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Here’s a lovely story from Member Mark. He’s been in a rough and tumble fight for 13 years with our common adversary and finally prevailed in December 2012. This is no small feat to accomplish under the best of circumstances. Try doing it when you’re sick as a dog and your VSO (California Dept. Of Vet Affairs or CDVA) is not too terribly interested in a hands-on approach.

Mark’s representative, Bob Penny, had been diddling around with this for years when I got involved. Mark and I grabbed the bull by the horns, got the proper evidence into the file, the tattoo photographs blown up and touched up by Cupcake, and assembled the proper regulations to support a grant. Mr. Penny slept through that phase. Mark lost and finally had to do it by appeal to the Board in Washington, DC. I always hate this because it means 3 more years of wait.

Nevertheless, Mark won as I knew he would if he persevered. The law is dispositive on this. If you get the clap, it’s not willful misconduct. It’s a poor choice of a girlfriend for the night but nothing more. Most importantly, it is a risk factor for HCV. VA knew this and thought they could roll Mark. He was pretty sick and wasn’t exactly getting meaningful legal help from  Mr. Penny and the CDVA. As with many, he had no documentation of his tattoo when he separated on his SF88 Physical in block #39. That was a real claim killer. The clap and the picture carried the day but it should have in Oakland where he was filing. Had his VSO been the least bit effectual, it would have occurred locally.

So who should crawl out from under a rock and start bellyaching about all the hard work he did to get Mark service-connected? Just like a bad penny, old Bob is back and now wants his picture together with Mark and a thank you letter for his trophy wall. He probably doesn’t get many successful, hard-to-win claims and this would be a real feather in his cap. It would if he had done something, that is.

I take no credit. Mark is the winner here. He had all the bullets and the gun but nowhere to aim it. Once we sorted it out and wrote it up, VA refused to grant. He had tried for so long and so hard,  they figured they could blow him off. Bob, by now, had joined the Lost In Space Fan Club and was invisible.

This is the third instance of a VSO showing up on a Vet’s doorstep here at asknod demanding his recognition. Multiply this by thousands of pro se Vets who eventually gave up and went out on their own. I think it may be time for Mark and others to go  down to the VSOs and take their pictures so we can publish them here on our Trophy Wall of Shame.





About asknod

VA claims blogger
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  1. james Farley says:

    Kind of a off the wall question i put in a request for a other than honorable discharge from the service at my own request.in 1992 Now the request went thru and it specifically states nor further service required. I had to do one day of active duty for a Quad physical in 1993 well after i got out of the service would that be a breech of contract? And would that effect VARO decisions? Email farleyjames@netzero.com I also know what you saying ive been going thru heck with my service dates listed wrong who they can do that i dont know. The VARO has all correct dd214 and dd215. They are lumping the good service with the bad even though they were two different service periods one honorable the other other than jonorable I dont think they can dot that they have to list service periods accordling right?

  2. david j murphy says:

    there are a few good VSO’s out there, like finding a needle in a hay stack. Blows my mind that this guy shows up after the fact and wants some credit. Thanks to this site and the HERO that runs it when I go to talk to these fools usually I am schooling them on VA regs and procedure. All due to information on this site. THANK YOU NOD.

  3. hepsick says:

    All VSOs are good for is screwing up your case FOR SURE, there just mail men, and con artist, I really have NOT had a good time with these people, they knew all my risk factors but were to lazy and lame to handle it,They sleep FINE at night, get there pay check for screwing over VETS, most are cowards in my BOOK.

  4. RobertG says:

    Congratulations Mark! I know the CDVA rather well. They means less than shit to me. Thy are responsible for my pain and suffering regarding SC. My idiot rep(Alberto Alpersan) was absolutely worthless and let me get screwed, blued and tattooed in 2001. I was sick as a dog suffering the effects of IFN injections and suicidal thoughts. My lovable rep didn’t even tell me I had a hearing at the Los Angeles RO. Unknown to me my C&P had been altered(crossed out sentences re causation) and no notations in the record as to who did it and why. My lovable rep made no objections and wham bam thank you ma’am see you in 10 years if you’re smart enought to figure out we fu**ed you. The CDVA is a joke and rubber stamp for the RO. The CDVA came back to haunt me last year at my video hearing in Los Angeles. I fired them years ago but the RO records show they are still my rep. I disagreed with the brain dead clerk and insisted I am pro se. Furthmore she said I MUST speak to my rep before the hearing. Eventually this led to me getting pissed off and security appeared out of nowhere. Most of the other vets waiting stood up as there was going to be a smack-down. I walked out into the hall to the applause of the other vets waiting before me. I waited almost 6 hours to say my piece. I was watched by security everywhere I went. I swore I would never go back there. I hate what was done to me and must live with it. I like that kid in Porkey’s Revenge who will have his day in the sun. It is very good to hear someone here in CA got the whole popsicle instead of the stick up the keester. I hope you fare well sir and thank you for your service…

  5. Aletta says:

    There are terrible VSOs aren’t there? WOW.. unbelievable that this one wants to take all the credit. BUT there are good VSOs, like my husband’s VSO with the Missouri Veteran’s Commission, MVC. The VSO he used to have with the MVC is now supervisor but the latest one is pretty good. He is not to proud to go to the supervisor with questions. I still have to find and locate all the evidence, as you call bullets. The VSOs are so busy with helping so many Veterans find these bullets it is unreal. But the MVC in Central MO is great about taking the aim with the claims. If you ever do a Wall of VSO honor, I would nominated the three my husband has had in his years of dealings with the DVA. Not all VSOs are lazy jerks and praise seeking…but it does seem like a Wall of Shame would be larger then a Wall of Honor for VSOs, that is a simply not acceptable. I know of other Vet advocates, such as yourself, who could be placed on a Wall of Honor. Thank you, from my heart, for all you do for Veterans.
    BTW.. the website I am using is not MINE but another Veteran who is a great advocate for helping Veterans find information…

    • asknod says:

      I do not heap scorn lightly on VSOs. After 24 years, I simply report my observations. One would think a large city like Seattle would be rife with good, able and intelligent souls capable of doing this. Remember, by representing yourself as being schooled in the art and being chartered by Congress, Vets assume you are the go-to outfit. They are not knowledgable and thus seek out those who are. When they are not served well, it casts aspersions on the lot. It takes all of your wits about you to win this and perseverance of the highest order. With no controls in place to weed out the lollygaggers, Vets often get lousy representation. This is unfortunately the case in most instances. Many states (like mine ) have no State-sponsored Vets organization. You were lucky to find a good one.

      • Aletta says:

        I know what you are saying. In the circle of Veterans I am in contact with.. I don’t hear many tales of good VSOs… Like I said, a Wall of Honor for VSOs would be tiny compared to a Wall of Shame; Like one grain of sand on a beach.. Thanks to the Internet, veterans can find help by other means. I really feel for Veterans who don’t have the Internet to find information and help from advocates like yourself and others I know.

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