Some would be angry or disconsolate over a loss at the CAVC. I’m not. I screwed up and I thank Judge Bartley for her fastidious attention to ferreting out the kernels of truth and the error(s) of my Extraordinary Writ. It’s the same error as my prior submission several years ago in #16-2098. To be sure, I must exhaust all my avenues of appeal before I can legitimately approach the bench and ask for such a special dispensation. Nevertheless, that doesn’t dispel the funk I’m in.
Nevertheless, this will not dissuade me from your and my VR&E crusade for our Independent Living Program entitlements. I am taking quill in hand and filling out my new VAF 21-958 appealing my award of a 15 X 20 greenhouse in favor one larger. This time, I will also pull out the stops and purchase an IMO from a bulletproof source explaining why a 24 X 28 foot greenhouse is necessary and vital. As for the $3,800 240 Volt, 30 ampere incinerating water closet and $700 for the two year subscription to the NVLSP Veterans Benefits Manual? Mais oui. That, too, naturally.
This fall has been quite a whirlwind and I have an excuse for my being AWOL from the asknod pages. I have been occupied with four Veterans who are either terminally ill or whose claims have finally come to fruition due to their deteriorating health. Imagine drawing a poker hand like this. I have three (3) Travel Board hearings face-to-face here in Seattle on succeeding days-Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They are all going to be in front of the same VLJ- Judge Cherry Crawford. I hope I don’t wear out my welcome. Thank the good Lord none are identical claims. That might backfire if I merely brought the same copy and paste of an amended VA 9 Appeal brief.
Enough about me. I’m boring compared to the below.
Swift Boat Wayne’s World
One of my Vietnam combat Vets is a Montana resident whom I was forced to schedule here in Seattle. It turns out they’ve never heard of a Travel Board hearing in Fort
Fumble– er, Harrison excuse me. I kid you not. I asked my new BFF DRO Jean K over there to schedule me one pronto as my client just got the six-month briefing from his oncologist. Apparently the Nivolumab™ isn’t cutting it as advertised. The three extra years promised just evaporated -it ain’t gonna happen. It’s very sad but if it were me, I’d drive all the way to DC to deep fry their ears before I died. Wayne did a tour on a Swift Boat north of Da Nang. It was rude, wet and stormy with lots of lead poisoning. It destroyed his back, gave him PTSD and now prostate cancer that is spreading like wildfire.
So… I called the White House Hotline Wednesday afternoon and bent some old boy’s ear for an hour to see if I could frag someone’s ass and get it moving. An interesting aside. When we were up in Laos, they had cases and cases of really keen Swedish hand grenades. Seems them Swedes would be pretty hunky Nordic types with big biceps. Maybe not. Those grenades were about 70% of our M-26s in weight and you felt like a NFL quarterback effortlessly throwing 100 yard Hail Marys into the endzone from your own 20. Seems I tossed a daisy. Judge Cheryl Mason’s secretary Shahnikka (sp?)called me the next morning (0732 Hrs my Local) and assured me she had a September 18th slot open if she could just remember where in Sam Hill it was available at. Not expecting much in the near future, I half-heartedly tossed in I had two others I was arguing at the Emerald City Memorial VARO on the 19th and the 20th so I really couldn’t fly to Fort Fustercluck and be back in time for dinner. I did let drop Old Wayne was amenable to a road trip west if that helped the schedule…
Last week Wayne had mentioned to me he would even consider driving all the way over here if he could get his hearing expedited. He didn’t want all this to fall on his wife’s shoulders after he’d punched out. I’d already half ass suggested it to his DRO Jean a week ago Friday afternoon on the 7th, too. She had said she’d thump her coach’s melon and see what she could make happen at her end.
At 1o30 hrs, just three gongs of the clock after I’d talked to Shahnikka (she of the misplaced TB hearing), the phone rang again with that quintessential anonymouse 800-827-1000 ID. It was my Travel Board Coordinator here in Seattle. Tammy said she just happened to have a slot open for Wayne on Tuesday the 18th-five days hence- assuming arguendo, he could make it over here. What a coincidence, huh?
Since Cupcake had the foresight to order me to make our Best Western ADA from stem to stern in 2005, we’re going to put Wayne and his wife up here. We have an elevator to jack him up into the house and all the amenities. Besides, I can’t see Wayne being comfortable in a downtown Seattle hotel with more folks around him than trees. Remember, he lives on fifty acres with a river running through it. I’m guessing they’ll be far happier here sipping Chivas, flipping 16 oz. bone-in Rib eyes on the barbie and feeding apples to the horses with me. Shucks, we can shoot trap (or deer) right off the back deck. What? You thought my skeet range wasn’t ADA approved? O ye of little faith.
Wayne has very bad IDS for 60%, PTSD for 100% and Prostate Cancer for 100%. On top of that, he has the 100% bone cancer going down into his legs. I’m going out on a limb here saying he has loss of use of his lower extremities because he tends to fall on his face when walking. VA says he won’t qualify until he gets an amputation or two and straps on matching, color-coordinated prostheses. I thought we fixed that twenty years ago with Tucker v. West.
Monkey Mountain Bob
In addition, on the 19th, we’re holding a VA Pity Party for I Corps Bob, the radioman who had the misfortune of brushing his teeth too many times with that orange-flavored toothpaste from Monsanto. Bob came down with a raging case of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) back in 2013. VA gave him a 100% temporary. After the bone marrow transplant, he came down with classic, predictable GVHD symptomatology and has been taking Tacrolimus ever since to prevent the rejection of the transplanted bone marrow. I say he was entitled to that 100% right on through until I got him his TDIU this June. VA told me to go suck an egg and reduced him to 10% faster than you could say Jack Robinson. I say “Yo. Mr. Wilkie. Read your regulations, dude:”
With active disease or during a treatment phase–———100%
Note: The 100 percent rating shall continue beyond the cessation of surgical, radiation, antineoplastic chemotherapy or other therapeutic procedures. Six months after discontinuance of such treatment, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of § 3.105(e) of this chapter. If there has been no recurrence, rate on residuals.
Just to be sure, we went and bought a killer IMO saying Tacrolimus is a Therapeutic procedure. I would gladly spend $2 K today for $32 K next Thursday. Gee. Didn’t Wimpy say that about hamburgers once?
Funny thing is they plumb disremembered all the GVHD residuals like dry mouth, mega dry skin disease, phlebotomies and a few others like having trouble breathing when they did the follow up exam in 2016. I got him all decked out with TDIU- one disease by one- over the last 15 months. But, like Colonel (Brevet Maj. Gen.) Custer, they plan on dying on that DC 7703 hill.
LZ Cork -Finally
As most of you know, I began helping Butch and Barb in 2013 on his Purple Heart and CIB first. He is finally getting his day in court on the 20th. This one is for all the marbles back to 1970 on a §3.156(c) claim. The rocket boys in Seattle forgot to go get his NPRC records in 1970 and there they sat for 45 years. His DRO couldn’t even assemble a SSOC to rebut my SOC rebuttal. She had it for three months and finally ran the white flag up the pole and feebly offered a VA 8 in surrender and agreed to let it go to the Judge. I get that. Who wants to walk into the break room at 1000 Hrs and have everyone nod toward you and whisper “She’s the gal who cut a check to that 11 Bravo for a million.”? Nobody at any Fort Fumble ever wants that on their resume. Fuggit. Let the VLJ fall on that sword.
They say good things come in threes. We shall see. One thing is for sure. Whoever said VA can’t go to the bathroom without three signatures was funning you. What are the odds you could bag a VA 8, rustle up advancement on the docket in a week and then a Travel Board Hearing in five days? I must be in Heaven, man. It’s exhilarating when a plan comes together.
And lastly, it’s Mr. Buddy’s 50th Birthday today. He was born in 1968 in Ballard, Washington.