Ye aged Witch Doctor (RN)

This may be the hardest article I have written to date. It will upset some, anger others and sow dissention. I do not do it lightly.

I apologize for having to embarrass a Veteran. Anytime I find an injustice or untruth being propagated that will deprive a Veteran of potential benefits, I shudder. It is extremely difficult under the best circumstances to get VA compensation. To have someone standing outside the VARO screaming “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here!” is the antithesis of what we stand for. Our mission is to inform. As they say at Fox News, “We report. You decide”. That should be all we do.

To keep it in perspective, when a Veteran purports to be schooled in the medical arts and even crows about it with a detailed autobiography, you would tend to trust or give credence to his warnings:

US Army 1959-1969; Germany 1960-63;

Medic 1964-69

SFC E-7 MOS: 55G10 (60-63)  (55G is a nuclear weapons specialist)

1964 to 1969:

91B40  ( 91B is listed as a medical NCO)

91C40  (91C is listed as a practical nurse)

91F40   (91F is listed as a psychiatric “specialist”)

Registered Nurse, 1968-2005 (Licensed, not practicing after 1975)

Ed.D in Rehabilitation Counseling, Certified Rehabilitation

Counselor Retired, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Independent Social Security Contract Vocational Expert 1983-2005,

Contract Medical Expert 1987-2005

60% Service Connected Disabled; Life Member of the DAV since 1980

One will note that he purports to have been a “contract medical expert”. I assume that means he was allowed to give expert medical testimony regarding any number of medical subjects. When you give him a soapbox such as a Veterans site and allow him to disseminate knowingly false information that might dissuade a Veteran from filing, this borders on criminal behaviour. Veterans deserve better. In fact, they deserve the very best that we can deliver if we hope to truly help them. Providing incomplete or incorrect information often will cause them to lose and/or prolong the process interminably. Purposefully  publishing untruths and medical misinformation is dangerous for any number of reasons. In the context of a VA claim, it is lethal. Your very credibility is at stake. Once that is in tatters, you whole claim is in jeopardy.

Meet The Old Medic from the VBN (Yuku) site. He is discoursing here on the Hepatitis C flavivirus  about which he purports to know much:

As to the Hepatitis C, unless you can show that you got it while on active duty, it would not be a service connected issue.

Since the disease was only identified by Dr. Edwin Southern in 1989, how do you think all (or a majority) of us have proven we contracted it in the sixties and the seventies? This is the essence of the Risk Factors Questionnaire we fill out.

Using drugs is a VERY common source for Hep C, so anyone that has been using drugs is going to have any such claim denied very quickly.

Unfortunately for Mr. Medic, this is untrue. No less that the CAVC has remanded claims back to the BVA for a more nuanced explanation of how an affliction for left-handed tobacco could translate into contracting HCV. In the same decision, the Judge asked the  VLJ to also illuminate the connection between being extremely trashed or hammered (ETOH abuse) and subsequent risk for hep. If you search the BVA HCV decisions blogs, you will find numerous incidences of Veterans with “imperial entanglements” of the drug kind who ultimately went on to success. Making unequivocal statements about things you do not understand, research properly or are ignorant of is puffed shirtery of the worst kind.

Your claim is not going to get you anywhere. There is no way that using a pneumatic injection system would spread Hepatitis C, unless the serum itself was contaminated. If that was the case, then everyone that got that injection would have gotten Hep C very shortly after they got the injection. This would NOT occur years later.

This argument is self-defeating. It ignores the possibility  of an infected person being administered the inoculation and blood being transposed to the next in line. All who were there, medics included, can attest to the fact that flinching or moving while being  inoculated invariably resulted in a laceration. In fact, those very same medics even admonished you not to move. In addition, Hepatitis C is a “cryptogenic” disease that often does not manifest itself with observable symptoms for 20 to 30 years. This is why so many of us were and are diagnosed late in life years after our service. The VA is belatedly coming to this realization and they are now more amenable to granting service connection based on that one single facet. For years they espoused what the Old Medic continues to-that there was no evidence of HCV in your medical records in 1968. My time worn analogy for that is like the car buff looking for a left front quarter panel for his 1969 Mustang in a junkyard in 1948. You won’t find one. It hadn’t been “invented” yet.

Mostly, this statement fails for the most obvious of reasons. The Hepatitis C virus is extremely durable and can exist outside the body in dried blood for months and still be viable. This is accepted medical science now proven in the laboratory. Doctor Medic merely opines on a contaminated serum, perchance Gamma Globulin, but ignores the documented CDC risk of the blood. Therein lies the seed of his medical malpractice. I shudder to think that he may have had occasion to opine on any Veteran’s risk factors for contracting HCV in a court of law as a “contract medical expert”. God forbid.

The chances of proving that you got it from a military pneumatic injection system range between nil and none. I suppose that’s as good a way to waste time as anything.

I suppose this was the last straw for me. Here, our self-taught expert in gastroenterology  opines that it is a fool’s errand to pursue this. Some seek their knowledge at approved universities and institutions of higher learning. Then there are those who need the instant fix obtained from a Time-Life How To book. A small minority ignore all conventional venues and simply parrot the party line-which in this case happens to be the VA’s philosophy. VA feels that if you have HCV, you attained it via drug abuse. In rare instances it has been attributed to tattoos and STDs but the prime progenitor is drug abuse and that is that. Case closed. The exception to this rule occurs when you have a doctor provide the linkage to the risk (jetguns). I suppose this eventuality never occurred to our erstwhile “nurse”. Being so highly trained in the military, his knowledge surpasses that of mortal “M.D.”s- those who actually attended an institution of higher learning.

If I had subscribed to his theory, I would have several fewer Vets service connected at this point. The fact that Vets are winning using this defense disproves his hypothesis. Not only that, the CDC has finally come out and admitted that they were wrong about jetguns all these years-horribly wrong. Mea culpas of this magnitude rarely occur. Medical science is self-correcting and eventually comes around to the correct answers to most quandaries. They have here in no uncertain terms. Yet our esteemed Veteran/nurse clings to an indefensible logic that is woefully out of date. And to add insult to injury, he has a forum in which to disseminate this misinformation to the detriment and harm of other Veterans. That I find unconscionable.

When we moved the site over here from HCVets in 2011, I was faced with a choice of continuing the former forum style that many Veterans sites use or break new ground with the blog model. Cupcake suggested the latter for several good reasons- the most apparent being an opportunity to dispel old wive’s tales and myths about this disease.  The forum model illustrates why you have to be careful. Giving everyone the moniker of “expert” and allowing them to publish their medical dissertations unsupervised on your website tars and feathers you as one who concurs. This is the problem. In a properly controlled environment, with some procedural safeguards,  this works very well. is an excellent example. Fortunately, the moderators, administrators and Elders supervise their underlings and promptly rebut erroneous information. Note the word “rebut”. This is not synonymous with the word “censor”.  Censorship occurs when you remove legitimate posts from your forum that make your moderator look like an uneducated boob. has been around for eons and their moderators and Elders are wise beyond their years. They have a stellar reputation earned as a site where you can obtain the unvarnished truth devoid of politically (or VA) correct thinking. They do not publish untruths nor do they permit them to be published without a nuanced rebuttal that demolishes the hypothesis in a reasoned manner. Most Veterans who contribute advice research their answers extensively before pushing Print.

Obviously, in spite of his claim of being a registered (practical?) nurse, the gentleman who travels under the nom de plume “The Old Medic” appears to have no more knowledge than a lowly bedpan changer. Giving out advice is a dicey matter in the Veterans’ form of ex parte justice. One misstep and all your hard work is gone. Here, our old pecker checker has reported numerous mistruths that are easily disproven by long-held medical theses and studies. The mere fact that the DoD withdrew these inoculation devices in 1997/98 speaks volumes about their inherent unsanitariness. The old saw about HCV=drug abuse is no longer an absolute in light of newer studies. To cling to a theory after everyone knowledgeable in the arts has declared it obsolete tells us he either is not up to speed on current best practices or has an agenda to deprive Vets of knowledge. Whatever the reason, to allow him to hold forth and influence Veterans into refraining from filing or to give up is the antithesis of what we all stand for and the purpose of the websites.

This is the inherent danger of the unsupervised forum model. Everyone becomes a self-proclaimed expert. When the offender is elevated to a position of authority or by his self-reported autobiography, he dons the mantle of respectability and his word is revered. Why would he lie? What does he hope to accomplish by spouting these mistruths? Those are the pertinent questions. Veterans everywhere should ask themselves “What can this gentleman hope to accomplish with his lies?” Don’t misunderstand me. These are lies-not a simple case of someone misinformed. I do not use the word “lie” lightly.

Having observed this phenomenon for over four years, I can only conclude that the hierarchy of VBN supports this purposeful distortion of what is otherwise commonly  accepted medical knowledge. They have had numerous opportunities to correct the mistruths. Indeed, for several years, this self-proclaimed medic was a moderator and given the cachet of  a medical know-it-all to the detriment of the Veterans he ostensibly sought to help. He dispensed advice freely with abandon.  How much, in retrospect, was in error is anyone’s guess. I note he has “retired” his title and is now just a contributing member again. Nevertheless, the damage he spread, and continues to, is irreversible in most instances.

Veterans, as I will continue to say until I die, deserve the best advice and help they can get in this business. In no legal venue in America is a citizen deprived of meaningful legal representation except the VA. Veterans tend to take counsel with their own and those who purport to represent their best interests. This is the essence of why we have Veterans help sites such as this one. Doesn’t it sound onerous to have one which does everything in its power to obfuscate, misinform and then censor those that try to reveal the perfidy? This is embarrassing. Some have counseled me not to discuss this on the site because it casts a bad light on all Vets help sites. I disagree. This is like aiding and abetting a child molester by letting let it continue. Nothing good can ensue-ever. The harm-to even one Vet- is impermissible.

We have one job and a sacred one at that. It is my opinion (not always shared by others) that our legal options are extremely limited. I do not feel the VSO system is quite the panacea that others do. I do not hold the VA and its personnel in the same high esteem that others do. Today I take the next pensive step and say that I do not feel that all Veterans help sites share that sacred desire to help Veterans. That might fly in the face of accepted dogma but it is supported by what I see and read above. That it continues unabated year-in and year-out at one, and only one Veterans website, speaks volumes about the ones in charge who aid and abet it by their inaction.

All Veterans advocates, be they VSOs, attorneys or even uneducated fools like me. should take a Hippocratic oath of sorts wherein they swear “First, do no harm”. Can VBN look itself in the mirror and say that in good conscience?”

I suggest all who read this go to the site  and ask the seminal question: “Why, in light of all the knowledge on HCV, do you continue to perpetuate this kind of misinformation? I will also make two prophecies  It’s now 1357 hrs (L) on the left coast on 4/21/2013.

Prophesy #1 is that this subject will be closed to further comment as soon as the moderators discover you have noticed the Emperor is naked and comment about it.

Prophesy #2 is that any other discussion boards on this subject will also be curtailed so as not to embarrass their contract medical expert and spare him any humiliation.

Thank you for your Service!

Thank you for your Service!

I will add a last one. Any of you who go there risk being a) censored; b) derided as conspiracy theorists or c) refused entry and prohibited from membership posting. I discovered that I had attained that exalted status several days ago when apprised of this misinformation. I decided to refute it and was subtly informed my valuable knowledge on this subject did not rise to their high, medical standards. In a word, I was refused entry. Considering we inhabit a nonadversarial environment where the Veteran is accorded every benefit of the doubt, it seems the VBN help site does not extend the same courtesy. Rest assured. You will never be censored here except for expletives that exceed good taste. Your opinions, however will always be entertained and given equal space in the comments section. Unlike some sites, we subscribe to the unalienable right to freedom of speech-and opinion. What we will not permit is information we know to be harmful or prejudicial to your VA claim. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Forewarned is forearmed

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About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in All about Veterans, General Messages, HCV Risks (documented) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. The Old Medic says:

    A man got banned from a site for MISCONDUCT, and he blames ME?

    My resume is 100% accurate.

    55G was my original MOS, and was why I was assigned to 2 Nuclear units in Germany (5th Missile Battalion, 39th Artillery and 1st Battalion, 75th Artillery). After reenlisting, I went to Basic Medical Training (91A-B), and then to Neuro-Psychiatrict Specialists school (91F). I later went through the 91C school (Clinical Specialist back then, Practical Nurse later).

    I retained all of the MOS codes that I was qualified for. 55G20, 91B40, 91C40, 91F40. The 40 designation was because given when I made Staff Sergeant, and was retained when I made Sergeant First Class. I also received Proficiency Pay Level 2 (P-2). I left the Army in September 1969, after 9 years, eleven months on active duty because my wife took off abandoning me and our daughters.

    I challenged the boards for Registered Nurses, and I passed those exams, and was licensed as an R.N. Between working Friday and Saturday nights in emergency rooms, and the Vietnam Era GI Bill, I was able to complete my BA in 3 years, and earn a dual Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Psychology. I stopped working as a nurse after I graduated with my Masters.

    I later went on to earn my Doctorate (Ed.D) in Rehabilitation Counseling. I also took all the necessary courses to qualify as a Clinical Psychologist. I was licensed as a Clinical Psychologist, after completing a Post Doctoral Fellowship with the Devereux Foundation.

    I was initially a Contract Vocational Expert with Social Security. After obtaining my license as a Psychologist, I also became a “Contract Medical Expert”. With Social Security Disability, Psychologists are also “Contract Medical Experts”. Hate to disillusion this clown, but he was wrong at VBN, and he’s wrong here.

    VBN exists for one purpose, to assist veterans in obtaining needed care and to proceed with claims for Service Connected Disability. It DOES NOT exist to attack others, to spread lies, and to generally act like an ass.

    No person at VBN ever gets banned for offering anything of any value. They get banned for making REPEATED personal attacks against others, for constantly attempting to make everything a political cause, for making vulgar sexist remarks about female veterans (and about male vets that they consider “whimpy”), and for repeatedly violating the rules.

    This particular veteran was banned because he REPEATEDLY VIOLATED THE RULES, by attacking not just me, but several other people. He was politely asked to stop doing this by the Moderators/Administrators (and I am NOT either of those things), but he refused to comply.


    We have helped thousands of veterans get their benefits, and get necessary treatment.

    They do NOT however allow anyone to just attack, attack, attack. Sadly, this particular veteran was a LOT less interested in getting help, or in helping others, than he was in being a bully.

    We also expose scammers from time to time, who are trying to rip off the VA. Sadly, some veterans believe that just because they wore the uniform, they are entitled to a free ride for life.

    And no, I do NOT get any form of a paycheck from the VA, or from the Federal Government. I do get Social Security, and VA Service Connected Compensation.

    • hepsick says:

      , I would not trust him with my cat, and I do not like my cat its the xsss,, If a person served and got sick beceuse of his service then YES THE VA OWES HIM A RIDE, but Its NOT FREE it NEVER IS, I feel sorry for you man, you better fall on your knees and ask for forgiveness.

    • asknod says:

      Well, now that we have established the autobiography, we are still left with the conundrum of why anyone with that much acumen and medical knowledge would want to perpetrate lies about the etiology of a disease. What part of the puzzle are we lacking with the possible exception of gastroenterologist, FACS, MD, or clinical hepatologist? ARNP? PA? Sadly, our medical mispractioner here is more concerned with making sure his bonafides are properly annotated while unmasking fraud and policing the VBN ethernet for rules violations. It’s unfortunate some Vets feel morally superior. Ignorance is bliss.

  2. Whoneeds'em says:

    I was also BANNED from VBN. A military retiree that had recently been assigned a rating above 50%. I was new to the VA process and had a lot of questions. I googled and found myself at VBN, YUKU. I had never heard of VBN before; thought I go in and have a look around. The cover looked pretty good with lots of info, but ya can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Asked a few questions that were met with what sounded like answers from VA simpathizers. Had I unknowingly stumbled into enemy territory? Got a little heated so I returned fire and was hit by a formidable retailiation. They were coming from the margins, the header, the footer, the center of the page… One old gal, “Donna” (maybe a moderator) spoke up on my behalf. I let that simmer down after being warned, “not to bash the VA” and thought it had past, but no they were waiting to ambush.
    Next, saw a couple of newbie’s heading down the same path I had been on and saying things that any past or present VA employee would lite their hair on fire about. Knowing what was lurking in the shadows and that the website had VA booby traps all over it, I tried to warn them. Yes, I was banned when I said, “Be careful with comments about the VA because the VBN website seems to have VA oversight.”
    All hell broke out!!! They began shouting so many acolades for each other going so far as to mention each other by there user I.D.’s and what they had done for veterans. I felt like the bamboo under the fingernails was coming next. They made me so mad I was just about to ask them to meet me and settle this man-to-man when they pulled the plug.
    Bet I wasn’t on that site for two months total looking for answers when that went down. They can pat each other on the back tell it’s purple, but they are not veteran friendly! Who needs’em?

  3. Randy says:

    Insanity! I did leave the mindless drone a rebuttel as well. There was a mention on the news about a village missing their idiot. Guess we found him.

  4. Thanks NOD! I have had many battles behind the scenes with Old Medic. He has given outright wrong medical advice to Veterans , and even posted that Vets would rather have the check than the cure. He posted on VBN that there was also a cure for Menieres disease. I sure would like to know what it is since i have become deaf without hearing aids and have suffered this disease for over 20 years. keep up the good fight everyone! Brewha44

    • asknod says:

      Whatever you suffer, I feel safe in telling you it is NOT service connected. We call it a fig newton of the imagination. You just think your hearing is impaired. Vets do this all the time to get money they are not entitled to.

  5. david j murphy says:

    Say your first post yesterday, went on THAT SORRY SITE and challenged the old medic. only response is to repeat the same false drivel that he was spouting. went back on the site this A.M. and reccomended to all that if they wanted help with fighting for S.C. to go either here or to hadit.con. do not know if they pulled the post or not. hate to sound like a truther but can’t help but wonder who this guy works for. most of the upper levels of DAV seem to be in lockstep with VA.

    • Kel says:

      I think he is a miserable sham of a person. That tag line of his is extremely suspect too. How could anyone have a career as a counselor with that kind of attitude. This is by far not the only time that asshat has told a Vet “he has no case”. I think he’s one of those guys that also lies about their military records.

  6. RobertG says:

    Hey NOD
    This is the second time I went to this “blog” and got sicker still! This old medic really seems to be sucking up tot he vA with his advice. I look back this month and see how I won SC for HCV. Yes there are IMO’s who have turned the tables on acceptable exposures. I am living proof. Does this old medic have any wins or remands or reversals under his hood? Here in CA my news of a win is miraculous from the DAV to my GI doctor to those who have survived the FDA approved poison injected into our bodies. This guy really pisses me off. Have you invited old medic to read some of the wins here? It would dispel his logic and attitude about exposures and how to WIN! Screw all the talking. Time to take action and let the chips fall where they may…

  7. hepsick says:

    You are either for us or against us, that is the motto I go with, sounds like someone at that site is taking a VA Paychecks for Disinformation, THEY do that you know,if THEY can Nip it in the Bud it will save the Va a lot of money, I am sorry BUT I DO NOT TRUST THE VA or there disinfo Team, We all know We were infected by AIRJET GUNS,,I WILL SAY IT TILL MY DYING DAY.
    AND I think THEY did it on purpose SEE Agenda 21, Bill Gates says if WE DO A REAL GOOD JOB ON VACCINES, WE CAN CUT WORLD POPULATION BY 20%,think about it you work 40 years and when your just about ready to retire BLAM you got HEP C,I have been studying it for a good 10 years now and its not a conspiracy its a FACT, the VA wants YOU DEAD. Just one Vets opinion, But if it walks like a Duck,The Worst Health Care in America is the VA by far, unfournatly thats all most of us have,Keep up your GREAT WORK, if not for YOU I would be Homeless.

  8. Kel says:

    Very well said. By virtue of the sheer number of posts and subject headers, VBN comes up almost every time one uses the Google for research. Since that is the case, it’s hard to understand how the powers that be over there allow outright wrong and discouraging posts to thrive, yet ban those that have so much to offer. I’d also like to point out that VBN is NOT to be confused with the yuku site ‘Veterans Blog’. DARN YOU GOOGLE

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