There’s just nothing like a good All Hallow’s Eve story. This one was brought to me by my East Coast supervisor of VA Justice. I reckon that was back in Summer 2018. Bruce McCartney is renowned throughout the Southeast States’ ROs as one who is not afraid to confront injustice. Especially so when it’s a fellow lady in VA distress. Meet Miz Anne from Del Rio, Tennessee.
I get irritated more than I can say when folks say we (I and my fellow NOVA Members) are nothing more than VA Ambulance chasers. Considering most attorneys who pursue similar law in the civilian sector get at least a 40% fee and instant payouts, that dog won’t hunt. In the same vein, I’ve been accused of ignoring pro bono Vets whose claims will not earn me any baksheesh. Again, that’s hooey. I just did two in a row this month- TDIU for one neighbor and one for a TBI secondary to driving over a mine in 1969 near An Loi. The gal, Elaine, had been stuck at 70% + 10%+10%= 80% for 21 years. Everyone (read AmLeg/DAV/AmVets VA representatives) who had helped her over the years shrugged and threw up their hands when the Emerald City Memorial Regional Office 86’d her TDIU applications. She was basically a 100% TBI after a rollover in a ’64 VW Microbus just before separation. She said it was like being in a big washing machine with an untethered lawn mower.
Mr. An Loi (Stuart) with the Purple Heart also went through the washing machine after they drove over the anti-tank mine -inside a 18-wheeler tractor with his M 60 and eight ammo cans of 7.62 X 51 MM flying around his head. I got him up to 60% from 0%. I filed and Portland did just what I predicted. They granted rather than making me fight. Ergo, no fight = no samoles for me. Good deal. Maybe I’ll get to Heaven yet. But let’s talk about our Queen for a Day- Mrs. Anne.
ANNIE’S PORK AND BEANS
Shortly after Bruce Almighty sent Anne to me, she was on TV in Discovery Go’s Homestead Rescue- Season 4 Episode 3 Shock and Awe. If you get a chance, set down a spell with a cold one and watch some real TV. It sure beats the Real Housewives of Memphis.
They also built her a small country store and the ability to have a reliable electrical source for her refrigerated goods. Life was getting better and now we add the VA game changer. Anne has been a candidate for 100% P&T for twenty or more years since she first filed. Like all of us, she didn’t gripe and complain when they gave her 10%. Until one day she did. VA blew her off and told her she had the vapors. Somebody told Bruce and Bruce told me. It was a case of “you’re it”. And here we are about 15 months later.
Back in the day, they’d call Anne’s condition “anxiety disorder” or “schizoid adaptation”. PTSD was pretty much reserved for combat Veterans. In the intervening years, psychiatrists began to recognize PTSD could encompass any violent event- including Major Sexual Trauma (MST). Bent Brain Disorder is interesting. If the event is so overwhelming, many can’t remember the minutiae. They just remember the general gist of it. Some seem to have a stretchy rubber band upstairs and can recover from a stressor. For others, the rubber band breaks. Some of us sicko’s were really bent back in the 60s-70s and even signed up for a second tour.
Anne’s shrink did a really bang up job and the VA recognized it. There was no way they were going to poke a hole in the bottom of this claim boat. That’s good. We don’t need a lot of VA theatrics and Kabuki theater shit. I think it took waaaay longer than it had to but then I’ve been radicalized. In fact it could be said I’ve weaponized the VBMS against the VA. Hey, if I call VA racist, we may even have a really good major media event. If I claim the VA is an existential threat to Veterans, we might even get National Coverage! I like all those newfangled progressive terms. Wish I’d known how this works in 1974. It took 18 years just to get VA to
admit concede I was even in Vietnam. Here’s a pic (above)of some of my BFFs and me all dressed up for Halloween 1970. I dressed up as an armed French interpreter. Actually, my USAID ID announced my profession as French Teacher-a minor technicality.
Anne and Rick will now have a far more financially secure future at a time when they could really use it. How cool is that? Here’s some great shots she sent me for this article. I don’t normally take PTSD cases because they are a real hand’s on project. This one, however, was ordained by God to be a success. Remember what the Crusaders used to yell when they charged Muslim unbelievers? “Onwards for St. George! God sends the Right!” I just pointed this thing in the right direction for her. Nothing more. It made a difference for that one.
Now if you’re motoring around wherever Del Rio, Tennessee is and you want some killer smoked pork or chicken, you make sure you give Anne’s store a shot. It’s called Annie’s Pork-and-Beans. You tell her and Ricky hi for me, hear?