The Trump Administration announced this week it has selected a replacement for Thomas Murphy at the head of Veterans Benefits Administration named Paul Lawrence, PhD.

The announcement comes just ahead of reports that IG is just finishing up an investigation into corruption and mismanagement of funds within Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Lawrence is a longtime consultant and expert on leadership within the public sector.

Veterans have waited 2.5 years for a political appointee to lead benefits following the departure of Allison Hickey after she was linked to a fraud investigation involving two of her subordinates. Since that point, VBA has been a mess of misappropriation and misdirection while hamstringing veterans appealing bad decisions.

Thomas Murphy, an Agent Orange denier, is the present head of VBA and winning an award for his stellar veteran advocacy despite pushing advancements in veterans benefits adjudications back a few decades. If Lawrence is appointed, Murphy will likely try to stay on in some capacity because he lacks a retirement like many other of his cronies. Once he gets the golden handcuffs, he will probably hit the road.

RELATED: Murphy Wins Award From DAV For ‘Outstanding’ Veterans Advocacy, Entire Advocacy Community Baffled

Paul Lawrence, an Army veteran, should bring a fresh approach to VBA including having a brain that works. The age of incompetent and dispassionate leadership should be coming to an end. Lawrence is a Virginia Tech educated economist with a laundry list of books and research notes on his CV.

Hopefully, as he makes decisions, there will be some logic and reason behind it rather than cronyism and political kickbacks as we have seen for the past 8 years.

Paul Lawrence, PhD Biography

According to his biography:

Paul R. Lawrence is a Public Sector Vice President with Kaiser Associates, a distinctive professional services firm that helps executives make more informed strategic and operational decisions by incorporating external insights and analysis. Paul helps government leaders address their challenges by developing and then implementing unique solutions.

Mr. Lawrence has 30 years of experience working closely with government leaders. Prior to joining Kaiser Associates, Mr. Lawrence was a Partner at Ernst & Young, a Vice President with Accenture, an Executive Director with the MITRE Corporation, a Vice President with IBM Business Consulting Services, and a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He has researched and written extensively on management and government. He is the co-author of Succeeding as a Political Executive: 50 Insights from Experience; What Government Does: How Political Executives Manage; and Paths to Making a Difference: Leading in Government. He is the co-editor of Transforming Organizations and Learning the Ropes: Insights for Political Appointees. He has testified before Congress and several state legislatures. He serves on the Board of Advisors to the Economic Program at the University of Massachusetts and has served on the Board of Advisors of the Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program at The College of William and Mary. He was twice selected by Federal Computer Week as one of the top 100 public service business leaders.

What Do You Think?

The duration of the confirmation process and outcome at this point is unknown, but political wrangling from Democrats about unrelated matters could risk stalling the process at least somewhat.

I’ll be glad to see all Allison Hickey’s team finally removed from the agency after the trainwreck of reforms they rolled out costing taxpayers billions while also curiously impeeding on the progress of granting veterans their benefits.

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92 Comments

  1. I swear Trump has to know about this site! We were just talking about Murphy yesterday and today we get the news that he is out! Have faith brothers and sisters! With that said, “Fuck you VA, there are still several meatloafs that need baking!”

    • DITTO! That was my 1st thought also. (Thanks for getting rid of the bad man mommy!). If Trump is checking in he couldn’t have picked a better place to keep up on the REAL truth that is going on out there. We don’t want to be here for the soul purpose of complaining about all the wrongs, lies, deceptions and pain that the VA has caused us. We’d rather be here to shoot the shit and have a couple shots with our morning coffee. Make it so, Trump.

      • Don’t you just love how these VA hacks are supposedly dishing-out and touting that world-class healthcare yet, people like Murphy at the VA display the epitome of healthy lifestyles by possessing a gravitational field around their engorged chair-warmers?

        If Thomas Murphy were to now head-up a local chapter of ‘Weight-Watchers’, he would hold the roll-calls at each meeting with a slingshot and a case of Ho Ho’s. ~~*THOOMP*~~

      • It would be a commercial similiar to Bush beans,” Roll that beautiful bean footage” Then his fat ass strolls across the screen, fartn with each step!
        Shittin, fartn and carrying on!
        #SFACO It is like a FICO score instead it is FACO . They rate each other based on it. Pigs in a blanket, Shittin and stanking!

      • Lol , no way, I have been around too many hard charging Gunnys to resort to being an unsat fatty! That is one lesson I learned from the Corps

  2. When they ‘Round-Up’ Murphy to the swamp curb, check the piggy ass-cheeks for an industrial tattoo that simply states, “Monsanto Asshole Dickhead” (MAD).

    Oh, and everyone that was involved in thinking Agent Orange Denier Murphy would be a grand choice to head-up VA Benefits Office should be tossed-out with the orange bathwater.

    Why? The reasons are very obvious. Murphy’s presence at BVA is that blatantly aggressive indifference the VA possesses, but just doesn’t get it! I will go as far as stating Murphy’s hire as head of BVA was what the abnormal psych folk love to call PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE psy-ops. All to fuck with the Vets!

    An analogy: Had the U.S. Military allowed surviving Nazi Leadership to conduct those Nuremburg Trials and administer judgments against U.S./Joint Forces Troops for bringing the Nazi’s down.

    CONFLICT OF INTEREST YOU ASSHOLES!

    All for the Vets…

    (rant out)

    • Absolutely, you won’t have any change until you toss out all of those boobs who put Murphy in his slot to impede the administration of benefits. Rooter Man UP!

  3. Will Dr. Lawrence give us his e-mail address and cellphone number; spotcheck our queries; assign a trusted aide to review *every* query; be attentive to veterans who have “fallen through the cracks”; be doubly attentive to veterans VA has EXTRUDED through the cracks?

    • We need to DEMAND this, not to ask. Somehow we have been relegated to beggars instead of holders of the reins., Great suggestion, Frank but instead of “giving” us his email address and cell phone number, He needs to be REQUIRED, MANDATED to give us a valid access to review of actions by the boobs’ acions.

    • This is the question that burns a hole in my chest. Who will check on the forgotten vets? If I am disabled from spinal cord injury, injury to my leg, shoulder and arm, tbi, ptsd etc and no longer able to work why am I being stonewalled from 100% benefits and being told I was never in combat when I have physical pictures and medals to the contrary. Who will go back through and be the angel of mercy able to recognize the VA gives full rides to liars, scammers and pogues but shafts legit combat vets like me. If I have to live the rest of my life miserably in pain @ 60% ($16,900 a year or so) I think it might bebe time to do something drastic. Why are scumbags at the VA kept fat at the trought? Maybe it’s time the farm had a ham jubilee. VA can suck my fat white common access card. Btw, anyone spare a hamburger? My car broke down this month and I’ve been scraping rice together and I’m just getting over bad flu and I’m terribly hungry.

    • PS: Will President Trump please snatch back the White House Veterans Complaint Hotline?

      Supposedly, the Hotline was *designed* to “collect, process and respond to the complaints of individual veterans in a responsive, timely and accountable manner,” according to Department of Veterans Affairs officials.” (See Leo Shane III’s piece in 6/1/2017 Military “Times.”)

      The reality, at least in my experience, is diametrically opposite.

      • The OIG also refuses to address issues as well. A jackass name Steven (pseudo name ) rude as fuck. Probably another fuck boy. The hotline refers it back to the Agency with the same bullshit results as usual. Sending certified mail with signature verification is my alternate method from now on.

      • This is the same tactic that is being used at the Wilmington, Delaware VA Medical Center. I had called the Director’s office, they referred it right back to the VA PCP. All the time that was why I was calling them. Circles, and circle-jerks all through the VA and overseeing Offices. Got stalling tactic to cause Vets to get frustrated, and to give up in seeking proper care. Precision Medicine at its finest level of Bull Shit.

  4. Thomas Murphy will still be held responsible for decisions or lack of even when he has departed the VA. Thank you, President Trump for listening to all of the e-mails, twitters posts, letters and correspondence sent through The White House. Veterans alive and dead documents have been “DESTROYED” and then “AWARDED” after the fact in which the case is nobody knows except the employees at the VA. Its catching now because of employees at the DMV who are issuing duplicate “DRIVERS LICENSES” in Veterans and their “SURVIVING SPOUSES” names. These actions are all connected to the “IDENTITY THEFT” that is ramped at the Veterans Benefits Administration. Now that the Social Security Department has raised “HELL” about the “NUMIDENT” Files being incomplete (Verifies a Veteran is Deceased so payments can stop) and the “BIRLS” Files (Verifies who the true beneficiary is) now payments can start being made and payments that have been made to employees at the VA, friends and family members can stop. This also means that thousands of people are getting ready to be arrested for receiving benefits/money that is intended for the Veterans and their Surviving Spouses. I have been following this pattern for six years and I can honesty say that this “BULLSHIT” looks like it is finally coming to an head. Quancidine Hinson-Gribble, February 23, 2018

    • Yes, I just received a document, VA 21-0538, (which expired one year ago), that wants to know if my wife, (who has ovarian cancer) is still my wife?? When I called the poobahs at the VA they told me that this was a “standard” form being sent out to ALL veterans who have wives and children attached to their benefits. Now I am going to verify that this is the case, and if I find out that I was singled out for any illegitimate reasons I will be making a little trip down to my local U.S. District Court to file an action requiring someone to appear and explain, at the very least and ask for damages for my inconvenience and defamation, etc. Anything the VA does seems to get fucked up.

  5. First, I’m glad Murphy is on his way out!
    Secondly, I’m glad we veterans might see something good coming out of Mr. Lawrence being put in the VBA position. On the other hand, his being connected to Kaiser worries me. We’ve had commenters on here, who we have highly respected, inform us of the egregious acts committed against their patients.
    Is this going to be another “wait and see situation”? I, along with many on here, are tired of the “wait and see situations”!

  6. Again, its interesting how fast VA leadership can move to effectively remove someone when that someone is within their own house. I wish they would move just as fast and effectively when it is someone harming veterans.

    Murphy should have never made it into the position with his views on Agent Orange…and likely many other veteran health issues.

    Murphy denying health effects from AO exposure was something that should not have been heard 20 years ago let alone in 2018. That some Home Depot marketing executive was allowed to ignore 20 years of medical research and medical history of veteran’s showing clusters of specific illnesses is shocking and should have resulted in his ass being thrown out long ago.

    That’s like the plumber saying exposure to all forms of radiation no longer causes cancer.

    Murphy warming a chair at VA for as long as he has says much about the VA itself, and should say a lot to veterans when you think of the impact this nitwit had on VA policy.

    What impact did he have on veterans trying to get care for AO related disease because he may have issued some policy restricting access? Same question can be asked about children with health effects from their AO exposed father.

    What Ben wrote the other day about Murphy being butthurt because that asshole thought he was passed over, and how he treated Shulkins staff was interesting.

    Its infuriating to know he might get removed because of Shulkin being butthurt and his staff treated poorly by Murphy rather than Murphy’s views that directly harmed veterans.

    • You are right 91! I thought all of the jobs monitored through OPM had an assessment for KSAs Knowledge, Skills, Ability. He has never stepped foot in any capacity to know the effects of Agent Orange, which specifically is a selective herbicide. He would have to hold a degree in biochemical engineering, horticulture, hematology and si on. His MOS did not have any association with the subject matter.
      His MOS read Fat Guy.

      • I don’t know that OPM KSAs are considered for a position at his level as much as having the right political connections.

        WTF kind of Knowledge, Skill or Ability could he bring from Qwest or Home Depot executive positions that have any bearing on veterans health care? When was the last time he ever stepped foot into a VA hospital?

        He was a gun bunny initially, then was a staff puke after. In other words, he doesn’t have a damn clue about veterans exposed to AO, or what many other veterans may have experienced.

        Murphy got his job because he likely made the right political donations, and knew the right VSOs that would recommend him for the job.

        Veterans health care doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with how he got his job.

        I am not being harsh at you CU, but the attitude of some unqualified bastard in a VA position making policy against veterans pisses me off. The VA has knowingly done that for years, without any thought to the dead vets such fucked up thinking creates.

      • You are absolutely justified in your feelings. I get frustrated all the time with VA and the government position on vetting people to hold key positions that affects someone’s life.
        Like a healthcare provider lecturing about health and they are fatter than fat.
        I am not listening to a healthcare provider with a fucked up posture… just ain’t happening.

    • If they faced litigation where they were made to represent themselves individually and clog the system, there would be changes made.

  7. Why not just pass a law that tells this VA agency what to go do with itself and then instead of policy makers we would send in law makers to see that they do it? We could eliminate this position altogether irregardless of the honest bent of the individual selected.

    • Yes they have created in wonderful bureaucratic fashion, another bump in the road to what should be a simple straightforward process of administering benefits

  8. Well if my POTUS Trump is reading this site, then here is a VA Medical Center that has been in the spotlight before, due to a past Director holding back from giving pertinent information during an investigation. And CorpsmanUp, you know this to be true as well.

    VA Medical Center of Wilmington, Delaware

    President Trump, all you need to do, is to contact the owner of this Blog, Ben Krause (Ben, you have my permission to give out my contact information).

    When I first went to this facility for healthcare 5 years ago, I walked in unassisted with my K9 PTSD Service Dog. Now, I’m in a hospital bed.

    Mr. President, I’m an Investigative Research Biologist, I train my own service dogs, and if you contact me, I’ll be a Veteran Informer. This incompetent medical care, and the intentional infliction of physiological and emotional distress has to stop. It’s killing me, and I’ve have directly spoken to my Medical Providers about how I disagree with their Medical Directives to no avail.

    They have broken multiple patient care agreements, trampled on the VA’s Mission Statement, the Patient Engagement Practices Guidelines, the Pain Management Policy, and the VA’s Patient Aligned Care Team Guidelines. I don’t trust them. And I’m standing up to them, and not being intimidated by their misuse and abuse of powers.

    Contact me Mr. President, and I give you access to all my personal medical notes. Sir, my wife wants her husband back, and I want to be able to gain as much health back as possible. But I can’t do it because of the incompetent care at this VA Medical Center.

    I’ve also contacted the hosptal’s Director to no avail. They don’t care whatsoever about my expectations and values about my care. And, I’ve been at the bargaining table many times, but they just use this along with their manipulation schemes. And as a result, I suffer, but for what? This is sick, so I ask you to please intervene.

    • I know who you are talking about. You have Dewey the NP who is a dirt bag. Vincent Kane, full scale jackass. There was Litle who wrote in my record, 8 months after I was no longer there. They had legionella samplings that came up positive in areas of the hospital that was not disclosed to the public.
      Senator Carper knew about all of this as well as Carney and Coons

      • CorpsmanUp – I had Dewey, and we didn’t get along. I asked for additional but reasonable blood tests due to my age, and health condition. And, when I first explained this to him, and Dewey said no, I jumped out of the chair, got in his face, and called him an asshole. He immediately transferred me to another PCP, and I have the same problems.

        I’ve never in my life, experienced such poor, and life threatening care from medical providers. The Wilmington, Delaware VA is a threat to Veterans. At least in my opinion. I’m on my 5th PCP, a once per year change. They treat you like they own you, and I for one, sure as hell didn’t sign up for this, nor will I be intimidated, whether they have my by my nads or not.

        The more that they act in such an unprofessional manner, the more I become firmly placed, and not budging due to their intimidation practices. It’s so bad, that the trust is gone, and I have NO faith in them whatsoever.

        When I get rested up some, because it takes a lot of emotional energy to keep repeating things over, and over, I’m going to post just a short segment of their medical screw ups that they have done to me.

        In the meantime, here is my direct bedside number, 302-894-3135. With both of our backgrounds, stubbornness, and the willingness to stand up to these corrupt bass-turds, we really should hook up and discuss matters. Give me a call, we need to stick together.

        I’m always home, laid up unfortunately in a hospital bed, and can sure use another Brother against a wicked mother fuckner; the VA.

      • 5 pm or so time frame is set-up for you. I just wanted to make sure that we have enough time to have our first chat. As you know, so many things are happening fast, that I like to watch the 6:30pm news. Talk with you then.

    • Here is a case of where an immediate intervention AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MISTREATMENT by a well trained lawyer with ‘retractable’ fangs. If you had been able to stop this at the beginning then you would not be suffering as you are. We all face the bureaucracy which is the tail wagging the dog. This must stop.

    • I’m rowing with you in the same canoe. I’m not in a hospital bed but I am disabled with painful unhealed wartime injuries and I have been turned out by the federal insurance company called veterans affairs.

      • DisabledForgottenOIFveteran – Brother I’m a little new at all this, but I learn at a fast clip. When I read your post, my nostrils flared yet again. It happens all the time after reading what my Brothers and Sisters reveal per their circumstance or treatment by the VA, whether the Claims or Medical Side.

        If you can at all possible, try to find someway to locate a caring, understanding, and unafraid Veteran friend in your area. I feel your distress, and believe me, posting helps a lot, but there’s nothing like having another Vet in agreement with you. I say this even though I found none in my area, but hopefully that may change as of today.

        Vets are people too, their under a lot stress, and because they are going through their own ordeals with the VA, they may not have the energy to hang in there with you. Just saying from experience. That’s why from experience, that I’ve come to this conclusion.

        At this point in time, I don’t know what to tell you to do, but to only post short blurbs that relate to your particular grievances and frustrations with and from the VA. I’m just keeping it real, and in no way ignoring your calls for help. I’m doing the same myself, and if and when, I discover ways to kick the damn doors open in the VA, I will share it here on Ben’s blog.

        A word of warning as you may have read above. I know what these frustrations can make you do, especially as you observe your body breaking down, noticing premature aging, and knowing that your situation isn’t right, but I do agree, you need intervention. With this being sad, what ever you do, make no threats about going after or doing any harm, and directing these towards the VA, elected officials, or anyone for that matter. But expressions of humor and telling these officials to get off their butts and to do something is fair game in my book. Like this,

        “Hey Politicians, you’ve got to know after reading all these posts from Veterans, that the VA needs to be overhauled, in order to assist the Veterans of the 21st. Century. So get off your fucking damn ass and do your fucking jobs. If it weren’t for Veterans, you’d have no damn freedoms, rights, or collecting kickbacks from all the monies that are wasted in NOT taking care of Veterans properly.”

        And, if you do have those types of feelings, and you may think that you writings are in borderline, either don’t publish it, or put a disclosure on the end of your comment, stating that you’re just expressing yourself, and that you’re intention is to do no harm. Myself, I’d prefer the former, but I’ve done the latter as well.

        I say this, because you don’t need any unwarranted stress on you. It’ll just make your situation worse. Keep your head up, and hopefully someone may REALLY take my post at heart, and offer you some other things that you maybe to do, so that you may possibly find a Patriotic Warrior (don’t take me out of context here), that is around your area so that you may find a Vet buddy, and share stories with each other.

        This is the best that I can offer as help. I’m fucking stuck, and it surely pisses me the hell off. I’m going to quit here because I feel those warnings of, that I might say something that may have me tagged on this site, like I believe that I am at the VA Hospital. But like I still tell them, “GO FUCK YOURSELF BITCH.” I’ll be scanning and ready posts. But I wanted to make sure that you felt very comfortable in expressing yourself.

  9. Reposting this for relevance:

    “By April 1993, the Department of Veterans Affairs had compensated only 486 victims, although it had received disability claims from 39,419 soldiers who had been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam”.

    “https://books.google.com/books?id=3t84d8tLEVcC&pg=PA178#v=onepage&q&f=false”

    • That stat is absurd. We can’t even trust the ones that are supposed to stand by our side, the ones that are responsible for assisting us to gain back as much as our normal life as medically possible. Precision Healthcare? Far from it.

      • I believe the stats are even worse for Gulf War vets being service connected for undiagnosed illnesses.

        The last I saw stats published, I believe it was less than 2000 out of many thousands of claims filed that were service connected.

        I say, the last I saw stats published because when I was looking for it, I found an article quoting the VA that they no longer make public how many Gulf War veterans are service connected for undiagnosed illnesses. I think they no longer publish it because it would clearly show how the VA has ignored the law and how low that number actually is.

        What better way to ignore a huge group of veterans? Refuse to provide a diagnosis for years, claim the diagnosis a veteran might get is not service connected, then when congress passes a law allowing service connection for undiagnosed illnesses because the VA is too fucking incompetent to diagnose, ignore the law…and ignore the veteran.

      • Your statement says it all, “I think they no longer publish it because it would clearly show how the VA has ignored the law and how low that number actually is.”

        Knowing this, is all the more reason to clean the corrupt SOB’s out of the VA, so that we Vets can be properly treated, and that our claims can be justified per our conditions, that has left us to struggle to maintain a life of well-being to its maximum.

        Clean up the damn corrupt VA Mr. President. I know it takes time, but it’s so bad, that once you get started, and have successful cases of removing these dirt bags, the word of mouth will spread like wild fire because they’ll (corrupt VA employees), know that you’re not playing around with their evil and wicked behavior, ANYMORE.

        Mr. President, a HUGE Thank you.

        PS- If you create a Special Task Force, one not connected to the leadership of the VA, the force will not only be successful, but the Taxpayers will finally get their monies worth, and the lives of many Vets will be not only be saved, but they shall be honored as they should be.

    • namnibor,
      I’m one of those 39,419 vets who put in for multiple medical conditions related to AO.
      I’m NOT one of the 486 who’ve received any form of compensation for those conditions. Even though my medical records clearly state them and the cause!
      The sooner Murphy is gone, the better! My hopes are Paul Lawrence will do right by the veterans who are still alive!

      I’m still waiting!

      • I’m with you, Crazy elf…
        Not just myself, but my adult age offspring, exhibiting various symptoms/conditions of AO.
        But, most memorable to me, is Shulkin not signing documents expanding the list of AO related diseases. Little things, like bladder cancer and other forms of Neurological conditions.
        Just waiting for us to die.
        I’m not holding my breath for any resolution to our concerns. My compassion for the burn pit Veterans…the justice hasn’t, really, started.
        Too little, too late.

    • Sounds like criminal misfeasance and malfeasance to me, just a lil old guy who went to a podunk law school. How can someone who intentionally impeded care and compensation be awarded a Gold Star on his forehead when a dot should appear on his forehead instead?

    • There are two venues of compensation for Agent Orange.

      If you were treated for more than one year for any reason by the VA you were eligible for a “share” of the law suit proceeds from the manufacturers. I was eligible but chose not to dilute the amount received by those who were poisoned as opposed to exposed. I was only exposed with a quick wash off while many were drenched with no place to wash off for hours.

      If you contract one of the agent orange listed “conditions” of which there are many particularly forms of cancer, you are compensated under schedular disability by VA disability compensation. The nexus is only that you were in Vietnam during the spraying.

      So claims for the second part, the VA claim depend upon contracting one of the conditions identified as related to Agent Orange. Yes, there are 39,419 veterans on the rolls as having been exposed. But that doesn’t mean there are 39,414 individuals that have identified a disabling disease from that exposure. The 486 victims compensated were probably from those who were drenched and not lucky enough to have a rain could come by in a timely manner. It is not surprising that were poisoned individuals knew each other and filed the law suit together with NOK of those who died.

      So what percentage of that 39,414 were just joining PTSD groups for a year to get a piece of the billions awarded by the civil court? Of course most went to Attorneys and the NOK of those who died of the conditions. Much is still waiting to be distributed. My wife knows that if I die of one of the listed conditions a claim for a part of that is open for her. But I didn’t want a part of the “just exposed” distribution because it was not separated from those who were poisoned and could expect to develop one of the listed conditions.

      • Lem,
        I was in the first batch of vets who applied for the monies. After everything was said and done, I received nothing!
        I was told by many, no one will receive any of monies except the children affected and widows!
        When I received the “folder” it was plain and simple – few would receive!

      • Too many claimed who didn’t rate. My first PTSD group had 14 to 18 members on a daily basis until the year of qualification ended. It then dropped to 3 of us that were actually there for PTSD and not primarily to qualify for part of that Billion Dollar award that is probably setting in an account earning the lawyers interest.

        I’m surprised people like you haven’t gotten attorneys to sue the attorneys that are holding the money.

      • Lem, I fully understand your thinking in not submitting a claim or not wanting to dilute what others receive. Could others have taken action to take advantage of the situation? Its very possible.
        My concern is with you commenting on exposed versus drenched. You can think about your own exposure however you want, you have that right, but it should not translate as being the same exposure for every other veteran exposed.

        The problem I see with it is it is very similar to what the VA likely used since veterans returned from Vietnam to deny any health effects from those exposed, drenched, swimming in it, etc.

        I can picture a VA doctor using all kinds of excuses when telling a vet their exposure was not enough to cause their medical condition.

        It all ignores no ability to measure exposure amount, how long they were exposed, ingestion, how they ingested it whether through their skin or eating or water or other ways. It also ignores the varying health effects of a chemical on different individuals.

        Some people can be exposed to a chemical and never have any effect. Some people can be exposed to a tiny drop of the same chemical and have a severe reaction. Some people eat peanuts, others end up in the ER or dead just from eating a tiny amount.

        “Well, you were just exposed for a short time, so your cancer can’t be from AO.”
        “Well, you were exposed, but you were able to wash it off quickly”.
        “Well, you were drenched, but you were able to wash it off in that river”.
        “Well, you were only exposed when unloading those barrels. And even though you unloaded them every day for 6 months, each daily exposure is counted only once because you showered every night, and there’s nothing that accumulates in the body from every daily exposure”.

        After 50 years, I can guarantee you the VA has mountains of detailed data on exactly what health effects are common in Vietnam vets whether their exposure was walking by an empty barrel or they were drenched daily.

        This many years later, they have a soil test to determine how much dioxin is in soil in Vietnam that affects Vietnamese still living where it was sprayed, but they can’t tell what health effects a veteran might suffer?

        How do I know the VA uses these excuses? I heard the same ones when I went to the VA as a Gulf War vet on Depleted Uranium, chemical warfare agents, oil smoke, unapproved vaccines and other things.

        I can bet the VA is telling Burn Pit vets the same thing.

        The names of the wars change, but the bullshit excuses from the VA stay exactly the same, and vets suffer from them.

      • The nexus is there. If you are on the list and you develop one of the conditions you are service connected for the condition. I’m wondering, since Crazy Elf never got anything, if the VA got the money to cover if you contract one of the conditions.

        Has anyone ever read the Court’s Decision?

      • Lem,
        From what I was told, only the attorneys received the bulk of the settlement!
        I believe it totalled around $53 million. At which time was the largest settlement to date – early 1980’s!

      • 1984 180 Million: “https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/claims-postservice-agent_orange-settlement-settlementFund.asp”

        The part I copied and pasted didn’t turn out well. Recommend you go to the link.

        The Agent Orange Settlement Fund was created by the resolution of the Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation – a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnam Veterans and their families regarding injuries allegedly incurred as a result of the exposure of Vietnam Veterans to chemical herbicides used during the Vietnam war. The suit was brought against the major manufacturers of these herbicides. The class action case was settled out-of-court in 1984 for $180 million dollars, reportedly the largest settlement of its kind at that time.
        The Settlement Fund was distributed to class members in accordance with a distribution plan established by United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who presided over the litigation and the settlement. Because the plaintiff class was so large (an estimated 10 million people), the Fund was distributed to class members in the United States through two separate programs designed to provide maximum benefits to Vietnam Veterans and their families most in need of assistance:
        A Payment Program, which provided cash compensation to totally-disabled Veterans and survivors of deceased Veterans; and
        A Class Assistance Program, which provided funds for social services organizations and networks for the purpose of establishing and maintaining programs for the benefit of the class as a whole.
        This plan for distributing the Settlement Fund was unprecedented: it employed mechanisms not previously adopted in class action lawsuits in order to maximize benefits to class members and to respond to the complex needs expressed by the class during a series of “Fairness Hearings” held in six different locations in the country.
        Applications for the Payment Program had to be submitted prior to December 31, 1994. To be eligible for compensation under the Payment Program, Vietnam Veterans or their survivors had to establish the following:
        that the Veteran served in Vietnam as a member of the Armed Forces between 1962 and 1972 (the period during which Agent Orange was used in Vietnam);
        that the applicant was either a totally-disabled Vietnam Veteran or the survivor of a deceased Vietnam Veteran;
        that based upon the circumstances of the Veteran’s service (including location of service and particular experiences during service), the Veteran met a test of probable exposure to herbicides;
        that death or disability was not caused by a traumatic or accidental occurrence; and
        that death or disability occurred before December 31, 1994.
        The Payment Program operated over a period of 6 years, beginning, after appeals, in 1988 and concluding in 1994. During its operation, the Settlement Fund distributed a total of $197 million in cash payments to members of the class in the United States. Of the 105,000 claims received by the Payment Program, approximately 52,000 Vietnam Veterans or their survivors received cash payments which averaged about $3,800 each.
        The other part of the Settlement Fund, the Class Assistance Program, was intended by the distribution plan to function as a foundation. Between 1989 and 1996 it distributed, through a series of Requests for Proposal, $74 million to 83 social services organizations throughout the United States. These agencies, which ranged from disability and Veterans service organizations to community-based not-for-profits, provided counseling, advocacy, medical and case-management services. During this period, these organizations assisted over 239,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families.

      • Lem,
        Here’s another article out from;
        *”The Embryo Project Encyclopedia”*
        Titled;

        “In Re: Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation (1979-1984)”

        By: Alexis Abboud
        Published: 2010-04-10

        From the article: quote: “The chemical companies settled the case out of court in 1984 for $180 million, to be used for medical expenses or compensation for death relating to veterans exposure to Agent Orange.” Unquote!

        Basically, it tells the same thing as what you posted.
        I was looking it up as you were posting!

  10. So is Trump doing the typical thing done with low/no performing feds – which is to hire another person to do their job (in other words, two people doing one person’s job)?

    I mean, is he gonna fire Shulkin or fill key positions around him to fix the VA? If Trump’s gonna replace key people, I’m still upset that Shulkin will be kept on the payroll while other people carry his weight. And a year from now, is the DAV (Dumb, Azzkissing, Vampires) gonna have a ceremony praising Shulkin for doing nothing except for taking credit on work of others?

    Lastly, is this Trump’s thing to create conflict/drama? We already have Shulkin crying that there’s an attempt to overthrow his dictatorship, so key people beneath him with different views going to create another whinning session of Shulkin crying about another coup?

  11. Hopefully the next one to go is James Sampsel who is the Agent Orange Desk Monitor and who admitted to the March 2017 Advisory Committee to the Disability Compensation (ACDC) that he told Archivist Barry Spink (Air Force Historical Research Agency) to issue a letter saying there were no herbicides in Thailand which the GS-11 Spink did. A document the VA uses to deny benefits and is not true. The Joint Services Records Research Center issues a Dec 2011 memo stating herbicides were shipped from water ports in the US to water ports in Vietnam and Thailand. This appears to be collusion by individuals of the government to deny claims and benefits. Hopefully someone in the Trump Administration reads this post and takes action!

  12. Thanks for your excellent work, Ben. I have long maintained that the appellate process was a fraud and used only for putting off the granting of benefits to veterans unfairly, Then the process begins where you have your one lawyer or VSO go up against a TEAM of Harvard trained lawyers, who pick apart the presentation of your case making a MOCKERY of the “Benefit of the Doubt” Standard which is supposed to operate in the granting of benefits at the very start. The APPELLATE SYSTEM IS A FRAUD UPON VETERANS.
    I have long proposed that AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF A CLAIM, a lawyer and a doctor should be paid by the Government to put your claim together, so there would be less delay and” boondoggery” by government boobs. (Smart but corrupted OILY SLITHERING SNAKES)
    At the very, very minimum I have been advising my fellow vets when they were turned down to immediately call for a “HEARING ON THE RECORD” so that any ridiculous tomfoolery by the VA will be right there up front, on the record and the vet’s lawyer can strike down the VA’s shitty efforts to deny the claim and call them out and can be dealt with by disciplining those boobs. Shorten the “appellate” process which has become a mockery of due process and fair justice. Regarding this GIGANTIC BOOB TOM MURPHY WHO SHOULD BE IN PRISON cannot imagine who nominated this cur, and we need to establish WHO, WHO “LET THE DOGS OUT” AND NOMINATED THIS CORRUPT SON OF A BITCH.
    Can you come up with a cause of action that will cause the removal of this criminal, Murphy, and retro-actively remove this reward which will signal that there is a checks and balances system to prevent the sliding by of such terrible deeds.
    Lastly, we need to put together a source of funds (possible donations from all veterans) which will fund immediate legal actions by highly competent lawyers EVERYTIME THESE BOOBS ACT IN ANY OTHER WAY THAN IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF VETERANS. Here we are sitting around with our weapons pissed off but with no ammunition. So many vets on this site have made such BRILLIANT suggestions, like Dennis, Corpsman Up, Seymore Klearly, Namnibor, Crazy Elf, 91 Veteran and many others. The time for talking is over, we have let others take control of our future with regards to benefits and medical care,…NOW WE NEED TO PUSH ASIDE THE BULLSHITTERS AND TAKE THE REINS. Any ideas out there, or from you, Ben.
    We were trained not to sit around and hide when the enemy was shooting at us. We were always trained to have a plan for ATTACK. Attack we must, but we must have a good plan. Semper Fi

    • Hopefully there should be a way to challenge the denier on grounds that he is not qualified in his position. It is like challenging jurisdiction in a court. I am pretty sure if you cite Haines v Kerner in your rebuttal, it will get remanded. Haines v Kerner has not been overturned.

    • The implementation of your statement would tremendously streamline the claims process,

      “I have long proposed that AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF A CLAIM, a lawyer and a doctor should be paid by the Government to put your claim together, so there would be less delay and” boondoggery” by government boobs. (Smart but corrupted OILY SLITHERING SNAKES)”

  13. This has been a long time problem. In the 1970s my VA Ed checks didn’t come. I was then charged for an overpayment that was taken out of my future VA Ed Checks and VA compensation when it began in the mid 1980s.

    I ask for an audit and copies of the checks because the audit showed payments that didn’t match deposits in my bank account. The VA was unable to produce the checks so I could see where they were cashed, verify the signature etc. No way to find out if the check that went out had my name on it or someone else’s. No way to find out if someone filched the checks out of the mail and get law enforcement to investigate. No way to trace the transactions.

    Travel pay, when it was done in cash was another problem. I received varying amounts for the same trip. Suspected the travel agents were taking my form, giving me partial and then putting another form in the file with the correct amount letting them lift cash from the till. Not long after I wrote to the IG about this problem we heard about the Benefits Section Fraud. And not long after that the payments had to be by check or direct deposit. The direct deposit recently is very fast after they streamlined the travel claim at the Kiosk. Big step in the right direction.

    • Lem,
      Since you brought up the issue of travel pay fraud. Here’s something of interest.
      A few years ago, the DAV (high state officials) were caught, yet never prosecuted, over travel fraud.
      What they were doing was, using their vans to allegedly take vets in for appointments. Only, instead of filling out the paperwork with the correct information, they would add names to the list. Basically putting names on the list who were not there!
      During this time period, and until this “Fraud Scheme” was uncovered in multiple states, VA travel – as you know – paid in cash. Their scheme began around 2006 and ended around 2012!
      When it came to light, VA began to send off the documentation to wherever travel is adjudicated. Then the vets travel pay was sent direct deposit or a check to the vet.
      For example; here in Florida, our travel documentation goes up to somewhere in Pennsylvania. When they receive it they “double check the information with the travel office in Florida” to insure the vet did – in fact – go to his/her appointment!
      This was ALL due to the corrupt DAV!!!!!!

  14. So, completely off topic. I just received a visit from 2 local cops accompanied by a DHS special agent regarding comments I have made on this website regarding the VA and the need for gunfire. I absolutely will not back down from exercising my first amendment rights to speak my mind in the land of the free.

    According to this DHS special agent my comments where reported by somebody they have no clue who. The overall feel I got of the visit was “just doin muh job”

    I was advised by the special agent to watch what I say especially in the current culture of violence. My comments where made on an article back in Dec from what I could gather. Asked my history etc etc thanked me for my time and my service blah blah blah.

    Be careful what you post. It is being watched, unless this is all just the result of a pissy little bitch with thin skin. That’s it’s own separate issue I suppose.

    As for me I will continue to state in no uncertain terms that reformation of the VA is absolutely needed by whatever means necessary.

    • Isn’t it sad that some comments on a web site can get faster attention than a vet being beaten to death by a VA employee?

      • yeah I told the guy it’s funny FedGov can waste money sending somebody to the house of a pissed off vet but they can’t expend resources moving my goddamned file through the pipe quicker than 4 fucking years.

    • I better bury my head in the sand then they won’t know who I am……LOL
      We are not Bens clients so he can give them what ever they ask for, Ben probably got a visit to…. If you can’t speak FREELY your simply not FREE….

    • I remember when this happened, there was a VA AFGE UNION PUSSY, complaining about the language, and accusing Ben of advocating violence, on his site for allowing the language to continue. The same VA AFGE UNION PUSSY, threatened to file a complaint with the authorities about this “hate site”

      Not long ago, Ben warned us that the “government” was monitoring his Blog, to be careful what we post. I am thinking Ben also got a visit. I wonder how many more of us will be getting one of these “visits” as well?

      • The agent informed me that due to the floriduh school shooting they where ramping up on all kinds of language. Don’t know how true that is exactly as it seems highly plausible.

        On a side note. My claim seems to have mysteriously halted around the same time as I posted. I’ve already been in contact with my attorney and mentioned the DHS visit. I seriously hope to god that some useless va cuntfuck put a hold on my claim for exercising my first amendment rights. I have zero problems initiating a federal lawsuit.

  15. After all the mess about the corrupted VSO’s, so which one does a Vet trust? Because this puts me, and most likely others in a weird situation. Why? Because it’s hard enough to keep up with the VA, with all their trickery they use, and to manage your health, when at the same time trying to protect what health that you have left. To me, this is a outright dirty scheme that the VA uses, in order to tie one up so that they have a hard time in filing a claim, or to be so ingested that they can’t file a claim.

    This then only one other option; that those seasoned Vets are now going to have to help other Vets that are in need. I don’t know, I’m just throwing this out there. Anyone else have any input on this matter?

    • Speaking of Beltway entitled VSOs, I wonder how many of them will be in attendance of Commander In General Don “Bone Spurs'” parade now set for — wait for it — Veterans Day 2018. HE want’s to have HIS parade on Veterans Day. Sounds about right. Hey – maybe he’s trying to atone for those four deferments …. aaaaahahahahahaah. The VSOs will line up begging for access to Beltway VA Crats on their way up some slippery slimy, greasy ladder that might influence a few bucks for a flag-waving event and some “we’re on your side” bullshit PR.

      How is it that a handful of teenagers on the heels of a horrific shooting can organize thousands of people to march for their cause? Meanwhile, there’s 21 million of us who can’t seem to organize a fucking Tupperware Party in order to demonstrate being fucked over by a system that doesn’t give a flying fuck.

      Ain’t that some shit? Get’s me all flag-wavy.

      • Exactly. Not only is my head spinning for the lack of movement in getting down, and doing some real work in reforming the VA for the 21st. Century Vet, my damn fingers get blisters from hitting the keyboard on my laptop. Gotta get me some button pads to put on the top of each key I guess. Hmm. Ugh . . .

      • Just grow you some long fingernails Nutter, See how that works out, Those fat VA employees might have a weight gain formula we thin people can use…….LOL

  16. A word of warning. Since Ben’s blog is being watched, and that alone speaks volumes in itself, and if you’re making threatening statements, there are applications that are used to seek your profile on other Social Media platforms. Just a word of caution that BIG DADDY is watching you, and not out for you. Bass-turds with the smell of fish and shit.

  17. Remember this? We need to get this spirit back when dealing with the VA and its cronies. We’ve been knocked around for way too long. It’s time for us to claim what is righteously ours. Have you forgotten? We’ve earned our right to have access to proper medical care and a decent claims process. It’s not a privilege, we’re a benefactor of VA benefits. I know the struggle has been tough, and we’ve been knocked down some.

    But get up, wipe yourself, and stand the good fight. If we band together, we can overcome all this unrighteousness that has banded against us. And if you don’t stand as “ONE.” and file in with the ranks, then don’t follow us when we’ve created the path for our due process. You may think that I’m thinking and talking idealistically, and I understand that, but there is one thing that you’ve forgotten if you think in this manner, it is . . .

    That you gave up. So throw the defeating mindset out, and regain whatever strength that you have. We’re in this together, and you, that claim others as your Brother and Sister in this fight, then it is your responsibility to stand by each other, and to help each other to be able to stand next to you during this time of a justified revolution, of claiming what is ours from the start.

    (A war cry, without threatening anyone’s life. We’ll do it legally, creating premises for our arguments, arguments that will make them quiver into the corner, and then we’ll move in to make them jump, and when they come towards us with their lying ways, will bitch slap their asses down to the level that they truly are).

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtmpcQ-hbxI”

    • Better start to understand the deeper meaning behind music lyrics! Hello darkness, my old friend I’ve come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping… And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence In restless dreams I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone ‘Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never share And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence “Fools”, said I, “YOU DO NOT KNOW Silence LIKE A CANCER GROWS… Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you” But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed In the wells of silence And the people bowed and prayed To the NEON GOD they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenement halls” And whispered in the sounds of silence

      And I don’t give a fuck if people don’t like my comments, Go put your head back under the sand…
      Nothing against you Nutter the top part was just replying to your Turn the page

      • OLMARINE – It depends on how one interprets the song. Since this song came out, I took it as a trucker moving on, going place to place, and NEVER gave it a thought from a Satanic Perspective. And, I was only in an rambunctious mood over the VA, and the way that we have around 21 million of us Vets, and how we totally out number them. That’s as far as it has meaning to me.

        BTW, if you’re meaning to mention Jesus Christ as the almighty, that’s fine with me, and if you don’t, then I will, Jesus is the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, and I know that He watches over my household, irrelevant of what anyone, including the VA, tries to put over me.

        My Brother, you can say anything that you want, but as far as I’m concerned, a big battle with most of us, is with the corrupt VA. Agree? Take care.

  18. Check out this from: “Veterans Today”
    Titled;
    “VA to Step Up Treatments for TBI and PTSD”
    From: Health Editor!

      • I thought that the VA has already stepped up. What since after Vietnam Era? At least they’ve had over 4 decades to figure something out. Is this the Precision Medicine that their referring too?

        Seems like we always need clarification while they fumble with trying to figure out if they have 2 nads. Or, if they have 2, they can’t figure which one is the left or the right.

        Most likely they have some sort of feeling deprivation, not knowing as one gets older, which one hangs lower than the other one. Someone better tell them about this. I wouldn’t want that on my mind all this time, and then not to inform them. I’d feel really bad if something happened.

        Hey Troll, can you tell them about this testicle matter for me? Good, thank you.

    • RAND wishes to clear-up the confusion this article on stepping-up PTSD & TBI treatments by the VA may have caused.
      What the VA really means is when a Vet calls the VA mental health crisis or suicide by cop line, the VA and SWAT have partnered to commit to quicker response times and you and your family will not even know what hit them.

      At RAND Corp., we are aspiring to hit the target each & every time.

  19. Ben Hi again!
    Definitely, The CV of the New Candidate for the VBA is very impressive!
    However nothing is gonna work if the VBA (as a whole) does not stop
    The “Delay , Deny, Wait till THEY Die” attitude.
    One way, to do this, is to CRIMINALIZE IT, or pass severe administrative punishments, for such a practice.
    Have a nice day
    MSG VAM

  20. I pray he will get the VA fixed. I have a son who spent over 300 days outside the wire. He suffers from severe ptsd, bad back,knees, shoulder and has an awful cough. He uses the Birmingham, Alabama hospital. The local v.a.rep.in St. Clair Co. has jerked him around for 4 years. And the hospital is a joke. It has almost torn our family apart. He now lives in a storage building in the woods with no water electricity or bathroom. He said he will not marry or have children because he doesn’t want to bring a child into ” this mess”. He has given up. I fear, everyday that he will become one of the 22. It is heartbreaking to witness. Why want they help these soldiers ? Thank you for your work.

  21. @CorpsmanUp – Your not going to believe this, but I went and while I deleting the numbers from my phones memory, I mistakenly deleted your number. Can you give me a call back? I realized that I erased it exactly right after I did it. I need help! I’m joking, I’m beyond help. Talk with you later. – Nutter.

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