He sits in his chair, full of the meds to counter the chemo and pain, reading the latest letter from the VA. The monkeys behind the keyboards have once again said his rectal cancer and lung cancer are not from Agent Orange or from the cocktail he was given in the Camp LeJeune water. Regardless of the evidence, studies, doctor’s letters, and pure logic they still deny him and his family the compensation he earned as a Combat Marine. Once a Marine always a Marine, Door Gunner in Vietnam, Aircraft Mechanic at New River on Camp LeJeune, Drill Instructor and now a basket case in his chair. Two brothers both Marines, both in Vietnam too, dead and gone to cancers which the VA says were not related to Agent Orange. He continues the daily fight to survive.
Very grievous and disturbing, Phil. With all respect to you and every one of these fucked over, shattered veterans, I find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that they either could not, or would not, see and grasp that they were not serving their nation, but an evil occupying force bent on its destruction and concomitantly theirs. In my view, that is the greatest tragedy of all.
At 18, raised by WWII vets, taught real civics and the US constitution, believers that emulation of sacrifice for others, the challenge, the pride following trials and the draft all have led young men to their deaths since "nations" became a thing. Or, what does one really know at 18. Those who stay for the long haul justify it by their firm belief in God, country and protecting family. Most never stay after an initial contact with an shooting enemy. Those who become adrenaline junkies seldom leave the life before forced to by age or injuries.
I questioned the great VA and challenged their wisdom(?) and in return they took my disability away. Received a Purple Heart for permanent combat wounds and actually barred from the VA Medical. Agent Orange? Yeah, I have Kidney Disease and at end of life Stage 5. I was told that Agent Orange doesn't exist. BS. I also spent $25K on lawyers to get my disability back, while the gov't pays their VA Quacks 6 figures to abuse Vets and LIE. This country needs a very in-depth restart and it's almost too late.
Lawyers fighting the VA is a joke. The system is way outside the normal tort system. They make their money by having many many cases a few of which they win. Or, they have doctors on their payroll that know how to write exactly what the VA wants to hear, regardless of whether or not that is the truth in the individual case. I saw them both. Few people make it to an approval without an advocate who knows what the hell they're doing. I'm sorry to hear about your kidney issues. Not uncommon, and they must be tied secondarily to something that is presumptive to really get it through in a claim. Unless of course you have 8 to 10 years to wait to get an appeal through. And then it has to be somebody helping with the appeal that knows just how too word it then write it and can also get private doctors to write it specifically the way the VA needs to see it.
The stories of these few men I worked with is tragic. Of the ones I've chosen to write about only one is still alive.
Seeing death in combat is nothing compared to watching the slow death of aging brothers at the hands of a government which promised to fix us if we get broken and take care of our family if we die. Broken promises cause many to see through the smoke screen. Then of course one must set aside the long held beliefs or be eaten by cognitive dissonance.
Lost a couple of friends, brother's in law to each other, who both served in the Nam. My carving buddy, Winston...helluva shop man...flew a Huey. It's been over ten years now. One morning he told his wife his back was "killing him". So she drove him to a nearby hospital. After some investigative procedures, they flew him to the nearest V.A. Basically, what he got from them was a diagnosis of a cancer which had begun in his lungs and metastasized to his back. They did give him some meds for the pain. He lasted a couple more months.
His brother in law, Larry, was as bright as a new pin, but his rural lifestyle was northern Minnesota backwoods hillbilly. I recall a visit to his place where his wife and three daughters were helping him with a baby calf which wasn't doing so good. It was lying next to the wood cookstove in their kitchen. He drank quite a bit and was a Scots-Norse redhead with a florid complexion. I'd thought that ruddiness was both genetic and due to the alcohol.
One morning he told his wife that he was in extreme pain. She drove him to that same V.A. hospital. He was gone by the next day. His entire body was wracked with a cancer which must have been developing for many months. Bravest of the brave, Larry served as a Navy corpsman with a Marine combat unit. That he hid his pain until the very end, was a mark of his stubborn bravery.
Ironically, his youngest daughter joined the Marines after high-school and bore her first child, a girl who was fathered by a fellow Marine. She did a couple of hitches and then headed back to the little hometown. Institutionalized by the Corps, she took on with the county sheriff's department and at first was a "corrections" officer in the local hoosegow and later on became a full deputy. Funny how she most likely honored her father by joining up at eighteen, has been raising two kids now on her own and appears to hold a belligerent attitude towards life.
The scarring of military "service" can be a metaphorical cancer in its own way. Hopefully, neither her daughter, nor her son, will ever seek to "serve" a government which uses its military people, but really doesn't care about their longterm welfare. Another metaphor might be that they use them like a condom and corruptldly throw them away. That's the financial elites and their many minions, most of whom are just in it for job security and a good pension. All too many of their "servants" never live long enough to get their benefits.
All that reminds me of my uncle Harold. Though he survived a stabbing in the early postwar period as he was guarding a warehouse and some Black gangstas of that day and age were out for loot. He'd been in the 7th Armored. His tanker buddies were the team which took Von Rundstedt's H.Q. in St. Vith, Belguim. After the army, he returned to the old country town and married a woman from another nearby village. To get work in the early 50's, they moved out to Great Falls, Montana, where he worked in the Anaconda copper smelter. Suffering from a cancer he had likely developed in that nasty environment with lead and other noxious metals in the blend, uncle Harold, came back to Minnesota to the V.A. hospital in Minneapolis. He was just a wraith, when my dad took him to the train station to return to Montana to his soon to be widow and their six kids.
Anaconda, a Rottenfeller Crime Clan holding, "blessed" them with all of ten grand for his service to the corporation. I wonder at times, how much money on a pro rata basis, that my uncle earned by his work for that tentacle of the richest thieves across the fruited plain. Thankfully, none of his two boys and four daughters ever considered "joining up".
Phil, veteran of the usPostal service here, the VA and the OWCP one and the same.
The VA? To cover injuries related to military service the OWCP? To cover injuries for Federal workers.
Our Phil has documented here by stories of their victims how these systems designed to help veterans and federal workers through corruption deny and steal money from these programs via fraud.
Scum of the earth? Why would we insult scum as scum feeds worms that let's us catch fish.
Administrators of VA benifits and OWCP programs? Absolute filth.
Our Phil`s article here just fired up ole Nine`s ire but however, rant is over.
Our Phil is a salt of the earth guy for trying his best to move this corrupt system so his clients can receive compensation promised by that Federal Government.
I know he has no regrets but I got burnt out helping one vet. Don't know how people can deal with these crooked agencies day after day.
Michael: Thank You ever so much for your heartfelt response. Another friend told me his saga several years ago. His unit was choppered into Laos on an interdiction mission. Bad intel landed them amidst an entire NVA regiment. Odds prevailed. They radioed that they were rapidly being over-run. Accompanied by gunships the survivors were evaced . I asked him if he and his fellow six survivors were all the guys left from the platoon. Platoon? he responded. "We were at company strength."
Ran into the guy again just a couple years back. He didn't even recognize me. PTSD will usually do that to a man who's been through hell.
Thankfully, it looks as if you are still totally conscious of those nightmares. It may be easier for those who have forgotten...on a conscious level only. Bless you for your courage in standing up to those evil forces who got us into that un-necessary conflict in the first place. To invade Vietnam was the wet-dream of the owners of the WarDefense industry and of Big Oil. Those conniving bass-turds were the big winners...and so were the pro$titicians who enabled their schemes.
Keep up the good fight to rescue our ruptured Republic. The biggest turds have risen to the top of the toilet bowl. Psychopaths and sociopaths rule. I'm confident that you are doing your best to inform those who have been victimized by the mass media of mind-control and total deception. More and more Americans are awakening now...latest figure I've seen indicate that some 20% are catching on to real reality. Thus, the fringe on top are becoming extremely nervous.
Again, thanks for your sharing. More such voices will awaken thanks to your courage.