23 January 2015

House Veterans Committee Chair Blasts VA

He said it, right out loud. In the stately halls of Congress.

"FUBAR on steroids." Congressman Miller was referring to the Department of Veterans Affairs. If the phrase FUBAR is unknown to you, enjoy watching Saving Private Ryan again!

FUBAR for VA wan't good. It was Chairman Miller shooting from the hip with a couple full belts from his verbal .50 cal M2, expressing the nation's concerns over VA construction, claims, appeals backlogs and other scandals.

We don't know if VA opposition to C-123 claims these past four years fits into his FUBAR F-bomb, but we do know the delay has denied us medical care and also has cost us money. Denied state benefits because we still wait for VA disability ratings. Denied property tax relief while waiting for the VA to process our claims. Our kids, all now past college age anyway, denied tuition waivers due children of disabled veterans. There is a "catch-up" check of VA disability benefits when a long-delayed claim is finally approved, but there is no catch-up for everything denied the veteran during the years of waiting for "the big brown envelope" to arrive with a disability decision.

In our case, scientists have had everything the VA needed to properly adjudicated our exposure claims since at least 2008. VA, on the other hand, had everything it needed to delay our service connection ratings for these past years, and now seems ready to help only because the Institute of Medicine report showed the way.

That's their job, it seems. Our was to fly aeromedical evacuation. Both are important jobs with people's lives in the balance. We did our jobs to perfection. The airplane business is like that...imperfection equals death. The medical business of aeromedical evacuation is like that, too. Imperfection equals patient suffering or death. We did our jobs to perfection.

Can you imaging their take on us if we waited four years to do our jobs, getting around to picking up a load of patients? And doing our job only when forced to?

No...we were volunteers. We were professional and we were caring. The nation, and our fellow servicemembers, could and did count on us. No four year delay like we were handed by the VA.

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