Topic: Improving veterans benefit system
Purpose: To change the time it takes for a veteran to receive their benefits. Thesis: To persuade congress to change how and when benefits are established. Do you know someone who receives Veterans Benefits? Do you know how long for them to get their benefits or if they received them at all? Contemplate that and reach out to your family member or friend that is a veteran and see what kind of answers you get. Good morning Classmates, Staff, and members of Congress,
Hello my name is Jerry Tinsley,
Today I am here to talk to you to changes that need to be made in veteran compensation rules and regulations regarding veterans receiving their benefits in a timely manner. As you know we have many veterans coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have receive injuries that have changed their lives forever and there are those that have not returned and their families are faced with obstacles or barriers they have to overcome just to receive the benefits that are due. We have men and women of our Armed forces that are waiting 6 months to a year or in some cases long just to receive those benefits. Here recently I encountered a Veteran here in the Medford area that came home from Iraq and his squad was hit by a roadside bomb in June of 2008, he was hit with shrapnel in his face, chest and arms he lost his right arm in this attack and he receive appropriate care at Walter Reed Army hospital. He came home last year over a year of therapy being fitted with a prosthetic arm, and figured he would be fine when he came back home. He has been seen here locally once by the prosthetics department, and was referred to a clinic in Portland to receive the additional therapy he will need. That all fine, the problem is he cannot afford to go back and forth to Portland to continue, he receives a check each month for $899.00 that’s 50% for his disability. He is expected to pay out his pocket to go to therapy and send the VA his receipts and they will send it in for reimbursement. He has received two checks at the present time, and he sends them receipts every month. I took three months to get the first refund back. He told them he cannot afford to pay for gas and still live. There response to him was at present time with the budget cuts and a lack of personnel to complete claims that is the best they could do. Our country has demoralized our veterans for many years, Vietnam veterans had to endure many years of being told that there was nothing wrong with them only to find out later that they have cancer from exposure to Agent Orange. My brother- in- law served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1970, he was hit several times by the Vietcong, and one such incident was the Tet Offensive in 1968. He was exposed to Agent Orange that day; in early 1970 he was in Laos at least once a week they would drop Agent Orange on the Vietnamese, He was shot in early 1970 once in the chest and arm, he survived both came home. He received care at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, Ca, he was treated and released. He began having problems in the late 1980’s and asked about benefits but was denied because his files could not be found. He gave up trying to get help from the VA at that point and self medicated himself, in 1996 we were talking about his time in Vietnam and we called and after several months of research found his records, we filed a claim for him in 1997 he did not receive his first check for his service until 1999. He got sick in 2000 and was seen and told he had cancer of his pancreas and liver, after further investigation it was caused from his exposure to Agent Orange. He died in 2007; it took the VA 29 years to help him, if you can call that help. The first Iraq war veterans came home with lung problems known as The (Gulf War Syndrome) roughly one in four of the 697,000 veterans who served in the first Gulf War are afflicted with the controversial disorder, a real condition with real...