Help. Somebody needs to take over management of our C-123 Veterans Association. PLEASE!!
I started it and have been running it for five years but it is somebody else's turn at the helm. I say "We" a lot in the paragraph below but actually, nobody else is doing the work that needs to be done..Whoever leads our group pretty much has to do it by himself or herself.
Further, there is some expense getting this work done, mostly for travel and communications. When we started back in 2011 some very welcome financial help was offered by guys from the 731st, a couple windows and a few folks like Alan and Gail Harrington. Those of us who already had veterans benefits appreciated how important benefits are. What was chipped in was generous but was only a fraction of what we needed. I'm glad my wife wasn't watching our checkbook too closely.
There is nothing to do regarding membership, But everything to do regarding advocacy with the VA for the remaining issues on our plate. You will need a firm grasp of VA benefit programs, you should enjoy strategizing and have a bent for creative writing and negotiating. And of course, a detailed background on the C-123 and Agent Orange.
Let me explain:
1. Principally, we are working with our law firm with the goal of retroactive compensation for those veterans whose claims were submitted prior to June 2015. The VA only recognizes that as a start date and that is simply unacceptable. Besides our law firm generously providing pro bono assistance we are helpED by the National Veterans Legal Services Project.
2. We have further assistance from the principal veterans organizations, all of whom have signaled their support in writing directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs... VFW, DAV, Vietnam Veterans of America, ROA, Air Force Association, American Legion and Jewish War Veterans.
3. Senators Burr and Merkley have supported us from the start and continue to do so with their very energetic staffs.
B. Ongoing support for members claims:
1. We need to locate survivors to help them initiate claims for Dependents Indemnity Compensation. This is been very rewarding to reach out to folks like Cliff Turcotte's wife and others to get them the benefits we want for our families. We need to find others like Bob Boyd's wife
2. . It seems like every week or so one of our folks gets messed over by the VA on acclaim an opportunity presents itself to straighten things out. Sec. McDonald gave us a contact in the VA regional office in St. Paul Minnesota who provides excellent support in every way possible.
3. We need to keep up our efforts getting the word out to veterans from Westover, Pittsburgh and Richenbacher who have yet to hear that they have Agent Orange benefits available.
4. maintain the blog to inform our members and keep pressure on VA
I've done this for five years now, and it's simply time for somebody else to do this work. It is very rewarding every time I've had a phone call from a veteran whose claim just went through, but I want to share the joy and walk away from this as soon as possible.
Who's next? Give me a call.