This is a poignant day for all Vietnam Veterans. Imagine having to pick a day and imbue it with great pomp and circumstance. May 5th, 1975 represents the last (official) day of the Vietnam War. We Veterans of the conflict remember it as a day that will live in ignominy. Why, just ask Sen. Richard “Bien Hoa” Blumenthal of Connecticut. I’m sure he has tragic memories from his tour of duty there. I see Mayor Pete Buttigieg threw his hat into the presidential ring and is even writing a book about his heroic exploits (sans CIB) in Afstan. Should be a good read. The problem with a book now is elementary-it doesn’t allow you to revise your military history later on like Blumenthal.
From what I hear, the conflict of naming May 5th Vietnam Veterans Day instead of the improbable choice of March 29th was simple. Our esteemed President noted in 2012 that May 5th was already taken by that venerable United States National Holiday known as Cinco de Mayo. Yes, you might hear some sarcasm dripping from that sentence. My apologies. That was probably uncalled for. I cringe to think what would have happened if July 4th had already been spoken for as National Monarch Butterfly Cocoon Day and President Jackson, fifty years later had been forced to choose January 10th for our Independence Day celebration because it hadn’t been “spoken for” yet. Idiot’s delight. I guess you can understand my unbridled 46-year old cynicism to this day when the VFW told me to sashay on over at the American Legion in Lancaster, California to apply for membership in 1973 because “Vietnam is a conflict, son, not a War. You don’t qualify for membership here.” Funny thing is they’ve been hounding me since I hit 100% in 2008 to join. Gee, you don’t think VA sells their mailing lists, do you?
Sadly, being disenfranchised Vietnam Vets, this was our fate for decades. It makes no difference to me now that America has suddenly and collectively noticed the forgotten yellow ribbons around the old oak trees and the neglected mention of us taking a Bronze Medal at the Southeast Asian Olympics. I get that. It’s embarrassing to get your American ass kicked in any war. However, suddenly recognizing your faux pas 40 years later doesn’t ameliorate the animosity we returned to. And that’s all I’m going to say about that… today. You can take your Welcome Home Finally shit and stick it. Acclamation delayed is Acclimation denied in my febrile mind.
This post is to commemorate the passing of my recently deceased friend, client and fellow Vietnam Veteran Wayne “Dan” Moser. Dan and his wife Signe were real estate clients of Cupcake’s and it was a natural fit. His VFW service rep insisted Dan was maxed out on VA benefits at 100%. No mention of Special Monthly Compensation was ever uttered. When I apprised him of his entitlement to so much more, he was initially doubtful such a thing existed. He didn’t call bullshit on me. He just felt no one who considered himself a friend would betray him on something so important. Such is the high quality of VSO training. I leave it to the reader to ascertain whether this was intentional or just a gross oversight due to Montana VFW legal inexpertise. Considering the difference between 100% ($3,227.58) versus SMC R1 ($7,798.09) is about $4,500 and some change, I’m surprised someone didn’t scratch their head and ask them queshuns.
This is exactly why I chose SMC, Agent Orange Presumptives and Hepatitis C to specialize in. Very few (if any) VSOs even begin to comprehend (or admit) the intricacies and nuances of them. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding also plagues seasoned legal minds who do this for a living. I owe my understanding to the acknowledged master of the art- Robert Chisholm of Chisholm, Chisholm and Kirkpatrick. He was doing this before I even knew what a 4138 was back in 1989.
Dan Moser was the poster child for R1 and wasn’t even aware of it. I’m glad I was able to help. His funeral and interment was April 26th, 2019 here in Washington State at Tahoma National Cemetery. I have been to far too many funerals for my fallen comrades and I dreaded this one but wild horses couldn’t have dragged me away. Even if I had not been extended an invitation, I would probably have still been there in the background incognito. It’s a rare honor to be able to do so much for one family. His daughter Cindy may well become my next new Moser project.
It was also an opportunity to meet his daughters including Leona and son-in-law Ed Dunn. Funny how this works. Ed was in line for an R1 rating too but no one told him. I leave it to the reader to ascertain whether this was intentional or just a gross oversight due to Arkansas VFW legal inexpertise. Considering the difference between 100% ($3,227.58) versus SMC R1 ($7,798.09) is about $4,500 and some change, I’m surprised someone didn’t scratch their head and ask them queshuns. Wait a minute. This is beginning to feel like deja vu.
Ed’s already lost the use of his lower extremities from rheumatoid arthritis and now, sadly it’s destroyed his use of his hands. And on top of loss of use of four extremities, he needs aid and attendance. His erstwhile VSO is probably wondering what happened to those all-but-guaranteed annual membership dues they’ve had in the bag all these years.
Ed opted in to the Army as an 11 Bravo 10 and managed to pick up a Combat Infantryman Badge during his tour in Vietnam. This whole family has borne the battle and then some.
Imagine two generations of the same family serving in Vietnam. Wait! I almost forgot my Dad (7/66 to 3/68) and me ( 5/70 to 5/72) did the same. I”m sure it’s fairly rare but still speaks volumes about our mutual devotion to our country.
Below is a group photo of the Moser clan. I almost feel like thanking the Veterans Administration for making me adjudicate my claims for 30 years. Were it not for their intransigence, I would not have learned the art of VA poker nor would I have had the honor of representing Dan and then his wife Signe- let alone Ed and Leona Dunn. Howard works in strange ways.
Speaking of getting into a pickle, the latest Pickle Report- 16 lbs and counting as of Friday last. She’s like a F3 tornado and growing inexorably. I cannot even imagine trying to do this in ten years. At 68, it’s like a brand new baby except for pee pads and the dog food. Those dark circles under my eyes are from lack of sleep. Taking her for a walk is a piece of cake. Simply take a leash and drag it behind you. She’s on it faster than a small mouth bass on a #2 Mepps® Spinner in June. She takes you for a walk.
Pickles does seem to have a factory defect that disturbs me. I’m pretty sure Cupcake would forbid me returning her as damaged goods at this late date but her tail is a decidedly different color about half-way down. I’m thinking about taking her down to Sherwin Williams Paint Store tomorrow to get a color match. Click below on the pic for a close up. This isn’t photo shopped.
Last but not least, I finally hornswoggled a SOC for my long-lost greenhouse out of my arch nemesis VR&E Officer over in Seattle on Friday. That must be a world record. I filed on 10/10/2018. It only took two calls to the White House Hotline and the threat of another Extraordinary Writ (#4) Hallelujah! I can now opt in to the new AMA and proceed to the Board of Veterans Appeals. I’m hoping to be able to get Veterans Law Judge Vito Clementi again for a Travel Board hearing for the proper size.
This ought to be a hoot. I’m counsel for, as well as, appellant. This time I’m flying to DC for the hearing. This is like playing VA poker with 3rd graders. Ol’ Brer Boyd (fox) and Brer Crosby (bear) barely know how to screw you out of VR&E benefits but litigation is definitely not their strong suit. Google ‘post hoc rationalizations advanced for the first time on review of agency actions are entitled to no consideration’. Check out my old friend Martin v. Occupational Safety
I’m pretty sure I know what’s at the top of the Labrador Retriever food pyramid….H2O coming out of a hose. I showed Pickles this magic and now every hose on the 5 acres has to be carefully inspected…daily.
Asknod what your country can do for you