•   almost 8 years ago

Random Acts of Kindness

As a Disabled American Veteran, who has faced many adversities over the past 26 years with various entities (government offices) within the VA system, I know how difficult, stressful and time consuming it can be to obtain certain benefits such as medical, education, counseling, PT, etc., to meet the individual needs of the veteran and/or, their families. It took me 13 years to recieve my own service connected disability benefits, the first time around. The way I give back, is by random acts of kindness, to listen to, and assist others who are struggling with not understanding the VA system. I will introduce myself to a veteran(s) or their family member at the VA hospital or the clinic that I am visiting for my own needs, and ask them if I can help in any way. Most just need encouragement and direction. Many times, they just need the information to take the right path for their own personal needs. I want to challenge all other veterans who have delt with the VA system for years and have been successful at achieving their goal(s) which have met their own needs, to please help other struggling veterans do the same. Please approach the veteran(s) and/or, their families, who appear lost or desperate and give them as much encouragement and direction as possible. This can be a matter of life and death for some of our military family members. Realize also, that many coming back from front lines of war, are suffereing with PTSD, and severe depression and anxiety. Be gentle and loving, because they deserve it!  

  • 6 comments

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for your posting. I am a wife of a marine corp veteran and we, as a family, do exactly as you do. We reach out to other Veterans and do what we can to help them and their families. The process of navigating through the VA system for health care and benefits is harder than my PhD work and I don’t know how some families do it. Thank you for your post and more importantly thank you for your service.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Your very welcome Larisa. You are precious, and so very right about navigation of the VA system. First of all it is so very sloooooooow ... I mentioned the 13 year struggle and wait to gain my service connection status, but I did not mention my latest struggle of 11.5 years and counting; for simple rating adjustments and service connected secondary/degenerative conditions and from mishaps and recurrences after surgeries which nearly ended my life.

    And, then there is the additional 16 year battle to have the VA change wrong codes on my dd form 214 "honorable discharge" which kept me from obtaining a job as a civil servant and/or, working for Government and/or, State agencies.

    I wept after the fist 13 year battle to obtain Service Connection for my injuries and disabilities and then I cried like a baby when I won the code change on my dd form 214 after a 16 year battle. I received no compensation and no apologies for the mistakes/mishaps, which ruined many civilian career opportunities, after serving two honorable terms in the active USAF and 1 yr USAF reserves.

    In short, I did this by myself, with no assistance from an attorney, agencies or representatives, other than allowing my Congressional Liaison to make inquiries upon my behalf. You can see that this did not even get the agencies to move.

    And, still today, my five or, six volume medical file has sat for over a year 'as an expedited order' for decision from a BVA Washington DC, judge, on a desk or, in a file room, waiting for a decision; at AMC, Washington DC..

    Please continue to encourage veterans as you are, and tell them to "fight and don't give up".. They paid dearly for these benefits and rights. I am so very proud of you for continuing to get your PhD! America needs new blood in positions of authority today! The VA is still bogged down with "Old School" policies, regulations and mentality.

    I want to encourage ALL Veterans today ... "You are WORTHY and DESERVING" of your benefits, for all that you have given to/for our country! Many do not understand that most enlisted service members are underpaid and live at the poverty level, or, below for their specialty work and the other positions "job(s)" they perform. Most are required to wear more than one hat.

    I know this, because I wore at least three and sometimes more. So, sometimes these men and women are doing the job of three or more! You are free to use this testimony anywhere you would like to help other veterans to "NEVER GIVE UP"! Pray and hold on; help is on the way.

    I am happy that my post spoke to you and your families heart, and thank your husband for serving as well! The Marines are great! I served with our brothers at Sculthorp England; opening an old World War II Prison Camp, on the North Sea, back in 1978. We reopened it for USAFE Headquarters for a big European exercise that involved all branches and all of EU and US. Ask him if he is familiar with the "31st Civil Engineers" and "The Prime Beef Mobility Team/Rapid Runway Repair".

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    With our troops arriving home this holiday season, we are hoping to mobilize EVERY American to their local airports, or the organize local parades to honor our troops and their families! This is my suggestion for a national "random act of kindness"! Could anyone help or suggest to us any arrival dates to local airports, or assist in any planning of local parades or appreciation events? I am in Charlotte, NC and hope to mobilize hundreds in some sort of fashion to give thanks to the troops! Any suggestions??

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Hello Doug, We certainly see a lot of this with our Veterans as well. Can you provide assistance if someone contacts you via email? I am very thankful for what you're doing to ease the stress of our military and families. If you ever need a volunteer opportunity, I certainly would be honored to have you join up with me. Thank you for your service, kindness and going above and beyond your call of duty. Warmest Regards, Roxanne Baucom- Outreach Program Director- Patriot Outreach

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Hello Keenan: Due to security issues, they will not disclose the movement of the troops. For the safety of our military, they will keep this under wraps until they are home. Most of the troops wont go straight home either. Some will be de-briefed at different locations and then flown back to their base. Your idea is wonderful and I thank you for doing this for our military. I am also in NC in the Fort Bragg area. Roxanne Baucom- Outreach Program Director- Patriot Outreach patriotoutreach@aol.com

    ..

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Hi Roxanne,

    Yes, it would be my pleasure to join up with you. I am understanding that we have as many as 32K disabled troops from the recent war, and no telling how many who have not been diagnosed with PTSD, etc., who are coming home. And of course the widows, fatherless, motherless,and hurting families who lost their loved one(s).

    All this, and many who may be ending tour of service are coming home to a country with a struggling economy and poor job market.

    I have actually been searching for volunteer opportunities to assist our veterans. Even better is an organization who has contacts of those seeking direction and encouragement.

    Sincerely,

    Douglas

    Contact Information:

    Douglas Deason

    aimhighvet@gmail.com

    http://www.facebook.com/aimhighusaf

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