Reply To: VA taking away opiates from veterans

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Part 2 – I forgot to respond to the remarks that I read above regarding the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that poisoned the water at Camp Lejeune. TPC_Opa – I will not register anything with the VA and, unless there is an overwhelming reason to do so, I will not (am I missing something?)! While their services have improved somewhat, and the VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration – distributes benefit funding for physically disabled veterans such as home modification with wheelchair ramps, doors/halls widened, house entrances/thresholds lowered to allow wheelchair access) is great, they still don’t have the compassion to help with pain in a real, quickly-measurable manner (such as oral opioid medication). Also, if is more than one possible cause for failing livers, and one of them is past alcohol consumption, they will select the alcohol as the ONLY culprit despite however small the amount that you might have drank – they will do everything they can to remove the water poisoning at Camp Lejeune from any consideration. I believe that the reason they do that is because the medical community will not give a liver transplant to one who damaged their liver through excessive alcohol use. So, for all of the above reasons, I will not petition the VA for any help with my liver. The VA likes to shape circumstances to their benefit. Those of you on VA/military disability from the Viet Nam era and/or the Desert Storm/Shield wars have probably already learned that every percentage (in increments of 10) gained in disability is earned with months/years of perseverance and the enlistment of a Law Group. I was finally awarded 100% disability from the VA around 2019, but I had been working on it since I left the Marine Corps in 1992 following a failed spinal surgery at Camp Pendleton. I will not alert the VA to the fact that I am seeking compensation for my disabilities from the VOCs in the Lejeune water wells. My legal representatives have staff doctors/surgeons to advise with the Lejeune legal cases and I was informed that my liver cirrhosis (compensated, almost got to stage 4, but was caught just in time – now somewhere between stages 2 & 3) and spinal deterioration are the result of the VOCs. So, I will see where this goes in the next 6~12 months.

Just FYI… since it takes sooooo very long to settle with gov’t bureaucracies – especially if you seek disability with the limitations of your own personal representation, your requests will be denied time after time until you tire of the process or you are actually able to wear them down. Legal representation works for me at any cost if they can make it happen ASAP and with the best settlement. Since they charge percentages only if they win the case for you, it is such an easy process. If they win a disability percentage, they can only charge you from the lump sum received from the backlog, so that is the reason they try to back up the eligibility date as far as they can.

If you do decide to register with the VA and expect them to make things right, understand that they are going to do things as cheaply as possible. That is the nature of our federal gov’t unless they are just giving things away to people who are not even citizens of our country!! What about our veterans? They need and deserve help more than those who steal it from our complicit gov’t. Healthy veterans as well as those who are disabled? Isn’t our gov’t obligated to take care of citizen/military personnel first? Veterans who have not been combat-wounded are just as deserving as those who have, although combat-wounded should have priority. All veterans joined with the intent to fight and with the knowledge that they might die during their service. So willingness counts for something! And then there are those who were hurt through the negligence of our own gov’t.

Anyway, the VA is going to offer disability payments from their standard scale of 10~100% for the Lejeune VOC-drinkers. This one opportunity to hold the gov’t responsible involves staying with the private sector and away from the VA or, at least, don’t alert them to the fact that you are seeking compensation. I don’t know what they can do, but it is possible that you could be denied any legal settlement if you accept free medical treatment or are “awarded” a disability rating from the VA. Also, compensation won by a law group can greatly exceed any amount of disability offered by the VA. If you have investigated the published reports regarding symptoms from the Lejeune VOCs, you will know, or should be informed, that the current symptom list is very much incomplete. The gov’t is the entity that decides which ailments will be considered. However, my law group has enough clout to include other logically VOC-induced symptoms, so those who have been at Camp Lejeune sometime during the 30-year +/- period of the VOC pollution and drank/bathed in the water should check them out. Pintas & Mullins Injury Lawyers. I have agreed to give them 40% of any settlement I receive, but if you are so inclined to fight huge bureaucracies, you might be able to negotiate downward. I’m just tired of fighting with the gov’t and want to get this done and over. I paid Binder & Binder 20% to settle my military disability – well worth the time, effort, and frustration that I did not have to expend. And, I paid the same to Hill & Ponton (I think) to represent me for my SocSec disability. Again, well worth it.

I have access to a lot of information because of my complete lack of mobility, so I can do research all day. If you need any help or have questions, just let me know. God bless and be with all of you who responded to the call to serve in the US Military regardless of the possibility of death or injury.

S/F, – Jim