Sometimes I feel as if I’ve been gifted a VA faery wand whereby I can just wave it and pumpkins turn into coaches and mice to steeds. Wait. Hold that. Wrong faerytale. Perhaps, a truckload of silver iodide and a VA-issue Sandy with eight hardpoints to be a rainmaker. Nah. Poor analogies. I’ve been blessed to have had a fair share of VA R1/R2 wins but nothing megadramatic…until now. What are the odds of VA issuing two (2)(deux)(hai)(song) R1 ratings the same morning? Or winning the Powerball tax free? Or winning a “I double, double, double dog dare you” contest? I guess the only downside to VA wand waving is it takes soooooo damn long to win. You can actually watch trees grow doing this.
#1 was one I’ve been working on for years. It goes back to 2012 in part for a SMC K and 2014 for the R1. My client, God bless her, has the patience of Job and silently suffered for almost a decade. Nothing could be finer than to pick up the long talker and tell her she won. She’s the poster child for how many things that can go wrong with a body. Hogan’s much maligned goat comes to mind instantly.
The BVA decision came out on 12/17 but it’s never over until the fat Secretary sings in Act III at the local Veterans Service Center. Whoa. Sexism? How come we’ve never had a female (or another of the now-46 acknowledged genders) installed as the VASEC? Inquiring minds need to know. Boy howdy is that ever a Pandora’s box mistake. I don’t want to get cancelled in VBMS so I’d better observe radio silence. STFU.
Here’s the first BVA grant (but only back to 2019) with a biiiig typo.
I held my breath until the actual rating appeared on the fourth, two days prior to today.
What’s funny here is I had the effective date contention already framed in the CUE claim. The BVA insisted on bifurcating the CUE into two decisions. VLJ Ames held off writing his CUE decision until he could “see” the Fort Fumble rating decision curing the R1 back to 2014. Collusion anyone? Seems there was some horsetrading in the back room up at the corner of Delay and Deny. What this did is relieve him of having to crank out about another 20 pages of discussion on how many wolves it takes to raise Roanoke Rating Coaches. VA hates to admit they are wrong. This just saved them a shit ton more humiliation.
And right under it in my claims queue was R #2. My boy Danny is a fellow USAF Vietnam Vet and with him being on his last legs, I had to take over. I respect VSOs. They mean well for the most part but it’s a known fact someone tore their VA Bibles in half. They have no conception of the New Testament (SMC). It’s like trying to have a meaningful discussion at a Flat Earth society meeting. And, much like anti-vaxers, most deny its existence vehemently. They want to know what I’ve been smoking… or snorting. Silver iodide, dude. VA faery dust. Breakfast of Champions, apparently.
Quite differently from my gal above in R#1, Danny is an FNG. He came aboard in August of 2021. He was already SMC L for a&a due to the Parkinson’s. VA finished the project by granting him loss of use for the upper and lower extremities. Under my good friend §3.350(e)(1)(ii), he gets to utilize the Chutes and Ladders codicil and advance to R1. I don’t doubt he’s an R2 candidate but we’ll explore that for both of them next directly.
At the time my gal filed for a&a in 2012, her right foot crapped out. The Roanoke chowderheads even managed to mangle that one. SMC calculator quo vadis? They granted her the 80% for complete paralysis of her foot but managed to snatch error out of the jaws of an otherwise correct decision and forget the SMC K that goes with it. Ever wonder why you don’t get a 100% rating for one foot? Well, gee pilgrim. It’s because you have two feet. This same immutable principle affects one eye, one boob, two testicles, bilateral buttocks and a few other things. Ditto loss of use of only one hand at 90% (dominant)-not 100%.
So, when I filed this big CUE, I was sure to throw it in. It might only be a $3200 add on but I was taught to never leave any money on the VA poker table when I walk away. Bad form.
The good news is I have reduced my caseload by two deserving Veterans. Maybe I can go out and do the winter trim on my fruit trees this weekend. Cupcake has a massive New Year’s honey-do list for me. Unfortunately, somebody has been monkeying around with the silver iodide. The snow has melted. Noah and his crew floated by this morning and the giraffes waved. Going down to the mailbox requires a Zodiac™ and a 5-horse Merc. Good thing I kept my poncho from Vietnam.
Thank you-all of you- who allow me to wave my VA wand. It’s good for Vets with bad karma like me. If the erudite Seattle VA employees had acknowledged I was a member of the Nehmer class in 1994, I would never have had this opportunity. Coulda, Woulda and Shoulda are what most say when they’re 70. I feel lucky to have had a midlife crisis that gave birth to all this. Do you believe in Magic? At LZ Grambo, we most certainly do.
P.S. One thing you will always see in the pictures of Vietnam. We all helped each other. There was no discord. We were colorblind. I long for those days.