Saturday morning I received my BVA travel Board hearing transcript. I mistakenly thought it was the Smooth Tan One, or what they affectionately call the Big Brown Envelope (BBE) over at Hadit.com and sat staring at it for several minutes. After all, it was the culmination of twenty six years of head-butting with the outfit that represents our best interests. Not on both counts.
Attached you will find a redacted copy. I took my SSN off but with Lifeblock®, it’s immaterial- or so they say. Judge Vito Clemente (Call me Vito) engaged us in a preliminary conversation that almost lasted longer than the actual hearing. I could no more address the guy I’m getting ready to plead my life’s story to by his Christian name than I could call our VA Secretary Bob. It stuck in my throat. I chose ‘Your honor’ and stuck with it. Rule # one in BVA hearings is don’t get all BFF fuzzy with the executioner. I did that with Judge Mark Hindin back in 2011 and got a resounding bitchslap heard ’round the world. That’s why I’m back in front of yet another VLJ. No thank you. VA may be touting their Christian name, VA-centric motif now but I’m not buying.
The hearing went quite well in spite of the poor quality of the recording. I infer this judging from the large number of (inaudible) excuses for no words. We were less than 2 feet from the microphone. Perhaps they use 95 year-old former DROs to transcribe and the poor folks just aren’t hitting on all eight ear pistons. Knowing VA, it was not accidental.
At any rate, here’s the transcript. I assumed the mantle of Point man for Independent Living Program issues and submitted VA’s own propaganda to support my arguments. When in Rome, throw a Toga party. Right?
Yep, that’s me and my new dinner partner Wilbur circa 1982. Never a dull moment at LZ Grambo. When Vito asked me about the Air America thing, I said “Sure, I’ll tell ya. But then I have to kill you, okay?” I promised to send him a tell-all about the Steve Canyon Program in 2020.