22 February 2017

Good week in DC for C-123 Veterans (February 16-21)

On Friday February 16  I met with Oregon Senator Merkley's senior staffer and attorney Adrian Snead and Mr Brooks Tucker from VA's Office of Congressional Liaison. Both men have worked to help C-123 veterans for nearly six years. I updated them on our retroactivity efforts.  A good work day for C-123 veterans' issues.

Tuesday morning I met with Pennsylvania Sen. Casey's staff about our 911th veterans. I asked that the senator help get the word out to the veterans community about our benefits by using his website and also his newsletter. They like that idea and also suggested we approach the state veterans affairs organization for their help.

The other issue discussed was the retroactivity due from our exposure claims because VA unjustly limits their look-back to June 2015. I went over what we see as the VA deceptions that prevented any claim succeeding between 2011 and 2015.

At noon I met with Mr. Brooks Tucker, senior advisor from the VA Office of Legislative Liaison and Mr. Scott Blackburn, executive director of MyVA.

MyVA is the VA effort to consolidate the veteran experience, redirect the agency to focus on veterans' needs rather than the departments', and instill ethical values dear to the organization. He generously gave me over an hour to discuss the VA track record and obstacles placed before us. My goal was to gain his understanding of our retroactivity argument and also our disappointment with VA ethics.

We were joined at lunch by Rick Wideman, legislative affairs director for the Vietnam Veterans of America. And VA paid!

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