Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
Increase The Disabled Veteran Benefits
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs website as of November 8th 2018. Disabled veterans are paid on a disability scale that starts from 10% to 100% service connected disability. When the veteran is paid for their disability, it is a certain amount and currently the minimum for a 10% Disabled Veteran with No Dependents is 137$ monthly. The maximum amount is for a 100% Disabled Veteran with spouse, two parents and child at $3,527.22 monthly. This amount is too little and needs to be addressed properly by our government officials. For anyone who lives in any major city in the good old USA knows that the National Average of an unfurnished apartment is $1,500+ and climbing. For example, in most popular cities such as Los Angeles and New York City the average rate of housing is well over $2,500+ for two bedroom unfurnished apartments. The VA benefits are not staying ahead of the housing cost by much and forcing veterans into Welfare/Food Stamps and supplemental state assistance income as a necessity in order to eat and survive normally. Rather than the government throw $640 Billion dollars and growing into the military, give a little more to those that have already served and deserve to be better taken care of. Give them the support they need. The funding to live a less stressful life after they have been hurt mentally and physically, lost their limbs or have become paralyzed. Currently, President Trump's requested budget for veterans for FY2019 is $198 Billion dollars, but this is going to be dispersed upon the service providers and facilities and maybe, just a measly 3.9% actual increase for Veterans Disabilities Benefits. This is not fair. Not right. Not enough. Take better care of our vets. Sign this petition and let it be heard. Increase the benefits across the board for all Disabled Veterans. Starting from the 10% Disabled up to the 100% Disabled. All Veterans have sacrificed and should be treated and taken care of fairly.
Require the VA to provide service dogs to veterans in need
Our military veterans are heroes. They face struggles that we couldn't imagine, and they do it selflessly to protect our great country. However, their transition home can often be just as difficult because of mental and physical ailments from their service. The waitlist for the VA is far too long to quickly handle the care of every returning veteran, but their medical needs are urgent. Some of these needs can only be treated through direct medical care, but other needs can be met through a service dog. Service dogs can be trained to care for people with PTSD, visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility impairments, and many other conditions. Furthermore, these dogs can ensure that the veteran is never alone while dealing with these conditions. Currently, the VA offers service dogs to those with hearing/sight loss and mobility impairments. However, they do not offer dogs to veterans with psychological issues, such as PTSD. I am advocating that, as part of the VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) evaluation process, the VA offer dogs to all veterans diagnosed with psychological or physical conditions. This small step would make a massive difference in the lives of these men and women. They've given everything for us. Let's give back to them.
Help Veteran with Cancer Caused by Serving our Country Receive VA Benefits
Here we are in 2019 and I had to reopen the petition for Dan Parks, because yet again the VA has failed this Veteran. Dan went through the appeal process in the Summer of 2018. However, at the end of 2018 Dan received a letter from the VA that stated they couldn’t find the transcript from his appeal. This means he has to start over again for his disability benefits. News story on Dan’s appeal transcripts being lost -------------- Our family friend, Dan Parks, is a U.S. Navy veteran that fought throat cancer. He was discharged from the military, partially, to end his exposure to ionizing radiation during his work in a weapons and ammunition facility. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is denying his claim for disability benefits – despite letters from the VA’s own doctors stating that Dan’s exposure likely caused his cancer. Dan needs your help to get the VA to change their decision before it’s too late. Dan was stationed at Naval Submarine Base New London, where he worked with ordinance. During his time at the base, he was also exposed to ionized radiation. Fast-forward a few decades later and has Dan suffered from throat cancer. He now has to plug a hole in his throat to talk; a side effect of the cancer. Dan’s discharge paperwork from the Navy includes a stamp saying he was being discharged, in part, due to the radiation exposure. Multiple doctors with the VA have written letters saying there is a better than even chance that the cancer was caused by Dan’s radiation exposure during his time in the Navy. But the VA has denied his disability claim. The reason? They say there’s no proof he was exposed to radiation in the Navy. As Dan says, “If the VA won’t accept their own doctors, where does a veteran turn?” Dan’s been fighting for benefits for three years. He filed an appeal, but the VA won’t review it for another 18 months. Time is running out. He needs access to life-saving treatment before it’s too late. Please sign this petition calling on the VA to accept their own doctors’ assessments and grant Dan Parks needed health benefits due to the radiation exposure he endured while serving our country.
Permanently Stop Abusive VA Dog Experiments
UPDATE (September 2018): U.S. Congress and the President enacted a law extending restrictions on VA's dog experiments through 2019. Read more here. --- UPDATE (March 2018): Following your efforts, U.S. Congress enacted a law to de-fund the VA's dog experiments for 2018 and placed dramatic restrictions on the practice. Read more here. We're still working to end this waste and abuse for good! --- As U.S. military veterans, family members, and active duty members, we’re sickened that the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) has been using taxpayers’ money to purchase, breed, abuse and kill dogs in wasteful experiments. The VA’s painful and deadly experiments on dogs are a betrayal of these loyal animals who literally save soldiers’ lives on and off the battlefield. These projects also waste resources desperately needed to provide veterans with care and services. According to news reports and the non-profit White Coat Waste Project, some of the V.A.’s current projects involve: giving mixed-breed puppies heart attacks (Richmond V.A.) cutting into beagle puppies’ brains (Milwaukee V.A.) damaging dogs’ spinal cords (Cleveland V.A.) With the support of 75% of taxpayers and a coalition of influential Democratic and Republican lawmakers, in March 2018 Congress enacted legislation that cuts funding for and drastically restricts future dog testing at the VA. Now, please join us in urging the VA Secretary to PERMANENTLY end this waste and abuse. William Barko, US Army Ret.John Blaha, USAF Ret.Stan Benton, USN Ret. and USAF Ret.Bruce Bryant, US Army Ret.Chris Burand, US Army Ret.Gary Cantara, USAF separated, honorable dischargeWilliam Coll, US Army Ret.Michael Donahue, USNWayne Hair, US Army Ret.Ed Hernandez, USMCWill HubbardJennifer Johnson, USN Ret.Dr. Isis Johnson-Brown, US Army Ret.Ken Phillips, US Army Ret.Robert Reed, USAF Ret.Diane Solomon, USN SpouseTyler Spires, US ArmyVirginia Joy Stovall, USN Ret.Lyn StrangstadDanell Tomasella, US Army Ret.Nancy Warner-BrownJennifer Wilsbacher, US Army Ret.Merrie Wilson, USAF Ret.
Give recent amputee Veteran Marine Jordan Leitsch benefits he deserves: Full Disability!
I've started this petition on behalf of my cousin. We're fighting for his right to benefits from the Department of Veteran's Affairs. He has been denied full disability by the VA, despite losing his leg due to trauma sustained during his service. Here is his story: "My name is Jordan. In 2014 I got done with my 8 years in the Marine Corps. My time as an Infantryman as well as an Infantry Combat Instructor took its toll in more ways than one. In January of 2017 I had surgery for a condition called Popliteal Artery Entrapment: Basically, from repetitive trauma, my muscles formed a vice grip-like effect on the arteries in my leg so I had little to no blood flow. Recovery was supposed to be about 2 months, but things took a different turn. My leg gave me severe chronic pain, was 3 times the size of the other one and I faced a high risk of blood clots and DVT on a constant basis. Even while sleeping my leg lost all sensation and I had to physically work on even just moving my toes. Since there is little information on this condition, I have been fighting with the VA for the last 10 months on benefits for this, even to the point of having to get in contact with my congressman and use their aide. Because of the severity of my condition and after talking to many, many medical professionals, we just completed an above the knee amputation. Leading up to this surgery, I had daily battles of severe anxiety. This is both physically and mentally draining, not only for me but also for my family. I've spent a lot of time going back and forth to Milwaukee and Madison for appointments and a lot of time off of work because of this issue. I try my best to do everything I can for my family but sometimes life knocks you down. My wife, son, family and friends have really been there for me on many fronts. One of the things that really is pushing me through this though is a quote that may sound dumb but is true in many respects: "To Stupid Too Quit" by Derek Weida, an amputee Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division I take this quote to mean:We all have choices we make in life, and those choices have 2 outcomes. You succeed or you fail. But failure is not the end. When failure is presented you have to continue to push for that thing you want the most. Life will knock you down and beat and kick you while you're there laying in the dirt. But to get back up and keep fighting and keep pushing yourself, that mentality is the key! This is a long road that I am on and the end goal is to have that better quality of life, so I can play with my son and run alongside him. So I can sleep in peace. So when my wife asks me to help, I can get out of my chair without agonizing pain, and even take those strolls down the street with her. All the things I used to take for granted." Please sign to show your support for Jordan, who has served our country to the point of now sacrificing a limb, and to demand he receive full disability, the benefits he deserves, from the VA. If you would like to donate to assist Jordan's family during this difficult time, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/truckit. THANK YOU!!
U.S. Government: Re-Possess the Mare Island Naval Cemetery
We respectfully request the Executive Branch, President Donald Trump and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin, to honor the military service of our Nation's Veterans by re-possessing / assuming ownership of the Mare Island Naval Cemetery by Fiscal Year 2020. The Mare Island Naval Cemetery (MINC) is a national shrine but its deplorable condition is a shocking disgrace to the honorable service, uncommon valor, and selfless sacrifice of our courageous Veterans buried there and, even worse, to the dignity our great Nation. After Mare Island Naval Shipyard's closure in 1996 (due to BRAC 1993), the federal government left MINC behind and did not provide any funding to first restore it to honorable conditions (i.e., no National Shrine contract to repair the gravesites) nor for its immense need for ongoing maintenance. The mission of the Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration (VA NCA) is to provide a dignified burial and lasting memorial for Veterans and their eligible family members and to maintain our Veterans' cemeteries as national shrines. The MINC is a national shrine as it has about 1,000 graves including Veterans who served since the War of 1812. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, it is the final resting place for three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, James Cooney, William Halford, and Alexander Parker. Also buried there is Anna Arnold Key, the daughter of Francis Scott Key who wrote our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. To preemptively fulfill part of the VA NCA's Urban Initiative, the City of Vallejo is also offering to hand-over additional land adjacent to the cemetery which will increase the burial options for our local Veterans and their eligible family members. We respectfully ask you to please sign this petition and send a message to the Executive Branch to please re-possess / assume ownership of the Mare Island Naval Cemetery by Fiscal Year 2020. Here are background information: http://www.timesheraldonline.com/business/20170421/retired-navy-captain-takes-on-quest-for-mare-island-cemetery-restoration http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20170703/relative-of-young-brit-killed-in-us-service-buried-on-mare-island-hopes-maintenance-efforts-succeed http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20170724/possible-movement-in-effort-to-save-mare-island-cemetery http://www.timesheraldonline.com/opinion/20170726/ralph-parrott-captain-supply-corps-us-navy-retired-cemetery-a-disgrace http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20170809/ralph-parrott-making-progress-in-highlighting-mare-island-cemetery-problems http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20170911/dozens-of-volunteers-clean-up-mare-island-cemetery-for-911-day-of-service http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20180109/possible-solution-to-mare-island-cemetery-situation-in-sight
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Stop Tax Funded Animal Experiments
Did you know spends 2x as much on animal experiments as every pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device company combined? The National Institutes of Health — one of many agencies conducting and sponsoring animal experiments — spends about $16 billion budget on animal experiments. Common testing includes inducing artificial heart attacks via chemical injections. After the injections, the hearts are cut out and the bodies of the dead puppies, thrown away like trash. Other tests include rubbing chemicals onto the helpless animal, feeding of experimental and lethal drugs, and lethal injection. The government themselves admit that 30% of animal experiment prove lethal in humans, making the entire trail unnecessary. Sign to show your support for the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act ( PUPPERS Act ). A bill that seeks to defund government experimentation on animals.
Give Corey the benefits and care he has earned!
My son was assaulted by a soldier breaking his neck. He was hit from behind because he didn’t want to get into the car with them. The Army says this is my son’s fault because if he had gotten in the car when he was told to, he wouldn’t have been hit breaking his neck. After breaking his neck the soldiers picked Corey up and placed him in the back of a compact car between two other soldiers. They had a Sgt and a paramedic meet them in the parking lot of the barracks where the paramedic evaluated my son and did not call an ambulance for him to stabilize him. It took about 3 hours for them to get Corey to the military hospital where they did not have a neurosurgeon. The Army refuses to transfer him to a WTU they refuse to start a medboard and they refuse to say this is in the line of duty. SOLDIERS did this to my son. SOLDIERS moved my son around and hauled him around in a car for hours with a broken neck. A Paramedic trained by the army looked at my son, documented that he was barely breathing, paralyzed, had low blood pressure and heart rate, and was in and out of consciousness. This paramedic had a responsibility to call an ambulance to stabilize my son’s spinal cord and administer oxygen, fluids, and medication for his heart rate and blood pressure. A paramedic had the responsibility to transfer my son to a hospital with a neurosurgeon on duty to stabilize my son. Due to the care and treatment he received at the hands of soldiers and a paramedic on post, my son suffered bleeding into the spinal cord as well as having bone fragments impinging on his spinal cord. He went from paraplegic to quadriplegic all while in he hospital. Now my son is not eligible for any grants for adaptive technology, home and vehicle modifications, transport to and from therapy, durable medical equipment, or home health care. He is not eligible because the Army refuses to take responsibility for their part in my son’s injuries. I cannot sue because of something called the Fares Doctrine. My son has suffered enough! For the rest of his life he will have to have someone help him with everyday tasks. He cannot even control his own bowel and bladder function. He is 23 years old. Help me get the benefits my son deserves!! I have 5 kids and have worked hard to get where I am. I am a RN who works at the VA hospital in our area and I am going to lose my job. My FMLA is up this month and I will have to return to work. They won’t even let me work part time so I can care for Corey. Without the benefits being withheld we will lose everything! I can’t leave him by himself and he has to go to therapy. I was told last week to apply for Medicaid. I shouldn’t have to. He is coveeed on my insurance and the army has some responsibility for the extent of his injuries. PLEASE help in any way you can! To read more of our story or to help share or donate to help with modifications we so desperately need for our home please follow this link https://www.youcaring.com/coreyshackelford-1038083 or you can find my story on Facebook @accountabilityforcorey
Extend VA Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Please help me to help my brother and other Vets with Traumatic Brain Injuries to continue with their care. They are discontinuing funding for this program starting October 6, 2017. Under the AL-TBI program, Veterans meeting the eligibility criteria are placed in private sector TBI residential care facilities specializing in neurobehavioral rehabilitation. The program offers team-based care and assistance in areas such as speech, memory and mobility. Approximately 202 Veterans participated in the AL-TBI Pilot Program in 47 facilities located in 22 states. By not continuing this program, most of these vets will end up in nursing homes. Some of them need specialized care that is unique only to their own brain injury. It will also place a lot of stress on families to try to find care for them. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not trained or equipped to properly handle individuals that have suffered brain injuries. My brother is just one of the individuals that the VA is now shuffling around. They have a 1 year waiting list for the Veteran Care Centers in Virginia. Even so, these facilities are not trained to deal with brain injuries. These are vets that sustained these injuries while working or fighting for our country. They do not deserve this. UPDATE: At this point my goal is to achieve funding to last long enough for my brother to stay where he is until there is an opening at our Veterans Care Center. ( There is a one year waiting list) His social worker says the only option for him is a nursing home until there is an opening. The nursing homes they are trying to place him in are below average standards and ratings. I have no idea what to do. Please help. UPDATE TO THIS: I received this email from a gentleman who was trying to assist me. I contacted House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC)staff on your behalf, and they informed me that HVAC Health Subcommittee was briefed on this program a few months ago. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) believes that this pilot program is NOT meeting the needs of the veterans it is intended to serve. The VA has initiated individual transition plans for the 63 veterans still enrolled in the pilot. I understand the need to discontinue something that is not really cost effective but what about the 63 veterans still in the program? They are obviously the ones that are in need of the program. At the very least continue the funding until these families are able to find suitable housing and care. The Veterans Centers in Virginia have a year long waiting list and they want to put my brother in a nursing home until one opens up. There is something drastically wrong with this system. Thank you so much for reading and spreading the word. Time is running out for my brother and many others. Betty