“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!”
Hunter S. Thompson
Mr. NOD – Buckwheat, Electrolux, Chieu Hoi boy. Iron arm and Grahamcracker
Inpatient at Seattle, WA VAMC from 4/25/2009 to 5/19/2010…
A 71 yr. old WM in NAD. Stage 4, Grade 3 HCV, Genotype 3A. Rated 100% P&T for HCV; 100% for PCT, 40% for cryoglobulinemia and fibromyalgia, 30% for PCT skin damage, 30% for hypothyroidism (Nehmer) and 10% for Tinnitus. Dx: HBV, HCV, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Crohn’s disease, Cryoglobulinemia type 3, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (Nehmer), Fibromyalgia and RA. Short bowel syndrome following 4 VAMC bowel surgeries.
6 7 Ventral hernias in surgical cadaver skin (Alloderm). Reconstructed left forearm. Post ileostomy. Post MRSA infection; ℞ = 1 pint Phlebotomy every month. DDD-L5-S1. 2 VA medical misadventures . Septal Infarction 10/2009. VA assessment? Good to go, bro-only 290% disabled.
Hepatitis C in remission December 7th, 2014.
April 23rd, 2016–Congestive heart failure.
Received VA Accreditation # 39029 Nonattorney Practitioner on August 4th, 2016.
Defibrillator/ pacemaker installed May 7th, 2017.
Admitted to the Court of Appeals For Veterans Claims November 22nd, 2017. Sworn in by Judge Michael Allen February 08, 2018.
Col. Beckley (deceased) below summed up my mantra about war and litigation thusly…
The man who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it. Chinese Proverb
And lastly, my favorite. Many ask me why I chose to represent Veterans before the Department of Veterans Appeals and the Federal Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) . Well, boy howdy-it sure ain’t for the bucks. It’s simple. I might make a positive difference in the outcome between you and your battle with VA. I’ve been lucky to help over 1,500 of you in your pursuit of claims- in most cases TDIU or 100% schedular. In addition, I’ve also helped some of you attain the highest tiers of Special Monthly Compensation-R 1, R2 and T. My motto has always been “Win or Die” in this VA game. Being almost 71 and a pragmatist, I get that there are millions of you Veteran “Starfish” out there. I wish I could, but I can’t make a difference for all of you. What’s important to Cupcake and me is that we choose to make that effort for as many as we possibly can.
My contact information is here:
G. Alexander Graham VA # 39029 POA Code E1P
14910 125th Street NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98329
VA accredited to practice at the VBA, BVA; Admitted to the CAVC Bar
Damn Gordon! You’ve been through hell and back again a few times! Looks like the VA was trying to dig a swimming pool in your gut! Going to give you a call… Look forward to chatting…
Nice blog thanks for possting
I had read the great home page articles and spent a good deal of time learning with the many helpful resources provided, but never read the About the Author. Wow. Very inspiring. Asknod never gave up and helped my husband receive what he deserved. He’s great and we appreciate him very much!
Growth is when Asknod acknowledges that god works in strange ways… I remember when his sentiments towards the existence of god was very different from today? The part he finally realized was that he is the veterans life line doing God’s work with some excellent humor thrown in for good measure… thank you for giving a damn…
You are my favorite veteran’s law blogger because you seem slightly crazy. You remind me of myself and Hunter S.Thompson.
I told my husband I wouldn’t last a day in politics because I wouldn’t be able to maintain a sense of decorum. I’d be calling other politicians names and I get angry way too easily. My favorite super hero when I was a kid was Batman. I had a coon-skin hat, dug a lot in the dirt and climbed a lot of trees. Things haven’t changed much.
My psychiatrist said I was the most colorful depressed person he’d ever met after I told him I was planning on farming truffles and breaking into gold mining. I live in Washington also.
I never went back after he suggested my plans almost sounded manic.
I’m also publishing a book.
My disability claim is from 1990 and I filed it two months after I separated. It was denied and I thought the VA must know best. I found out differently in 2017 when I finally applied for PTSD/MST and was service connected for the GAD in my original claim. They won’t backdate it.
I had to hire a law firm after the VA did the usual: ignored me, mangled the law, sent my claim to the four corners of the United States and put me in a room with a mentally ill psychologist who subsequently falsified my DBQ.
I did my best to tie certain people to their roles in this on paper in case I can sue in federal torts claims court.
Eight years in the Air Force, I got into some trouble and was administratively discharged honorably. I was told not to set foot on a military installation for the rest of my life and that I was ineligible for any benefits. Although I applied for GAD in 1990, I didn’t use a single benefit for 27 years. I would like to sue for that if possible. Interest too. I don’t know if I can yet. Kind of looking around for attorneys who handle tort claims at this point.
My current claim was remanded back to the BVA from the CAVC and is on a judge’s desk as I type; next to a half-empty bottle of whiskey for all I know, based on how the last BVA decision was written.
Quick question. I have a legacy appeal in process. I have a new completely different issue that has arisen that I want to file a new claim for. If I submit a new claim for a new issue will it interfere with my Legacy NOD?
No sir. It will not.
I’m a 100% disabled vet who is enrolled and uses the VA healthcare system in Bay Pines, FL.
Is my new wife eligible to receive VA healthcare, so she no longer has to have her civilian insurance, which cost her $500/month?
Last I checked, VA’s CHAMPVA insurance is about as useful as nursing tools on boar hogs. My wife was on it in addition to her civie insurance and she got about $5 back a month with 45 minutes of paperwork. As for full ride CHAMPVA, I have no idea but I’d look really hard before I pushed delete on the civie policy. We use Medicare because VA tried to kill me five times. I wouldn’t take my dog there.
Posts like this make the inntreet such a treasure trove
Short, sweet, to the point, FREle-xactEy as information should be!
My dad was over here in 1969 to 71. Just lost my dad would love to read more about it please. Lawrence T Gladson. Army AUSI. HE PASSED AWAY WITH ALOT OF HEALTH ISSUES. 3/21/17.
asknod- enjoyed reading your c-file blog. can you pop me an email? i have a foia va question for you.
Yes I will. Email, sir?
Your descriptive writing just gave me flashbacks. As I read this immediately I was back there in a hot LZ with choppers being blown out of the sky that were attempting to evac. I could see the night sky light up with enemy fire and red tracer rounds firing out of the door gunner positions.
I agree with your picture of the plaque. “No one that was killed in Nam ever died there and no one that came back (if I got that one correct) ever left there.”
My only wish is that one day all of the slezebags in congress and the whitehouse get to enjoy the “beauties” of war just like we do. Then and only then will the bastards at the VA will be flushed down the toilet and vets will be treated with the respect that we deserve.
BY the way, I am praying for your recovery. After all, whatever one believes, whomever one believes in, there is only one healer and it isn’t the doctors or the big pharma minions that process the liquid pesticides called “Chemo Therapy Drugs.”
No red tracers. Ours were orange. Capt. Charles preferred green.
Wetback 26 Yankee
Would you be willing to contact me concerning the “Banditos” photo?
I think I just did.
Yo Buckwheat! You are still the man!
Je m’appelle Michel François anciennement le mauvais garcon de Cité Fairfax.
(I sure hope I didn’t just say, I inhale penis, therefore I am. My wife will be pissed!)
I just read a few intro pages of your mighty fine composition, “Veterans Administration Claims: What You Need to Know to Be Successful.” I know what I need to know to be successful. I need to know you.
Both of us being military brats of career military officers, I’ve often wondered just what prestigious East Coast high school did Asknod attend?
I had to contemplate on that one for a moment.
If it’s prestigious, it’s most likely private.
Of course, I went to plain old Fairfax. At FHS, we Rebels didn’t, “Pass the Grey Poupon.”
However, we Rebs regarded McLean and Langley as prestigious institutions.
No, No….I’m definitely getting the private school vibe.
Let’s see…you enlisted in Virginia.
Since Dad probably retired at either the Pentagon or Andrews, I’m thinking definitely prep school in either Northern Virginia or DC.
Heck your writing style screams an insatiable desire to escape an overly conservative home life controlled by extremists.
I’m feeling the daily newspaper was definitely The Washington Star and not The Post.
Okay, I think I’ve got it.
It’s not Bishop Ireton. (too plain)
It’s not Flint Hill Predatory Academy (a bit too Preppy)
I know. It has to be, Saint Anselm’s on South Dakota Ave NE,
You punk, no wonder you joined the Air Force!
Williston Elementary near Seven Corners, St. Mary’s in Goldsboro, NC. Hampton Roads Academy in Hampton and then Vermont Academy, Saxtons River Vermont 1969. Dad retired from 6th AF Commander at Izmir, Turkey. He was V/C of TAC when I entered in 69.
It is me the biggest loser of 2011. I am trying to find out what my next move is and how to proceed with a new claim. I would like to win this time. I have submitted a new temporary claim for the year I was on treatment but, would also like to include a staged rating that the federal court said I should have gotten up until treatment, from the time I was released from active duty until the year of treatment. Any pointers.
It is true that the person that represents themself has a fool for a client. The only difference with my claim is I was not allowed to have representation until I reached the federal level. My representation lasted up until a few weeks before trial and then I was dropped by my attorney and did not even get to participate in the proceedings. Not only is it unfair to have to fight 500 attorneys with representation but, try to do it with no representation and no legal background. This sucked and I am not one to give up. I will attack this every way possible if I have to. I am also writing a book about my experience with the VA and now I have a name for the book.
“Of more import, and the reason I write today, is the vast quantities I witnessed stored and used at LS (Lima Site) 98, also known as LS20A or 20 Alternate . Air America employed two PC-6C Porters full time that were outfitted with tanks. I personally watched them spray it at several other Lima Sites or on Route 7 several times. They were stationed at L-08 (Wattey Airport-Vientiane) but refilled their tanks at Long Tieng (LS 98). Many of the personnel over the fence in Laos were either there as “civilians” like me but were in the Army or AF. We worked for USAID or USIA. I worked for them as well as Air America.”
What year might this have been? I was in and out of 20A over the years and never saw a “spray rigged” Porter in all that time, never saw such at Wattay Airport either.
Got a photo?
N355F out of L-08 was spray a/c. I’m in error. Only one a/c was spray-rigged. AAm used it to hose Meo poppy fields and abate vegetation on Lima Site air strips.
I just bought your book from amazon………it is my birthday present to myself with a book on the Maginot line.too……….
Berta from hadit.com
On September 5, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court received a request for Certiorari in Veterans for Common Sense et. al. v. Shinseki. At issue is scope of authority of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Of the laws that pertain to the DVA, 38 U.S.C. § 511 is the most important. It reads as follows:
(A) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans.
Subject to subsection (b), the decision of the Secretary as to any such question shall be final and conclusive and may not be reviewed by any other official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise.
The powers inferred upon the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 38 U.S.C. § 511 strikes at the very core of our national existence. It represents the elevation of an unelected political appointee to head a principality whose boarders are defined not by lines on a map, but by bloodshed of wars past and the battle scars of present day.
If you do not believe my brash assertion as to the weight and magnitude of the above statute then I ask you. Are you prepared to strike the words “Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs” from the statue’s preamble and replace it with the words “Secretary of Homeland Security”, or “Secretary of Defense” or “Director of the Internal Revenue Service”? Thus giving such broad unquestionable powers to the Secretary’s peers?
Ladies and Gentlemen if Congress has the powers to bestow upon one man broad powers traditionally reserved for nobility upon the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, what then holds fast the ability of Congress to grant those powers to someone else?
As improbable as it may seam, the Supreme Court stands now at a cross roads in our national belief in the separation of powers. 38 U.S.C. § 511 invests in one man, the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, the unreviewable authority to make the law in the form of regulation, to enforce the law’s execution, then if the execution is unsatisfactory to sit as his own counsel and judge as to the rightfulness of his actions. What then is such a man but a King or despot?
No I do not mean to insult our current Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs Gen. Eric K. Shinseki. I believe his heart is in the right place; his motives are true, and his vision for the future a credit to himself. Above all he is benevolent. Plus he has the unfortunate position of commanding a sinking dreadnaught of a paper driven bureaucracy in the era of stealth fighters. But no matter how benevolent the man may be that sits on a throne of infallibility before the law, that man –by nature of the law that creates his position- is defined a tyrant.
The uncontested findings of fact made in Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki case bare witness to the consequences of a benevolent tyranny. The key finding of fact in this suit isn’t that the suicide rates among veterans is three times that of the normal population, or that the Department of Veteran’s Affairs response to the problem is inadequate, or even that the Department knows more about the depth of the problem than they care to let on. Nor it is that 66.2% of current veterans claims are more than a year past due. No. These are but symptoms of this finding: The DVA is made up of more than 230,000 people.
These people are human. As humans they are fallible. But 38 U.S.C. § 511 codifies the legal presumption that each of these individuals who act in the Secretary’s name, and by and under the color of his authority are infallible. In short the Law declares DVA to be a utopia that is by virtue of its sovereignty is immune from the criticism of the courts.
Should we soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen fight, bleed, and die so that others may enjoy the benefits of a government founded on the principle that no man is infallible. One in which the balance of powers exists not as a matter of convenience, but as a matter of necessity; of human necessity. For while one “infallible” man is fallible, and 230,000 “infallible” women and men are 230,000 score more fallible.
But when their power is thrice divided and equally counter-balanced by others, there is however begrudgingly obtained perfection. This is the paradox of our democratic republicanism, and the principle of our constitution. That as long as no one woman or man, or group of people hold more than a third of the decision making authority tyranny can not prevail.
I’m trying to figure this stuff out without going to law school. It sounds to me like since the Secretary of the VA has complete authority over our benefits, we lose due process as the final say is subject to arbitrary decisions. Since our claims have to meet certain legal standards for us to qualify and since we are presumed to be eligible for them unless the VA proves otherwise, and because those potential benefits are our property: they should be subject to due process. The Secretary shouldn’t have that much power and our benefits are entitlements, not hand-outs. Could 511 be challenged facially? That’s my take on this.
I need help filling, I need your help,my out look is not good I am in stage 6 (not good) the va says, They put me threw 1/12 years of treatment to have only sorry, my real doctor on the outside whom i have been seeing since 2000, He DR Sack says they never asked for his records which he would suggest not to give me the treatment now wait but tooo late the virus is backI need help working threw this mess thanks Ron
mr nod, you are truly a life-line, over the years i’ve asked questions, and nod responded. my question today is once the claim file reaches the bva/judge desk, the end is near? after five years denials, remands, now at the jugde/office, this period is worst than the five years wait. it is almost like not wanting it to come to a end for fear of denial, but glad the bva/judge will make a decision.
thank you for your support’
I neglected to do this publicly because I answered privately . He won and got his 100% for HCV. Great case. Good fight. And then Marci his wife died of HVC. God works in strange ways.