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"shredder" Hearing Letter.

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I am considering the following letter be entered into testimony on the March 3 congressional hearing. What do you guys think?

House Committee on Veterans Affairs

Attention: Mr. Bob Filner: RE: upcoming “shredding documents” hearing

I am a disabled U.S. Navy Veteran who served in the Vietnam Era from 1970 until I was honorably discharged in June 1974. During my military career, I was promoted multiple times and was awarded the Good Conduct and National Defense medals.

In 2002, I applied for Veterans benefits in Cleveland Ohio. Apparently the Attorney General has some things to say about the Cleveland RO, and not very much of it is good. Apparently, Ohio, is in the “bottom 5” of the lowest compensation of any state. If that is not enough, the “October Incident” put Cleveland in the “bottom 3” of the worst offenders with 55 shredded documents. It would appear to me that VA management has been rather generous to Cleveland in its evaluations. In spite of being near the bottom in both these categories, the Cleveland RO manager was recently promoted to the Central Office.

Before giving “Congratulations” to the management at Cleveland, however, it appears that the Veterans side of the story should be heard. It seems that there is a big “brain drain” at Cleveland due to the fact that the “Tiger Team” is located in Cleveland. The most experienced Rating Specialists are “siphoned off” to the Tiger Team, leaving Ohio Veterans holding the bag with the lowest skill level of all Regional Offices.

However, the Cleveland Regional Office has responded with some of the most creative ways of denying claims in the entire VA. Here are a few examples of how they did just that.

    1. Secretly” denied Claims. In 2002, I applied for hearing loss, depression, tinnitus, and TDIU. In November 2002, Cleveland denied the hearing loss claim, and “forgot” about the other claims. Even tho I successfully appealed with the BVA in 2004, and was awarded a “complete grant of benefit sought”, the RO has stuck to their guns about the “secretly” denied claims. According to an IRIS email, Cleveland AGAIN secretly denied my TDIU claim by “closing” my TDIU claim in 2007 without any decision rendered until 2008.
    2. Secretly” denied appeals. On March 10, 2004 I filed a Notice of Disagreement to a disputed zero percent “award” of benefits. (A zero percent “award” of benefits compensates the Veteran the same amount as a denial of benefits...the Vet gets zero either way) Rather than process this NOD, the RO denied the appeal by “interpreting” my NOD as a claim for benefits, thereby completely circumventing the Veterans appeal rights.
    3. Denial through Delay.” The RO can, and has, effectively denied Veterans benefits with an endless stream of red tape delays until the Veteran dies. In spite of being awarded a “complete grant of benefit sought” by the BVA in 2004, the RO continues by contending the Veteran filed for “merely hearing loss” in 2002, contrary to the medical and factual evidence. My 7 year claim delay due to red tape is not, by far, the longest delay either. I have a friend, Mr. Robert Russell in Dayton who tells me his claim has been delayed since 1973, more than 35 years even though Mr. Russel is in a motorized wheel chair scooter and wears knee braces from war injuries suffered in Viet Nam. A first grader could determine that Mr. Russel is 100% permanent and Total, but the RO in Cleveland has been unable to do so in 35 years of “processing” his claim.

I would like this secret denial of claims and appeals stopped. The RO accomplished this by selectively shredding my claims documents over a 7 year period, and continues to shred evidence as recently as December 18, 2008, when I requested Special Claims handling for shredded documents. The VA apparently shredded my request as they have no record of it. .

Edited by broncovet
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Hello All Hope All Is Well. broncovet I would the more Information put out there the better I just sent a 10 Page Fax to Todd

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Thanks, Mcafee

When I called the committe, they asked that we limit our letters to 10 pages. I have a couple pages of documentation to go with this, proving what I say. (The NOD, the 2002 letter I sent with My application showing that I applied for multiple benefits, etc)

I worked hard at making the letter short, and to the point without hundreds of personal details about my claim...that I dont want on the congressional record anyway.

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I suggest that you confine your letters to highlight what you want, the facts that support your case and be as brief as you can. The longer the letter the less the chance it will be read.

Good Luck

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I think you stated this as the way it really is-

I was very emphatic in my letters too and didnt mince words-and I named names.

BTW this will be a joint hearing-

Who do you mean by the Attorney General? Do you mean the Inspector General of the VA?

I sent letters to him too.

Only by hearing from vets and widows who are shreddergate victims will anything ever be done.

They need to hear our anger and disgust at the way federal well paid employees blatantly mishandle our stuff.

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This is what I sent them along with FOLDERS Management from VARO showing the record has been Spoliated.This is why If you can obtain Target Birls Covers history and all interdepartmental transactions there is your accountability. (1). Newark NJ. VARO. VSCM. M. P. Blazis (973) 297-3373 Atlanta VARO. Decatur GA. Al Bochicchio Director (404) 9295818 FAX (404)929-5756 To Date No reply FOIA request and Target birls, covers etc.1994-2004 Management folders shows C-File Spoliatation Feb.02,2000 Atlanta VARO. (2). East Orange Veterans Administration Health Care System.) 385 Tremont Ave. East Orange NJ.07018

Patient Advocate K.A. James and L. Battle (973) 676-1000 ext 3399, 2169 , Secretary M.J. Appice for the Director K. Mizrach Assoc Director P. Moschitta (3).N.E.VISN Region Bronx NY. M.Sabo Director (718) 741-4110 (4). Regional Counsel (718) 630-2924 Jack Ditiadoro in Brooklyn NY. I sought out assistance due to no resolve from EOVAHCS (East Orange Veterans Administration Health Care System.) 385 Tremont Ave. East Orange NJ.07018 (5). Denied Care EOVAHCS May, 2008 Removed by VA Police.

IV. Complaints. According to DOVA Rights and Responsibilities You Are encourage and expected to seek help from your treatment team or a patient advocate if you have problems or complaints. You will be given understandable information about the complaint process. You may complain verbally or in writing, without fear of retaliation. Washington DC. Veterans Administration (Various Agencies) (1).VBA David Spivey (202)273-7453,(202) 530-9341 Mr. Spivey response when I have called Mr. Kovacs I am not at liberty to discussed anything with you .You know your point of contact at VARO M.P. Blazis and hangs the phone up. (2).Office of Communications or Field Operations Diane Reuben Steve Furier (202) 461-9340 Receptionist Monika usually answers the phone but there have been times when Joann Jastrab, Marie, Shauna, Andrea also have answered the phone. The first 3 ladies stand out tremendously confrontational adversarial outspoken arguementive. Monika has taken numerous requests for D. Reuben, S. Furier to please call me so that I may address my concerns to date I have never received a call or correspondence from this office. (3).VHA for the Under Secretary K. Pierce initial POC in 2007 to address EOVAHCS and amendment of record and care. (202)273-5846 FAX (202)273-6491 Executive V. Wright (202) 2738387 FAX 2735787, Her Executive Mr. Williams. (4).Medical Inspector Point of Contact Receptionist (202) 501-2000 Brandy (202) 461-4082.Mrs. Booker her Executive (202) 461-4080 Mrs. Murray, Dr J. Pierce (202) 461-4094. Response received from Medical Inspector addressing VA medical center East Orange NJ. (Did Not Address specific concerns.) (5).General Counsel D. Bradshaw (202) 461-4956, K. Simpson (202)461-7652, A. M. Duncan (202)461-7526 No written correspondence received to date I was told I have no case according to Doug Bradshaw. No Assistance (6). Customer Service (202) 273-5400 Mr. Farmer Whom has listened to my concerns and is pretty well versed as to what has transpired with the VHA Under Secretaries Office. RE: K. Pierce. Executive Bankston Carter (202) 461-0012. I had one conversation with her never heard from this office again. (7). VAOIG Inspector General Contact # 32, 58 74. (800) 488-8244 Representative #74. whom is handling the inquiry documentation to support record amendment and false or inaccurate progress notes were sent to VAOIG along with Spoliation C-File according to VARO Folders Management 02/02/2000 Atlanta Georgia. Thomas O. Sanders FOIA Officer said I never existed in his letter. I also requested a summary from VAOIG only for representative #58 to say we are not going to help you and proceeded to hang the phone up. The only receipt of acknowledgment is a standard response from VAOIG which is attached. (8). General Counsel Group 4 FOIA Amendment of Records. (202) 461-7742 Point of Contact Mrs.K.Beidelman I have presented documentation and Faxed to (202) 273-6388 Request responses from NY.NY, Newark NJ, Atlanta Georgia, and Newark NJ. VARO letters of C-File, Medical Records Requests. And responses from the various VARO. No Reply to date. Amendment of Record East Orange VA Medical Center. East Orange New Jersey V.A. ROI Officer can not produce 24 years of Medical treatment continuity records of various conditions Orthopedic, Dermatology, Urological, Chronic Prostatitus, and PTSD to clearly show treatment for 30 years. And without compensation, pension relief, other than 10% musculoskeletal conditions. From 1982-2007 September increase to 30% then 40% by Newark VARO. VSCM M. P. Blazis. (9).US ARMY. National Personnel Records St Louis Mo. James Winter Contact for records.(314) 801-0563 Records provided were sparse at best. Did provide records of Hospitalization Tripler Army Medical Center HI. (10).Department Of The Army Board For Correction Of Military Records. July 28, 2008 I was not aware of misrepresentation or errors in the record until researching this even though in 30 years 2 Veterans Service Officers were Power Of Attorney, The Veterans Administration Regional Office and it is very clear they either did not care or just did not see the errors. I will not speculate on there behalf. What I have learned since is that also The US Army Failed to apply 10 U.S.C. Sec. 1218 TITLE 10--ARMED FORCES

Subtitle A--General Military Law



Sec.1218. Discharge or release from active duty: claims for compensation, pension,

or hospitalization prior to discharge as well address the fact of being Drugged and raped by a known Homosexual in the unit. F. Barberi and was not documented other than my DD-214 SPN CODE. Separation discharge papers do not address this. Basic Combat Training Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. March 30, 1977 The Service Medical records show injury Osteochondral fracture with dislocation of the patella. Placed in a full leg cast for several weeks then removed the cast and was sent to AIT Fort Sam Houston Texas with no follow up from Physician. The Negligence of the US ARMY addressing this injury put it off for more than a year to the point I could no longer walk. It was addressed in my permanent duty station HHQ 1st and the 19th Medical Platoon Schofield Barracks Hawaii. Tripler US ARMY Hospital June, July 1978. There are more Rules and Regulations, Laws that the US ARMY and Board for Correction of Military Records have not accepted responsibility or obligation for. This has followed me and family for thirty years for SERVICE given to the United States of America and US ARMY. No Transparency or accountability what so ever by any commissioned or non commissioned officers, peers etc. In closing to date the Veterans Administration Regional Office as well the Various Agencies have carried this tradition of noncompliance and irresponsibility to serve those whom have placed there lives on the line in defense of the United States Of America.

It is with great regret that I had to post this letter in order for resolve. Sincerely

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I think it's a good letter, short and to the point. Be sure you have Mr. Russell's permission to use his name and circumstances in your letter before submitting it though...just a thought.

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