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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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A Few Updates:



  • HadIt.com Elder

fwd from: Kelly

A few updates:

I have been going to the VA two times a week and this week three times. This is a 16-week course so it will continue into June. Therefore, I am running way behind on our issues and challenges.

Glenda's computer bled to death after many many band aides so we have been sharing my computer with the activities she has also. A new computer is on the way for her and I can tell you first hand, sharing is not what it is cracked up to be!

I am about a third of the way through the edits from Richard on the PN challenge with data and statistics to be submitted.

For Gulf War Issues please go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/GulfWarillness/index.html

and get that petition signed for more medical research in that area of Veterans Issue.

(My comment would be hopefully research done by someone independent from the VA and not a major player.)

Congressman Filner:

I received a letter from Congressman Filner’s office to contact his staff on pinpointing some of these Veterans Issues. I did so and spoke with a very nice staff member. I gave them my “rathers’” on what I would prefer to do in conjunction with staffers from other congress and senate folks as well as some VA folks in a three to four hour presentation. Not just pointing out the issues, we have done that repeatedly with none batting even an eye. But hopefully some 'March Order' directions on how to solve some of these issues.

I understand that now some Church organizations are offering to help in the VA paper work for claims, present and past, to try and get the numbers down. I do not think they realize the claims are “kept high” for obvious reasons for Presidents’ Budget Control and men like Dr. Chu at the pentagon.

This would be like in the documented Congress doubling of the staff of the BVA and the production is reduced by 50%. The difference is the VA could then blame the church volunteer staffers for the reduced production.

Congressman Filner said he wanted solutions and that is what we have to address. In many cases, solving one problem in the processes actually solves many associated problems and concerns in the fault tree flow down.

In my discussion, it seems the actual forum and format has not been decided yet. Of course, I am anxious to get started before one more of us dies or looses a home because of promises not kept (and even collusion); but whether this will ever get off the ground is entirely up to Congressman Filner and his staff.

I volunteered to go at my own expense, for however long it takes.

Remains to be seen what will happen on Congressman Filner’s passionate cry for help from Veterans in solving and recommending solutions for Veterans Issues.

I met with my civilian doctor of 25 years yesterday with a quarterly testing plan and prescription plan to eliminate VA health care for me. I finally realized even my service connected issues were now being paid for by my Medicare and my additional insurance I pay for. I guess I did just fall off the Turnip truck as they say on this one. No wonder VA wants me in there at every whipstitch.

I am tired of not knowing when I will be tested and the test results. Alternately finding out from an intern who happened to be talking out loud as she perused my computer file.

Senator Craig:

Senator Craig keeps putting out these glowing selected issues on DoD and VA performance issues. All of it which can be statistically selective to demonstrate some form of actual performance.

As you know and I have stated I support Senator Craig on the issues of Veterans being able to use a lawyer. I do not think even that cut-in has gone far enough. I believe a Vet is a citizen first and any legal matter at any level should be his or her prerogative to use a lawyer or not. I also believe the only way we are going to get this VA system fixed is to have lawyers involved to see just how one sided these legal issues are and actually go against the reasonable interpretation of law and evidentiary findings and how they are used – in the VA’s case they just say "not allowed" or "we do not give the evidence any weight." We run the Veteran's government and we have the power to say so. No matter how many studies the Veterans or his widow has to override the legal statements and legal pronouncements decided and made from Mount Olympus by the Presidents appointed Secretary.

As in my case, I was not even allowed to present the data to the egg-sucking dogs. In addition, as we know, lobby money is the big dog inside 495 and lawyers lobby has plenty of it to throw around. As to whether their lobby money can match the chemical lobby money or not, remains to be seen. Ultimately for Vets and widows that is what wins – not justice.

As I recall the below legislation that was passed was fought for by the Senate with Senator Craig in the lead. Senator Craig stood tuff with twin forty’s hammering away when the House VAC and our pinhead VA secretary did not want this legislation or at least in the way it was written. Tempers did flare some as I recall.

However, any time the VA is given credit for anything it must be tempered with what they are not doing and the subcommittee, even on this legislation, had better stay on top of it. If there is wiggle room VA, will find it.

While some of this is great news, there is much more to be done for past, present, and future Veterans including mandates for AO issues that VA is failing on in performance still after 40 years, as well as Gulf War Issues.


(Washington, DC) According to new data provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, servicemembers are receiving payments for serious wounds and trauma within 8 weeks from when the injuries are first sustained. The payments range from $25,000 to $100,000, depending on the severity of the injury. The average payout is approximately $64,000.

The payments are made possible thanks to legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Larry Craig and passed by Congress two years ago. The benefit, officially known as the Traumatic Injury Protection under the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program (TSGLI), is informally referred to as the Wounded Warrior legislation. Coverage includes everything from the loss of limbs, hearing and sight, to less visible injuries, including the inability to carry out activities of daily living due to traumatic brain injury.

"Out of terrible tragedy, this is at least some good news for those who are injured and their families. That money is helping them cope during a time of incredible personal challenges," said U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who authored the legislation.

The proposal for such a benefit was presented to Sen. Craig by three young veterans who had served in Iraq and been injured there. One of them had lost a leg, another had lost both legs, and the third had lost his sight. The young men explained the financial difficulties their families had experienced while they had recuperated during lengthy hospital stays. They said they did not want to see future veterans go through the financial difficulties they had suffered.

That meeting led to swift passage of legislation, which has now provided nearly $200 million to servicemembers seriously, injured since the war on terror began.

"Getting this money out quickly to our seriously injured men and women is very important to me. At my request VA officials are now doing a top to bottom review to see how they can speed up the process. I look forward to the results of that examination," said Craig, the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Since the legislation became effective in December of 2005, more than 3,000 servicemembers have received a total of $193,820,000. Eighteen of those individuals are in Craig’s home state of Idaho. Collectively those Idahoans have received $1.025 million.

In January Sen. Craig introduced legislation (S. 225) which would expand the coverage area now specified by law. The expanded definition in Craig’s new legislation, if adopted by Congress, will allow servicemembers injured outside the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters – from October 7, 2001, but before December 1, 2005 – to receive payment for their serious injuries. Craig’s new legislation is cosponsored by Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii).

Discussion – Agent Orange cancers as well as some of these Gulf War issues must also be considered a serious government caused war wound with only a 25% survival rate. Yet, the entire congress has not demanded even the slightest emergency from the VA on these cases. As described above these men also lose money, homes, family assets, and even families. They start treatment and have no income. AO cancers are 100% automatic from VA and require three data points to grant compensations. Two of them are given. This process takes VA from 12 to 18 months. Result – The Vet dies using his family savings to sustain his family during that period. Total result - VA stalls enough not to provide any financial support at all and the family ends up subsidizing the government for “government caused mortality cancer” or morbidity.

Not only the time to rating that intentionally stalled at the local VA shops but also the BVA process is a joke and broken.

"…figures support the contention that the Army purposefully tries to hold down costs by giving lower ratings to enlisted members…

“…Army and Marine Corps pay their disabled several hundred dollars less than the Navy and Air Force, according to DOD data…Broken down differently, all services grant officers disability ratings 50% or higher than enlisted…figures support the contention that the Army purposefully tries to hold down costs by giving lower ratings to enlisted members…the average disability for an Air Force officer is $2,604.00 per month…$600.00 more than the Army…average enlisted airman disability pay is $926.00 per month… while the Army is $770.00 and the Marine corps is $753.00…The Army and Air Force have a percentage gap of 12 points…39% of Naval officers receive ratings of 50% or higher compared to 22% of Naval enlisted."

The disability review process is too subjective and it differs from review board to review board. In other words, two identical disabilities each being reviewed at different board locations will not merit the same degree of scrutiny or even pass/fail (approve/disapprove). The net result will vary in the degree of impairment. It boils down to the reviewer and how liberal or how conservative (s)he will be in the reviewing process. The number of BVA approvals versus denials should be questioned because they tend to fluctuate based upon the amount of money saved or available in any given budget year.

CHRIS ADAMS and ALISON YOUNG Kansas City Star - March 06, 2005:

"Knight Ridder news may be onto one of the biggest stories of the year: 13,000 veterans needlessly died awaiting appeals on VA benefit payments, with a net savings of untold millions for VA."

What else has the Senator not told this nation's Veterans since enactment of the Bush Administration initiated Veterans Disability Commission?

Within the issues of holding down levels of compensation and/or stalling for monetary gain as noted above, the disparity between officer and enlisted disability awards from the various services are ridiculous. Once disabled an individual's livelihood will be forever affected regardless of his military rank at the time of injury.

I will say this, upon hearing the below, one old fart in a dark blue suit in the audience stated, “why not - how well the Veteran married in the social circles, or his or her IQ, or how many proms he or she went to.

Enlisted versus Officer


Earning potentials over life

Former job and salary

The old fart in the Blue Suit you probable guessed – was me!

The Senator certainly has much work to do if he is going to fix problems within the V.A. The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission should be dismantled and recognized for what it is: an illegal committee appointed by the President to cut benefits for the Nation's wounded warriors. The White House philosophy followed by the Veterans Administration to stall rulings on thousands of claims awaiting the death of the Veteran so that the V.A. could avoid payment must be changed. The corrupt legal system granted by the Congress to allow a sitting president to render such philosophy serves only to reward the president by granting him his requested budget.

We shall see how successful the House and/or the Senate will be in controlling a runaway, omnipotent federal agency known more appropriately as the Veterans Administration.

Disabilities: Many of you have asked what type of disabilities I have and some of what I have been fighting for all along - for all of us.

Diabetes Type II AO associated

PN with limb wasting – requiring knee braces now since the PN has weakened the joints to the point of no stability. (Subcutanious wasting of feet, legs, and tendons) Walk on bones instead of cutanious cushion. Chronic pain in the legs especially. AO connected? - The scientific transcripts (at least three different Ranch Hand transcripts) say yes; the VA/IOM and the published flawed RH says no. Other studies say yes by statistical analysis < 0.05 associated to dioxin exposures; as well as p-values of difference < 0.05. Odds ratios were found at OR = 2.39. A second study confirmed PN as the most prevalent disorder associated with Agent Orange. Is this a stand-alone disorder regardless of clinical or sub-clinical causes? By all scientific protocols it is. Except by our DoD/VA/IOM.

Some lipid issues recently but mostly “triglyceride issues” discovered since 1979 as well as elevated ESR. {hs-CRP in acute phase (7.1)} (This means inflammatory conditions form chronic dosing) Described and found the exact same way” in the Ranch Hand (RH) transcripts – AO connected? - The scientific transcripts say yes; the VA/IOM and the published flawed RH says no.

1979 developed an autoimmune disorder dealing with histamines. This is called urticaria and usually has a life of about 8 to 10 years. For some reason it does resolve with those symptoms but what permanent damage is done, I am not smart enough to know. Mine lasted about 14 years with a very acute phase that was on the verge of debilitating for about 8 of those years. I stumbled on to this form of damage found in the Korean study on dioxin exposures. While there was no connection to the four levels of exposure; dose response was not concluded. However, the p-value of difference found was 0.0614 with none in the comparison group found.

1979 time frame found repetitive motions in my legs would produce weakness. Example I had to quit playing drums as the muscle and tendons would get so weak I could not move them after a few repetitious movements. Found in RH study? Yes Found in other studies? YES

IgA and IgE antibody increased issues as well as deceased issues in IgG1 – IgG4. IgG antibody class leading defense mechanism for infections. Found in Ranch Hand transcripts as well as German, Dutch, and Korean studies. Korean studies indicated confusion in what type of response was required by the body for certain reactions. Probably why the immune system cancers and such. Cells exposed to high levels of IL 4 and IL 10. I have not had that test for immune system dysfunction yet but am working on it.

Chronic infections in the sinuses, throat, and ear. Associated to the confused and ineffective immune issues? More than likely.

Debilitating Daily Chronic Fatigue – Found in Ranch Hand transcripts? Yes Associated to immune system issues? Probably.

Unusual COPD form – lung capacity is “better than normal” but processing is only about 42%. Associated to exposures? Flawed Ranch Hand indicated no finding of lung cancer but chronic breathing issues should be monitored with the chronic findings in personnel. Seveso found COPD. Recently VA study found:

SOURCE: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, November 2006.

…However, exposure to herbicides among Vietnam veterans confirmed a 50 percent increased risk of diabetes, a 52 percent greater heart disease risk, a 32 percent increased risk of hypertension and a 60 percent greater likelihood of having a chronic respiratory problem such as emphysema or asthma.

"Almost three decades after Vietnam service," the researchers conclude, "US Army veterans who were occupationally exposed to phenoxyherbicide in Vietnam experienced significantly higher risks of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and non-malignant lung diseases than other veterans who were not exposed to herbicides.”

You will notice the VA is very careful in stating non-malignant lung disease and not using the medical term Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) that has been found in dioxin exposures as well as Vietnam Veterans. While the concert of VA and BVA directed by our White House has continuously denied this disease of the processes associated with pulmonary functions.

Gastrointestinal Issues – in Vietnam during my 6th month I had cyanosis for about two weeks’ probably from AB. At this time, my gastro system went to hell and hand basket. I had no (zero) issues prior to that. At that time, I also developed an aversion to any form of alcohol which sounds like a liver issue. Coming home, I was on a bland diet along with a sudden development of lack of the enzyme that assists digestion of the double sugar in milk products. During a period of about five years I had many many many tests including several upper GI and lower GI – result was called IBS or spastic this or spastic that. Meaning? They had no clue why in one year I went to eating anything I wanted, drinking milk by the gallon, and at least being able to drink a beer without causing flu like symptoms to a bland diet that; even that did not solve the symptoms.

As I became more and more disabled from these cumulative effects culminating in 2001 to the point I could no longer work full time, I started my research on why me and none of my family on either side had any of these issues.

I stumbled across the gastro problems referenced in many studies including the Aussies.

After a long search that took me to medical findings anywhere from University of Iowa to the University of Michigan and other published medical journals trying to find the connection. I succeeded.

After what I call reverse engineering I found a path to the intestinal problems, at least in my case. Lucky for me in the issues I found in the Ranch Hand transcripts I had gone to my family doctor of 22 years, asked questions, and even recommended tests to do. He listened as he had no idea why I was degenerating except he concluded probably because of the toxic chemicals. Most of it correlated exactly what I had found in RH transcripts. Was my doctor surprised? No! Did he know about it many of the found issues I brought up that I found unreported? No!

Of course in many cases as he said, yes we identified it but there is little if anything that can be done to fix it, only treat the symptoms.

On the gastro issues, I had recommended a screening panel for antibodies produced by macrophages and lymphocytes in the small intestines. The connection was I found that some of these intestinal lymphocytes were the same as in the lymphoma cancers already associated and the longer you had these intestinal issues that the more likely you were to develop one of the AO immune system cancers.

The test came back positive. However typical with this test is a false positive so we decide to wait six weeks and repeat. No since being in a hurry after 37 years of suffering. The second test also came back positive. Now the only way to verify damages is with an endoscope’s test. The test confirmed what I had thought in intestinal Celia damages and in addition found Barrett’s esophagus probably related to the decades of gastro problems. The Celia were damaged. This is where some of the digestive enzymes are produced for double milk sugars. Possibly, why before I went over I could drink milk and then after coming home milk was like a fast acting laxative.

I solved that problem which was solvable - some of this is not. I am now having endoscopes test done every 18 months. After being on medication for a year, I can now drink any milk products I want {INCLUDING MILK SHAKES} and actually am back somewhat to what I was before going to Vietnam 38 years ago in digestion, with little or no indigestion in eating anything.

The latest test also showed an improvement in the Barrett’s esophagus.

Do I think the DoD/VA/IOM/Ranch Hand has known about this for decades? Yes I do.

Bone Density Loss

Here again I think as a probable hardheaded idiot in this mess that the above is another reason why Nam Vets as well as I exhibit a known loss of bone density. Ranch Hand transcripts did point out this to a level but then I could not get my hands on all the transcripts for obvious government reasons. I believe it was Dr. Titelbaum had contacted the committee stating he had found a connection to bone loss and the dioxin exposures and someone was going up to see him. If the antibodies are blocking the intestinal cell receptors then the essential vitamins and minerals absorption also slow down. This includes the Nam Vets that exhibit a loss of B12.

It will be interesting to see if the bone density loss has slowed down some or even possibly improved in the next test in about a year.

Now in studying these issues I did find out (University of Iowa) that you do not have to exhibit the acute gastro symptoms as I did to have these issues or it may wax and wane. Just so happens mine has been acute as well as a daily event for the past almost four decades.

Is all of this just a coincidence in many areas and commonality? I would think that would require statistics to the level of hitting the power ball at least two times in a row. Is it logical conclusions based on science and scientific findings? I would think so. However, DoD/VA/IOM and the ESD BVA say no.

Of course you know the issues with my waiting for five years and the BVA judge would not let me present my case and how this all applies for the official VA transcripts.

After five years of fighting with VA, I am now at 20% for diabetes and 10% for each limb because of PN for a total cumulative 50% disability rating.

Was a concerted effort put forth to keep me as well as many of you under 60%? I think the answer is no longer in question and is just another additive to the VA stalling/controlling methodology.

There is obvious evidence in the testing compared to what Ranch Hand (and other studies) found that indicates many issues and results are common to those exposed. Do I think and the doctors think this is primarily resulting in damaged immune system test results? The answer is of course yes.

The interesting thing is when my family doctor sent me to a well known immunologist with a back ground in rheumatoid issues his comment was after reviewing my test results; "I am not a liver expert but these results looks like a liver issue."

I think Dr. Birnbaum of the EPA and her staff may be closer to root cause to at least where all these chronic dioxin issues emanate from than they give themsleves credit. Whether it is clinical liver (found by non invasive testing as found in Ranch Hand) or subclinical (only found when an experienced pathologist gets involved).

Regardless, the above symptoms or syndromes seem to capture what many Vietnam Veterans have developed in some testing and systemic symptoms. Some, of course, going on to systemic mortality damages from parallel issues caused by their exposures.

One of the questions I was asked in my class at the VA was: "What do I believe now that was different before Vietnam."

Department of Defense is no longer to be trusted on War Issues.

Department of Defense is no longer to be trusted on Veterans Issues.

Politicians, with few exceptions, on War Issues are no longer to be trusted.

Politicians, with few exceptions, on Veterans Issues are no longer to be trusted.

Did I get a loud Amen from the rest of the Nam Veterans in the group? You bet they did!

"I cannot fight a cowardly government and its officials that have all the rules of engagement on their side and 'still will not stand and fight'."


Source: http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com:8...quickupdate.htm

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I am familiar with this site- but sure havent checked in there recently!

Kelley is saying it all how it is-

I wonder where he got that figure- 13,000 vets who died waiting for claim resolve?

I am also confused as to the figures the newly returned wounded vets got in comp-

it sounds like a pay out-OK I re-reead -this IS a payout-

I will try to check in with this vet as soon as I get time-for clarification-

He has made many excellent points-

He is right- AO is causing heart disease-

VA only SCes that if the CAD is due to DMII-

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