Tag Archives: va

VA Healthcare Should Change


Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think VA hospitals should be called hospitals because they are not like any other hospital I have ever been in. About ninety percent are great people but there are some employees that are just a mystery to me how it is they ever got into the medical field. They obviously don’t like people or taking care of them and they are very angry. There are doctors who refuse now to give people with chronic pain like myself anything that helps with the pain claiming that too many veterans have committed suicide. However, I fail to see how that can happen if they are the ones dispensing the medicine. It’s a crazy environment at times.

The first VA hospital I was in was in Minneapolis. I had my back surgery there. They did fusion on my back and then they went into my spine, without permission, and they said they enlarged the cavity due to stenosis. Then when I left the hospital they forgot to refer me to physical therapy and so that is part of the reason why my back is so bad.  But while I was there some strange things happened. The day after the surgery a young man came into my room and said it’s time for your appointment, get into the chair. I said, “I just had back surgery and I can’t walk.” So he said, “Hey, Charlie, come here and help me with this guy he can’t walk – we need to get the sling.” Now if I had not said that I did not now of any appointments he would have hoisted me out of bed too soon and could have crippled me  for life is what the doctor told him. I found out later that he had just gotten into an argument with the janitor and he got the wrong room. The janitor said he was an asshole. I think I would concur.

Then I had trouble urinating so they wanted to put a catheter in me. I said okay and the nurse didn’t put any lube on the end of the thing and shoved it in my poor member hard and I screamed and she said, “Oh stop being such a baby.” I said, “Hey, how about I shove that up your…” well you get the idea. Needless to say me and nurse ratchet parted ways and they got me a new nurse.

Then also after I got out of the hospital the neurologist forgot to order physical therapy. And then when I called in and told my doctor he said to walk. I said, “It’s extremely icey out and cold and I can’t walk in that shit because it makes me hurt and I am afraid I will fall. I do after all have a lot of arthritic condtions. ” The doctor didn’t care so I called the neurologist and he says, “You should be in pt -you mean your doctor didn’t put you int physical therapy?” So then I went round and round between those two about whose job it was to assign physical therapy and I never ended up getting it which at the time I did not reaiize how much that would messs me up further.

The next day I was made to get up and walk around which I know you have to do. I have learned that the last thing you want to do is lay around with back pain. I try to stay active but they did what they just did to me in Ann Arbor – they pushed me too hard too fast. They didn’t believe me when I told them how much it hurt and that I thought they were pushing me too hard. Where am at now is much better. They explained to me that this is a rehabilitation center and that the VA uses forced physical therapy and I believe that. They go, “Come on, push it – go, come on – you can do it.” And if you don’t do it then they get short with you and make you feel like a wimp just like boot camp all over again. Except now – I’m not in the military anymore. So why should I be made to feel like I re-enlisted every time I go to a VA hospital?  Should I suit up and get on my boots again every time or could I possibly be treated with just a little human dignity and respect. Don’t think it’s a lot to ask for all of us.

The next time was in Las Vegas. I had a strict Phillipino nurse who didn’t want me to take pain meds. Her logic was that if I slept during the day I must not be in that much pain. She didn’t realize I had only gotten about four hours of sleep.  That was the first time I learned how to use a patient advocate but all they did was give her a stern talking to. Big deal.

Then I was back in Wisconsin and got yelled at for having pain again. I brought a pamphlet into the room with me that I found in the VA waiting room that said, “Speak UP!” It was great. It was all about speaking up if you are in pain. So when he said no I showed him the pamphlet so he increased my pan meds to a stronger one and I am not going to say what because I am sure that they will read this or some mother of a veteran or wife in Cleveland or something will be e-mailing me about how I should not take those drugs! But I was pain free for the first time in a long time. for the most part and that’s all I ask for. I know that I am never going to be down to zero pain level but I am tired of living up at seven to ten.

So then when I got down to Florida I was sent to the pain clinic where this doctor told me that Florida was tired of being considered the pain capitol of the country and would not be giving me any more narcotics for pain. They sited some news stories about veterans commiting suicide with narcotics. I never saw that story and got the same damn speech this last time four years later from the pain clinic here in Michigan. I’ll be damned if I’ve seen this story. I searched for it online and all I could find was some sporadic suicides by narcotics, but not ilke the epedemic they make it sound like. They want to use the ‘new age’ way of curing with a friendly smile and a shaking of the head they wave away and turn up their noses at anything that might actually help me. They then prescribed citalopram which I told them I did not like and would not take again because it made me more depressed and does not help with pain but they did it anyway. Of course. God forbid that the patient have rights at a VA facility as a veteran with a bunch of dumbledorfs who could not find their ass with two hands, a flashlight, and a mother-fucking search team.

And to top it all off – they put some wonderful things about me in my record. Apparently it is a crime to move from one city to another when you are going to a pain clinic because then you are using “multiple pharmacies” and then I have gone to several providers seeking narcotics. What they did not write is that I did not break the law. I moved up from FL in August of 2015. I went to an ER and he prescribed enough to get me to my provider. Then he prescribed me enough to get me to my pain clinic and I have been hospitalized twice and told pain clinic doctor this but he sees so many patients that he has no idea about me and assumed the VA was right and told the he agreed and now I have no idea if I can go to a pain clinic or not. I am going to go ape-shit on somebody if they leave me with nothing.

This may sound like a conspiracy theory and you can discard if you want but what I really think is happening is that they are discarding veterans with pain from the Gulf War just like they did the Vietnam veterans because they don’t want to admit to their mistakes and on top of that – the whole veterans suicide theory is bullshit. I think they want us to commit suicide from lack of pain relief and nights of fitful and lack of sleep. Pulling your hair out because you hurt so much so you either take a handful of something non narcotic like the VA’s favorit go to – Neurontin or the generic name Gabapentin and say goodnight or you blow your head off. It’s a victory for the US Government because that is one less veteran they have to treat and possibly pay for the shit we were exposed to.

I tell you fellow veterans – DO NOT GIVE UP THE FIGHT!! Hold on and we have to stick together. We can’t beat them alone, but together we are an army and that’s exactly what they want. We need to coordinate with the old duded from Nam and figure out a way to get our broken asses up to the capitol to protest and there is a lot of good research being done at Georgetown so maybe while we arae there we can go by there and get some godamn answers! I am sick of the bullshit. It’s time to get some feet on the ground out there in the nation’s capital and protest the treatment of veterans with Gulf War Syndrome. We could make the press and stay there until we get what we need to get by. I am calling the fucking VA on their bullshit!

I want to hear from you out there dear readers. I know I can’t be the only veteran who feels this way. I want to hear your experiences and maybe we can get together some petition or something. They have some goo stuff online for that these days. But we need a physical presence in D.C. to make a difference. I know that people read this blog so I need to hear from you. E-mail me at rockstarinart@gmail.com and say hey, Dave – we need to do this shit and let’s figure it out. I don’t have any money but I do have a six year pending claim and finally got an attorney and they just filed a brief to try and get me my shit so if I do I will be buying a Winnebago and heading up there and I hope that somebody will be joining me. If not I will roll up in my chair out there and stay until I am heard. Like the guy from the movie ‘Born on the Fourth of July.” Ron Kovic. I will tell them, “In the great words of Ron Kovic, I am your yankee doodle dandy on wheels, I am your sad reminder of war that nobody wants to face or something like that.”  I am paraphrasing because I forgot and I am too damn tired and lazy and in pain to look it up.

I am now in a nursing home and unable to walk. Haven’t taken a dump in two weeks and now I have to catheterize my pecker when I am in too much pain to punch out a piss because my prostrate is too damn swollen. I don’t know if I will be here a week or a year but I am not giving up.

I have tried it all. I contacted my senators. I wrote to the President and I even called the big poobah himself, the honorable secretary Bob. I got a few letters saying how concerned they were for me and how much they want our veterans to get the help they need and their hearts all go out to me and wish me well. I think it’s a form letter that they all have with a rubber signature stamp. I got a few calls when I contacted Secretary Bob and they tried to help but it’s like they don’t get it. They are healthy and they don’t seem to understand what is like for those of us with multiple conditions that make it impossible for us to work and causes so many side effects from multiple medications and some Gulf War vets have even got MS or Lupus or ALS and so far I thank the lord that i don’t have that at least, but I don’t know what the future brings and I know one thing is for sure – I will not be going to the VA hospitals ever again. I am so glad I have Medicaid after my separation.

So here’s my final thought on a solution. Do away with VA health care all together and give us all the best health plan in the country and all veterans are given preferential treatment at all hospitals in our country and if they are in pain they get what they need and if they want tests – they get the damn tests and we might even find a damned cure for this curse of a disease ! but then I woke up.

Contact Dave now with your thoughts on this article if you are a Gulf War veteran or family member of one at rockstarinart@gmail.com.

The Kurdish Catastrophe


daveinhospRecently I have been in the hospital after having a series of mini-strokes or T.I.A.’s. They are brought on from high blood pressure and stress and my entire right side went numb. The good news is that there is no permanent damage, but it is a long recovery because I am still very weak. I am recovering in an assisted living facility. The bad news is that it could be the sign of a regular stroke coming or an underlying disease. I am hoping it’s neither. However, while in the hospital I met a woman who worked in housekeeping and she noticed I had a Desert Storm veteran hat and she said my brother was in that war and never came home. I am constantly reminded of the fact that no matter how low my depression may get, no matter how bad my pain, no matter how bad my problems – there is always someone else who either has it worse or is no longer with us.

The world is full of pain and suffering which lives next door to beauty and passion. It’s been hard for me to see the beauty and passion in things lately with some of the things I have gone through in recent months. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and get caught up in self-pity, but I think that it’s important to try to find a way to rise above all that and do my very best to hold my head high even though it hurts, to smile in the face of adversity, and to laugh when I just feel like crying all day. I refuse to let the bastards who put me in this condition win. I will have my day in court and that day is coming in June – next month. I can hardly wait. My very first hearing with the VA in Detroit.

But getting back to the housekeeper in the hospital; her brother was in the Navy and he supposedly fell of the back of a jeep in Guam and was killed. Her family has always suspected this may have been a cover story for some foul play, but either way he is gone and it was during the war and he saw his share of the war. She gave me the following poem to publish and she said that General Colin Powell, Army (Retired), himself, read it and gave him an award for it posthumously. It is no wonder because it is truly inspiring.

The Kurdish Catastrophe
by CM2 Douglas Lanning, USN
May 1991
US Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 133
Zakho, Iraq

SADDAMI can’t explain all that I’ve seen, but I will do my best to say what I mean

The glow on their faces is almost enough, but you can still tell they’ve had it rough.

You look around, it seems so unreal, and you try to imagine how they must feel.

We came to provide comfort to the people here, they seem to trust us – it’s him they fear.

african american soldier in iraq_soldier_criesThe leader of so many – Saddam Hussein, has caused their suffering and their pain.

From the land mines that he placed all over the place, to the napalm burns and blisters on a young child’s face.

From the people living out in the street, to the ones in town without power and heat.

From the people washing clothes in the muddy waters, to the many who had to bury their own sons and daughters.

amputeeYou see a child selling whatever he can, all of this and more because of the man.

I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s all really all true, think about it a second, I’m not even through.

I’ve been to the hospital to visit a small boy, who picked up a hand grenade, thought it was a toy.

tankerYou cannot blame him, he’s just a curious kid, I can still remember vividly what his new toy did.

I really can’t believe they were able to save his hand, then I also can’t believe this was once all beautiful land.

The mountains from a distance, an eye-catching sight, they really are beautiful with their snow caps of white.

FE_DA_130319IraqIt’s just sad to think all of the people up there, a quarter million people, but he doesn’t seem to care.

When our operation is finally through, I cannot help but wonder what the people are gonna do.

Will they go on living the way they were before, or will the one man, their leader, kill even more?

I guess that is something only time will tell, from my observation, they’ve been through living hell.

 

Fighting the Pain and the V.A.


gulffires3  This has been a strange year for me so far. In some ways it was really great, but again my health has stopped me from enjoying life the way I want to. My daughter gave birth to my grandson, Colton James, two months ago and in April I published my first book. You would think I would be really happy, and I am trying, but pain is a real big problem and I keep having to go to the hospital.

Since I moved to Florida at the end of 2012 I have noticed that the V.A. here is just not really that together. I had my share of problems everywhere I have lived, but Florida is just really screwed up for the most part. I sgulffires2eem to have to fight with clerks, nurses, and doctors – sometimes on a daily basis. I should not have to do this. I don’t have a lot of fight left in me.

Today is a scary day. I am fighting to breath and fighting severe pain from my neck to my feet. gulffires1I just got a catheter taken out, but now I am again having to push hard to urinate and I seem to have to go every five minutes. I don’t sleep much these days; maybe three or four hours if I’m lucky. After a few days of this I pass out for about six hours and then I wake up with chest pain and trouble catching my breath.

In case you were wondering where I have been and why I haven’t been writing here I think the last paragraph sums it up. I also have been in the hospital for various serious issues six times this year. I just don’t really have a lot left to say sometimes. It’s hard to write when you feel like you’re dying.

I can’t help but wonder if this is maybe what the VA wants. I am a problem child to them. Every time I go to a doctor they are like, “Okay, tell me what your priorities are – I only have so much time.”

I understand thamean doc 2t other veterans are waiting and I don’t want to take up too much time, but this last time I asked for a longer appointment and the clerk assured me that the doc would take as long as I needed. Of course, he was wrong. So it would be much easier if I passed on than to take the time to actually deal with me. I also have a claim for service-connection so I am a big problem to them. They don’t want to pay me what I deserve and what my family does for sure because they are the ones who care for me and watch my back, they deserve it. My time is short, I know that, but they deserve something for taking care of me daily. My wife has health issues too, but yet she does everything for me and I am helpless to do anything about that.

This was taken on a day when I was having severe pain and nothing seemed to work. But I made it and I am just documenting it - not looking for anyone's pity. Do not pity me - just ask your congressman, your physicians, the VA or whoever is supposed to be working on trying to help vets with symptoms of Gulf War Illness. And I also want to say that I am not complaining. I am merely trying to make a point. I talk with so many vets that say they don't know where to turn and I am just trying to use myself as an example of a vet with the same problems. I have been told by certain individuals that I would rather not name because I don't want to implicate any one organization. Let's just say that certain people working at vet orgs have conflicting views with the way things are supposed to be according to the mandates or regulations or press blurbs or whatever you want to call them - the sec of the VA says that he wants to help us and that's great - but then I am told by certain people that it would take years to help me and that I am looking at conspiracy stuff online and getting excited about that. I have not dilusions about what happened to me. I was obviously exposed to something that made me unable to be employed at the age of 38. I would say that is a good reason to be inquiring why. I have a letter from the VA that states that they do take responsibility for the rare condition I have called Polymyalgia Rhematica or PMR. (look up on wikipedia) if you don't know what it is - it basically makes my joints hurt all the time especially when it is raining or snowing etc.. and on top of that I have arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I just want to be seen by specialists. I have an appt with a new doc next week and I am hopeful that I can be sent to places like Wash DC or JAX, Fl = there are supposed to be testing places for gulf war illness there. I took the test for GWI and then they wanted me to take it again for some reason. I can't afford to go to all these appt's. on the pension I get. The gas is too expensive and now with sequestration I can't get my travel pay! But I am trying to remain positive.Thanks for all the support and I know that you guys are going through it too - I am thinking of you first - I want you to know that. Of course, not all the time, this day I certainly wasnt, but my hope is that this blog might inspire more vets to try and get the help they need. More on my next post! God bless...
This was taken on a day when I was having severe pain and nothing seemed to work. But I made it and I am just documenting it – not looking for anyone’s pity. Do not pity me – just ask your congressman, your physicians, the VA or whoever is supposed to be working on trying to help vets with symptoms of Gulf War Illness. And I also want to say that I am not complaining. I am merely trying to make a point. I talk with so many vets that say they don’t know where to turn and I am just trying to use myself as an example of a vet with the same problems. I have been told by certain individuals that I would rather not name because I don’t want to implicate any one organization. Let’s just say that certain people working at vet orgs have conflicting views with the way things are supposed to be according to the mandates or regulations or press blurbs or whatever you want to call them – the sec of the VA says that he wants to help us and that’s great – but then I am told by certain people that it would take years to help me and that I am looking at conspiracy stuff online and getting excited about that. I have not dilusions about what happened to me. I was obviously exposed to something that made me unable to be employed at the age of 38. I would say that is a good reason to be inquiring why. I have a letter from the VA that states that they do take responsibility for the rare condition I have called Polymyalgia Rhematica or PMR. (look up on wikipedia) if you don’t know what it is – it basically makes my joints hurt all the time especially when it is raining or snowing etc.. and on top of that I have arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I just want to be seen by specialists. I have an appt with a new doc next week and I am hopeful that I can be sent to places like Wash DC or JAX, Fl = there are supposed to be testing places for gulf war illness there. I took the test for GWI and then they wanted me to take it again for some reason. I can’t afford to go to all these appt’s. on the pension I get. The gas is too expensive and now with sequestration I can’t get my travel pay! But I am trying to remain positive.Thanks for all the support and I know that you guys are going through it too – I am thinking of you first – I want you to know that. Of course, not all the time, this day I certainly wasnt, but my hope is that this blog might inspire more vets to try and get the help they need. More on my next post! God bless…

I recently tried to receive home health care and I got called by a nurse practitioner who had a problem with my request. She said I was too young. I agree, I said, but I didn’t choose to be sick. I have so many issues that I have to carry around a list of meds and conditions. She was so rude. She asked me a series of questions about whether or not I was in diapers and things like that. I think she missed her calling as a drill sergeant. She kept harping on my age and I have heard it before. Kids get cancer – why can’t I have gulf war illness? I was, after all, in the gulf war! If you go to the website for home health care at the Orlando VA they state that age does not matter. I guess she didn’t get the memo. Typical.

 

Why Can’t I Reach my VA Clinic by Phone?


pain14I was really excited when I was able to go to the Orange City, Florida VA clinic. I thought it would be closer to my house than Daytona, but with traffic and the indirect route it is still almost a two-hour drive. I am amazed by the fact that you cannot call this clinic. Well, I should say you can call all you want, but if you want to actually speak to somebody than I don’t think you’ll want to spend a week on redial with them while the phone rings and rings.

smlkeI should be able to reach my clinic. I just got out of the hospital for 10 days and nobody seems obligated to reach me by phone, however, they love to make appointments I can’t make on my VA pension. I don’t have enough money for gas. They do reimburse me, but it is about a month later. That doesn’t help me this month.

pain5I tried to complain about some of these issues and more and they have just blacked out communication. If you try to call Orlando VA it’s often voice mail. I tried several times to reach the Orlando patient advocate’s office and they don’t answer. You leave a message and unless you raise holy hell like I did last time about how I had never received a call back in 4 tries to contact them in the last few months.
stomachThe woman who called told me that I should make my appointments. Apparently my wife and I should starve because we need to make medical appointments. Oh, did I forget to mention that my wife has serious stomach issues and other things to do with personal issues. Let’s just put it this way – she does not do anything but puke every meal out. Not on purpose, of course, but, because that’s how bad her stomach is.

A surgeon did not tie off right on an ulcer operation for her and she almost died. She had her stomach in a triple hernia and she was very ill. She also has had other issues to do with hyperglycemia.

I have so many issues myself to do with the Gulf War and they are not recognized. Nobody seems to have the time or inclination to help me. I am not worthy of a VA doctor or PA, in my case which is typical here, who probably hates his position there and is going to show it, to actually read my record. To actually see the many issues I deal with on a regular basis. I cannot hardly move from the chair to the bathroom or the bed to the kitchen.

mean docIt seems that things are much different here in Florida. I hate to say it, because it is something locals hate, but I was spoiled in Wisconsin. I know that there are many, many more veterans in Florida. The most of any other state, I belive it is 8 million, but why can’t they ask for more staff? Probably a budget issue. The employees get more money this way? I don’t know, but for whatever reason there’s not way to get people to answer phones, read records, and you can’t even get an introduction, at least not a proper one, from a VA doctor. They don’t want anything but a quick in and out from you. I’m not an in and out kind of patient. I have had my rights violated in so many ways for too many times and it needs to end.

So what do I do now? Well, I saw that the VA “Secretary Bob” has given out his cell phone number and well, I decided, “What the hell!” I’m going to call the number? I was nervous as could be, but I did it. I complained.

My main complaint now is something that I probably should be so ashamed of, according to the VA, I smoked a joint when in pain before I signed a contract not to smoke anymore after they gave me a very small amount of pain killers.

mjI came up positive for cannabis and suddenly I am a “drug addict” I was told I have to “jump through hoops!”

I don’t do hoops since I got out of the Navy and I don’t plan on jumping through any damned hoops again! I grow my hair to the damned length I wish, I don’t shave if I can’t stand in front of the mirror very long and I just don’t take orders anymore.

I have earned that right by the six years I gave the Navy. I wasn’t a perfect sailor, but I wasn’t the worst one either. I did some things that I think are commendable and the point is I shouldn’t have to defend my reputation.
mean doc 2So, I was told I have to see a drug counselor and then report promptly to the Pain Clinic again. After Gainesville and the treatment I got there where I was told I was fat, lazy, and uneducated, I will not go to another pain clinic in my lifetime. I will not see there “pain psychologist.” Which is like “military intelligence,” to me! The two words just don’t go together. It’s a major mismatch of terms. What am I going to use Freud to stop the pain?

TVI_cameramanNext, I plan to contact the local newspaper, TV stations, maybe the VFW in Washington, D.C. or whoever will listen and let them know that even the social workers at the VA are unable to help. They don’t seem to have the time from the things I was told. Nobody wants to do their job or they are just too unorganized and incapable to keep up to the standards of the treatment of veterans that are in serious need of some help like me. They make excuses and say how busy they are and I know they are, but I have also been in the lobby while the phone rings and people who are not busy are just ignoring the phones.

God help you if you are planning to move to Florida. My advice if you are a veteran is go somewhere else if you want good healthcare. I have been to both local VA systems in Gainesville and Orlando and I am so frustrated with both that I am just ready to burst with stress and I don’t need it and neither does my wife. God help you too if you ever become sick or disabled. This country isn’t helping people like me or my wife. They have all these programs and they don’t seem to want us to use them. Isn’t that what they are intended for? That’s what I thought, but I was told that home health care was a program I had never heard of. I could actually get a doctor to come to my house.

The social worker said, “It’s usually for people who are wheel-chair bound or who can’t hardly get around and have no wife to drive them.”

cathyI almost burst a blood vessel in my head when I heard this comment! She has no idea how much it hurts my wife, who also suffers from sciatica and hip trouble, along with some mental health issues, and anxiety. How dare her just assume that I am not a candidate when I can barely walk, I have been hospitalized four times in this year alone. I spent New Years to Easter in a damn hospital. I am completely fed up with the Florida V.A.

 

 

Where to Start Getting Help for Gulf War Illness (or Syndrome)


gw18gw3If you are struggling with the various conditions associated with Gulf War Illness there is help at the VA although I have yet to see a primary care doctor who will help. You have to be persistent and explain to them that the VA website and the VA position has finally changed on this. You may have to fight to get benefits and you are entitled to service-connected disability for your problems. If you are struggling to get by and you feel that there is no hope you really need to talk to someone. Where do you start? Ask your Veteran’s Service Officer located in your county seat (usually the courthouse building). Check the yellow pages or look on the links section of this site for a complete list of all of them nationwide. Keep in mind, though, that although these representatives of the VA are there to help you and they will, they also work for the same institution that is not just going to hand you the key to the city. You will have to work hard and be prepared to wait a long time for actual benefits unless of course you do what I did and apply for a non-service connected pension first if you cannot work anymore like me. That’s not as much money, but it’s better than nothing and they give you more money for dependants. And, depending on the state you may qualify for food stamps and other benefits. This is just a precursor to getting service-connected for me and that’s something altogether different. Study the Federal Benefits Guide for more information.

gw4The VA website that is actually chalked full of information about how your medical team can treat you for gulf war illness, what all of the different chemical exposures are and how to find out if you might have them and what to do about it. The problems is to get your doctor to look at it. (at least in my case). But, check it out here:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/

I highly recommend you check this out. It is a fairly new thing for the VA and your health care team should be aware of it. Perhaps your veteran’s advocate or attorney, if you have one, can recommend a course of action based on the information on this page and coordinated with your healthcare and get you the tests you need. I also recommend you read this if you have been waiting a long time for a claim. The honorable Secretary of the V.A. Shinseki has ordered the VA to expedite these claims. More here:

http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/9217/va-expediting-claims-decisions-for-veterans-waiting-a-year-or-more/

For PTSD counseling you can get help from the VA here: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/gen-treatment.asphttp://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/9217/va-expediting-claims-decisions-for-veterans-waiting-a-year-or-more/

Also there are some great magazines put out in both electronic and paper form and the VA one is called Vantage Point. The link is here: http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/9217/va-expediting-claims-decisions-for-veterans-waiting-a-year-or-more/a

There are also other similar magazines from most every veteran organization such as the V.F.W., the American Legion, Amvets, and more. Just do a google search. There’s almost too much to read in a month!

I also get e-mail alerts from the D.O.D., the C.D.C., the V.A., and many other government organizations. I’m not sure how I did this. But I can give you a link to the VA one: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USVHA/subscriber/new

And there are so many more veteran’s organizations that can help you. Wounded Warriors is a great one for the vets returning home recently and if you go on twitter and search for veterans organizations you can find a lot of them there.

ptsd3If any of you are thinking of suicide. I urge you to call the Suicide hotline here: 1-800-273-8255. There are people who do care about you whether you want to believe it or not. And you are better than that. Fight it! I know that we all have bad days, bad years and just crappy things happen, but that is no reason to end it all. Life is hard, but you can get help. These people will go out of there way to ensure you get the best help available. Please, I beg you don’t do anything until you at least give it a try. I beg of you don’t hurt yourself. We all care about you and not just because you are a veteran, but because you are a person who deserves to live!

If you have any questions about this article or just want to drop the administrator of the site, D.R. Dockery, a line you can use the form below.

VA Mortgage Refinancing for These With Poor Credit


I just got approved for a VA home loan but I have bad credit as I’m sure many of you do. I knew many people when I was in the service who for whatever reason let their finances get out of hand. You know – they pretty much used to make it so you had to re-enlist when I was in back in the 80’s and early 90’s. They had all kinds of car dealerships around the base and then you end up not realizing that when you went out to get your dream Truck your wife or girlfriend just went and bough a bunch of clothes, a stereo and a ton of stuff for your home! Or vice-versa. I don’t mean to sound sexist – it’s happened both ways from my experiences. And anyway, my point is – if there’s a comany that can act with you especially for those of us who are getting a guaranteed disability check each month then that would be great for me and hopefully all of you as well. But keep in mind – there is a lot of identity theft going on – mine was stolen and my bank refuses to give me the guy’s name. More on that in post.

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DOD and Va Improve ebenefits Site


DoD and VA continue to improve online access to benefits information

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently released the following information about new functionality that has been added to the online eBenefits portal.

The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense (DoD) just released improvements to the functionality of eBenefits, a joint self-service web portal that provides registered users with secure online information and access to a variety of military and veterans benefits resources.

“eBenefits is clearly becoming the platform of choice for veterans seeking access to the numerous benefits they have earned,” said Undersecretary for Benefits Allison B. Hickey. “The increasing capabilities of eBenefits give veterans and Service members greater flexibility in securing the information they are looking for.”

The latest release, eBenefits 4.3, allows for easy navigation of the online disability compensation claim submission process using interview-style questions and drop-down menus similar to tax-preparation software, instead of a traditional fill-in-the-blank form. The latest release also pre-populates the application with information from a veteran’s record in VA’s secure database. Veterans can view processing times for each phase of their claim.

Other site improvements include a tool to help determine if a veteran has eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits, a calculator for military Reservists to determine retirement benefits, and a search function that identifies a claimant’s appointed veteran service representative, with links to Google Maps indicating the location of their nearest representative’s office. Service members and veterans can also access records like Post-9/11 GI Bill enrollment status, VA pay history, and DoD TRICARE health insurance status.

The eBenefits application is a key component of VA’s ongoing transformation to a digital environment for veterans’ benefits delivery and fully supports VA’s Veterans Relationship Management initiative that provides veterans with the ability to access information about their benefits anywhere, anytime, and empowers them to manage those benefits through self-service capabilities. Additional functionality and features will continue to be added to the site throughout the coming months.

To access eBenefits, veterans and Service members must obtain a DoD Self-Service Logon (DS Logon), which provides access to several veterans and military benefits resources using a single username and password. The service is free and may be obtained in person at a VA Regional Office, DoD ID Card station, or online at http://www.ebenefits.va.gov.

There are currently 2.2 million users with access to eBenefits, and VA is on track to meet the 2013 agency priority goal of 2.5 million users, as outlined for VA on http://www.performance.gov.

With the most recent release, eBenefits has successfully completed 13 consecutive quarterly releases since October 2009, with 47 self-service features enabling Service members and veterans the ability to download copies of their official VA and military correspondence– to include veterans civil service preference, service verification, and benefits verification letters; military records; and VA home loan certificates of eligibility, to name a few.

For more information about VA benefits, please visit http://www.benefits.va.gov and eBenefits at http://www.ebenefits.va.gov.