Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Been a lot of media attention given to the Veterans Administration lately for their handling of the VA system.  Matter of fact I have a buddy who is the victim of the VA's incompetence.

While his issue was not necessarily being on a long waiting list it was still a matter of incompetence.  Had his check up a year or so ago and the tests showed something, but the doctor said no problem nothing to worry about.  Today, according to the doctors he has less than a year to live.

Maybe the first set of doctors honestly missed the call, and maybe this set will miss again.  It is just a good thing that my bud has the opportunity to get out of the VA system. Maybe he just got caught up in the red tape which can be a real problem anywhere along the vet's path to earned benefits. All that being said we need to remember that there is more than one part of the Veterans Administration that assists our vets.

Our local Milam County Veterans Service Office is a resource that can be used by vets and their spouses to walk them through the system and all of its red tape and other pitfalls.  I speak from experience here.  No I am not a vet, but my Father-in-law was.  When my Mother-in-law wound up in the nursing home she became eligible for veterans benefits that her spouse had earned for his service in World War II.

Not sure how many readers out there have had any experience with nursing homes, or long term care facilities as they like to call them nowadays...more politically correct, but they are very expensive.  Not knocking them here, but 24 hour 7 day a week care is not cheap.  The reality is that it is cost prohibitive for most folks without some sort of assistance.

My Mother-in-law was by no means destitute, but right at 4,000 per month can go through cash pretty fast.  Without assistance from the VA she would have been on Medicare within a couple of years.  With the VA assistance she remained private pay until her passing.  Getting the VA assistance is a whole other ball game.

If any of you have ever had any experience with a Federal government agency you know the experience is not a joyful one.  The amount of red tape is horrendous.  It is sort of like they plan it that way to weed out the weak.  Ken Janicek was the key to my Mother-in-law getting the benefits she was entitled to.  Without his help we would still be filling out and submitting paperwork.

I have talked with a number of veterans and there are some that say we do not need the Veterans Service Officer in Milam County.  They relate that many other much larger counties do not have the office.  This is true and help is available in Waco or Temple.  However, not every veteran can afford the numerous trips to an out of county office that it might take to get the job done.

I look at it this way.  Veterans gave a lot, some their life, so that we could live as we do today.  Part of their investment in preserving our freedom was the benefits that were in the contract they signed with our country.  They did their part the least we can do is insure they get what they deserve.  Sure there are some vets out there that can probably wade through all the red tape without assistance.  My Mother-in-law was not one of them.

The cost for the office is minimal compared to the return.  Milam County spent 17,000 for security cameras to nowhere.  Someone felt that security cameras were the answer to courthouse security.  In my opinion our armed forces are our key to security and we should take care of them.   

The cost to bring the Veterans Office up to speed is minimal and less than the security cameras in the courthouse that no one monitors.  The decision here really is a no brainer.


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