VACO–EVERYBODY’S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE EXCEPT FOR ME AND MY MONKEY

download (3)I think Rep. Jeff Miller finally hit it on the head. All these entrepreneurs at VAMCs around the country did not all wake up one day and simultaneously concoct the idea to cook the books on the scheduling imbroglio. Face it. They simply don’t have the intelligence to do so. Therefore, the impetus for all this had to emanate from the VA’s Central Office- to wit: the higher ups in the VHA. I suspect if you poke and dig a little, a Kelli Kordach whistleblower will emerge with all the goods and the dirt on who was naughty. This thing is unraveling faster than a cheap Chinese Wal Mart Sweater after one washing.

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CONTEMPORARY VA OUIJA BOARDS

date on back is 1917

date on back is 1917

A friend of mine came across these at a garage sale and made copies for me. The CAVC one is dissimilar from the other two and appears to be of much newer construction. The folks at the Antique Road Show consider them to be curios from at least the late 1930s. Perhaps my gentle readers can contribute their ideas on them as well. They do seem to be the real McCoy at first glance.

BVA OUIJA CFR

BVA Ouija Board

Here’s the one marked BVA. The date on back is illegible.

 

 

 

Lastly , the newest by far is the one marked CAVC:

CAVC USC OUIJA

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CAVC–MARKS V. McDONALD–LINE OF DUTY AND WILLFUL MISCONDUCT

thumb_d10d7a64-04ab-4462-9561-19cb885ef6d9As most know, I glom onto every reversal that comes across the CAVC and CAFC docket. They teach far more in a short time than years of vacates and set asides. By the same token, you find more ordnance to help Veterans because this is where you find the most egregious VA errors in adjudicating claims. Since 85% of us lose our bid for stardom right out of the gate at the RO, it appears on it’s face that collectively, 25 million of us are ne’er do wells, goldbricks, malingerers and deadbeats. Oddly, that tars and feathers enlisted as well as officers. So much for that ‘officer and a gentleman’ sobriquet.

One thing enlisted folk seem to have in common is an affinity for alcohol. I dare say that fighter pilots must be included in this too, but that is not germane to the discussion here. With that affinity comes an inordinate amount of discussion about what is considered Line of Duty (LOD) and what is not. Once you’ve been shanghai’d into the service, the military actually grants you quite a bit of leeway where true willful misconduct is concerned. You get a pass on getting the clap and often a blind eye is turned towards being excessively trashed or hammered (ETOH). My Uncle Jay went up and down the promotions ladder frequently in the 1930s before signing up for the Bataan 88 Klic Fun Run in April 1942.  Which brings us to Mr. Joe L. Marks.

Before I tell this sad tale, I feel it is imperative to tell you that my personal rainmaker, LawBob Squarepants (Robert P. Walsh, Esq.) has always bemoaned VA’s propensity to cast most of us as miscreants and deserving of our fates. He has repeatedly pointed out that VA legally cannot make a finding of willful misconduct twenty or thirty years down the road without some document or evidence in your military records stating as much. The practice of arbitrarily condemning you ex post facto based on 38 CFR or the M 21 manual language is not sustainable legally. Absent any finding in the military to that effect, you are exonerated. In short, it is VA’s duty to rebut the Presumption of a LOD determination and prove you were incredibly stupid when you did your swan dive off the Ferris wheel at Venice Beach in 1970. Otherwise your stupidity stands as a glorious testament (and LOD) to enlisted men’s drunken arrogance everywhere.  Now to Mr. Marks.

Marks reversal on willful misconduct

Mr. Joe L. Marks (not Joseph) was a groundpounder of the Peacetime persuasion from 1977-85. As such, we can see he was not a three year flash in the pan. In 1980, he arrive by meatwagon at his local Army Base infirmary in a sorry state. .23 on the Richter scale is usually one of the prime ingredients Big Chicken Dinners are made of. Most of us wake up, look around and the question forms on our lips : “Dude. How did I get here? What happened?” This is why we call it the illness for which there is no sympathy.  Joe wasn’t much different. In fact, after the fight that dang near gave him a concussion, he opted to get down and do some serious alcohol abuse. The key word here isn’t ‘after’ nor is it ‘before’. VA tries mightily to make that distinction so as to give wings to their willful misconduct etiology incorporated in the M 21. Fortunately he survived but the deleterious effects of concrete floors on noggins is legend. The doctor did the obligatory X rays and checked his vision. Being young and dumb, he survived for the most part but did discover he had residual injuries in the form of headaches thereafter. Fast forward to August 2004.

Joe filed for headaches as a residual of his 1980 altercation and VA promptly denied him in February 2005. As with most of us, he blew it off and then had a change of heart. He refiled in March 2006 in an attempt to reopen but again the RO refused based this time on no new and material evidence with which to do so. I mention this for good reason. In the VA game, you cannot just endlessly keep on refiling the same claim and get traction eventually. Each time you do this it become harder and harder to reopen simply because you are running out of new and material evidence to present. You want to do it once and do it right.

Joe lucked out and caught a break on appeal to the BVA in 2008 who remanded it based on the feeling he had made a case for a reopening. They put the RO on notice that acquisition of his Service Medical Records (SMRs) would be a good first step when deciding these things-specifically a determination of whether it was LOD or willful misconduct based on too much Kickapoo Joy Juice. In 2012, the RO spoke. It was willful misconduct and that was the end of it.

The RO did ask for a LOD determination from the Army but never got one. That didn’t impede them in the least and Joe got the bum’s rush.The BVA followed suit in May 2013 with the rubber stamp and here we are in DC a year later.

Jedi Master Bartley

Jedi Master Bartley

With the investiture of Meg Bartley to the CAVC, I remarked over a year ago that a new dynamic was going to come into play. With her background at the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), business as usual at the CAVC, at least in her courtroom, was going to be of a different calibre. And so it has come to pass. More reversals have issued from her short tenure than in any other Judge’s time there. Judge Greenberg is running a close second but that is a story for another day.

Judge Bartley gives us a lovely education of what is and what isn’t LOD and willful misconduct. Keeping in mind the splendid isolation VA enjoyed all these years screwing Vets out of their due, it is refreshing to see the tables turned in our favor. VA has consistently and arbitrarily tarred and feathered hundreds of thousands of us as untermenschen and the dregs of society  over the centuries since the War of Independence. It’s funny how badly America needs us in times of peril only to find us NOKD (Not our kind, dear) afterwards and deny on a land office scale.

Marks v. McDonald is a casebook primer on how to rebut the trash talk and smack VA will paint you with. Carefully examine his case and you see the art form VA employs to demolish his contentions. By putting his foibles on parade and listing them in the wrong order, it can be made to appear as though he got drunk, got into a fight, lost and was scooped up for the meat wagon run. In that context, it’s hard to feel compassion for his plight. Nevertheless, America has a soft spot for these chuckleheads and the Army doctor didn’t find him a reprobate or dun him for his stupidity. Nowhere will you find a determination of “not LOD” in his records yet this is what VA arrived at by twisting the facts and utilizing their superior inductive reasoning. VA is not the trier of fact in LOD determinations. That is a contemporary decision arrived at during your service-not 30 years later by a wet-behind-the-ears Rating Ranger. VA has been doing this so long they’ve convinced themselves that it is in their purvey and their purvey alone . Meg Bartley succinctly put paid to that misapprehension with her resounding reversal.

Good legal fodder is to be had here. To wit,

Holton v. Shinseki F3d. 2009

Thomas v. Nicholson F3d 2005

Myore v. Brown  9 Vet App. 1996

Once again, VA has been bridled and a sterner bit has been inserted in their mouth. This may not curb their appetite for abusing the LOD philosophy but it will remind them that splendid isolation has its limits in the new Internet world. We can’t so much as fart- let alone rearrange the VA scheduling records in Phoenix- without someone whistling loudly and pointing it out.

Many of you with Hepatitis C have been unfairly branded as drug abusers or persons of ill repute. VA is fond of pointing out a proclivity to imbibe is a harbinger of contracting HCV. How that is so is still a matter of conjecture. Does one become inebriated and fall into a puddle of HCV-contaminated blood? Can it be transmitted by sharing the same Jack Daniels Bottle without sterilizing the business end? We examined this several years ago when a Vet’s lay testimony that he smoked crack cocaine was used to arrive at a similar determination of willful misconduct and being a risk factor for contraction of the disease. VA went down in flames on that one and granted the claim but it is important to note the methodology of the denial process. Snorting cocaine in its powdered form may or may not be a risk factor but classifying smoking the crack form can never rise to the same risk level.

Hopefully, this type of kangaroo justice will abate as BVA judges become more educated. Perhaps that is an oxymoron more fitting to the RO adjudication arena but the error rate discloses they are both equally at fault. The flaw is endemic as it is clear from the M 21 where all this crap emanates from. VA utilizes the manual as the Bible of ‘how-to’ and ignores  individual, unique instances where a more nuanced approach is required. Even Allstate and GEICO utilize an individual approach to their claims process instead of a one-size-fits- all cattle drive to justice.

From the M 21 IMR on willful misconduct:

“Willful misconduct in alcohol consumption cases is the willingness to achieve a drunken state, and, while in this condition, to undertake tasks for which the person is unqualified, physically and mentally, because of alcohol.

(M21 1MR,  Part III, Subpart v, Chapter 1, Section D.16.A)

The M21 version, to me, has one glaring mistake.  Besides describing what most of us have done at one time or another (including me) VA is attempting a post hoc rationalization of what constitutes willful misconduct wholly outside of any contemporary military or medical records that may purport to show the incident was deemed LOD. This is the incipient problem with all VA justice. This second-guessing thirty or forty years later and a “readjudication of the facts”  (of which they know nothing of) has hung more Vets that we can possibly count. Meg Bartley wisely called bullshit on the practice and reversed  VA’s shoddy rationale for his willful misconduct determination. He’ll get another bite of the apple at the RO on this and I  severely doubt we’re going to see him back at 625 Wagonburner Lane NW.

Robert "V for Valor" Chisholm

Robert “V for Valor” Chisholm

Kudos for Robert V. Chisholm who did a bang up job on his Table of Authorities. I guess Mr. Marks can also thank his lucky stars he didn’t end up in front of Judge Bruce “Affirmed” Kasold. Finding the legal ammo for these outings doesn’t seem to be the bugaboo. Finding a sympathetic ear at the Court is the roadblock. Considering the thumb of justice weighs heavily on the scale in the Veterans’ favor, something is amiss when this would have to float up to the Fed Circus to obtain real justice. When you say your prayers tonight, include one for Judge Bartley’s continued good health in them.

 

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VAOIG–WE DON’T DO VA CRIME

oigDoesn’t anyone on Capitol Hill (i.e. Rep. Miller et al) find it intriguing that if you or I so much as filed a phony travel pay report and tried to take these folks for $40 dollars, we’d be hounded to the ends of the earth by VA’s Inspector Gadget krewe and their counterparts at the US Marshal’s service ad nauseum? They wouldn’t sleep until they had uncovered all the miscreants and sentenced them to five years of hard time with an ankle bracelet at home. Five years of Drew Carey and Susan Lucci is cruel and unusual punishment.

Think about that in the context today as crime abounds at the VA. No, not just the brouhaha in Phoenix  but the systemic crime of doing this at 93 other VAMCs as well. No one has been indicted, demoted, sent to an EBE VARO in Ft. Harrison or Sioux Falls or come down with a really, really bad  case of sudden retirement. The total focus has been redirected like a three-card Monte game onto whether anyone died from it. Apparently 293 of our brethren took an early out in the interim from what we now know has been conclusively proven-not 40.  Too bad they didn’t file their records with VAOIG because now there’s no record of them in the system-ergo no crime. How convenient.

2 Aflac Duck ListofBills

AFRAQ! What’s the matter with these people? AFRAQ!

If you waited and waited for a new appointment for a mental health consult at VA following separation, it can be assumed that three tours in Afraq would be a biiiig qualifier to someone at the scheduling desk. I’d give up my place in line for him/her in a heartbeat. If a guy opted to suck on a lead lollipop in the interim in desperation, I’d say it was probably because his cry for help went unheeded. In my book, there’s a flashing red arrow pointing at these Vets with neon words beneath saying “Help!” If the VAOIG can’t connect the dots conclusively without the shadow of a doubt, perhaps the question was misphrased by Rep. Miller. Seriously? No flies on me? You congressfolk didn’t phrase the question properly?

VA is so ham handed they can’t even come up with a viable defence. How many VARO denials have we read where the evidence was not found in equipoise so the benefit of the doubt is not for application? Perhaps millions. Much like the Colvin decision back in 1991, the VAOIG is inadvertently playing Dr. Ben Casey and strapping on the stethoscope. They are not allowed to make a decision on whether anyone died. They are supposed to be trying to determine if it might have had a deleterious effect on anyone who was denied treatment. They are also tasked with rooting out lying sacks of shit who work there and make flunkies lie for them to get their VA bonuses.  None of this has transpired and the silence is deafening.

download

Call me Bob. His name is Legion for he is many.

Ronald McDonald has been set a horrific task. Round up the little VAMC Hamburglars and either indict them, keel haul them or send them packing with a bill for the fraudulent VA bonuses-with interest. The legislation has been passed, signed into law and now the pregnant pause. Sharon Helman  is out of sight but not out of mind. Shoot. She’s still pulling in her paycheck while she gets her handicap down to a nine over at Andrews. Why is that? Was it impossible to conclusively prove she purposefully ordered the VA schedulers to lie and commit fraud? VA would have us characterize this as “Well, no one died from it near as we can tell so why get down on the VA employees here? No harm, no foul. Can’t we all get along like Rodney King wanted us to? We promise never to do it again. Okay?”

A crime has been committed. The VAOIG is charged with investigating and coming down on these people like white on rice. This is how they did it to Keith Roberts back in 2004.  VAOIG is the name. Cops and robbers is the game. I fail to see a difference. Who cares how many died (besides us)? They were irreparably harmed by virtue of lack of care. Duh. Where did you park the squad car, Dick Tracy?

It’s now time for the hangman’s gallows to be erected and the guilty to be hung. Pronto.

download (1)

Make it so, OIG. Questions? You can reach me at 513-509-8454.

P.S.  Apparently, they (OIG) Chieu Hoi’d today and admitted perfidy. Long overdue game of semantics is finally over. Now we need to find out who put the grip on Griffin and made him change the “findings”. There be the smoking gun to all this.

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HOW REAL VETS GET RID OF MOLES

Win Or Die LogoReal Vets-as opposed to girlymen Vets- are renowned for having the gitterdone gene. We also are endowed with a desire to live life vicariously. We are easy to spot due to large numbers of scars and being on a first-name basis with most folks down at our local hospital emergency room. You know who you are. You’re the guy/gal whose arms look like junkies from so many tetanus shots.

What I’m about to show you is not widely known or practiced but is virtually guaranteed to rid you of these pesky critters in short order. The ingredients are elementary for most of us. Please check with local codes so as not to be arrested for utilizing explosive devices in controlled areas such as playgrounds.

1) Heavy duty wet/dry vacuum cleaner

2) Propane bottle and associated hose paraphernalia

3) Flamethrower or similar device such as a roofing torchdown tool or weed burner. In lieu of this we advocate a 5-foot long ignition device over a simple Bic lighter.

Let us proceed.

2014-09-16 09.03.27Step 1)  Self explanatory. Locate an active thoroughfare.

Step 2) Vacuum out the pile of dirt to expose the tunnel in the incoming direction. Make sure it’s clean and open enough to insert the propane hose.

2014-09-16 09.05.25

Step 3) Insert the propane hose about 6-10 inches into the hole

2014-09-16 09.06.21

Step 3) Backfill carefully to prevent backflow and tamp down firmly.

2014-09-16 09.07.36

Step 4) Turn on propane tank at about 1/3 gallon an hour to flood the entire length of the tunnel(s). Propane gas is heavier than air and will naturally sink to the lowest chambers first. Since the moles are not too highly evolved, they do not recognize that stinky smell of Mercaptan nor the gradual loss of oxygen being supplanted with the propane.

Step 5) (Optional) Using the vacuum cleaner after a suitable period, remove the excess dirt around the entry again. Hook up your ignition device and stand on the back side of the hole facing away from the entry so as not to be in a direct line when ignition occurs. Safety glasses and ear protection are suggested. Protect windows and cars in a direct path from the hole with suitable protection such as a sheet of plywood. Small rocks launched with great velocity and broke things the first time I did this. Knowledge is power and saves on repair bills.

Step 6)  Approach mole hole cautiously with lit ignition device. Hold lit flamethrower near entrance to hole until propane gas ignites. We suggest turning on the No Smoking light prior to this step.

Step 7) Repeat as necessary until mole infestation abates.

I use a weed burner that throws a flame approximately 8 feet. I have still experienced singed arm and eyebrow hair hence my suggestion to stand behind the hole’s entrance.

Bon chance with your hunting endeavours.

P.S. I forgot to add this. If your equipment is in good order, you can turn the propane bottle upside down and inject liquid propane directly in much faster and with far more interesting results. See below.

2014-09-16 11.46.19 2014-09-16 11.48.01

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DECLASSIFIED CAS DOCUMENTS

Sorry for the mixup. I published this as a post and then moved it up to the widgets in black above.

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FED. CIRCUS–BERAUD V McDONALD–JUSTICE INTERUPTUS II

downloadWe sure can’t blame Call Me Bob (513-509-8454) McDonald for this one. If Ric Shinseki had been minding the store and given Mr. Leonard NMI Beraud, a former squid, his due recompense, we wouldn’t have to reiterate 38 CFR 3.156 (b) again. By now, I’m sure the boys and girls over at the Office of General Counsel (OGC 027) have finally awoken to a new day and are all suffering the illness for which there is no sympathy (a hangover). It takes a lot of Scotch to drown your sorrows after a defeat of this magnitude. 

Judge Meg Bartley had this dialed in sixteen months ago and the Feds just followed her script to a T. What could they do? We talked of the reinvention of the Bright Line rule after the VCAA as to what New and Material Evidence means in the new, enlightened age of VA jurisprudence. The standard was relaxed inasmuch as it became much easier to reopen a prior denied claim.  We’ve discussed the duty to assist in Schafrath  such that there could be no doubt what the duty to assist a Veteran consisted of. We examined Bond v. Shinseki and Young v. Shinseki thinking every permutation of 38 CFR § 3.156 (b) had been minutely examined. In spite of all this, the OGC and the BVA continue to commit the very same mistakes again and again like ADD-addled children.

Jedi Master Bartley

Jedi Master Bartley

What should disturb rainmakers and Judges alike is the myopic legal vision employed by Judges Alan Lance and Coral Wong Pietsch. So engrossed were they in the minutiae of a follow-on decision (by an AOJ no less) in 1990 subsuming Mr. Beraud’s original claim in 1985 that they missed the forest by only seeing the tree in front of them. It became an egregious error when Judge Meg Bartley dissented based on sound legal grounds and the dynamic duo ignored her. God, you’d think they’d have a Kumbaya Kouncil in chambers and at least look at the “big picture”. I could almost see it if it had been “Bruce Almighty” Kasold and Lance stepping on their dicks. Men do that. It has something to do with testosterone and a firm belief that women can’t chew gum, talk and ovulate simultaneously. How Coral Wong Pietsch fell down this rabbit hole is anyone’s guess. I gave her more credit for being a farthinker.

A Record Before the Agency ( aka RBA or the entire history of your claims- or your c-file) is a compendium of evidence including dates. Many attorneys will have you- a VA claimant- construct a timeline of your life  from birth and list everything, including every action taken by VA by date, relating to your claim(s). This allows him/her to see the orderly flow of events and make sure everything is above board.  Alan and Coral would have been well-advised to do the same or have had their ”little people” do so. It would have revealed the discrepancy of promising Leonard one thing and then denying him before he even had a chance to provide the new NM&E needed to rebut the denial. You can forgive the VLJs and their staff attorneys who got their Juris Doctorate degrees out of a Crackerjack™ box or online at a prestigious University no one has ever heard of in Nicaragua. No one expects them to get it right. The ABA keeps a tally on Judges at the appellate level in the real world. A reversal rate in excess of 8% is cause for alarm. It implies you are ignorant, have poor posture and upbringing and are most definitely NOKD (Not Our Kind, Dear) judicially. Now go one step further and add in the VA rainmakers. Imagine a reversal rate of 22-39 percent and you have the makings of kangaroo justice. Jez. Why not just hire all of America’s village idiots and call them VLJs. It would probably be far cheaper and save VA a boatload of money.

No judge anywhere -hell, no self respecting attorney- would feel comfortable coming to court with an inverted Win/Loss ratio on appeal. Except at the BVA level. Indifference and a culture of “who cares about these trailer trash Vets” is par for the course there as evidenced by Judge Laura Eskenazi’s monkeyshines now coming to light at 810 Vermin Ave. NW. So let’s take a gander at where this all went south for Mr. Beraud.

Beraud_13-7125

downloadLeonard chose the Military Order of the Purple Nurple as his VSO. I did too in 2006 and felt very smug doing so. They came with glowing recommendations. I won’t go into the IQ of VSO service officers. Suffice it to say none are going to qualify for Mensa. We (MOPH and I) parted company the day the SO informed me that tattoos were willful misconduct. I don’t have any tattoos but even if this were so, it would seem every man-jack in the Navy and Marines would be the proud recipient of a Big Chicken Dinner  and  still be in Ft. Leavenworth making little ones out of big ones. Leonard would have been better off if he’d called Kenny Carpenter early on. Perhaps he’d have been on Bucks Boulevard a whole lot sooner.

The BVA’s esteemed Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) Kathleen K. Gallagher was assigned this case. It’s apparent from the lead-in verbiage that Leonard’s Service Officer had the IQ of a goat. He flubbed the Form 9 and forgot to appeal some of the other contentions which were denied. He brought up rather late in the day the idea that CUE was involved in the 1985 decision. With the sure knowledge of Fenderson at his back, the chowderhead VSO chose to fight a battle with no bullets. When you prevail, the whole history of the claim is laid open and the VA is obligated to examine it in a new light. Could be with the Excessive Awards Program in place at the time (2007) that this had a snowball’s chance in hell of ever panning out anyway but you still cover your bases. There was no need to look at 1985 as CUE. It needed to be examined in the light of 3.156(b). Unfortunately for Leonard, the SO was unacquainted with VA law and thus never even advanced this argument. A good attorney would have in a heartbeat. This is where that timeline would have exposed the error.

Looking at the BVA decision (Beraud BVA Decision), nowhere is there any discussion of 38 CFR § 3.156(b). It’s AWOL. The Conclusions of Law were all off base. Poor Leonard had been denied based on CUE and a brief gloss over of his “SMR”s being of record in the c-file. He and his representative were arguing apples while Kathleen was nodding sagely and saying “Roger that. I copy Oranges, over.”

In retrospect, considering no one was defending Leonard here, it’s a miracle he found his way to Amy Odom over at NSVLP. She’s an up and comer and some day may be hanging her hat over a 625 Indiana Ave. NW with her sidekick Meg Bartley.  Offering praise where it is due, we also compliment Mary Hoefer on shepherding this through the CAVC and presenting it in a cogent manner for future appeal.

You can’t help but think of that old ditty “For want of a horse the battle was lost.” Fortunately, Mr. Beraud survived and finally got his 1985 effective date. But that is not the end of the matter.  Beraud is soon going to become a household name around the VA and in law dog circles right up there with Walker, Colvin and Gilbert. With each examination of 38 CFR §3.156, be it (a), (b) or (c), one thing is becoming apparent. It is one of the least understood regulations in Part 3 for VA adjudicators to absorb. How they can continue to torture new meanings out of each after being excoriated for their intransigence is becoming legend.

In the short period of a decade, we have witnessed 3.156(c) finally emerge as a cutting edge tool to revise past denials. This in spite of VA’s attempted subterfuge and semantics to argue that a heretofore unseen service department record, in and of itself, should certainly not be the sole predicate for a revision of a prior denial. Prepare to see a plethora of new cases that will mirror Mr. Beraud’s. Why attempt CUE to overturn a decision in 1985 for lack of the Duty to Assist? You can’t win. Mr. Caffrey went down on that ship. The sick jurisprudence set in stone on that brain fart was that “an incomplete record was not an incorrect record.”

I predict 3.156(b) will come into it’s own soon. If you can prove you gave them the GPS coordinates in Florida where your records were stashed at a Reserve base and they deny with no attempt to retrieve them as they did here, the claim is still open. Words mean something. Written correspondence in the evidence pile supported this reversal and it was right there in front of them-all of them. Why did it take a panel of three at the Fed Circus to recognize the implications of the regulation, the timeline clearly showing the BVA and the CAVC clotheslined him and ten years to restore equilibrium to Mr. Beraud’s world? Meghan didn’t have any problem seeing it.

The immortal words from King v. Shinseki (2010) will always ring loudly here:

It would also create the possibility that VA, by not considering evidence submitted during the one-year appeal period following the RO decision and simply waiting for the RO decision to become final, deprived the appellant of the earlier effective date associated with his December 1995 claim.  This would be antithetical to the nonadversarial, claimant-friendly nature of VA proceedings.

I guess we could say we’re still waiting for that  fabled nonadversarial, claimant-friendly VA justice a la King to materialize but it makes for a nice faery tale. We would hope that each Beraud decision builds on the presumption we are to be judged by a more liberal standard.  Few offer their lives up for their nation to do with as they will. That we end up being accorded an inferior brand of justice in light of (or in spite of) that sticks in my craw. Boy howdy. It sure stuck In Meg’s, huh?

download (1)I wonder if Muskogee, Oklahoma has a Ferrari dealership? Ol’ Leonard is sure in the market for a new ride.

 

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