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A Model Letter And An Urgent Request!


allan
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Model Letter and an Urgent Request!

Here is a sample letter written by one of our VASVW members and sent to Chairman Filner and Congressman Hall. We reproduce it here as an example of a finely crafted letter that can be used as a model for your own letter.

Honorable Congressman Bob Filner

Chairman House Committee on Veteran Affairs

335 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Re: HR 6562

Dear Sir:

I am a Blue Water Vietnam Veteran serving my tour of duty with RVAH-1 attached to Carrier Air Group 3 onboard the USS Saratoga 1972-73. I come from a family of 6 boys and 2 girls. All six of us boys have served in the Armed Forces with me and an older brother serving in Vietnam. Him in the Army, me in the Navy. Out of the six my older brother and I myself suffer from Type II Diabetes. There is no history in my family of Type II Diabetes other than my brother and I. My brother receives a service connected disability for his Type II Diabetes, I don’t. The math is easy on this one!

Furthermore I am the single dad of a 12 year old son with a disability and struggle everyday with the hurdles life throws our way. I used to be a gung ho patriot and supporter of our Armed Forces but that seems to have diminished as I feel so forsaken by the Veterans Administration and my plight for benefits.

Each time I recall washing the green tree stains from the aircraft after low level strafing runs or put on a uniform and devoured substance that had been exposed to contaminated water I wonder why I served so proudly.

I write you in hopes of urging you to get HR 6562 passed this term and then float a new bill to cover everyone else. Sir I need this not for principle but a matter of survival.

Your utmost attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

signature

Cc: Congressman John H. Hall, NY

Folks, time is running out. Get those letters faxed to FIlner and Hall ASAP!

We will be in Washington next week banging on the doors of Congress. The bill has to come out of committee next week and go for a floor vote. Same in the Senate. It has to be introduced in the Senate yet, however.

This is very urgent!

Once again, please contact us using the "Email Me" link on the left sidebar with the name of the Representative or Senator that you contacted who pledged to co-sponsor HR 6562 in the House or the Senate. We do not need to waste time on those CongressCritters who will co-sponsor, we need to concentrate on those who have not! Please do this ASAP!

Thank you!

Remember to check out the VASVW at Yahoo Groups and join today. It is free! IT is not restricted to Navy, but includes Vets from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Coast Guard, Fleet Marine, and Air Force Vietnam Veterans. Look for the Ship's Wheel logo on the left sidebar!

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Posted by Novus Livy at 03:46

http://vnvets.blogspot.com/2008/09/model-letter-and-urgent-request.html

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Here is a sample letter written by one of our VASVW members and sent to Chairman Filner and Congressman Hall. We reproduce it here as an example of a finely crafted letter that can be used as a model for your own letter.

I am a Blue Water Vietnam Veteran serving my tour of duty with RVAH-1 attached to Carrier Air Group 3 onboard the USS Saratoga 1972-73. I come from a family of 6 boys and 2 girls. All six of us boys have served in the Armed Forces with me and an older brother serving in Vietnam. Him in the Army, me in the Navy. Out of the six my older brother and I myself suffer from Type II Diabetes. There is no history in my family of Type II Diabetes other than my brother and I. My brother receives a service connected disability for his Type II Diabetes, I don't. The math is easy on this one!

Furthermore I am the single dad of a 12 year old son with a disability and struggle everyday with the hurdles life throws our way. I used to be a gung ho patriot and supporter of our Armed Forces but that seems to have diminished as I feel so forsaken by the Veterans Administration and my plight for benefits.

Each time I recall washing the green tree stains from the aircraft after low level strafing runs or put on a uniform and devoured substance that had been exposed to contaminated water I wonder why I served so proudly.

I write you in hopes of urging you to get HR 6562 passed this term and then float a new bill to cover everyone else. Sir I need this not for principle but a matter of survival.

Your utmost attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

I offer this not to nit pick or criticize, but in the spirit of helpfulness. This is not a finely crafted letter. It suffers in both grammar and composition. A personal one on one letter may be forgiven grammatical errors. But any write in program must be crafted properly to be taken seriously. We do not want to be perceived as a bunch of illiterate clods. Such tend not to be taken seriously by the university educated elite even though "education" is no measure of intelligence.

I am far from an English major but, have had some articles published. Let me offer some corrections that may want to be considered.

"I come from a family of 6 boys and 2 girls. All six of us boys have served in the Armed Forces with me and an older brother serving in Vietnam. Him in the Army, me in the Navy."

All & six is a redundancy. "All the boys served…" would do.

Suggested alternate 1: "All the boys served in the Armed Forces with my brother and I serving in Viet Nam, he in the Army and I in the Navy."

Suggested alternate 2: "All the boys served in the Armed Forces. Of those, my brother and I served in Viet Nam, he in the Army and I in the Navy."

"Out of the six my older brother and I myself suffer from Type II Diabetes."

I/myself is a redundancy. Also, "myself" should not be combined in a sentence with another person as it is an exclusive term.

Alternate: [note. I begin this sentence with "only" as a continuance of the information given in the previous sentences.] "Only my brother and I suffer from Type II Diabetes."

"Furthermore I am the single dad of a 12 year old son with a disability and struggle everyday with the hurdles life throws our way. I used to be a gung ho patriot and supporter of our Armed Forces but that seems to have diminished as I feel so forsaken by the Veterans Administration and my plight for benefits."

Different topics within the same paragraph. For continuity sake and chronological order, the second part of this paragraph should be connected with the service background so far provided. This would be especially effective on the heels of an explanation of being stonewalled on benefits. Then go on to the current family history.

Suggested: "My brother receives a service connected disability for his Type II Diabetes, I don't. The math is easy on this one! I used to be a gung ho patriot and supporter of our Armed Forces but that seems to have diminished as I feel so forsaken by the Veterans Administration and my plight for benefits."

"Each time I recall washing the green tree stains from the aircraft after low level strafing runs or put on a uniform and devoured substance that had been exposed to contaminated water I wonder why I served so proudly."

What does "devoured substance" in this context mean? Eating contaminated food? Contaminated how?

Suggested: [Combine the reference to his son in the previous paragraph and combine with closing.]

"I write you in hopes of urging you to get HR 6562 passed…"

Incorrect composition. S'truth, I don't know the correct terminology for this error, but, just know it's wrong. The problem is, as written, he is saying that he, the writer, hopes to urge, not say he is urging the official to act.

Suggested: I write [to] you in hope of persuading you to get HR 6562 passed…" this term and then float [introduce] a new bill to cover everyone else. Sir I need this not for principle but a matter of survival.

Below I offer an altered version of the letter. I allow that this is but one potential alternative and no doubt has yet other errors of my own making.

Amended, the letter might read like this. I don't suggest it is by any means perfect, only better:

I am a Blue Water Vietnam Veteran having served my tour of duty with RVAH-1 attached to Carrier Air Group 3 onboard the USS Saratoga, 1972-73. Each time I recall washing the green tree stains from the aircraft after low level strafing runs or put on a uniform and devoured substance that had been exposed to contaminated water I wonder why I served so proudly.

I come from a family of 6 boys and 2 girls. All the boys served in the Armed Forces. Only my brother and I served in Viet Nam, he in the Army and I in the Navy. In consequence, only my brother and I suffer from Type II Diabetes even though there is no history in our family of the disease. My brother receives a service connected disability for his Type II Diabetes, I don't. I used to be a gung ho patriot and supporter of our Armed Forces but that seems to have diminished as I feel so forsaken by the Veterans Administration and my plight for benefits.

Furthermore I am the single dad of a 12 year old son with a disability and struggle everyday with the hurdles life throws our way. I write in hope of persuading you to get HR 6562 passed this term and then introduce a new bill to cover everyone else. Sir I need this not for principle but a matter of survival.

Your utmost attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

I hope this will be recognized not as criticism,but, rather as a constructive critique. :angry:

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Jay, I agree with your suggestions. That improves the flow of the letter. Also, no matter how unfair, you're right about the fact that it may be overlooked without proper grammar and usage; and like you said, going to college does not make a human intelligent!

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  • Moderator

Go on with your bad self Jay.

Heck of a Job.

I like it.

J

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  • HadIt.com Elder

illiterate clods?

Kind of harsh for someone who works as hard as these folks do to change things.

Many suffer with neurological disorders due to these toxins.

If they can put Bush in office as president, I don't think they care if your an illiterate clod or not when it comes to government officials.

Vietnam vets need to get these letters in no matter what your education level is.

Try to explain things the best you can on where, what & how you were exposed and how it's affected you.

Honest, simple testimony is whats needed.

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illiterate clods?

Kind of harsh for someone who works as hard as these folks do to change things.

Many suffer with neurological disorders due to these toxins.

If they can put Bush in office as president, I don't think they care if your an illiterate clod or not when it comes to government officials.

Vietnam vets need to get these letters in no matter what your education level is.

Try to explain things the best you can on where, what & how you were exposed and how it's affected you.

Honest, simple testimony is whats needed.

This is what I feared.

I did not undertake this lightly. But I was pressed for time and obviously chose these words badly. But no matter what I said, you likely would have heard them the same.

Please review what I said...

"We do not want to be perceived as a bunch of illiterate clods."

Note, I include myself in this group. Though not a VN vet, I am a disabled vet.

Note, I am not calling anyone, especially "these folks" "illiterate clods."

What I said- was in reference to how such letters may be received.

It's something like a job interview. The resumes that are poorly written or prepared go straight in the ash can. Those better written get the call. That's the case even if the job is for a ditch digger.

Why?

Because the guy running the dirt crew isn't reading the resumes. The guy who understands that good grammer doesn't mean squat in connection with how to run a ditch witch and where roots or water lines may be.

The guy reading the resumes, and deciding who gets the call, belongs to a different club and makes his decisions about people by a different standard. It's folks like this who will be reading some of these letters.

"Try to explain things the best you can on where, what & how you were exposed and how it's affected you. Honest, simple testimony is whats needed."

That's all well and good and I condemn nobody for sending in such a letter if that's all they can do.

The reason for my response is that the sample letter was presented as a "finely crafted letter."

But, that, it is not.

Give these folks something better than that, better than my version, as a sample. They are smart, they'll fill in the blanks.

It can be "honest, simple testimony" and still be well written.

One more thing. I want to see this generation get their GI Bill. I would dearly love to have back the GI Bill they took away from me in 1985.

I'm on your side.

Edited by Jayg
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Jayg:

You make a very good point. Being sarcastic is not a good way to advance your claim. As mad as I sometimes get at VA I try to show respect to anyone I communicate with at VA and in the long run that has usually helped my cause.

I wish I could follow my own advice as today while trying to find out why my cell phone would not work on a new 3G cell networks I accidentally slipped with maybe TMobile should train their employees to represent the products that they sell correctly.I have discovered that TMobile cell phone company is a lot like VA no matter what their employees tell you that you are stuck with what is in the fine print.

So when the VA asks me how I learn by seeing or reading I usually say neither.

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