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Loose Lips Sink Ships

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I hope I'm not wrong to post this, but I feel like it's something that we can't stress enough...

We all have a right to be proud Veterans, and should wave that banner high if we want to. We all here sacrificed, willingly. As it was said by someone here, we all signed a blank check to the Military to give our lives (I can't remember who said it, but it really helped me). We were injured in a thousand different ways and that makes us a community, helping each other and sharing the glow of winning some respect and a little compensation that's too often long overdue.

We can talk to each other here about our injuries and our fight for what the VA owes us based on the contract they are meant to uphold. But when it comes to talking to non-vets or non-disabled vets about our benefits, etc., not so much.

It's hard not to talk about your struggles with the VA with the people in your 'real' life, it's even harder sometimes to keep your victories to yourself. But humans don't seem to be wired so that they'll be truly happy for someone else's perceived luck.

People are really strange. They look at you and if you have all your limbs and can walk and talk, they figure you're just fine. They don't live with pain, or fear, or both. They didn't sign their lives away to the military, and if they did, they figure that they survived so you must have too.

No one needs to know anything. Not your siblings, cousins, aunts, friends, not even your kids until they're on deck to take care of you. Kids can be the worst, cause they don't understand and when asked what their mom or dad does, they'll say precocious things like "Oh, Mom got hurt in the Army and now they pay her not to work". Then when you're seen at the post office or market, they see a pretty healthy looking person. "What's up with that? They look like they can work... Geez, my back hurts sometimes, and I sure get depressed sometimes too, but no one pays me to sit on my buns and collect money from the government. Huh... must be nice!"

When we first got into the VA healthcare system (after many years of not knowing we could) my hubby was so tickled he was telling everyone at work about it. Me, I had no one to tell. But after reading here a bit, I told him to STOP TALKING!! He heard "Free healthcare? Must be nice!" from more than one of his co-workers, even though my husband's got burn scars on his arms, hands, head, ears that they can clearly see... they just don't make the connection.

Criminy, I worry about saying too much on here. I know the people who post here are good guys who are here looking for answers and/or are here to help. But I also know there are countless faceless lurkers...

Anyway, as it's been said before, here it is again: Keep your VA benefits & your finances PRIVATE. You, your spouse, and whoever you might have helping you handle your affairs are the only people who need to be in the inner sanctum!

Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our pain.

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Amen hedgey. I'm real tired of the ignorance of some. I have two neighbors that are all teed off because I get the reduced valuation on my real estate taxes. It only adds up too a little over $100 a yr. but they make it sound like I live Tax free.


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Well said and I agree. My cousin got 70% TDIU and my own brother in law found out what he was getting and said what in the hell does he get that for he didn't do anything. I told him unless he wore my cousins boots and did what he did to keep his mouth shut. We don't speak much now which is OK.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Unless you are missing a limb and it is visible most people don't think of a vet as being disabled. I watch Judge Judy for laughs. However, she often makes fun of people who are on disability with "bad backs" and/or mental problems. I wonder if she would make fun of a PTSD vet if he/she were willing to admit it. How can I show "chronic pain" disorder? How can I show "anxiety/ptsd"? If you consider a 100% disability for a 22 year old that is very small money for a life that has been changed so drastically. There is no amount of money to compensate someone for a severe TBI or mental illness. If someone asks me about my military disability I say I was poisoned by agent orange. That shuts them up usually since they don't know what that is anyway.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Fact is where and how you get health care is your business. I learned that the only people I can talk to about benefits are ones who are in the same boat with me.

I also found out that substituting the word retirement for disability helped a lot.

Veterans deserve real choice for their health care.

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I learned from what Pete said; I just say "retired" now.

Good point, Hedgey - with all of the financial stress in our world, Haterz may seize upon anything as a grudge to nurse.

No need to lie about issues that are no one's business; just come up with tactful phrases.

If they push deeper, start asking them personal questions like "How much do you make a month?" etc and they'll shut up. :tongue:

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This is an answer I give sometimes to someone who asks questions I dont want to answer. Try it..you will have to practice:

"Without being informed to the highest degree of accuracy I hesitate to articulate in that it may deviate from the true course of rectitude"

If they ask what that means, you can repeat it...or, you can give them the answer to what it means by saying, "Huh?"

Another good way to answer a nosy persons question is by asking a question instead. If they say, for example,

"Where did you get your money"....ask them "Where did you get yours?"

Remember, whenever you let someone ask you questions..and you respond..you have given them control.

Here is how I "take control" over telephone solicitors.

Solicitor, "Is this Jim Smith?"

Me: "Who is calling please?" (I never respond who I am until I know who they are..never..If you call me..be prepared to tell me who you are, before you get one shred of information from me)

Solicitor: "Cathy" (Notice...now they are answering my questions..I have taken control)

Me: "Who are you with?"

Solicitor: Im with Zoom Telephone (or collection) company.

Me: No Thanks..not interested. dont call here again. Hang up. (I finally answered their question..after I got the information I wanted first. This works for collectors, too. I hear them always say, "IM not a telephone solicitor, I have personal business with.....(dial tone)....If they call back, I repeat it.

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