Department of Defense MAY Have Made a Bad Call…..

So…….you guys remember the whole deal where my hubs (who’s served in the US military for 24 years) was trying to apply for VA benefits, and found that the gov’t had lost his proof of having been deployed?

Shortly thereafter, I received in the mail a survey. From the Department of Defense. Asking me, as a military spouse, how ‘supportive’ I felt that the military has been, of my spouse, during his career, and what my feelings were regarding such.

One look at that survey, and the hubs said, “Oh, HELL…….They don’t know who they’re asking, do they!?”

Here are a couple of the answers I gave, to questions in the vein of, ‘how do you feel about how your spouse regards his service’, and ‘do you feel that the military has been financially supportive of your spouse and your family?’

Y’all take a breath, ’cause here it comes:

*A. My feelings regarding my husband’s participation in the Air Force Reserves are mixed at this point. He moved from Active Duty to the Reserves in 1994, and has been very pleased and proud to serve.

Unfortunately, in January of 2011 he was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type II. Since that time, he has been No Points, No Pay, No Participation. He was informed that he was disqualified from military duty due to being insulin-dependent, and was told that his re-enlistment would not be honored, forcing his retirement from the Reserves. Despite the fact that his forced retirement is involutary, and stems from a medical problem, he has been informed that he is unable to be medically retired, and will thus not receive the benefits inherent therein.

In addition, in attempting to apply for benefits through the VA, we have discovered that his DD214s for deployments have been lost, and no one seems to be able to locate them. This causes severe limitations regarding his VA benefits.

The entire situation has led to a kind of disillusionment for my husband. He has loyally and proudly served his country as an Active Duty Airman, and as a Reservist, assuming that his dedication would be recognized and rewarded accordingly, per his exemplary service record. It unfortunately appears that this was a faulty assumption.

A serviceman who has spent his entire adult life in service to his country should not have to struggle, scramble, and fight to receive the bare benefits due him by right.

B. We are in a situation that is untenable. Due to the lack of additional Reserve pay in the last twelve months, we have fallen further and further behind in our financial obligations, and have had to file bankruptcy to attempt to catch up.

I am a Registered Nurse, but am currently unable to apply for Utah licensure due to the complete lack of necessary funds to do so, making our financial situation that much more dire.

I would HOPE that the military will be able to locate my spouse’s DD214s so that he can then receive accurate benefits from the VA. I would also hope that there could be some review of his retirement status; since he is not allowed to re-enlist and is forced into retirement for a medical reason, it escapes me how a medical retirement is not allowed or approved. If the purpose of receiving a medical retirement is to allow for immediate support and treatment of illness or injury for the retiring serviceman, it seems ludicrous that this is denied to him.

After his lifetime of service, it pains me to see how disillusioned and disappointed my husband is with the military, and with his government, for allowing this kind of shabby treatment. I believe that it makes him feel unappreciated and misused. And, in my opinion, we are in a sorry state of affairs when lifelong service does not earn appreciation, respect, and supportive treatment from those one has served.

Thank you for this opportunity to relate our experiences and feelings.*

I’d guess it’s true. They picked the WRONG bitch to survey……


4 responses »

  1. My husband’s response is to contact your Congressman. My husband retired in 2010 from the USN and is 30% disabled. He doesn’t believe the line of crap that you are being fed and I don’t either. Start looking for any paperwork that he might have: fitreps, medals, etc. GO GET EM!

  2. I am so thoroughly disgusted by your story. I cannot believe–well, ANY of it, though I CAN believe it and it is so very…disgusting. I do not even know the first bit of advice to give, but I wish you would send this to your local paper and maybe to your congressmen (who never seem to catch the slack they earn along with their hefty salaries and top of the line benefits). I am so very sorry that your family (especially your husband) has to suffer through all of this due to ignorance and…apathy? on the part of our government. THANK YOU. Thank YOU and thank YOUR HUSBAND for making those sacrifices for US. For making it so that WE can live our lives safely and comfortably. WE appreciate you even if those who SHOULD don’t.

  3. I’m so enraged reading about the details of what’s happened here, I’m actually stunned how eloquent and level you were in your criticism. I hope they heed your letter, and I am so, so freakin’ frustrated on your behalf having read this.

    I know what my mom would say (“Call your congressperson!”), but I don’t know how effective her preferred approach would be.

  4. Calling your congress person is going to do what? Ummm, let me think… Nothing! What you need to do depending on what state you live in is find what options your husband has based on the state he is in. Every veteran should be treated with dignity and respect but it never happens. You need to go to your state department of veteran services and annoy the hell out them. They should have a way of not only finding his DD214 but updating it. Your Department of Veteran Services, should be able to provide information on where you can get a 90 day claim started. In most states there are pro-bono places that you can get your husband to not only prove his problems were caused during service but also make the VA admit it. It will not be easy. You will get mad, frustrated and sometimes a tad crazed. Do not let this stop you. Sometimes it’s not so much where you put in the claim it’s talking to the right person at the right time. Also his Unit should have a family readiness group and they should be able to get you some answers. If all that fails then reach out to me and I will try to figure this out with you.

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