When I enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War era, and re-enlisted again in 1976, then joined the National Guard in 1988 and was federalized when the First Gulf War began in November 1990 and was kept until the unit was deactivated in May 1991 at Fort Stewart, Ga.
I became totally disabled by service connected medical conditions in June 2002, and like other workers I paid my federal and state income taxes from 1973-2002 but then my body failed me and my earnings stopped. But my battles with my government were far from over, the fun and games at being taken care of by my grateful nation became a full time battle for my wife and I. Nothing about it was "easy" the people at the VA Regional Offices I assure you are great stewards of the nations money, if you can show you are 100% disabled they will try and get away with granting you 50% and hope that makes you happy and you will go away. It works with some veterans and they give up and don't want to spend the next 2-3 years fighting for more as they will be accused of being greedy.
Mitt, just so maybe someone will explain this to you, as I doubt you would actually spend time reading an article on Daily Kos a known liberal hotbed full of the 47% that will never vote for you.
But, I did not take the 50% rating award they granted me in April 2005, I filed a Notice of Disagreement the very next day, stating that I disagreed with the denial of my cardiac issues and only being granted 50% for PTSD as my psychiatrist had stated that despite my other medical issues (cardiac) that he still considered me totally and permanently disabled just by the symptoms of my service connected PTSD.
It took another year and another C&P exams for PTSD and cardiac, the VA thought so much of my cardiac problems that they used a nurse practiotoner to do the C&P exam and then had the staff M.D. sign off as he supervised it, I never saw him but his signature made it legal. This time the award letter granted me 100% P&T for PTSD with no future exams necessary, this was in May 2006 and they paid me back pay to Dec 2002.
But me being the ungrateful leach that I am, I again filed a Notice of Disagreement over the cardiac issues, I have had a stroke in April 1992 within a year of being discharged from the Army after the first Gulf War. My first heart attack happened in Feb 92, in Feb 97 I had a heart attack at work, I was a letter carrier, the VA did a triple bypass (they sent me a bill for 3,000.00 since I was NOT SC yet for any cardiac issues and was then a category 8 veteran)
In Feb 2009 we had a hearing with a Board of Veteran Appeals Court Judge, more than 7 years after I initially filed my claim for compensation, we spent about 30 minutes overall with the Judge, his most concern is that I felt that he heard all of my complaints and that did I think he had all the facts he needed to make a decision on my claim, I told him that my lawyer had gone thru the entire file and she stated it was all there, including 2 opinions from private doctors I had seen along with my treatment records and 2 IME from M>D.s that had seen my military and civilian medical records and offered their professional opinions, so I had 4 professional doctors supporting my case for service connection with their basis and reasons for justification.
On April 7, 2009 we received the letter from the BVA Judge granting my claim for Coronary Artery Disease and hypertension and my claim file was being sent back to VARO Columbia SC where they would assign compensation percentages. Just for spite they granted 60% for CAD despite my ejection fraction of 25%, and 10% for hypertension which is the correct percentage as my medication controls it.
In 2011 my heart had a bout with a mild heart attack on 9 April and then on April 11 while still in the hospital I had a major heart attack, I spent a week in a drug induced coma and then was sent to MUSC to be worked up for either a VLAD device or a heart transplant, but my heart was failing and there was no surgery available to repair it, no bypqass or stents, the transplant team ruled me out for any type of procedures and my wife was told to take me home or they could arrange for me to be sent to the VA until I passed. Luckily my wife took me home.
In September the VA docs decided that I could have a pacemaker/defib device installed which would improve the possibility of my living longer, being the selfish bastard that I am I agreed to the surgery, I had just turned 56 and I really wanted to keep breathing.
Mitt, I am NOT a victim, I am a survivor, my medical care was paid for with my military service under the famous PROMISE if I was killed or damaged by my military service, I also paid my taxes so my SSD was also an insurance policy that was taken from my military checks, my post office checks, the night job I had delivering pizzas for Papa Johns. I averaged 20 hour work days, my best year was 78,000 and I paid over 20,000 in federal and state taxes. I might not have been rich, but I earned my way thru life and I owe no one an apology for my now being disabled.
When you see a disabled veteran, you need to thank them rather than thinking in your twisted mind that we are nothing more than moochers. The sad part of it is, how many of those same people YOU called "those people" are conservatives and will vote for you regardless of this statement. Many people will vote against their own best interests, electing you will harm all retired military people, your party has a poor record of caring for veterans, any changes made to Social Security surely will NOT be in favor of the masses, do changes need to be made, yes obviously the system needs some tewweks but not major overhauls, raise the wage caps on medicare, but you don't care about the 47% so your policies will be harmful to us, I expect nothing less.
Hopefully you will fall flat on your face during the debates, I really do not want you as my President, I wish we could bring Nixon back from the dead and put him in your place, maybe he could go to Iran like he did China, we know you aren't capable of anything like that, you have no spine.