I have been paying attention to your plight to gain the health and financial benefits you so deserve and have earned through your service to the nation. There is no reason for you to die so soon without them, as you have served with honor and came home to begin a new life in the “pursuit of happiness” afforded you by the US Constitution and under the patient care rights in each state.
Therefore, on your behalf and in my limited capacity to meet with each and every one of you I want you all to know that I am looking into ways that I can best help you and your family. I am seeking ways to cut the corners and wait time for you to obtain health care and financial services, including pensions, you have earned in your battle to keep America the best country in the world free from tyranny.
As a resident of Florida I have contacted our state Department of Veteran Affairs (FDVA) in Tallahassee, Florida. I was put in contact with a wonderful lady who had the time to listen to my concerns. I was given information regarding a new law passed by Congress, which reduces to 300 days the initial file review for approval or denial of all VA claims. Currently the file review time is 600+ days. President Obama has set a goal of 125 days to process VA claims.
Meanwhile what does the Veteran do for services?
According to FDVA, clinics and private physicians services can be accessed immediately. I discussed with FDVA the record numbers of reported deaths of our Florida veterans. It is at an alarming rate of 22-55 per day, not including those who pass away, in increasing numbers, from suicide. I asked my contact if she had any information on what the Florida Congressional delegation was doing at this time, in addition to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The only action is the new law reducing the wait time for initial medical review. Time to contact your Florida member of Congress?
So, if a disabled Florida veteran is now waiting 300 days for approval and is not a resident in a long term care facility then what? It is understood that a resident in a long term care facility will receive care and we know that in a facility there is a department that oversees the admissions and payments the veteran is likely to have, at least short term via Medicaid. However, those who do not have long term care or home care are living under the bridges. How Sad.
I have been provided with the following calling numbers nationwide for help. For those in long term care centers contact the OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM: 1-888-831-0404. Out side of a long term center call: The Agency on Health Care: 1-888-419-3456. In Florida you may call: 1-863-534-5220.
Don’t be afraid to call and report your concerns, you are protected from being punished and so is the veteran. There is a right to reasonable care for our veterans. This will help agencies provide a caring Advocate to the veteran. In addition the state will provide available support to the family and community on a temporary basis. A spokesman generally can break the barriers.
Education is provided to those who are considered high Suicide risk in addition to counseling. Press reports on those homeless veterans help highlight the immediate needs. There has been help with back to school and job training in Florida. On March 3rd, 2014 in an e-mail the Florida Department of Veteran Services advised me that “a copy of my letter has been sent to Mr. Brian Meniles, Regional Director for Senator Marco Rubio. Mr. Meniles is the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs Benefits Director for Senator Rubio.
I believe those who live outside of Florida could follow this process and likely inform their state Department of Veterans Affair of what Florida has done. Please feel free to ask for my help by contacting me via my Facebook page. I will try to assist each veteran and their family in any way I can.
Now the wound has been opened so let us all work together to close the wound so that our Veterans receive the care and services along with pensions they have earned. Speak up or keep quiet, the choice is yours.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is failing America’s veterans. For too long, veterans of all generations — and their families — have been underserved, overburdened, and flat-out ignored by an unaccountable bureaucracy. Veterans submit claims for battlefield injuries…and then wait for years. Veterans seek basic medical diagnosis…and then wait for weeks. And in the most tragic cases, veterans are given sub-standard care…and lose their lives in VA facilities. Families, along with their veterans, share the burden of these bureaucratic failures.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image was taken by Addison Mohler, a refuge wildlife biologist for Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on his 17th birthday during the height of Desert Storm. He says: “I wanted to a be grunt and was guaranteed it, so after boot camp I went to Marine Combat Training and School of Infantry a few miles up the road at Camp Pendleton. After graduating, I was sent to the Fleet Marine Force, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (Get Some!), which is the most decorated unit in the Marine Corps and based in Camp Pendleton at San Mateo. My days were spent shooting (every weapon organic to a Marine), cleaning weapons, running, jumping out of helicopters, shooting some more and running some more. I won a competition to put me into a platoon of Marines that followed Seal Team 9 around with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable in case they needed a reactionary force.” Mohler has a great story about dissecting a mouse that had been killed and identifying “its parts on an MRE box. My lieutenant told me I should be a biologist. Fast-forward 100 years later…I am.“ This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.