A new book on Veterans issues has just been released by the Carolina Academic Press. Glimpses of the New Veteran: Changed Constituencies, Different Disabilities, and Evolving Resolutions is a collection of essays and articles edited by retired Board of Veterans’ Appeals attorney Alice A. Booher. Many of the contributors, including myself, are current or former employees of VA. Many are also Veterans themselves and bring a wonderful duel perspective to the current challenges facing Veterans and those that support them. The three parts of the book look at who today’s Veterans are, the new challenges they face and what can be done to meet these needs.
My own contribution is an article called A Benefits System for the Information Age. As summarized in the abstract, I argue:
The Veterans benefits system that we have today is, with modest changes, the same one that was created in 1917 for the Veterans of World War I. We have advanced since then, however, from the Industrial Age to today’s Information Age, which has ushered in huge changes for the fields of law, medicine, government and information technology. Nevertheless, the Veterans benefits system remains trapped at the start of the previous century. Today’s challenge for the system is two-fold. First, we must recognize the many ways in which the system is outdated. Second, we must make conscious, strategic decisions as to how to structure the system among all the new possibilities. There is no definitive way in which a modern veterans benefits system must be structured. However, the current out-dated process is certainly not the solution that best handles today’s challenges and opportunities.
By agreement of the editor and publisher, you can download it for free from SSRN. If you find this interesting, the full book is available online here. All the contributions to the book were donated by the authors and the editor is donating all profits to Veterans charities so you’ll be supporting good causes if you decide to pick up a copy.
James Ridgway is a Veterans Law Judge and the Chief Counsel for Policy and Procedure at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. James is also a professorial lecturer in law the George Washington University Law School, co-chair of the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Veterans Appeals Committee, founder and administrator of www.VeteransLawLibrary.com, co-founder of the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition and author of more than a dozen law review articles focusing on veterans law and legal argument theory. He is also a past president of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association, and was editor-in-chief of the Veterans Law Journal for five years. His text book, Veterans Law: Cases and Theory, will be published by West Publishing in 2015. James’s involvement in Veterans law began during his second year of law school after his father, a decorated Air Force fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran, passed away from service-connected causes.