Protecting our veterans' children
Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
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Protecting our veterans' children™

Collecting benefits is a losing battle for some veterans

June 07, 2011

Collecting benefits is a losing battle for some veterans

Nationwide, millions of veterans live with disabilities from their service. Many have found that getting compensation from the VA can take longer than their tours of duty and be as stressful as combat.

In 2002, the VA changed the way it interpreted the Agent Orange Act, excluding blue water veterans.

"You never had a harder fight overseas than when you come back and deal with the VA," Rossie said. "I consider them adversaries. Every claim, I put it in expecting a fight."

The appeals process, which the Cooleys are engaged in now, takes an average of four years. While waiting, some veterans die.

"It’s called, ‘Deny, deny, till we all die,’" Belanger said. "This is part of the price tag of war. They’ve kicked these veterans to the curb one too many times. I’ve had guys tell me, ‘I’m dying, but I’m doing it for the next crew.’"

"You just gotta smile and walk away," Rossie said. "It’s aggravating, that’s a good word for it. It is enough to have guys say, ‘The hell with this. It’s not worth the fight.’"


Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
  1. Paul Reply

    When I was in Nam I got medivaced for a severe intestinal infection out of the field. It turned into Inflammatory bowel disease. They wanted to send me to a hospital ship and home. I refused. When I got home and my wife and settled as I was still in the Corps, she lost a baby. Later on after getting out of the Corps, I've developed, peripheral neuroapthy, neurogenic bladder, cancer on one kidney, prostate problems, (presently causing problems again), all of which several NON VA Dr.'s have told me, this is caused by exposure to Agent Orange. However, since they don't have positive proof, just using their basic knowledge of Agent Orange, they could not put it on paper. One neurologist found the neuroapthy, and the VA says they agree. However there's a time limit of when you had to be diagnosed, and within, blah, blah, blah. I'm totally disabled, 100% from another ailment. However I know the frustrations of getting anything done with the VA. The problem with the VA is, one section doesn't talk to another section. So nobody knows except what their section is, what's going on. I would suggest to all tryin' to get a claim, make sure you get a good Vet Rep. not a VA rep. There are many good one's out there. You won't get anything done filing by yourself. God Bless us All.

    • admin Reply

      Thank you Paul for your comment and esp. for your service. Welcome Home.

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