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.
The VA Needs To Improve The Veterans Healthcare System!!
Veteran Charles Ingram III known as Rich to his family and friends. Served in the U.S. Navy for seven years from 1985-1992. Ingram served his country honorably attaining the rank of chief petty officer, during his last years in the Navy he was at seas in the Persian Gulf. After service he went back to Egg Harbor Township, NJ to be with his wife and two kids. In March 2016 Veteran Charles Ingram took his life. Ingram was suffering from mental health issues. A year before that in 2015, Ingram was trying to schedule an appointment with a psychologist. The VA clinic continuously cancelled his previous appointments. He was told that he would have to wait 3 months or more before he could get another appointment. Ingram hadn't been seen by a psychologist for approximately 11 months prior to his death. The VA Healthcare left him without refills for prescribed medication and without follow ups. Ingram told his family and friends that the staff at the clinic "did not return calls and were rude." The VA was able to get him an appointment at a Non-VA facility but none of the staff contacted him. Shortly before his rescheduled appointment Ingram took his life by setting himself on fire outside of a New Jersey VA clinic. Ingram was only 51 years old when he passed away. A problem in my city/community is how the Veteran Affairs treat veterans when it comes to healthcare. I think that they need to improve the way they treat them. You have veterans who come back with mental health issues, musculoskeletal injuries and pain, chemical exposure, traumatic brain injuries and many more. A lot of veterans aren’t seen or treated right away. There’s such a long waiting time, and this plays a part in allowing their problems to get worse. In Los Angeles nearly one hundred veterans have died waiting for healthcare. Veterans have to wait hours or even days just see a doctor. Then on top of that they have to wait up to six days or more just to get their results back. Some veterans have to wait months or even years just to get an appointment and/or their results back. About 307,000 veterans might die awaiting Veteran Affairs healthcare. The veteran medical facilities are no better. Most of the buildings are old and raggedy buildings from the past, that they’re trying to hold on to and utilize as much as possible. In Salt Lake City, Utah an Army Veteran took pictures of a filthy exam room in a VA hospital. The clinics and hospitals do not provide the proper care that veterans deserve. The VA isn’t keeping their promise to “ensure veterans are being taken care of efficiently.” By them not keeping their promise they are putting a lot of veterans lives at risk. Veterans aren’t given the opportunity to receive a different doctor if they don’t agree with the way their doctor is treating them. It’s hard for veterans get healthcare outside of the VA system. In conclusion, I believe that the healthcare for veterans should improve the way the VA treats them isn’t fair. They’ve done and been through so much to help our country. The least the VA can do is provide them with better healthcare.
We want to make September 11th, Patriots' Day, a federal holiday.
The purpose of this petition is to get the United States government to recognize September 11th, Patriots' Day, as a federal holiday. A moment of silence does not do justice to the 3,000 people that were slaughtered on September 11th and then the military service members and government workers who died in the wars since September 11th. It should be a day to spend with friends and family, celebrating our freedom and life here in this wonderful country. We hold a minute of silence and lose the significance of the day as we do our usual work. Friends and family, especially those who lost people on September 11th or in the wars, should be able to spend the time together, to remember and celebrate the lives of those that have died. It should be a federal holiday for everyone to take time off to recognize the significance of that day. I served 9 years in the army prior to September 11th, fighting in one war and 3 deployments. My oldest son fought as a Marine in 3/5 Marines for 4 years, serving as a machine gunner in Afghanistan. He came home alive but many of his friends didn't and we've lost people every year since September 11th. That day is the most significant day in the history of this country in the 21st century. Not since the attack on Pearl Harbor have we seen our country attacked on our own land. This should be a day to celebrate all of us, but particularly the 3,000 that died on September 11th, 2001. 3,000 innocent people that were working at their jobs or taking a flight, killed mercilessly. We celebrate life and heal the wounds that we, as a country, have suffered and it helps in reinforcing the fortitude needed by Americans to continue our battle to bring peace about.