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VSO states they work for the VA not for ME

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So, as some know I have been having a little war with the VA and my VSO, the American Legion, about getting my DBQ's.

So today I went to the VSO's office in the VARO building during their "walk in" hours since I could not get them to give me an appointment.

On the door was as sign saying the office was closed for the week for training and left the 800 number for Washington DC office.

I knock on the door anyway. Two ladies answer.

Tell them what I want and that I need them to do it today.

They invite me into the office.

I hand them a typed sheet with the Dates and Dr's of my C&P's and a list of documents for each one that I need.

The first lady says she doesn't know why I am there. The second lady says she will help me. The first lady says show me how we do this.


I tell them again what I want and the 2nd lady says why do you want to file a NOD, I tell her. She says you don't need these files to file an appeal.......The VA already has them. I tell her I need to know exactly what the DBQ says and what the letters to and from VA says. I also need the code sheets as they existed at each point for each approved and denied C&P.

She tells me no i don't and if I insist on filing a NOD I should just file an HLR.. I told her no, that would not work for this and the HLR results are not typically veteran friendly.

She then spends 20 minutes more telling me that I need to listen to her because veterans don't know what they want and don't know anything about the VA and how to win their claim.

She then says "We work for the VA not for you, and the VA knows what it is doing".

this of course makes me mad and I say to her " I am asking you to get me these files. nothing more. I have heard your opinion and all you need to do is get me copies of these files." She then starts in again trying to convince me not to file.

I get more insistent and tell her that i heard her but I expect her to do exactly as I requested, nothing more.

She then says "Well you don't need those files so let me file the NOD" I tell her NO. Resoundingly empathically NO>

She then tells me I know how to file a NOD. She then remembers I am filing a CUE and says "you shouldn't file a CUE because you will never win and then the VA will be mad at you"......

Just f'ing wow.

Then I tell her once again to do what I asked her to do and to stop trying to dissuade me from what I want. I tell her she is wasting her time and mine and that all I want is her to get those documents.

She then yells to the other woman to get "Bill".  Man comes in and says "those are VA files you don't get to have them".

I tell him he is wrong and ask who he is. He refuses to answer. I look at woman 2 and say Please tell me your full name so I have a record. She wants to know why. I tell her point blank, that the next time I speak to AL in DC I am going to reference her and what she has said and not done. I then look at "Bill" and ask his name. He tells me 'you don't need to know that". I tell him I do because saying "Bill from AL means nothing to anyone". He snaps back 'I don't work for AL I work for VFW".

I ask him why he is sticking his nose into an AL situation? He gets mad and leaves.

She writes down her name, at least I think it is her name, date and time .

Then says all she is going to do is fill out a FOIA.  At this point I decide to let her do that and get a copy to submit with my complaint to the AL.

 She then asks me what I want. Types that I want my C-file and the files on the attached sheet, prints it, shoves it at me and says to Sign it. I tell her no it is not accurate and ask for a pen and write explicitly what  I want.

She literally tries to argue with me.

I tell her to stop arguing and write the FOIA the way I tell her.

She writes it wrong in her own phrasing and i made her redo it.

Then I made her add Time is of the essence on the form.

When she handed it to me. I initialed before and after the typing and drew a line threw the blank space.

She gasped and asked why I did that. I said "its blank space and anyone could add words to that blank space. She then started to say, and got half way through saying

'I needed to put more stuff...." and then shut up as she realized she was admitting to falsifying a FOIA over my signature.


I am not sure which is worse, having the people with my POA try and screw me over or having the VA which is supposed to be on my side try and Screw me over.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

Good for you Geeky   taking up for yourself   way to go there buddy.

if you get this in time  call into the hadit radio show and tell them about this.

its tonight at 6:00pm 7:00 pm eastern 

(347) 237-4819 when it answers just hit #1.

Also check with Alex (ASKNOD) about this issue   he will be on the show tonight.


Edited by Buck52
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Geeky...I want to think that I am reading a fictional book, but sadly I know this is real life. I have never heard of such crap from an outfit that is supposed to be on the side of the veteran. As GB said above I would have lost it half way through. This is why I don't use a VSO for the few (I know the majority are good) because they don't want to help the vet. If I was going into DC anytime soon I would hand carry your papers and complaints into the AL HQ in DC. I know they would not stand for this (at least I hope so).

I wish you luck with your filings.

BTW I did have a VSO for a few months and I decided they were doing nothing for me and it took over six months to get them removed. They are easy to add but hell to remove. 

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Paul Why did it take 6 months to get them removed as yout POA? Anything you could tell us that we should watch out for?

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GB I don't know, I submitted several requests in writing and several phone calls. I think it comes down to the VA not wanting to deal with the vet directly, they perter we have the VSOs work with the VA. Now that I read Geeky's statement above now I know why. But I really kept after them to get the VSO removed, as I told the VA I don't want someone getting my info that I am not using. I learned my lesson as to really think it through before I sign my life away with a VSO.

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