A lot of water has passed under the bridge for Veterans since the 2016  Vets Day parades. Many hopes have been dashed for some resolution on AO presumptives (and presumptees). A week later our spirits rejoice at the thought of  a ‘reconsideration’ glimmer of hope from VASEC “Mermaid” Shulkin. Any increase in AO bennies isn’t going to bust the Gumbmint piggybank. We’re dying far too fast to make an appreciable dent in it. At 849,000± souls, we’re getting as rare as hen’s teeth. Don’t believe all those ‘Vietnam Vet’ hats, folks. 

I always like to recall Gene Hackman’s line to Superman “Promises were made and gifts were exchanged”. In our context, we held up our right hand and made a few promises before the obligatory “I do.” When disability due to service causes us to once again raise our right hand in supplication, the ‘promises were made” clause becomes mighty small print requiring magnification. I’d like to think I have helped illuminate and magnify a few statutes for my readership over the years. I look forward to continuing that hallowed calling for as long as Howard will permit me.

Granted, the Houses of Congress are frothing at the mouth to appease Veterans with inane new legislation but they’re going into it assbackwards. What’s next? A law guaranteeing a Vet a lifetime supply of 3-inch wide yellow ribbon and unlimited oak saplings? Compensation reform from the Veterans Benefits Administration is uppermost in all Veterans’ minds I talk to. Note I didn’t mention VSOs, either. They seem copacetic with the current fustercluck. Hell, that’s why NOVA was invented. We have a broken system running at 78 RPM cranking out denials helter skelter and shoveling them into the BVA warehouse. There they molder for untold years. In that interval, Vets lose their houses. Marriages and families disintegrate and suicides reach epic proportions. The new BVA “Fully Developed Appeals” program merely accelerates this production-line slaughter faster.

Sgt. Ed Dvorak (1968) LRRP

This year Cupcake and I were blessed to be able to drive to San Antonio for Spring NOVA and meet some of my Veterans heroes enroute. Butch Long,  Bob Lockett, Malcolm “in the Middle” Melancon, Ed Dvorak and Donald F. All these gentlemen have touched my life and now I have the pleasure of representing some of them. They have entrusted to me the job of recouping those Govt. promises made to them. Keep your eyes peeled for a mention of Donald soon. His spouse has finally prevailed on r(1) after a long, grueling six-year battle. I gave her a few pointers but the brunt of the work was done by her. I keep telling you guys you’re outclassed by some of the most tenacious women I’ve ever encountered in this business. Mrs. F. is not someone I’d like to butt heads with. Look up the past tense of  ‘determine’ in the Oxford English dictionary and undoubtedly there’s a picture of her sitting on a combat-armored bulldozer with a gunsight for a hood ornament.

Mostly, I’d prefer to thank  a non-Veteran (Cupcake) for where (and why) I am even here today. I’m not just any Joe Average Veteran. Shooo-doggies no way. I won the Powerball Wife Lotto. She, as I mention, is not a Vet but is the closest thing there is to, or can be, for me.  I wouldn’t be an accredited VA Agent now if not for her urging. I probably wouldn’t have any children. Actually, the thirty year list of ‘probably wouldn’ts’ is too long to discuss here. Suffice it to say, she has the moral stamina to have been an 11 Bravo.

With all that said, I decided to give myself a present today. I’m putting in an application to be accepted to practice at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). I don’t think I’ve been that unduly naughty in my CAVC synopses here or stepped on any current Judicial Toes over the last eight years to warrant being turned down.  Ahruuu, you say? I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed they don’t find out I lied about that 2 carat cubic zirconium on Cupcake’s wedding ring.

As always, thank you -everyone of you- who were so selfless as to relinquish a portion of your life ensuring  ‘that our flag was still there’. Now, doesn’t that sound a shit ton better than “Thank you for your service”? I rest my case.

And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.


Posted in 2017 NOVA Conference, All about Veterans, KP Veterans, NOVA Attorneys, VA Agents, VA Attorneys, Veterans Day, Veterans Law, Vietnam Disease Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Veterans’ Day in DaNang, 2017

Whether veterans are celebrating Veterans’ Day Friday or on Saturday, I hope the holiday is harmonious despite the awful strangeness of having President Trump honor veterans while in DaNang.   It seems like the last place on Earth where our president should be on this day but apparently the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit is important to the oligarchies of the attending nations. 

President Putin is also part of the smiling cast of the characters attending the meeting. What terrible things will the press read into this handshake? 

I’m weary of reading about Russians unless it has to do with Russian ballet and music which is generally wonderful.

Photos are from Voice of America (LINK). 

Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 10, 2017

NPR: “Members of the 9th U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force go ashore at Danang, South Vietnam, on March 8, 1965. Assigned to beef up defense of an air base, they were the first U.S. combat troops deployed in the Vietnam War.” 

That air base (and others) became badly contaminated with Agent Orange however we cleaned it up before all the luminaries landed at the DaNang International Airport (NPR LINK).  Charles Bailey is an expert about the AO situation in Vietnam (LINK).  In an interview with PBS, he said that ” Da Nang was very toxic. It was 300 times the maximum permitted level for dioxin in the environment.” Bien Hoa needs to be reclaimed next because the fish are contaminated from AO and “new generations are suffering from debilitating muscular and neurological problems believed to be caused by Agent Orange dioxin.”

A cloud over this Veterans’ Day is the public clash between Sen. John McCain and Pres. Trump.  McCain is probably the best known Vietnam War POW;  all of the POW veterans, regardless of the conflict, deserve special respect.  They were tortured and starved besides confined.  His brain cancer diagnosis is troubling enough but I can’t help wondering if Agent Orange molecules are partly to blame for this and his previous cancers.

There are a lot of good military stories online today but the irony of the Vietnam meeting really hit our home.  As the old peace poster declared, “War is not good for children and other living things.”


Photograph: McCain waiting for the rest of the group to leave the bus at airport after being released as POW
Record Group 428
General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1947-2004
Citation: 428-GX Box 262 N 11556665
Rediscovery #10473


Posted in Agent Orange, All about Veterans, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, History, Inspirational Veterans, Uncategorized, Veterans Day, Vietnam Disease Issues, Vietnam War history | Tagged | 4 Comments


Nurse Silvia (right) with daughter

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, Silvia and all who helped to bring this to the fore. We have patiently waited for any evidence other than the CDC pointing out that jetguns were inherently unsanitary and were never going to be rehabilitated into respectability-ever. Notwithstanding the fact that rank amateur E-1 medical trainees were issued these weapons with no training on sterile procedures, it’s scary to think anyone with an ounce of  real medical training could look at one of these things and feel it was intrinsically safe to use on anything more than barnyard fowl. 

Here’s a downloadable .pdf  AllServiceJetgunWithdrawal1997

And here is the .jpg version

Let VA say what they will about there being no concrete evidence jetguns transmitted Hepatitis C. It would be folly now to conduct those tests. Often, medical folks vote with their pocketbooks or conscience. If these jetguns were so sanitary, ask yourself this. Why are they no longer in use? What particular feature made the CDC and the Department of Defense forego their usage and pay billions more using disposable syringes?

Posted in All about Veterans, Army Medical Manual, Jetgun Claims evidence, Jetgun Manual, KP Veterans, medical injections, Medical News, Military Madness, Nexus Information, VA Agents, VA Medical Mysteries Explained, vA news, Vietnam Disease Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments


This is how to present a claim. You’re never going to win at the RO even if you had a smoking jetgun with blood on it. But you can win using the DoD jetgun withdrawal letter which is damning enough. If the DoD and the CDC suddenly weren’t all gung ho about it, it was probably not very sanitary. Nobody admits guilt. No harm. No foul. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

In retrospect, the age of the disease as measured in a METAVIR Scale of F4 should have been a dead giveaway to the RO VA examiner. Untreated Hep C will keep munching on your liver box for about 43 years or so (like here) until it’s toast. Johnny Vet got jetgunned in 1965, got a new liver filter in 2008 and yet it crapped out again in 2014.  The Hep C reinfected the new one. Duh. Didn’t see that one coming?

Here’s where your use of the METAVIR Scale to prove fibrosis will win the claim.

And here is the document you need to submit at the BVA appeal hearing or into evidence after denial.

Capture 111.JPG


Posted in BvA HCV decisions, DIC, HCV Health, HCV Risks (documented), Jetgun BvA Decisions, Jetgun Claims evidence, KP Veterans, medical injections, Medical News, Tips and Tricks, vA news, Veterans Law | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


New! Latest DVA cost-saving maneuver.

Hot dog. Nothing I like better than talking about VA’s myriad problems. The only thing neater is talking about real justice, or as close as we’ll ever get to it at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. They used to go by The Court of Veterans Appeals (or COVA) and everyone seemed happy with it. Sorta like SCOTUS-easy to pronounce and it rolled off the old tongue after a fashion. As with all good things, someone just had to come along and fustercluck  it into an unpronounceable acronym-CAVC. Ca-vee-chee? Cav-cee? Cavic? Aruuuuuuuu?

Since everyone is into “retro” now, I say we return it to its former glory-and pronunciation- if for no other reason than to facilitate ease of texting. Imagine how much more sense it would make to text your NOVA buds  and thumb in :

“cova just gave doug (rose emoji)nski the whole nchilada in 17-1117.  #novahighcotton(thumbs up emoji)”

But that’s not why I called you all here. Jerrel called while I was busy helping my buddy Butch in his never ending travails with the VA. I didn’t get to talk directly but agreed to do a show with him and John this Thursday evening.  Please tune in on’s podcast live that evening with a cold one at 1900 hrs on the (L)east Coast or 1600 on the Left. They’re all recorded so you can actually listen to it later if you so choose. But, if you’d like to call in, I’d be happy to backfill a blank spot.

The subject will be -what else -Extraordinary Writs of Mandamus. How to. When to. If you should. What they do and don’t do. And why your odds of getting hit by lightning while cashing in your record- winning Powerball Lotto Ticket are far higher than getting the Caa-vee-chee to grant one. But don’t lose heart. Winning an Ex Writ isn’t the name of the game. It’s all about filing one.

I’ll show you a few things I’d do and certainly things I would never do. I’ll explain why you have to have the patience of Job in order to wait two years and some change for a SOC they’ve forgotten to write. Why you’ll need a lot of postage stamps. By rights, you’ll need calluses on your finger pads from all your typed entreaties to please finish the claim.

A trip to the Cavic seems daunting on it’s face. I know. I was shakin’ like a leaf on a tree when I filed my first one back in 2010. I got my ass kicked. It was the biggest waste of a U.S. Grant coupon  I ever pulled out of my wallet. Note to self: Don’t ever begin an Ex Writ when you’re having multiple surgeries in a VAMC whilst being hosed with Dilaudid. Especially VA’s Binford™ 5000 automatic IV dispenser  with the 15-minute ‘Supersize me!’ button. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad idea.

Since I’ll be speaking from the pro se, representing yourself pulpit, I’ll give you the crude version. There are also numerous examples on my website here in Extraordinary Writs in the “Blogs by Subject” Header down the right side. Your ability to file a fairly good product at the Cav-cee is only limited by your manual typing dexterity and familiarity with Microsoft Word©. No expletives deleted. No sexist remarks. Double entendres are permitted but not encouraged. Tune in for more Thursday post meridian.

Be there or be square. the call in number is


(push #1 to join the conversation)

Courtesy of Pop Smoke

Urban deer hunting


Posted in Extraordinary Writs of Mandamus, SVR Radio on, Tips and Tricks, VA Agents, VA Attorneys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tick tock

In 2016, Gulf-era veterans passed Vietnam-era veterans (and Korean/WWII) in the general population. Click the thumbnail below to see a big readable copy of the graphic below.

CAVC “wins” older veterans accomplish, pro se or with help, will eventually spare many younger veterans from the same misery dealing with the VA.  All the traps set out to foil vets from the beginning of the claims process have to go. The fake C & P exams etc. have to go.

Like it or not, this bizarre institution won’t change unless veterans get involved in politics because Congress passes laws which the Secretary then revises according to whatever he can get away with.

Political actions such as Letters to the Editor are more able to persuade readers than online petitions, polls, or tweets–unless you are a Very Very Very Important Person.  And some local Letters are published online and can be “shared.”

As the graphic shows, veterans and their families are more concentrated in some states; they have more political clout when they choose to exercise it.  In the future, active military and veterans of color should become more influential.  But everyone’s influence counts when used.

In the meantime, as the motto says, “Win or Die.” 


Posted in All about Veterans, C&P exams, CAVC Knowledge, CAVC ruling, Food for thought, Future Veterans, General Messages, Guest authors, Important CAVC/COVA Ruling, Lawyering Up, VA Secretaries, VA statistics | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Medical enrollment dates

Just a few dates to note:

Photo by Jonathan Perez on Unsplash.

Medicare Part D (and other Medicare plans):  Open enrollment started on October 15 and runs until Dec. 7.  

Medicare says that very few people change their plans even if they will save money.  I didn’t change my Part D plan (Humana-Walmart) last year and it cost me over $600. Why?  Humana moved my generics into higher tiers so I had to pay a large deductible and they raised the co-pays and premium.  This year I used Medicare’s plan compare online tool (LINK) and ended up moving to EnvisionRX plus because it offered much better terms and a $12.40 monthly premium.  

If I need really expensive medications this year, I can switch to a 5-star plan at ANY time during the year if it offers a better price share than Envision.


Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

The VA’s dental plan enrollment begins on November 15th.  

Metlife has not released their new plans details which is absurd (LINK) at this late date.

Delta has.  It’s not clear to me if dependents can get coverage outside of CHAMPA.  (LINK)

Screenshot from Kaiser–the best place for answers on Obamacare changes.

Obamacare /Marketplace (LINK)

The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1 to December 15, 2017.  Our patriotic private insurance companies are showing their care and concern for--their profits only.

Flu shots

Flu shots for VA-enrolled veterans at Walgreens (VA INFO LINK)

 The no-cost flu shot program starts August 15, 2017 and runs through March 31, 2018. Please note vaccine supply may be limited after March 1, 2018.

A time-saver!;  call first to make sure their employees are aware of the program.  Walgreen’s voucher and instructions (LINK to PDF).  If non-driving vets can’t easily get to a VA clinic, this retail program will help their friends get the veteran a flu shot easily.

Any more medi-dates we can be reminded of?


Posted in All about Veterans, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, non-va care, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments