Topic

Veterans

148 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Chris Christie, Frank Lobiondo

Remove the combat zone requirement for Disabled NJ Veterans tax exemption

In the Great State of New Jersey, the government saw fit to exempt 100% disabled veterans from property tax in 1946 by enacting N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.30.  This statute exempted all veterans from personal property tax providing that they were: 1. 100% disabled as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs 2. Discharged honorably 3. Residents of the state of NJ 4. Served during a time of war 5. Requested an exception on their primary residence Since that time, the statute has been progressively narrowed until the current prevailing interpretation is that a veteran must have served 14 days in an actual combat zone, and further that operations post 9/11 are considered to be "peace keeping missions". This petition calls for the government of the State of New Jersey to apply the tax exemption to ALL 100% disabled veterans who served during time of active conflict equally, in accordance with the actual language of the State Constitution and Statute.  Neither the Constitution nor the Statute have wording requiring the 14 day combat zone period, nor do they term post 9/11 operations as peace keeping missions.  The statue also clearly states that such disability may be the result of enemy action, accident, or disease - yet municipalities in New Jersey are continuing to deny veterans who do not have this arbitrarily required combat zone time. Though combat veterans deserve our admiration, respect, and thanks it should not be that those who served our nation with honor but, through no fault of their own, did not fight in war are forgotten.  Indeed all veterans who find themselves disabled and unable to work also find themselves dealing with similar financial difficulty, and the original intent of the legislation was to provide relief to veterans who served honorably and are disabled. Each veteran who served in a time of active combat operations had no choice in whether or not they were ordered into combat, but all volunteered regardless of the possibility that they might. Given that the number of Veterans claiming ANY form of VA benefits constitutes less than one percent of the total population of the state of New Jersey (per the most recent state census and Dept. Of Veterans Affairs State by State summary), it is clear that applying this exemption across the board for all 100% disabled veterans who served honorably during a time of active combat operations, is not in any way burdensome on the state. This petition calls for the removal of the unnecessary and unilateral requirement of combat zone duty for the disabled veterans personal property tax exemption in the State of New Jersey.

Christopher Johnson
1,642 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Department of Veterans Affairs

Help Veteran with Cancer Caused by Serving our Country Receive VA Benefits

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. During this month where we honor our veterans, 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.

Stacy Philllips
16,908 supporters
Started 7 days ago

Petition to Department of Veterans Affairs

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!!

Astri Graceheart
1,626 supporters