letter out to the VA regional office FOIA apox 2 months ago with no response at all
    I guess I have to go back to were this nightmare began to the va hospital at american lake Lakewood Was
    Were I prevented my Biological mother was going to kill my biological father how could staff members let a woman take here children after they took the butcher knife away from her I have in my possieon papers that prove that a conspiracy against me has taken place and still is I know that Dr George Jackson gave me the clue that made me investigate and figure it out some 11 years later thank you Dr Jackson for the push that made me seriously think about the question you asked if I thought there could be a conspiracy against me

  12. First of all let me give thanks too all who have served in this great country of ours…well my story is similar to some and would greatly appreciate your thoughts as the process to file a claim for an increase to a service connected right knee. I will try to make this short as possible but as I try to give you acuarate things that are going on I don’t think it will..my first surgery was on active duty in Korea in 1988 where I tore my medial meniscus and had an athoscopy surgery done and waited until for another 8 months to get that honorable discharge as I refused a medical one, as I was gung ho and did not join are forces to get a medical discharge ( insulting ). I was released and served another 4 years at the Army national guard as a reservist on weekends, and had another surgery done to knee as it was described as a shaving of the patella horn ( whatever thing is) which was done in 1993. At that time was rated 20 percent. 2 years past with constant pain still in right knee and developed a bakers cysts in left knee from over compensating for right knee and was given numerous treatments to include steroid injections to draining of such fluids while still having more in eased pain in right knee. Then asked my left knee to be serviced connected as result of other knee and was granted at 10 percent. Now at 30 percent until 2006. As both knee in severe pain as I asked for another increase for both knees as I worked as a retail manager for entire career and found it difficult to preform my duties to my standards..Job required to hire, fire and more or less delegate jobs among employees but personally was a working manager and did a whole lot more as a regular employee as I took pride in working hard as I expected the same from my employees with the disproval of regional managers. I felt I had slowed down due to the severe pain in knees and made a tough decision that I had to resign for such position as I felt I could no longer due my duties as I was hired for. So I went through another surgery as a exploratory to see what’s wrong according to doctors and found another tear. Now as I was unemployed getting by on odd jobs and a 200 a month check as compensation at 30 percent more or less in 2006. 2007, 08, 09, 10, 11, ,12, 13, 14, 15, until today where the VA have not made a decision on my increase request that started in 2006. Where a Nod was done as I got numerous denials and my case was remanded 2 times during this period not to mention 3 more surgeries on my right knee from the high tibia osteotemy that was done in 2012, which took 9 months to recover, the pain was gone for about 3 months after and went back to even more severe pain where the surgeon determined my 8 titanium screws and a metal t-bar needed to be removed as the cement had set and strong so he preformed a removal of hardware surgery and felt a little better following that. It didn’t last long as I went through numerous injection of cortisone shots and even getting 2 series of synviks shots ( excuse my torture if spelling ) and draining of fluids in left knee. On March 12th I had a Total knee replacement where I was hospitalized for 8 days after surgery where this was the worst decision I have ever made in lifetime as I felt pain like never before following surgery, physical therapy tried making me walk a d couple of days after and I couldn’t put any pressure on knee as the pain never left, a few days later PT returned and insisted I walk but ( not that I was lazy ) I really couldn’t do it, Doctor says pain should have subsided by now with the meds but really didn’t as I thought it actually increased. I finally was able to walk about 5 steps after the 5 day in hospital with help from others and was released 8 days after surgery where it was the hardest recovery I have ever had. Where a couple of episodes where I would even sob as the pain would not go away. As I recover and went through 12 sessions of physical therapy and numerous visits to Doctor complaining and insisting something is not right, as he passed it off as this is something you have to go through as it’s perfectly normal to still have pain 6 months later. Barely walking with help of crutches as pain has not subsided. More visits to Doctor where I used my secondary insurance as I needed a second opinion to knee. Non VA Doctor at Presbyterian said my it was obvious your knee didn’t accept the hardware of the replacement as there were still swelling in knee and he said there is too much give in the knee as he bent it sideways. He want to tighten up the hardware and put a wedge of some sort in the spot of looseness to give me more support. I didn’t do anything he requested but took note from him to my doctor at the VA and show him the other doctors findings as he still didn’t admit anything was wrong saying the othe Doctor has his opinion. Still nothing was done as I am now having my knee collapse as I am falling down with regularity and have no balance, not to mention a lot of pain. Surgeon who did surgery was placed elseware as I am seen by yet another doctor at VA as of last week he and his assosiate determined there is something wrong (Duh !) what I have been telling you and now has scheduled me for another surgery calling it a revised Total knee replacement on December 7th, with regards to compensation I was given the temp 100 percent for a year then automatically was given a rating of 30 percent on August 2016 for TKR on right knee where still waiting on decision from board about appeal. Forgot to mention 3 months ago got a letter stating that the judge who remanded my case is no longer working for the VA and I have to make another decision on my intentions giving it more time on top of my almost 10 year wait..figures. As of last week I was given a increase to my right knee another 30 percent as I am 70 percent but was automatically given due to severity of knee replacement. FINALLY MY QUESTION IS THIS,
    Since 2006 when I filed for a increase for both knee and having numerous numerous injections and drainings and having 3 severe surgeries and am scheduled for a forth, don’t you think the VA would having givin me at least another 10 percent rating? I really think they are waiting for me to die before they have to make a decision…thank you

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