I commend this well written and concise article by the Soufan Center as it speaks to several important points, at least one of which has not come up in any of the commentaries I’ve read on Director Comey’s testimony yesterday. As many of you are like me, former or current career government employees who have served for years in and seen how our government bureaucracy actually works, I wonder if you don’t find some of the points made in the Soufan article below to ring true? Particularly the authors reference to the damage done by the Media, self serving politicians and pundits over the last few divisive years: “The depth of the damage being done to the foundational assumptions of American democracy—which include, among other truths, that there is such thing as honorable government service that defies partisanship—was a constant thread during Comey’s testimony.”
I am writing more on this subject as this email makes it was to you but it will take some time to sort out and make sense of my thoughts and wanted to get the article below to you on a timely basis.The Significance of Comeys Testimony
With all the negative news over the last few years about the Veteran’s Administration, I wanted to relate to you my very positive experience, both with my hearing issues and my recent application for a disability due to my exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam in 1969 and my diagnosis with prostate cancer.
I was totally unaware that the VA considers a connection between Agent Orange and prostate cancer until my Battalion Commander and friend, Colonel Forest Rittgers, stopped by Lexington in the Fall of last year for a short visit. During our catching up he told me that a retired Army Sergeant Major had told him of the VA’s position on Agent Orange and prostate cancer.
As a result of that visit and our conversation I applied for a disability on-line with the VA in December, 2016. Yesterday I was informed in the mail they had favorably adjudicated my application. I actually knew a little earlier when a large, lump-sum deposit appeared in my checking account. If they approve your disability claim they will pay you back to the day you applied.
The entire process was conducted on-line except for a brief interview with a physician contracted to the VA. This most recent claim, an earlier claim for hearing loss (also in Vietnam) and my 4 visits to the VA hospital in Salem, Virginia, to be tested and fitted for hearing aids were all positive, efficient and courteous encounters for me.
I hope my experiences may be of value to you or those veterans you may know and I am much obliged to Colonel Rittgers for passing his knowledge along. He was a great Battalion Commander in Vietnam and continues to look after his men in the years since.
My best regards to you all,