New Direction for 2014?

Ready for real change?

I’ll keep this one short since we are all reading less over the holidays and running around more. My point in this quick post is to ask you a question after explaining what we’re doing.

These past few months we have seen an all out assault against veterans benefits, and really, our traditional American values and ideals. At, we are exploring ways to grow the operation and its influence this year.

For 2014, what are some things you would like to see this website cover? Here are some ideas we are looking at.

My goal is to write more about benefits – I will probably call the column something like “Tips, Tricks and Fixes.”

We will also introduce some new veteran writers to increase diversity on the site. If you know of any one who would be interested, have them send me a note.

We are looking at taking the show on the road with a radio journalist and reporter.

Beyond this, I will be stepping up the pressure on VA by policing their government contractors now that I am an official attorney. VA no longer yanks me around when it comes to FOIA requests.

Anyway, the point is, lots of changes. Growing the team. It should be a good year of helping vets and exposing the posers.

So, before you click off, send me a quick note or comment below with some ideas you’d like to see me implement this coming year.

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  1. THANK YOU ALL BY THE WAY! NOW I DON’T FEEL SO DARN ALONE WITH THIS CRAZY PROCESS. ALL I HEAR IN MY HEAD, THEY WANT YOU TO GIVE UP! WHEN I RECEIVED A PAPER, JUST AFTER I WAS TOLD MY CASE WILL BE EXPEDITED, THERE WORDS “DROP” ON IT TWICE, ONE IN BLACK INKED STAMPED AND ONE IN RED, then a bunch of letters. Now, I can’t find it, and I’ve got to stop only because I will have a panic attack. If I find it, I will let you all know. Let me find the guy who does independent films, and at BENJAMIN, I WILL SEND YOU THE INFO, I THINK WE SHOULD GET SUPPORT FROM OTHERS AS WELL!

  2. id like to become part of the team. im in the final phases of with my doctoral program in clinical psychology and think i could bring personal and professional insights about the ins n outs of dealing with the VA. For instance, i recently applied to 25 pre-doctoral internships in psychology, 5 of which were VA hospitals and none of them invited me for interviews. Fortunately, i was invited to 8-other Apa acredited sites, but being ignored despite having the 10-pts vets preferences raised a huge red flag for me, regarding how the VA employs us around the nation.

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog. I read that you are looking for people to help you grow in 2014. I would like to offer my services if you need them.

  4. I think this a wonderful idea! I am being tossed around and can’t seem to get anyone to help me get my case going. I called the DAV in Waco, and I was told I had to “hire” them? I am not quite understanding what that entails. Then when I post a question, they call me over a month later, and give me someone else to call, and I get no call back! I have a back injury sustained in the Navy. But, because of how I am, I suck it up. Well, that led to three surgeries later, and one leg damaged, and now pain is worsening again. Also, they need to stop excuse my expression, “dicking women around” who have PTSD AND OR MST issues. Especially when I KNOW the therapeutic application for DBT cognitive therapy first rule, one on one treatment, and not a 10 minutes here’s your drugs. Fix it. And willing to shout it out of the RUDE ER WATCH DOG LADY WHO SCREAMS YOUR GONNA HAVE TO PAY! I DID!

    1. @Denise: The DAV is an advocate for you – similar to Binder & Binder for Social Security benefits. You have to designate the DAV as your advocate. All this entails is signing paperwork. Easy peasy. You need to gather ALL your medical documentation – including your SMR, and take it to DAV. Get there early – the one in San Antonio opens at 0730. I’m pretty sure you’ll have to wait to be seen by a representative, but you will be seen. Explain your dilemma, show them the paperwork and they’ll take it from there. Make darn sure you keep copies of EVERYTHING you give them. Once the VA receives the claim and the associated paperwork, they have a certain length of time to get it entered into the system. I think – not absolutely sure, it’s 75 days to get it entered. Then you wait to hear from the VA. It sucks, I know – I’ve been dealing with the Houston Regional Office for almost 8 years trying to get all my compensation. I call the 800 number about every 2 weeks asking for a status check. I’ll email a question to them every now and then when I think I’m getting the run around. When they reply, it’s usually bullshit and never really answer the question. BUT at least they know that 1) I’m a pain in the ass, and 2) I’m interested in the progress of my claims/appeals.
      It’s a long drawn out process, mostly one of frustration – but you’re not alone. Hang in there. I’ll help where I can if you’d like.
      Thomas Cole MAC(SW), USN (retired)
      [email protected]

      @Benjamin – I’ll help where I can if you’d like. Just drop me a line.

      1. @Thomas, can I say “I think I love with you?” All in a good way of course! When I talked to the online person regarding comments made in November 2013, I am not going to remember! She gave me the number to a VSO? Well, no call backs, still after a month. Since I live in Dallas, Waco is the closest. Problem, I have documents scanned, but,things they sent me? I do my best to keep organized. Which is hard to do with this damn “FOG” crap! Which has been this week. I’ve never been so flustered in all my life. Asking me duty station info, okay, shouldn’t they have that? Phone,numbers, haven’t they changed many times over? Questions asked about the PTSD & MST events I find are,most upsetting, journaling, are you insane? Did you tell anyone? Yes, my mom, hire a really good psychic and maybe you can reach beyond her Grave. ( if they did that, she certainly would have a few, no many choice words for them! The “dad” and I don’t talk. At 52, and after his brothers,funeral, all he could do is yell at,me, talk smack about my husband, which oh, btw, neither of us sponge of the family! He wished me to call him, well, as I remember correctly, punching in numbers to call someone works both ways? We shall say, after the first event, he believed some,guy at shore patrol, a friend of the beater, over me. That’s exactly when my mind said, “No More!” That,day, besides a few others, started the shattering effect of what I truly wanted to do, be a physician assistant. I will give them a call, also write,the Waco Office,as I want every piece of paper they have on my back case, the PTSD case, and the MST’s cases as well. Since I retained,many papers, but learned of “record sanatizing,” and oh boy, it sure does happen, my partner of 25+ years knows,this, and spoke up about how he felt it was “morally wrong!” I will email you, but there is no room for doubt regarding all three cases, especially the last one when I asked my spouse,to see if he,could get his,orders,moved up, and when we hit the West Coast, I told,him then. I wasn’t taught, express your emotions, so I locked it, safe and tight, only to have anxiety build up and,then the lid flew off that door! “THANK YOU” my cognitive parts don’t always work, but hoping to change that. WHY? We have no clue how,two different things played,off of one. I did,try one more time to join the Reserves, but just,that weekend alone, I couldn’t deal with it. And I am pretty darn tough! Although as well, when I got called, my only,”true sibling by full blood and DNA, was diagnosed with full blown AIDS. No pity please, his spirit is with me, and as he constantly stated, “LIVE WITH THE NO FEAR HERE!” My cousin’s friend just did a,movie with Morgan Freeman narrating on JFK. Maybe the “big boss” of our site can talk him into doing a film on navigating a broken system, instead of,embracing Veteran’s, it,does all it can to,the,opposite.

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