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Vet's Advocate And Va Critic


Berta
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Question

The suit alleges Rollins, Rogers and Michael Stephens, Veterans Service Center Manager for the VA, have "acted to withhold increases in benefits to which [Hennon] was entitled because of his advocacy and criticism"

from:Colonel Dan's email:

From: samuel hennon [mailto:week2late@hotmail.com]

Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 2:45 PM

To: colonel-dan@sbcglobal.net

"Subject: Veteran Sues VA, Claims VA Benefits Withheld After He Criticized VA

Veteran Sues VA, Claims VA Benefits Withheld After He Criticized VA

Sun-Times News

ABC 7 News (Chicago)

Sep 19, 2007

September 17, 2007 - A disabled Vietnam era veteran says his disability benefits were withheld by administrators after he spoke critically of the handling of benefits claims by the Veterans Administration and the group Paralyzed Veterans of America.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday, Samuel L. Hennon says he is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Navy and, since his discharge in April of 1971, he has received disability benefits "associated with injuries from his military service."

Hennon also has received benefits -- under the Federal Employment Compensation Act (FECA) -- as a result of the effects of a flu shot he was given in 1999, "in association with his duties as a registered nurse for the Veterans' Administration," the suit says. Hennon has been a registered nurse for the VA since 1972. The flu shot he received in 1999 resulted in his contracting Guillan Barre Syndrome -- a nervous system disorder which can increase in intensity until the person is almost totally paralyzed -- "and other related ailments preventing him from continuing in his employment."

Hennon's service-connected disabilities were submitted for review and occasional update by defendants Bo Rollins, Director of Field Services, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Charles Ed Rogers, National Field Director for PVA, the suit says. At the same time, Hennon has "acted as a representative and advocate for other veterans in the obtaining of benefits to which they are entitled," according to the suit.

"In connection with his advocacy on behalf of other veterans," Hennon says he "has been a vocal critic of the handling of veterans' benefits claims by both the VA and PVA. As he assisted more veterans in their claims and expressed increased criticism of the handling of those claims by the VA and PVA, defendants began to interfere with the updates of benefits [he] received based on his service-connected disabilities and [his] FECA benefits."

The suit alleges Rollins, Rogers and Michael Stephens, Veterans Service Center Manager for the VA, have "acted to withhold increases in benefits to which [Hennon] was entitled because of his advocacy and criticism." The suit also claims Hennon has "been denied increased service-connected disability benefits and FECA benefits be defendants' actions to deprive him of his rights to those benefits."

Since his criticisms of the VA and PVA are protected speech, the alleged actions by Rollins, Rogers and Stephens are a violation of Hennon's first amendment rights, the suit contends.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/8449

It has been too long since I have posted any messages on the websites of the Veteran activists. Fighting the Federal Government can have a chilling effect on you as the resources that are available to them to punish, harass and destroy the life and family of a veteran who doesn't go along with the program are inexhaustible and at the taxpayers' expense. But the time has come...the evidence is accurate and obtainable...the VA is vulnerable...and the sorte has been launched by me. Why is my suit so important? Because I have found a way to bring VA out of its own courts and into the light of day in Federal District Court and a jury trial. The government is scrambling now because they see their case is weak, they have motioned to stop all discovery to prevfent me from opening the records of VA and they have filed for a motion to dismiss the case entirely.

I worked for VA for 22 years...I know my adversary. When I filed my complaints with the powers at be and my political position on veterans rights became known to them it took them exactly 45 days to reduce my disability from 100% to 60%. This retaliation by VA with the help of Paralyzed Veterans of America was predicated on my complaints and my politics which is protected speech, thus a violation of my 1ST Amendment Rights to free and uncensored speech. This is a violation of the Constitution of the United States of America, my veteran brothers, and it is a case that the VA court has no jurisdiction over. The VA is represented by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

But I come to the surface now because I need your help! Any veteran who has received encouragement, advise, comfort or any other help by my words on the internet must send an email stating that to me or my lawyer, Armand Andry. Such support from the grass roots would seal the fate of the VA in my case. When I win I will detail to you how you can take VA to court for Constitutional violations of your rights. But first I must win...and we are unafraid of the VA at this time because it is in the news for some violation or atrosity almost everyday. When it comes out that VA commits crimes against veterans by subverting the Constitution the VA will be defeated and Congress will have no regress, but to listen to our positions for manditory funding and review of the claims procedure and oversite to prevent government bureaucrats from punishing, harassing and denying disability for the sake of their own preservation.

E-mail me at week2late@hotmail.com and tell me who you are by first name only and what help, however insignificant it may seem, that you received by interacting with me on the veteran boards. The salvo this will cause will turn the tide grossly in our favor in the eyes of the Federal District Judge hearing the case.

If you have question, post them to me by e-mail. I will respond to you.

Semper Fi, long may the Flag wave, up with the veterans cause,

The Corpsman, Samuel Hennon"

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I wish him well but don't look for this to go anywhere. If it gets close they will make a deal to keep it off the books.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

That is exactly what the VA will do if they think a "heavy" decison is going to make a precedent. They settle with the vet before it gets to the Vet's Court. This is what my lawyer told me about my CUE. If they think it is a winner they offer something. Since it is a hell of a crapshoot most take the money.

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If this vet can prove collusion between PVA and VA-that is something serious to consider-

this story first ran at Veterans for Common Sense in late 2007-

I have heard the same thing around here- that because I do vet's advocacy- maybe this is why VA sits on my claim-

I did prove enough to suggest that there was some collusion between my POA and the VARO DRO in 2005-

to sit on it- and VA knew from day one that they would have to pay me mega retro-

and then I recently found how VA broke a mandatory regulation regarding my FTCA settlement-one more reason to sit on the AO claim.

The BVA said Monday to me- that there was a considerable amount of recent paperwork down there regardig my claim- but the claim was set for DRO review-

I think it is in legal department at BVA due to the POA revocation which I am fighting-

The rep who filed the Motion for revocation with the BVA neglected to tell the BVA the whole story- which I referred them to in my rebuttal-

he also made sure (if there was a 30 day response period) that I did not get the motion copy in time for 30 day response-so I sent the BVA the letter and the dated envelope it came in.

I stated that I followed Federal Rules of Procedure in the Rebuttal I prepared as their are no guidelines at the VA web site for this type of action.

FRCP criteria says one can only send in argument 20 pages or less-

my OGC complaint was 24 pages long with 34 evidentiary attachments so I stated that I awaited direction from the BVA whether to send that or not- but gave them phone and fax numbers of the attorneys at OGC who are handling the complaint with my permission to get copy of it from the OGC.They are right down the street from the BVA.

I fully believe that since the VA knows some of us advocates- who are also claimants who will fight them ad finitum- for a proper decision-that VA will do whatever they can to sit on our claims-maybe that is just that I have VAola paranoia-

then again- the RO I deal with still remembers the tactics I used to get my last awards.

They do fight back hard when they see the $$$$$ value of a claim.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Berta

I think it is even worse than we think or know. Most vets just want their money and pills and they are happy. They don't look into the blackhole of the VA.

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Sam Hennon-the vet in the recent Watchdog story- got so much support lately he had to send out form letters of thanks to all who emailed him-

I wanted to get him for my radio show but I think Gene Simes already contacted him for the VFVC show-

I agree John-I bet it is a lot worse then we think.

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