18 December 2016

"OBE?" C-123 Vets' struggles are now mostly OBE and we need to give thanks to new faces of VA that got us here

"OBE." Except for our concern about retroactivity, years of my writing on this blog and arguing with the VA have been OBE since June 2015

No, I'm not referring to the Order the British Empire but I am explaining the acronym OBE to mean overcome by events.

OBE basically says that while you may have had a beef or a problem or perhaps been screwed over by the system in the past, things are different now and the basic problem mostly resolved. The things that caused the trouble or allowed it to fester are no longer relevant.

Honest writing and advocacy means I have to distinguish between the years before Secretary McDonald in the years after his arrival at the VA.

Before Secretary McDonald took office we were being kicked around fiercely by the VBA Agent Orange desk and the VHA Post-Deployment Health Services. Individuals in those departments fought our exposure claims and did so with total success. They implemented their own policy of "holding the line" (their words!) against our claims.

That would've gone on forever but for the installation of Mr. McDonald at 810 Avenue, and the arrival of other fair-minded leaders like Assistant Secretary Linda Schwartz and Dr. Ralph Erickson.

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