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Out In The World, Your Status Is Your Business, No One Elses!

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I wrote a thread a while ago about Nosey Parkers and how non-vets (and many vets, too) react to Disabled Veterans and the benefits, etc., some of us receive.

I don't remember what made me write about it before, but this time it's because of something that happened this week.

My took me & my car over to Sears so I could get a tune-up, tires changed to summer tires (up north here!), etc. After the work was done and I was about to swipe my card, I asked the salesguy if there was a military discount (trying hard to get in the habit - a lot of places here offer them).

He said, oh, if only I'd asked at the beginning, because Sears has a whole separate fee chart for military customers, and I would have had to have the work done under this classification, nope, nothing he could do. Next time, let them know right away. He said usually they ask the customer if they're military because they look military. (I guess my chubby gray-haired self does not.)

So okay, my bad, I'll ask at the beginning next time. He said the whole store had the discount, so I'll keep it in mind. But he'd seen my MWR card, and asked "so you're a disabled veteran? What do you get for that, do you get paid for that?" I said it was like a military retirement and my kid was steering me out the door because she could tell I was getting stressed.

When DH was heading over to the VSO on Friday, I knew he'd be going back to work. I asked him NOT to discuss it with anyone except to let his boss know where he was going. Then yesterday, while we were spending the day in bed (talking, not rumpussing, we don't rumpus any more (blush!)) we talked about who we could/should tell.

I voted that he only tell his boss (so he can start thinking about retiring or whatever, but boss needs to know about his status & state of health) and the one other guy he knows is 100% ..... this same guy was the fellow that told DH he should be going to the VA for healthcare back in 2007. Nobody else needs to know.

Why be so stingey with good news? Because the others don't have a clue. Non-vets have no idea what we have traded for the compensation that we finally receive, after fighting tooth and nail, or being afraid to file for years, or not even knowing we had the option. No one else knows about the pain and suffering.

People will say (the woman at the farm store who was gossiping with another customer about a veteran who'd just left the store was saying she has so much pain in her shoulders she could cry, but she doesn't have any one to file a claim with.... must be nice...)

That's it.. that's the phrase. "Must be nice." Yeah well, it would have been a lot nicer to have come home in one piece, finished college and become a psychologist like I'd planned. It would've been nice if my DH had been able to move up and become a General like his cousin (no, really, Mikey just made General!)

Instead, we've suffered physical and emotional pain for 20, 30+ years. We will NEVER heal. Now old age is creeping into the picture and the future holds more pain than ever.

Anyway, NOBODY needs to know that you're a disabled vet except the person at the checkout when you're getting your discount. If they ask, tell them it's a kind of medical retirement deal. If you just have your VA health card (most places will give you the discount with just that) and they ask, tell them the same thing. If they ask how much money, tell them it's "Not as much as I would've been making if I hadn't got hurt!".

My DH will never be able to pick up his grandchildren (whenever they come along). I'll never be able to take them for walks or chase them around the yard. We aren't old, but our bodies have aged us and our minds and medications have us acting like dementia is our middle names.

Okay, this isn't a whine & sneeze party. It's about saving yourself some heartache and keeping your status to yourself. People gossip and your neighbors will think you're rich and living off 'free' money from the government - their tax money!! You might expect that your neighbors, etc, would think better of you, respect your sacrifice, but more likely they will feel envy.

I'm sorry if I have a dark view of people. I wish I could believe better things. I just know first hand that envy is powerful and alive and thriving in the hearts of those around us.

I also should tell you this. When I first got my 80% a year ago, my VA primary care person at the time wanted me to go to a special physical therapist for my feet, for more therapy than the VA would allow (hydro massage stuff). She wrote out the prescription on her personal pad and handed it to me. She said "the VA won't pay for this, but with your new rating, you can afford it." Uh..... okay. She doesn't work there anymore, so I don't know what happened. I didn't complain to anyone, but I think she might've been getting payola or whatever. It was weird.

I was upset, because yes, I got an increase, but she also knew that my private insurance wouldn't cover it either. She wanted me to go 3 times a week! Can you imagine what that would cost? Besides, that dang increase had come along just in time to stretch the months so they would meet, not in time for me to have money to burn!

Point of my rant is that nobody else knows your situation. People say "oh, they get money from the VA, they can afford XXX." Ever look at the expressions on the faces behind you in line when you're asking for your military discount?

I'm done now. Sorry for being fretful and paranoid.

Thanks for being a place to get things off my chest.

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

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Now that I am 68 people don't ask me any more but I used to tell them I am medically retired and stop talking. Most are interested in themselves and the conversation goes elsewhere.

How much you make or get is private and I was raised not appropriate to discuss with people. Besides my sister I keep everything private. Every year that we get COLA's I tell wife how much we are getting.

I wish you and your husband the best and hope that you enjoy the Grand Kids I know mine are the world to me.

Veterans deserve real choice for their health care.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The thing about America is that as long as you have money to pay your bills it does not matter where or how you got it just as long as you got it. That sounds like Woody Guthrie. "If you ain't go the doe,ray, me, oh, if you ain't got the doe, ray, me"

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I don't tell anyone, except maybe another vet that needs help. As for discounts, I always ask if there is a senior or military discount and if it's a military discount, I show them my MWR card. Most just know it's a military ID and could care less, anyway. Our status is "our" business. If anyone wants to know how much we're paid they just need to send an FOIA request and the VA will let them know. jmo


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Like everyone else said this is your business.

As to your ID card... it is not just like a military retirement, nothing close to being retired. First it is the same ID card used to identify dependants of active duty and retired personal. Second the status is clealy spelled out as disabled veteran and unlike a retirees ID card some may have expiration dates.

Retired ID cards are DD form 2 and Blue/green in color, and offer other benefits such as medical care, space A on military planes, and a retirement checks or CRDP or CRSC in addition to va compensation. Also those retired don't have to worry about being turned away for some MWR benefits. Not all bases offer all MWR benefits to disabled veteran ID card holders. Most services are reserved first for active duty & dependants, then retired & dependants, and then maybe disabled veteran and dependants depending on availability. Many bases for example will not serve disabled veterans in on post temporary lodging, but all serve the retired.

I Just think everyone should understand retired Id's have many more benefits, the disabled veteran ID doesn't come with.....Also to those who are retired it is kind of an insult for you to say your id is like the retired ID because it is not.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Ahhhhh, there's nothing I like better with my jeez, more than a whole bunch of whine. ;-)

Teac - if your comment is pointed at me I don't buy it. You are correct, a Retiree ID offers more bennies but then they earned it and I believe I "earned" what they give me, also. I also asked for and received senior discounts, from about age fifty, too! And . . . if your comment wasn't pointed at me, please excuse this post. jmo


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Good post, Hedgey.

I was brought up with a Huge respect for others' privacy, esp regarding financial or romantic business.

I'm shocked at questions strangers will ask others, and have unwittingly told people more than I care to reveal about my personal business simply because they asked.

Then I resent them for it biggrin.png

So, Yes - it's a good idea to have prepared answers for prying minds, especially since many others don't have OUR best interests in mind when asking.

One technique Ive found to work is turning the tables i.e. someone asks, "Are you 100%?"

I reply, "How much do YOU make a month? How much you got in the bank?" etc and they quickly shut up.

I just tell people I'm retired (since I'll never work again) and, since I limit human contact anyway, that usually suffices.

I'm prepared to escalate with "That's personal" and, if pushed, "That's none of your business".

Keep people at a comfortable distance for you! smile.png

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