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V.A. & Returning Vets From Iraq

Use this forum for general conversation amongst yourselves when you don't have anything better to do. We like gossip! Try to keep the technical out of it.
Post Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:40 am

Posts: 1536
Location: S.Calif.

Welcome back :!: Thanks for keeping us safe here at home and for separating yourselves from your family.
The Veterans Administration is there for you when you get home and for the rest of your life. Use the VA services offered. We owe it to you. There is no health problem they can't fix if caught early, especially the insidious prostate cancer. All that shows up in today's medicine with a simple blood test. Prostate cancer is what took Dennis Stemp from the old IronWorks publications.
Let me put the VA into perspective: In California, the largest (metered, but agruably the best run in the entire state) health care facility is Kaiser-Permanente. Regular people (those not part of a large group, like a teacher's union) pay at least $400. a month for Kaiser. Waits for prescriptions are long. Waits to see a "specialist" are long.
Then there's the VA. I walked my mom through the "active duty" Balboa Naval Hospital when she underwent leukemia treatments. All the staff were in the uniform of the day. Active duty personnel were the patients. War injuries, retired military or their dependents are treated. Top notch health care. No waits for treatment. If you've ever seen "House" on t.v. They'll let their "Vicodin doctor" order $10,000. MRI's and cat scans at the drop of a hat. Money is never a hurdle. This would never happen at Kaiser-Permanente, because it is a for profit health care system.
The VA system is exactly like "House" (without the Vicodin fueled doctor). The veterans hospitals (not active duty) are exactly like the "active duty" military hospital. The only difference is that the staff is not in uniform. Same doctors, same cutting edge medical care. And, when you go to the veterans hospital, you see scooter trash. They welcome scooter trash. They even have big posters of bikers in riding vest's that say, "You were tough enough from military service, stay tough and get tested for lingering diseases".
All the VA hospitals have hung huge banners that say "Welcome Home Veterans".........and they mean it. Sign up and get squared away. 8)

Post Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:52 pm

Posts: 53
Location: Lebanon, Missouri
[quote="Plumber"]Welcome back :!: Thanks for keeping us safe here at home and for separating yourselves from your family.
The Veterans Administration is there for you when you get home and for the rest of your life. Use the VA services offered. We owe it to you.

Very well said Plumber. Things have changed. When I was discharged in '71, I checked into the V.A. hospital in St. Louis.
I stood in line for three hours, just to be told I was standing in the wrong line !
I fought the V.A. from '83 till '94 for my diabilaty. I had a ligitamate claim, but was denied over and over.
Inter the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV).
Had it not been for the DAV, I don't know where I would be today.
The men and women that have served have compensation coming for their wounds, the V.A. treats the needs of the ill,
will but not tell them where to get help financaly.
That is were the DAV and the VFW comes in. We also owe them that.
Some will have disabilities that never let them return to work again, some may work on a limited basis.
In any case, they are owed compinsation and many times,may have to fight for years to get it !
And remember, not all wound are visable.

Post Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:18 am

Posts: 34
Location: Northern Indiana
This is a message that REALLY needs to get out to all vets. I never had any previous dealings with the VA, but a couple of the guys I flew with in Vietnam that I stayed in touch with had big problems getting ANYTHING out of them and ended up fighting them for years. So all I knew about the VA was the horror stories.

I first got in touch with the VA when I returned from Iraq this fall and so far I've been very impressed with them. The "veteran's service organizations" (VFW, DAV, American Legion, etc) are ALL equipped to help you through the process of getting signed up with the VA, even if you aren't a member of any of them. Your home State may offer additional help, as well. Here in Indiana, every county has a Veteran's rep whose sole job is to get vets hooked up with the VA and solve any problems they may encounter. My local rep routed my paperwork through the American Legion, who acts as a "proxy" to smooth out glitches and expedite paperwork. I had my first VA medical exam in mid-December, and they have already set up four more in January with various specialists, and one with the disability people. (This contrasts sharply with the Army's own post-deployment medical care system which is "uneven", at best.)

It's useful to know that the VA is actually TWO organizations operating under one roof. VA medical care is seperate from the VA disability compensation/pension function, even though they use some of the same facilities. If you are a combat vet, you should get signed up with BOTH. This isn't charity - those benefits were established for a reason. You earned them and you should use them.

AND, help spread the word to other vets!


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