In July, 2007 I transitioned from my four year Navy enlistment back into the civilian world. I will spare you a long drawn out story about my Navy experience, but lets just say it was interesting to say the least. After struggling for about a year trying to transition and get accustomed to civilian life, I finally went to my local VA hospital for help, and filed for disability with the VBA. Let me tell you, VA didn’t make a very good first impression, and it continued to get worse after that.

After a few years under my belt dealing with both the VHA and VBA, I finally understand the reasons why they aren’t able to run things as efficient as they need to, in order to meet the needs of all of us. VA is way too understaffed to handle the ever growing needs of Veterans. Washington isn’t properly funding VA to be able to operate smoothly. And last, but equally as important as the others, the organizations and groups that all have a part in supporting military Veterans aren’t working together for the common cause. These groups include DoD, VA, the President along with the House and Senate, and private organizations there to help Veterans.

With the economy, and the financial debt crisis in Washington the way it is, we need to think of creative new ways to take care of our needs. That is why I have created a system that I feel is as close to fail safe as one can get. The time for Washington to bicker and fight like immature teenagers is over. This country needs stuff done, and done now. Obviously our elected officials are not professional enough to handle everything themselves, so it is time WE THE PEOPLE come together and take action. Read my proposal and please comment with your thoughts, good or bad.

1.)   Disabled American Veterans, a not-for-profit organization, has over 1600 local chapters across the country. They have over 1.3 million active members who are ready, willing and able to help Veterans with whatever they need. The DAV already helps Veterans with disability claims, transportation to and from medical appointments, and a variety of other services that help Veterans. The DAV is made up of tens of thousands of volunteers who volunteer throughout the 1600 local chapters who are already doing everything they can to help Veterans for FREE. Why not bump this up a notch by allowing them to become certified to build a Veterans disability claim? I mean they are practically already doing this anyway, why not bring this service down to each local DAV chapter?

2.)  With this being said, there is pretty much only one regional office for every state in the US. This means that a large number of claims and educational benefits applications, among other things, are being filtered into one building with a small amount of people working them.  The way this system is set up, back logs and long wait times are inevitable. However, by spreading all the services offered at the regional offices, and the employees down to the local DAV chapter’s level, and allowing and training the DAV members and volunteers to assist VA, we create a more local atmosphere that is far more efficient then having one large location per state.

3.)  Most of the disability backlogs are because VA reps at the regional offices have to build Veterans claims file. This means they have to request information from VHA or VA hospitals, which now runs with a completely different system than VBA. Why? I don’t know. They have to request military records from archives, and medical information from private doctors. My proposal for a solution to this problem is this:

All 25 million living military Vets will need to check into the DAV chapter that covers the area they live in. They will have their military records sent from archives down to a secure part of the local DAV chapter building, so just in case they file for disability, their service and medical records are already present for the DAV volunteer to organize and build as part of the Veterans claim file. Or as part of the answer to whatever question needed looking up. Then each local chapter will have access to the systems network VHA uses for Veterans medical records. Therefore, all they will need to do is sign into a computer, punch in the Veterans information, and pull whatever medical information that is relevant to the disability claim. That right there is months of waiting wrapped up into days if not hours. Then all they will be waiting on is the medical documents from the private doctors. All this and the added value of the new VLER system, will allow the time being spent building ones claim will be reduced by months. Once the DAV rep has finishes building the claim, it will get passed onto the VA employees at that same location for final inspection and decision. Everything is done in house at the local chapter location.

4.)  Now seeing as how each location only deals with the Veterans who live in their area, a Veteran in need will have more of a one-on-one relationship with the DAV reps at their local location for help and mentorship with whatever they need. Now not all of the 25 million living military Vets need help. If everything is okay then all they will need to do is once a year check in with their local chapter, fill out and sign a form saying they don’t need any help, and within minutes they are out the door until the next year. They will have the option to volunteer to help other Vets in need, which will increase the amount of local people a Vet in need can call and come to for help. Because of this, more Veterans will be accounted for seeing as how every Veteran will have to, by law, check in to their local chapter. This will create a system where we can see who is homeless and in need. And most importantly if a Veteran is suicidal, they can have a list of other local Veterans to call for immediate help, rather than having the only resource being the suicide prevention hotline.

Now if all 25 million Veterans have to pay a membership fee, or kind of more like a Veteran tax of say $50 per year, then there will be an additional $1.25 billion annually into helping Veterans. If we make it that every Vet has to pay just a $1 a day, or $360 per year, then an additional $9 billion annually will be raised to help support Vets. This is just an idea to help get more money into VA to help Veterans.

Now obviously, I can’t just make this a reality myself. Our elected officials need to pass this idea and make this into law, and of course our Commander in Chief needs to sign off on it. With this being said, Congress needs to hear that more than just myself feel that this type of system will be more effective than the one currently in place.

I am thinking of starting an organization to bring Americans together for this cause. Once a member you can give me and my organization permission to write your local representative on your behalf. The letter will include a copy of my proposal, along with a statement saying you support the idea and want to see this become reality.

What do you think about my plan to combine a lot of different systems and organizations to create a more local environment to help our Vets? Also, if you are in favor of this system would you be willing to join an organization that would help bring this to our elected official’s front door?  Demanding that Americans from every corner of the US want this to become a reality, and that we are not going to stop writing them until it happens.

Rick Percoco is a 26-year-old disabled U.S. Navy Veteran who lives in the Norfolk, VA area. He was a part of the last F-14 Tomcat deployment before decommissioning in 2006. He was with an F-14 squadron attached to the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.

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Published on Aug. 10, 2011

Estimated reading time is 6.9 min.

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  1. darryl holmes August 31, 2011 at 6:38 am

    I have been dealing with the VA for almost 14 years now and the northeast florida and southeast georgia system is useless in the least. I have been told that I require a total knee replacement but that I am to young at the age of 52. The ortho doc is contracted by the VA and he is more interested in saving the VA money than helping the vets. I am not the only vet that is being delayed on proper medical care due to this. The want everyone to be 65 so that medicare can pay for it instead of the VA. Upon the P&C exam the doctor wrote that I now require a cane and knee brace in order to walk, however the review official state that the knees are no worse than when the initial determination was done.

    I now have to spend another 18 to 24 months of my time in trying to get a DRO to look at the evidence and maybe reverse their decision. I do not hold out much hope of this since the Atlanta office does not seem to care about the vets that they are supposed to serve. This is the same office that was writing checks for the employees instead of helping the vets.

    The gainsville otho clinic could care less about the vets. It is a shame that vets in the clinic must watch someone dance around the waiting area with 100 percent disability just because they were in the gulf area. I spent my time in the gulf area and am not demanding something that I do not deserve only what is owed to me due to my service.

  2. Darlene August 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I’m a service connected veteran that has been working on the advocacy side assisting veterans in filing claims for the past 20 years at no cost. I am employed by a county that has the forsight to acknowledge the need for highly trained Service Officers to file claims. The State of Iowa requires National accredited Service Officers in every county. I would not utilize local Post service organizations to develop a veterans claim. They have basic knowledge of veterans benefits and I have found the age of the active members are 70 plus. I do work with VSO’s at the Regional office level since I am over 150 miles from the Regional office, they assist in hearings and followup on status of claims. The county office works one on one with the veteran, where the veteran lives so the VSO can fully develop the claim to submit to the RO. I would recommend finding a local County Veteran Service Officer that is Nationally Accreditied through the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers, Inc.

  3. Jason G August 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Jason G
    August 20th, 2011
    Well, I stumbled into this doing some research….in October, it will be TWO (2) years since I filed my initial claim paperwork. 2 C&P exams (Hearing, PTSD) this past May. Claim finally moved to ‘decision’ where it has been sitting since the beginning of JULY. Here it is…almost the end of August and there it remains.

    Color me LESS than impressed with the Balto VA office, needless to say. And I’ve heard through ‘backchannel’ VA employees that Balto VA office has the WORST record in the country for processing claims. What a shock that is….

    I will say that every single VA employee I’ve talked to has been kind, decent, and helpful…but the ‘process’ of this system is totally jacked the heck up.

    And yes, I submitted every single record I ever had, dating back to 1982, I made copies of it ALL (which I still have). My initial claim file was almost six inches thick with documentation. You know what the ‘holdup’ was? My PTSD claim. You see, apparently the VA found it difficult to substantiate my ‘stressor’….THE PENTAGON ON 9/11.

    I have no doubt at this point that when I finally get rated, it’ll probably have to go to appeal for some crazy reason or another. I’m just so very disgusted at this point.

  4. Trvr August 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Part of the problem is the idiotic and laborious process the VBA seems to have in building up case information.

    If the veteran is receiving VHA care the VBA could care less and schedules C&P exams. A complete waste of taxpayer money and of time for the veteran. Why not use the medical opinion of the VHA’s doctors? Why schedule a redundant exam with a contracted doc? Ridiculous. Just fixing this would save many veterans several weeks or months of waiting.

    If a veteran has applied for disability with a number of claims and then applies say a year later for individual unemployability (IU) on the basis of one claim the VBA REVISITS EVERY CLAIM even those unrelated to the IU application, complete with more C&P exams drawing the process out for months. People don’t file for IU because they’re in great shape for work or financially but the VBA process is deaf. Again, just ridiculous. Even more enraging is the “we’re doing it to protect you” comments you get. Not exactly protecting me if I end up on the street because the VBA process can’t run with any degree of efficiency.

    The VBA and VHA don’t play well together and the veteran pays for it. They never will until the VA secretary’s office starts making them. I won’t hold my breath.

    As for VSOs the less said the better. They range from sometimes excellent to often worthless with no way to tell who is and isn’t any good.

    That the simple issues above haven’t been addressed says a lot about the VBA’s ability to even recognize the problems it has or the understands the issue veteran face dealing with them. Shinseki needs to light a fire under some butts.

    • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Listen, one of two things are happening. Either these idiot “leaders” why are running the VA are JUST THAT STUPID, or they are setting this up like this on purpose. Either way they need to be taken out of their leadership role because things are not getting done. Its like this debt deal BS…Oh yeah they came up with a compromise and everything is great. NO they didn’t do anything to help anything. 2.4 trillion over ten years with an increase of 2.4 trillion. Hmmm, lets see so thats 240 billion in cuts per year when they borrow another 2.4 trillion RIGHT NOW to spend RIGHT NOW!

      I mean its equal to an average middle class married couple debating over their debt problems. Both the husband and wife agree that they are going to defualt on theit loans if they don’t stop their spending habits. The wife wants to balance their books and cut a whole lot of spending(republicans), and the husband wants to just get another loan and deal with the problem later(democrats). Either way they are doomed. They can’t not take on more debt because they don’t have enough cash in their bank accounts to ACTUALLY pay everything. But they can’t cut things out out of their budget because all these clubs and everything they agreed to pay. So they settle with cutting $2400 per year over the next decade, and they will go get another loan for $24,000. Ummmm, so they are going to cut spending by $2400 a year but add another $24,000 to their already $140,000 debt. They are going to do this with a $20,000 a year salary(this being the $2 trillion in taxes that is our countries revenue each year). Does that seem like a wise thing to do? Any idiot who can add can see that these numbers mean nothing. They did nothing, they didn’t fix anything.

      These are the same stupid people who are allowing dummed down ignorant idiots into these senior leadership positions at the VA. We need to break the system down and get these cancerous people out of the VA. This means we need to bring the fight to them, at their home court up in D.C. on Capital Hill. We need to let them know that AMERICA as a whole is not doing to stot writing, calling, e-mailing, harrassing them on their social networking sites UNTIL this happens, and if they continue to ignore us, will take them out of office, and elect someone who actually has a backbone who will stand up and do the right thing.

  5. Dan August 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I sympathize with Mr. Percoco’s plight. As a disabled vet, I know all too well the frustrations of the claim process and dealing with the VA health care system.

    The problem is, and always will be, the VA is a bureaucracy. The primary purpose of a bureaucracy is not the “supposed mission”, rather it is to perpetuate the bureaucracy. Each year, hundreds, if not thousands of new directives, regulations, policy statements and laws are enacted to ensure the VA survives long after the veteran.

    Rather than go into a point by point rebuttal of the author’s points, it is suffice to say that these recommendations would never be taken seriously. The government would lose control of the process and that is something any government will not do knowingly or willingly.

    In any private organization, management looks at an issue that requires attention by first addressing the question whether it is a personnel or a process problem. A bureaucracy always addresses the process and will propagate more regulation to further define how the process should be executed. Even so, the VA is so large that processes are not followed uniformly and different Regional Offices decide claims with widely different results when comparing similar disabling diagnosis.

    There is no reason to believe that handing this over to the DAV (with whom I have had my own issues of incompetent actions) would in anyway improve the claims situation. I have surely not defended the VA here. However, it takes several years of training for someone to become a rater.

    Some Regional Offices are well staffed with competent claims development personnel, raters and Decision Review Officers, while others are understaffed and are drowning in claims and Notices of Disagreement. Possibly, a centralized National processing center would result in fairer and more equal treatment. Alas, the realities of this occurring would be highly unlikely as it would require a the relocation and training of thousands of employees.

    One of the primary issues and something that can be addressed with success in a relatively short period would be the standardization and certification of Veterans Service Officers (VSO). There is no question that some VSOs are excellent in guiding their veteran clients through the system and even have a working relationship with personnel within the VA Regional Offices. However, there are many that received only a week of training and don’t understand even the basic premise that they work for the veteran and not the VA. You wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer or a doctor that did not have certifiable credentials that demonstrate, at least, minimum competency. Yet every day veterans leave life changing issues in the hands of what could best be described as a bush league batter going against a professional pitcher in the World Series of a veteran’s life and well being.

    Many of the service organizations have done an outstanding job in the way of championing the causes of improved benefits and treatment. As an earlier commentator stated, 40 years ago it was a much different VA. However, many older veterans (Vietnam and GWI) vets still don’t know that they have conditions that would be compensated as service connected. We must make sure that every veteran is receiving the care they need and compensation for disabling injuries and illness that were caused by serving our Nation.

    • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Well you know what Dan…its time for the stupid unefficient “bureaucracy” as you called it, to MAN UP and take care of business. I don’t know about you, but I like to be able to go to an ACTUAL business, in an ACTUAL building, and ACTUALLY talk to an ACTUAL person and ACTUALLY have that person have work ethic and morals and values ACTUALLY get stuff done and ACTUALLY make forward progress. I guess I am the wacko who ACTUALLY demands respectful customer service. I guess everyone else has become so DUMMED down that they actually accept being treated like a DOG. I SERVED MY COUNTRY TOO PROTECT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!! I DO NOT accept that these power hungry selfish greedy fraud driven spineless idiots think for one second that i am their bitch or their slave. THIS IS NOT A DICTATORSHIP, A COMMUNIST, OR A FASHIST COUNTRY!! Government is there to represent WE THE PEOPLE! That is what our founding fathers fought for, to be able to create a government with checks and balances to be able to allow the common person to have power and wealth of their own. TO BE FREE!! The system needs to be broken and organized in a way that gives every veteran a chance to be FREE, and not stuck in the “bureaucracy” for decades. We, MILITARY VETERANS, have earned our freedoms by serving our country. The VA can not and will not enslave us this system. I will bring this to the front door of congress and if they don’t change the system and audit the system, and filter out all these senior officals that are now not doing anything, I am going to gather a group of lawyers and I am going to wave after wave of law suits at the supreme court level and i am going to harrass all these attorney generals that FRAUD and curroption is taking place and people’s quality of life is suffering as a result. I WILL WIN!!

  6. Rhonda Dyer August 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Hooray!!!!!!! I liek your ideal to tranfer and keep the application process local. And you are so correct, that the squeaky wheel gets the grease when dealing with the VA System. I am a proud Navymom and widow of a Viet Nam Vet. Also, I jsut lost my father who was 100% service connected due to Asbestosis he got during his Navy service in Korea. I have recently dealt with the TVC and DAV for my father before he died. He received his 100% Disability rating while in the hospital after his Lung Cancer had spread to the brain. This was over 7 years in the process and the last 2 trying to get his Disability Rating. He got 100% from Jan to Nov and then dropped him to 0% due to stability. Really? Lung Cancer, stable, hmmmm. After filing an appeal with the TVC, he was reinstated to 100%+ because by now he has brain tumor and couldn’t drive. He received his backpay in April 2011 and died May 31, 2011. Something has to be done. I’m on board for whatever it takes to change this system. If we just keep saying that’s the way it is, then we accept the VA and our Governments way of inept business practices. I say go for it. Change it, make it better, hell, justm make it different. I have worked with Homeless Vets and there should be no such thing. I’m with you. I can well afford a dollar a day to make a difference. Sign Me Up!

    • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 10:50 am

      THATS RIGHT!! We all need to come together to get these low life, dirty fraud driven greedy wanna be leaders out from OUR VA organization. WE are the veterans and the families of veterans. We are AMERICAN HEROS!! This is OUR organization! We need to rise up together and take control of this organization and do what is needed to help EVERY veteran. Look, its been known for decades is not centuries that a more localized smaller system is more efficent then BIG GOVERNMENT or BIG BUSINESS. That is why our founding fathers came over here to get away from the corrupt system in England. They knew that they needed to empower the lower and middle clase by allowing them to create power and wealth through “THE AMERICAN DREAM”. Now look whats happening All government organizations INCLUDING THE VA, have been allowed by us-WE THE PEOPLE-to get back to the corrupt English ways that our founding fathers fought against. The VA is just another “BIG GOVERNMENT” operation out to control us. Their end game is to keep us dumbed done and in the middle of a never ending fight to servive, so they can get richer, and more powerful and more corrupt. This will not happen! Spread the word, we need to come together to fight to stop this before it gets any worse. We need to regain the power and we need to tell them that they are going to organize a local system that WILL meet the needs of every veteran! I WILL NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU!!!!

      Spread the word lets fight together to fix this!!

  7. John Roane August 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

    The issue with the VA is not that is understaffed but under utilization of its staff employees. It’s run like every Federal civilian department with lack of control and responsibility. They certainly don’t use zero based budgets, but realize they must spend all to get more next year, over staffed on Managers, supervisors and put restrictions on employees as to how many patients they can see and not to exceed if the can. Its just like our US Post Office.

    • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Oh yeah, read my other responses! I know..the system is CORRUPT! We have spineless leaders in Washington who give in to all these slimy, greedy, selfish, rich lobbying corporations. “Oh, I promise to do this and I promise to that in your district, and I promise I will make you look really really good on capital hill if you don’t help veterans and be our little SLAVES and give us WHATEVER WE WANT!!

      This is why I am looking to set up an organization that will represent YOU, yes I said represent YOU, by sending in letters and this proposal to YOUR representitives. I know the senior leadership at the VA are spineless greedy fraud driven animals who don’t want the middle ot lower class to thrive. We need to flush them out, and the only way to do this, is to come together and to bring a united Army to their front door and force them out of power. It suchs that we are in a position where we have to micromanage our leaders, but this is our reality right now. We can either stand up or whats right and FIGHT, we can sit back and continue to let them treat us like crap. I know that is not how I was trained in the military to just let the enemy walk all over us and control us. And I know thats not how you were trained. We are members of the gretest military in the world! Its time we all come together and use our abilities, our disciplines, and our training on them! I am not talking about shooting them or anything geez come on it has to be peaceful and by the book. But when I was in the military, WE WON AND WE WON NO MATTER WHAT!! It didn’t matter what we needed to do to, or how hard we needed to work to get the mission done with a victory, WE MANNED UP AND DID OUR JOB! Well we have to man up here in order to MAKE the VA the organization we want it!

  8. Lee Land August 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I have been waiting sence 2005 and i am 79 If thay wait much longer I will be dead I hope thats not there goal

    • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

      This is what they want. These selfish fraud driven scum bags are driven by greed and power. They don’t care about you or any one of us. They are getting whatever they need and want to satisfy themselves, and they are leaving us with nothing. That is why I am looking to organize a fight to bring this to our elected officals. Everyone else doesn’t have to do anything, I am willing to do all the leg work here. All I need is people to agree that they want chance, and that they agree that we need to take contol of this pathetic system. That bringing every service down to a local level at the DAV locations-I only picked the DAV because they alraedy have so many actual locations already in place-are better then having a central regional office where nothing gets done.

      See if there were a place where you can go to to talk to other vets, and to get a mentor to help you with whatever your needs are, then you will be taken care of. If you need disability money because you have a condition that prohibits ou from working, then your mentor or your case manager or whatever you want to call it, can be there to set everything up. If you need a disability claim file built, everything will be in house so he/she can grad the info and send it to the VA rating board, which will also be in that same location as you.

      All I need is for people like you to agree to allow an organization like the one I am looking to start up, represent you by sending in letters and signed agreements from you, saying that this set up is better then what is all ready in place. Thats it, along with a little membership fee to help fund this operation so I can grow and reach everyone. But congress needs to be woken up. Congress needs to hear that we tell them how things are seeing as how they REPRESENT US!!! THEY REPRESENT US!! They are there to make sure our needs are taken care of. We need to bring this to their front door and demand they either PUT OUT or GET OUT!! So people like you are not in the position where they might die before something happens. You know what, that makes me SICK. YOu have no idea how fired up I am. Support me and I will bring this to their door step, AND THEY WILL LOSE!!

  9. Bob Whiteside August 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

    It has definite merit to use DAV. I know TVC (Tevas Veteran Commission) has helped out, but the problem is they process the info given to them from the vet and forwards to Waco or Houston VARO. If the VA was willing to have the processing done up to level 2 and then pass to VARO for determination of disability benefits, it could take care of the backlog. However, there is probably a lot of hoops to jump through to get this authorization.

    • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

      You hit the nail on the head! That is what I am proposing. Listen, I am sure it won’t take that long to train someone to accurately build a claim. Maybe a few months of training to get them to the point to be knowledgable in what to look for with piecing a claim together. SO…when the claim gets passed to the VA rep it is all ready 100% built and all they will need to is rate it and decide the percent of disability. Now it’s been proven, and you can look this up if you don’t believe me, that smaller “mom and pop” places are a lot better with keeping things balances then BIG government and walmart type corporations. With this being said, thats why I proposed to bring all of these different systems together under one roof at the local DAV locations. I proposed the DAV because there are already so many locations in place. All we need to so is to move everyone into those places and train them to work together. I want everyone to put everything out on the table so we can pick and choose from everyones systems, the best way to handle each perticular thing.

      By everyone I mean the state VA organizations, the DAV, VFW, all of these other private not-for-profit organizations, the VA, and anyone else who has a hand in helping the VA. By allowing everyone to come together under one roof at each DAV location, we create a UNITED front that will help every situation. If the DAV can’t help, then there will be information and contacts to the VFW, or the SEMPER-FI FUND, or American Legion, or whoever is out there that will meet the needs of the individual veteran!

      Fight with me and we will take control of the VA and we will LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND!!

  10. Rick Percoco August 11, 2011 at 12:24 am

    #1 reason one-I guess this is just me, but If I make enough money that I can save just $1 a day to help a fellow vets in need, I am willing to pay that price to make sure that NO ONE is left behind!

    reason two-Our government is dropping the ball, and it seems like from what you have said they have been for quite some time now. With that being said, if they are not getting it down, I will as a fellow veteran who is physically, mentally and financially able to help my fellow vet, not allow ANYONE to be left behind. If that means that I mature up and give a buck a day to a system that will make sure no one else kills themself…then thats a buck well spent.

    reason three-Lets say 80% of us are able to help our fellow veteran by giving this system just one little dollar per day. that will be $7.2 BILLION or $7,200,000,000 anually into just this small part of the VA. That divides into $4,500,000 or $4.5 million into each of the 1600 local chapters each year.

    reason four-seeing as how thia donation is tied to a not-for-profit organization (the DAV) can be tax deductible.

    reason five-is everyone out there really that cheap that they can’t give up just $1 a day to help millions of other American heros in need?

    reason six-The government is failing us, SO WE WON’T FAIL EACHOTHER!!!!! Yeah I’m fired up!

    #2 I know the medical centers are and I with they would just give us a VA insurance card where we can use anywhere, including the VA medical centers if one likes it. But they are to cheap.

    However, I am not talking about the VHA side of things, I am talking about the VBA regional offices that process these claims. Maybe if you had a local office(DAV chapter) to go talk to where there were VA reps and DAV reps there to help you build your claim in person, and everything was in house, it might have only taken 3 years or even 3 months to get everything organized and processes to get you what you need. NOT 30 YEARS!!

    #3 My military service didn’t really teach me much. But it did teach me a couple things…a.) The sqeaky wheel gets the grease. b.) You only fail if you quit.

    With dealing with the government organization called the VA, I have found that nagging in waves UNTIL they anwser your question is the only way to get what you want.

    How many times did you guys go back to them DEMANDING they let all of you help? Obviously not enough or else they would have seem that veterans really want to help other veterans and they are not going to go away until we give in. Isn’t that how WARS are won? But endurance is kind a big thing when fighting a war right?

    #4 Again, I am talking about the regional offices on the VBA side of the VA, not the VA medical centers on the VHA side. These locations at the 1600 DAV chapters will be there for the services which are now being tied up at the regional offices.

    #5 I have spent the last four years dealing with the same fight that you have been fighting for 40 years. And from what you just told me in your response, it doesn’t seem like it has become any more efficient.

    I have also spent the last four years at the VA hospital making small talk with vets, like yourself, who have been dealing with this system for decades. Everyong of you guys tell me the same thing and that the VA isn’t taking care of your needs. Well…this could be a giant leap in the right direction for the VA to become much more efficient.

    #6 I hear you, the VA is dropping the ball and I WILL NOT allow this anymore. This stops with me, and this stops with NOW. Are you willing to fight along side me UNTIL, each and every veteran and American hero is honored they way we should be?!

    Thank you for your response!

    Rick Percoco

    • Tom Garvey August 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Rich: I give you a lot of credit for standing up and trying to improve the VA claim processing system for Veterans. I am a 60% service-connected Vietnam Veteran and I have been screwing around with the VA since 2004. There is an expression, as you probably know, with disabled Veterans about the VA that states “DENY UNTIL THEY DIE”. And in the case of the Vienam Vets we are dying off faster then Korean War Veterans. If the VA was really operating in the best interest of the Veterans, you would think that the VA would be prioritizing the Vietnam Vet claims but NO that is just to simple a concept for the VA to comprehend.

      I’m a member of the DAV and I find incompetence there as well as ALL the Veteran Service Organization (VSOs)for that matter. All of the existing VSOs receive money from the VA so they therefore are compliced in the VA BS.

      I can support creating a new VSO that is financially independent of the VA and existing VSO’s and I would be willing to fund it. However, funneling more money into an existing corrupt VA – VSO system is really BS.

      I think that all Veterans need an independent VSO where there isn’t any hint of a financial conflict-of-interest with the VA.

      I hope my comments and good luck.

      The VA needs to prioritize its claims load.

      • Rick Percoco August 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

        You are exactly right! There are way to many lazy, greedy, selfish, CORRUPT supervisors and senior managers within the VA that are allowing the level of performance and efficency stay at a very low level. The CORRUPT and DIRTY political game these fraud loving pieces of SCUM are playing will end! I will have in my proposal a seperate Quality Assurance team. Their main job will be to suprize audit every chapter on a routine basis, and give very harsh punishments to those who don’t comply. These scum bags in government think they control us. They think they are above us. Well they are not. In our history books it is proven that government is set up to provide us with services that we need. Military, Firefighters, police, etc., and we give them money through taxes in order to fund these things. ITS CALLED A BALANCE IN POWER!! GIVE AND TAKE!! SHARED RESPONSIBILITY! On top of that, our founding fathers have created a split system of government that we all know today. This is set up for CHECKS AND BALANCES to make sure that government honors the peoples needs. Well guess what…GOVERNMENT IS CURRPOT because the system has been broken. We need to come together as FREE AMERICANS, and take our government back.

        That is why I am proposing an organizattion that allows us Americans to grow as one team and directly interact with our elected officals DEMANDING THEY CHANGE! Together we will make a change, and together we will get this VA system the way it should be!

  11. David L. Jones August 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm


    It took me aprox 23 years to get awarded 30%

    And aprox 30 years to get awarded 100%

    With one of those confussing non-totals of 210+%

  12. David L. Jones August 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    #1 Give me one (1) good reason veterans should have to pay for memebership in the VA to get care for service connected care.

    #2 The VA Medical Centers care has been dropping the ball for at least fourty (40) years I know of.

    3# Thirty (30) years ago many of us disabled veterans/veterans offered our services to the VA AND ALL of us were turned down for a mutitude of reasons.

    4# At about this time the VA Medical Centers started moving out (no space available) the Veteran Organization from inside the main units to remote buildings.

    5# How soon we forget!!! Of course at 26 years old its a bit hard to know the real history of VA care.

    6# VA USED to have official ‘complaint forms’ ‘visable and ready’ at all their facilites. When is the last time you saw one?

    Good Luck

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