11 November 2008


I just wanted to share this with readers here about the events of this week, concerning a friend of mine and Brother in Christ, Tom, HELI-GUNNER TOM. In short, he has made a number of entries outlining the problems of the VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, the problems veterans have obtaining needed medical treatment, services, and benefits as well as the abuses many veterans have to tolerate. Tom has shared accounts of both personal experiences and those of other veterans. The theme is always the same, and we as a nation should be ashamed that those who have made such sacrifices for our freedom are treated this way.
Tom posted an entry yesterday about the latest problem he was having with the VA facility in Milwaulkee and the subsequent run-around in trying to follow up. Click HERE to read his post so all this will make sense to you. He asked his readers to forward the post to our respective Government officials. So, I decided to write to REPRESENTATIVE PHIL GINGREY, SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON, and SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS. Click HERE to see a copy of the letter I e-mailed to all of them.
Today, I received a telephone call from Senator Chambliss's Washington office . . . ON A FEDERAL HOLIDAY! I never dreamed that I would receive a telephone call that fast or any kind of response at all that quick. Their offices must be overloaded with calls and e-mails every day. Following is what happened during that conversation from an e-mail I sent to Tom to let him know:
"Brother Tom,Update . . . . .I received a telephone call from Senator Chambliss's Washington office! I spoke with his manager, Jerry Acosta. He had read my letter and your post, and I reiterated the concerns that I had about the VA and the problems veterans had with obtaining services and needed treatment. Mr. Acosta said Senator Chambliss has been working on the problems with the VA. Senator Chambliss was able to get an appropriation of $86,000,000,000 this year which was a 77% increase over last year. One of Senator Chambliss's top priorities is improving PTSD and mental health services programs. In Georgia, $750,000 has been appropriated for five outpatient clinics for veterans around the state (one of them in Rome just opened). I don't know about in your area, and Mr. Acosta didn't know either. Mr. Acosta also said that some funds were being diverted from the VA hospitals to help fund the outpatient clinics.
Another top priority with Senator Chambliss is revamping the adjudication process which will hopefully help veterans to receive the benefits to which they're entitled and medical treatment in a more timely manner.I asked Mr. Acosta, even though your area is not in Senator Chambliss's district, if they were aware of the problems with the facility in Milwaulkee. He said he wasn't, but he said he would be happy to look into it though, specifically to see how many complaints have been made against it.
I was surprised at the response, especially a telephone call the next day and on a Federal holiday! I don't know where it will go from here, but it's good to see someone in Washington is working on it. Senator Chambliss has taken on a mammoth task, and may not be able to do everything that has to be done, but it's a start. I was also surprised that his office was willing to check into the situation in Milwaukee rather than referring me to your Senators and Representatives. Mr. Acosta also said he would send me a letter via e-mail about these concerns.
I haven't heard back from Senator Isakson's office or Representative Gingrey's office, but I will let you know when I do.
To me, this just goes to show that one person can STILL start a fire! Just think if many people contacted all their Senators and Representatives about this. I bet there would be some attitude changes in other members of Congress!"
I'm not sharing this to for any selfish purpose out of pride. The furtherest thing from it. I shared this just to show the power of one. One person contacting a Congressman - a telephone call from Washington the next day, on a Federal holiday. One person contacting a Congressman - a Congressman's office agreeing to look into issues in a completely different part of the country, far away from his home district.
One person CAN make a difference. Just think of all of us "one persons" did this on issues of concern. I think we would see real change in Washington.


MISSY said...

I read your letter in your friend's journal. I think it's wonderful that you received a call back especially on a FEDERAL holiday! You are right, if no one says anything, nobody can make a difference. *M*


Barbara said...

It's reassuring to know that we can still be heard!

natalie said...

way to go! What would happen if we were all so proactive!
you were really trying to help them get their well earned benefits!

Heli gunner Tom said...

Thank you so very much, Brother Dirk! I am in YOUR debt and have respect for you and your talents to be a 'rhinoceros' in charging ahead to get things done. That is a compliment.lol.

Would that all we Christians were so disposed in sharing the Gospel of Jesus, perhaps more souls would be won before the Lord returns. He has the answers and redress for every and all maladies and torts.
God Bless you and your family, Dirk!

Your Brother in Christ,
Tom Schuckman
Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70.

natalie said...

so there's hope for change

Robyn said...

Hi Dirk, I wanted to let you know that you have an award waiting to be picked up on my blog ;) Hugs!

natalie said...

Happy thanksgiving
p.s. do you believe that both parties should work together to get ourselves out of this economic shambles?
what do you thinks about he automobile bailout?
the press said that that guy is very pro Israel

machinepolitick said...

I'm glad to see Chambliss doing his job for once.As you know, I am not his biggest fan. Congratulations on getting through.
I write all of my congressmen regularly on the issues and intend to keep at it. They need to know that we hold them accountable for their actions. We also need to remember to take the time to thank them when they do the right thing.
We are in some deep stuff right now with our government, and we have to keep on top of it.
Please pass my good wishes on to your friend Tom. My father is a Vietnam vet as well, so I have a little perspective into the sacrifices he made for our country.
Good luck in the future, and keep it up.