Boy howdy, I sure hope I don’t have to do these types of claims every day. Tyler is my neighbor. By now everyone is probably thinking about moving up here and becoming my neighbor. One Vet already did! Tyler was a what we called a Mouthbreather in the Air Force-i.e. he was Navy. Like in a fish, right? You know-with gill slits right ahead of the ears? We used to sit around after we landed drinking scotch up in a country that rhymes with mouse back during the war complaining about how rough life was like the Monkees song. Remember that “Mothers complain about how hard life is And the kids just don’t understand.”? We made fun of Army and Navy guys. I’ll keep my mouth shut about Marines.
The Flight surgeon would prescribe us speed and there was always an oxygen tank with a mask at the Air Operations Center (AOC) at 20 Alternate. It would banish a hangover in 3 minutes or less before wheels up. I disremember if they had one over at L 54 Luang Prabang. I do remember the Air America Hostel over there was top drawer. They sometimes even had single malt and real Schweppes tonic water. But generally it was rough. Friends would take off in the morning and didn’t come back. Ever.
Meet Tyler. Helping Veterans is way to assuage that guilt you feel for having somehow lucked out and survived it. Tyler came to me from well, gee. I forget. I met him at Shari’s restaurant up in Port Orchard. He’d lost again on his PTSD claim and was wondering what he needed to win. What do you do? Well, the short answer is you help him. I set him up with a psychologist who was trying to get my business. Baaaaaaad idea. I had no idea other than that the shrink talked a good streak about how he kicked ass and took names. He even flew out from Colorado and bought Cupcake and me dinner. Long story short, Tyler got his clock cleaned by the VA examiner who wasn’t buying the $2,000 IMO. I don’t blame the VA jackwad. I don’t think I would have either. It was pathetic.
Feeling guilty after a long two-year delay and now a denial, I took advantage of my IMO wizards at Mednick Associates and got one of their top-notch subject matter experts in PTSD to write a new epic story of Tyler’s military adventures. Long story short. Tyler was in the Persian Gulf in ’97 aboard one of those flat top airplane cities.Tyler’s wife was giving birth prematurely back in Washington State. The Navy pukes wouldn’t let him go back to be with her. Then they changed their minds. Too late. By the time Tyler got back, his newborn daughter was in the meat locker. They refused to transfer her down to Madigan Army Hospital where they had a good infant ICU to save her. It was a paltry 35 miles away.
To add insult to injury, his wife tried to take her own life afterwards. This creates a lot of negative activity in the brain box and Tyler snapped. I would have too. Tyler finished up his tour but was marked for life. So, too, his wife. They soldiered on but it was hell’s bells for the next 16 years trying to win at VA poker. Then we met.
I explained my timeworn analogy to a cookie recipe and told him what we had to do to win. We had the setback with the lousy IMO but the new one went through like greased lightning in VA time. I filed it around 12/16/2019 and we got a full 70% back on Tuesday or so. Nothing like having a plan work out. I was mortified about the screwup with the first IMO so I volunteered to split the second. Tyler is planning on paying me back but I still feel stupid trusting someone without references. I don’t have that problem with Mednick. They’re spot on regardless of whether its cancer or hepatitis c.
I wrote about this back in December here:
As for the cookie recipe, Cupcake has updated the analogy this year to include stirring the claim with a laser beam, flying it to Jupiter to put in the oven and lastly, flying it back and serving it to the Veteran piping hot.
This is Tyler ‘s day. Tyler won because for several decades, VA has refused to state Tyler had bent brain syndrome. They said it was ADHD, drug induced, passive aggresssive personality disorder and about ten other things- but by golly it sure as hell was not PTSD. All Mednick and I did was fix it. I like fixing things. I never figured I’d ever be helping to fix Tyler and his family but then I never thought I’d be cured of Hep C and still be alive today. Cool beans.
We won on March 2nd after four years. Hence my choice of taking the long way home song as the title to this adventure. I apologize, Tyler. I should have performed due diligence on who I recommended. It won’t happen to any other Vet again, though. I promise.
Life is good. Helping Tyler makes it better. Even if he’s a mouthbreather.