Monday was an emotional one for my dear friend Paul. His two-year quest for VA medical care and recognition of his Agent Orange exposure came to a satisfactory end. He opened his mail and inside the big brown envelope found the stunning language...100% service connected and backdated to the date of his application.
This 66-year old retired lieutenant colonel and former Army paratrooper had been on an emotional elevator since his claim was first denied by the Manchester NH VA office. "VA regulations do not allow us to recognize C-123 veterans" read the initial decision...incorrectly, of course, because no such regulation exists. This was clear in Secretary Shinseki's 7 June 2013 response to Senators Burr and Merkley in which the VA assures veterans no "blanket policy" exists against C-123 veterans, and his promise was made that claims will be evaluated fairly on an individual basis.
That promise came home to Paul in a large brown envelope on Monday. The best news on an otherwise bad day, as Paul's illness continues to be his focus. God bless all who made this happen!