THE IRON TRIANGLE:
All Three Sides of the Greatest
Shame in America's History
All "triangles" have three sides.. in this case, all three are co-conspiritors to one of
the worse frauds, and most unconscionable assaults ever, on America's defenders, the Veterans of our many wars, and peacetime.
Those three are the Congress (or more specifially, the members of the combined House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees),
the Veteran's Administration and the third and most insidious of all, the National Veterans Service Organizations (brev. "NVSO").
America as a whole consider our NVSO's to be as American as apple pie, supporting the needs and the rights of our
soldiers and veterans returning from war. Wrong! The NVSO's are in fact, an "invention" of a very corrupt and greedy Congress,
who found a unique way to use the veterans against themselves. Sadly the veterans after all these years, nay generations,
has as yet, still not seen the light.
Before I continue, explaining exactly what I mean, let me throw at you, something
that never occurred to the average Veteran. Ask yourself one of the simplest of all questions: have you ever wondered why
there are 45 (now 48, I am told) different NVSO's, providing a "need" for every conceivable
group of veteran?
me explain ... we have the MCL for marines, the FRA for sailors, one group just for Air Force Sergeants, yet another for military
officers only, one just for NCO's, some that really specialize, like an NVSO just for
Jewish veterans, one for Black veterans,
others for those who are blind, for the paralized, those disabled, an NVSO for holders of a Purple Heart, or other higher
rated awards, one for veterans who have fought on foreign soil, and yet others which allow others who may not qualify for
any special groups. We even have NVSO's which caters to specific participation in certain wars or campaigns.
We even have
one who would not allow Vietnam vets in because Vietnam "was not a real war".
In essence, with a choice of 45 different
groups, one has to ask ... why? Would not just one or two good groups provide what is needed to secure the rights and need
that Veteran seek?
Could not just the say, the DAV, or the MOPH, or the American Legion, offer to them, the facilities,
the legal help, the support or the dirction that the need to push through the system, their claims for VA compensation and
Further, one must wonder, why all of these groups offer the same so-called services, yet none seem to get
the job done. And even more annoying, why is it all offer their own brand or form of "insurance" to help the Veterans or retirees
cover expenses when they are sick .... rather than fighting to help the retirees to secure the promised free medical care
for life, they were promised when they originally enlisted, or retired?
What? Kill the "cash cow" that pads their
coffers? Not on your life! They provide the this supplimental insurance for one purpose only ... money. Hence, to fight for
the promise of lifetime medical care for retirees, would undermine their need for wealth at your expense. Are they really
your friend? Not when it comes to separating you from your hard earned pensions.
But the Iron Triangle is still worse.
In order to explain exactly what the Iron Triangle is, we must first refer back to some aberrations of the law passed
by Congress under United States Code 38, which is outrageously called "The Veterans Benefits Improvement
Act of 1940",
which is based on a reiteration of the very dictatorial principles of the highly UN-constitutional ECONOMIC EMERGENCY ACT
of 1933, declared by
the US Supreme Court, as being UNCONSTITUTIONAL in its entirity. The only difference between the
two laws, is that the "new" Veteran's law applies to only one class of persons (that in itself alone is unconstitutional),
America's veterans. The culprit, if such could be so labeled, is USC Title 38, Section 511 a) formerly known as 211(a)),
which, for more than six decades has prevented Veterans from seeking relief from the VA's preditory and adversarial claims
procedures, in a real court of law. It has had a binding affect on all veterans, often for life, to the VA's own "kangaroo
court system", including its very own warped US Court of Veteran Appeals for Veterans Claims (or "CAVC").
the veteran after serving his country in the military, is forced to walk the corridors of time sometimes 10, 20, and upward
to as long as 50 years, never knowing why he has been abandoned by his government and why his perfectly meritorious claim
is continually denied.
In November of 1988, the VA, in concert with their NVSO cohorts, and the members of the Congressional
House and Senate Veterans Affairs commitees, fearing a judicial review of the perverted VA claims decisions, gave us an
I" administrative court, which has proven to be an absolute farce; a quasi-court, with quasi-judges.
Since that time,
of some 17,000 (seventeen THOUSAND) veterans to apply to this farcical "court", at best only 120 cases have been resolved,
with positive "wins" for the Veteran. Of these cases, almost all go unpublished, making it impossible for veterans or their
advocates to utilize any for case histories, or to assist in future claims assistance to other veterans.
note of interest: as small as this number is, the amount of veterans who have won their cases, what is even more outrageous
is that the infinitesimal number who have collected any back money owed them by the VA. Also note
that no form of interest
is offered or paid to any USC Title 38 retroactive claims.
This law must be changed: such a change could put an end
to the VA's transgressions in the way which they criminally adjudicated benefits claims.
A SOLUTION to the problem:
when the VA denies a claim, initially (and within 90 days) the veterans must be allowed to take his claim to a ligitimate
Article III Federal Court, nearest to his home. Specifically, a federal district court, in front of a real judge ... or better
still, a jury, just like all other Americans enjoy. It can no longer be the fraudulent VA "kangaroo court" system currently
in use, much to the veteran's harm.
The second part of this conspiracy against America's Veterans, comes from USC
Title 38, Section 5904, which prohibits a veteran from retaining his or her own attorney, to represent them in their benefits
claims against the
VA. The veteran can only seek outside help of an attorney AFTER he has received his final decision
from the VA's infamous Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA). This process rarely ever takes less than SEVEN YEARS, and could conceivably
exceed 30 or more years!
It literally becomes a game of constant remands, delays, "accidental mailings", illegal and
deliberate purging and destruction of records, "forgotton signatures", an assortment of bureaucratic chicanery and other excused
that can be dreamed up, during his life-long fight, including deliberate misrepresntation, all of which is aided and abetted
by the NVSO's "service officers". More on this later.
Why this UN-constitutional statute? Because the VA does not
want the veteran to be properly represented by an attorney, making the VA "forced" to follow the letter of the law. They would
rather have the VA friendly NVSO's "opposing" them, in their stacked courts.
The deck is stacked against the veteran
from day one, by the misrepresentation of the NVSO's service reps, who are rarely trained to properly represent the veteran,
by "practicing law" (without proper license), in a very
controlled environment., designed to protect the VA's very special
"hidden turf". The Copyright 2005. The following document may be used or reproduced as desired, for publication, for enlightenment,
without any form of financial renumeration required. However it is not to be changed, modified, or altered in any manner.
It must appear as originally written. MAY BE REUSED IN ANY NEWS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRITY.
Written by Steve Mungie, Wndbear@aol.com,
Houston County Alabama USA, Exercizing my God-given First Amendment Rights to Speak Out for those Who cannot, or will not.
In association with Veterans For Constitutional Law, of New York, an independent Veteran's Rights advocacy group, seeking
fairness and legal parity for ALL of America's honorable, yet dishonored veterans.
Congress has gone out of its way
to protect the VA and NVSO's special vested interests, at the expense of the Veteran, since the 1930's.
if interest: the VA has on its payroll, more than 1200 of their own attorneys, using every conceivable tactic and devious
means posssible, to circumvent the law, to deny veteran claims. The harm and devastation
that this has caused veterans
and their families, because of USC Title 38, Section 5904, is irreparable.
During three separate oversight hearings
by HVAC, debating legal aspects of real legal represntation for veterans, no veterans, family members nor survivors were invited
to testify ... only representatives of NVSO's were permitted to do so. And, their testamony, as usual, was totally reprehensible
, vehemently stating that veterans do not need lawyers when they have the "protection" of the NVSO's
When the the
NVSO "Vietnam Veterans of America" rose to speak, they testified honestly, stating our Constitutional Rights were being ignored
by the VA. the committee chairman immediately closed the hearings down to protect their friends , the NVSO's, and their "hidden
The second hearing was blown out by a snowstorm. At the third and final hearing, the HVAC did not even
address the issue (although scheduled) because they had no intentions of doing so, thus usurping the power of the their cohorts,
Another archaic statute, fueling the unbridled power of this IRON TRIANGLE , is USC Title 38, Section 5902(a),
joking labeled the "GRAVY TRAIN STATUTE" but for good reason!
This statute, a true VA "farcical law" reads: "The Secretary
of the VA, at his discretion (remember these three words!) may give rent free office space in VA buildings to the National
Veteran Service Offices (NVSO's)." Please note: it says NO more, and NO less.
BUT ... a very very liberal interpretation
of this law (remembering those three words), it also gives them FREE heating and electricity, FREE furniture, FREE computer
equipment, FREE postage, FREE telephone service, FREE
stationary, and sometimes, FREE staff, to run thie offices, and
... oh yeh, a totally tax free status, although the assets of most of these congressionally chartered NVSO's could put some
of our nation's larger corporations to shame!
MILLIONS of dollars of "freebies" are literally given to these NVSO's
annually as "payback" (or should I say"loot"?) to help "keep the veterans in line", by the "grateful" VA, for the NVSO's representation,
given to the veterans seeking their benefits claims under the perverted USC Title 38.
QUOTAS? Naw ... you're kidding,
right? The VA's hidden quota of FOUR PERCENT (4%) on service connected claims is never to be exceeded! This is fact, proven
and documented over the past fifty years.
The VA has released all kinds of false figures stating 11 to 12 percent
of all service connected claims are approved and paid. A higher up VA executive once revealed (either inadvertantly or for
whatever reason) that the
VA "padded" thir figures: if a veteran is asking for 3, 4, or moe different things within his
claim, and the VA grants one, they count it as FULL ADJUDICATION of the claim. This, he labeled as the VA's "creative mathematics".
this could not have been done alone. THis is where the third side of the Triangle comes in ... the House Veterans
It is not by chance, but by design, that for more than six decades, decent Veterans legislation
passing through the HVAC gets "BOONDOGGLED IN COMMITTEE" and never reaches the floor for discussion or vote. It is no accident
that this committee has been kept under strict control by the VA; first through illuminaries like Roberts (VA), Sonny Montgomery
(MS), Stump, (AZ), and now today .... the Republican's BUYER, who follows the Bush partyline to the
mark!! (Entire list
of HVAC & SVAC memebers appear below). Justice for Veterans has been held hostage for sixy, nay SEVENTY years, by these
influential friends of the VA, completing the third side of this infamous IRON TRIANGLE.
This side of the TRIANGLE
inspite of bantering by politicians, is NOT bipartisan, nor is it partisan politicking. It is NOT the congress-critters who
occupy places in these committees, but instead, the lawyers and
others, who are there year in and year out, maintaining
a stranglehold on Veteran
It is not question of Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat. It is
plain and simple, GREED. It is the extent of connection with the VA and the NVSO's ... the NVSO's hold most of these congress-critters
in fear ... the fear of being "bad mouthed" by the NVSO's, and losing an election, if they do not shown deference to them,
doing what they want! Any politician's worse nightmare, is losing an election, and thus his grab for power!
THE REASON THAT THE VETERANS MUST QUIT ALL MEMBERSHIPS IN ALL NVSO'S ... or all efforts to change the status quo, is in vain.
Should a veteran write letters to any government agency or to anyone in power, or in Congress, to inform them of this
on-going thievery, they will be answered and "snowed" with form letters using the words like allleged and "allegations"
multiple times, and more likely, not even answered at all. Many vets and the families can positively testify too his fact.
At the creation of the VA's "Kangaroo court system", the then- chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC)
stated in a four-page statement in the Senatorial Congressional Record, that if the VA's court does not
effect real judicial
review, within a year or two, the Senate will revisit the question to allow real article three federal courts to adjudicate
veterans benefits claims. Being that almost from the beginning, it was proven that the VA's "funny court" wasn't working,
(I) wrote to the senator on four separate occasions. The first three times, he did not answer me. The fourth leter received
a reply of "Thank you for your comments on the Economy".
Yet another veteran from Pennsylvania, received an answer
similar: "Knowing of your interest in humane and ethical treatment of animals, I wanted to take this opportunity .....
" Heard enough yet? As you can see, the
Congressional leadership are ignoring and evading the real questions.
US Department of Justice (or more appropriately "Just Us", which no longer protects the rights of the people, but serves now,
the corruption of the administration and their corporate sponsors) was sent some information on the criminal trasnsgressions
of the VA and the manner of their assault on America's defenders, including multiple newspaper articles about two of the VA's
attorneys who were sent to prison for 15 months each, to pay for their crimes of altering and destroying disabled veteran's
claim files, in order to deny claims, so that they could collect larger bonuses. Of course, this a common practice within
the VA, because of a multitude of employee incentive programs
based on the denial of veteran['s claims. The letter we
received in response from the Just US Department as predicted, used the words "alleged" and "allegations" several times, and
yet ... these people, their employees, are serving time.
The IRON TRIANGLE is a bonding, a "melding" of the VA, the
two Congressional VAC's and the NVSO's, which must be broken up, melted, and terminated .... permanently!
It is said
that just prior to the Iraqi and Afghani Wars, there was an estimated 25 to 26 MILLION disabled Veterans, suspended somewhere
out there in the "Twilight ZOne" of waiting, and waiting and waiting, only to discover that they VA was simply waiting them
out, hoping to bury each, before they were forced to pay...
Now, facing this hurting and grieving nation, we have
lost more than 4000 American trooper in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and neither war is over yet. And from those two on-going
wars, more than ONE MILLION new disabled, both physically and mentally, veterans are (or may be) coming home. Will
continue to allow the greed of Congress, the administation, and these other cohorts in crime, make life miserable for men
and women who have already given far too
Our only hope, is to topple this IRON TRIANGLE, once and
for all, by attacking its weakest link ... the NVSO's. TO do so requires only one commitment on our part. Desert them, put
an end to their stranglehold, by bankrupting them. ALL OF THEM.
QUIT YOU MEMEBERSHIPS IN ALL 45 OF THE "CHARTERED
BY CONGRESS" NATIONAL VETERAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, TODAY.
Refuse their Membership fees and drives
Refuse to participate
Refuse to pay "Dues"
Refuse to acknowledge them
Do not attnd their meetings,
their bars, their clubs
Your choice, Veterans .............
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 11:58 AM
Subject: American warrior
I am a German journalist for a daily, nation wide paper.
I just want you to know, what I and my collegues think about this American warrior and macho bullshit.
We cheer every time, when we learn about another major setback of foreign terrorists wearing US-uniforms in Iraq, such
as the recent shooting down of the helicopter, killing 31 US-Marines.
I can only hope, that the cost of US-imperialism will continue to grow rapidly in terms of men and material.
And the day you are crazy enough to attack Iran will speed the moment when all foreign US-terrorists will be thrown out
of Iraq, the Middle East and the rest of the 140 countries around the world, where the US is pillaging and plundering.
Go stuff your DDDDemocracy up your ***
Sincery yours RWRupp
Dear Mr. Rupp;
I do not believe that you are a journalist of any publication of any repute whatsoever, in
Germany, or elsewhere. Nonetheless, I have BCCed this to some other "American warriors" in case they also would like to
respond to your insults, especially about brave American fighting men and women being killed and you and your contemporaries
cheering about it. If you are, as you claim, indeed a journalist for a major German daily newspaper and are baiting me, looking
for quotes with your inflammatory anti-American statements, here's one for you, and please feel free to quote me directly:
"Go fuck yourself, you arrogant Old World look-down-your-nose asshole!"
"Imperialists?" "Shove democracy up my ass?" You know, nobody in my country ever built a wall
around the country, or even a city (like Berlin), to keep people trapped inside and others outside. I have noticed you never
see stories about people longing to flee their oppressive countries so they can start a new thrilling life in Germany. No,
they all want to come to the freedoms we love and enjoy in America. In fact, I have noticed that some of your finest
women have married Americans soldiers in our bases (that have added considerable income to your country). You know why they
marry American soldiers? They say native German men have very big egoes but very tiny penises.
Americans "pillaging and plundering?" You know, Genius, on September 11, 2001, 4 planeloads
of innocent men, women, and children slammed into the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a lonely field in Pennsylvania killing
more innocent non-combatants than even the sneak atack on Pearl Harbor. (You remember World War II, don't you? That is when
we kicked the ever-loving shit out of Germany, just like we did in World War I) Hell, Sergeant York, a young farm boy
from Tennessee killed several hundred German soldiers and captured over one hundred more, including a General, BY HIMSELF. One
American soldier, and previously he was a conscientious objector. See, we Americans can disagree with each other all we want,
but don't ever come against our country, or you will have a problem with all of us.
But 9-11 pales in comparison to the 6,000,000 innocent men, women, and children, your
very own citizens, that you Germans murdered and forced into gas ovens in World War II. And you want to judge us? Get
If we do decide to attack Iran, it will be Iran's choice, and since you are so supportive,
maybe at that time, you should set down your computer keypad, and pick up a rifle and fight for Iran against us. If one
uneducated Tennessee farm boy could kill several hundred German soldiers and capture over a hundred more, as well as one of
your generals, way back in WWI, just think what our soldiers, Marines, airmen, and sailors and our modern weaponry nowadays
could do to you and anybody else that wants to fight against us or take sides with our enemies.
As far as your snide comment about "American warrior and macho bullshit," our President George
W. Bush is touring Europe right now showing to all and making it quite clear, he wants to be friends with any country who
wants to be an ally. But, if you want to side against the United States with our enemies, there are three very important things
you should know, or you will find out the hard way:
1. Never urinate against a wind that is blowing into your face.
2. Never offer Mike Tyson a quarter for a shoeshine.
3. Most importantly, don't ever fuck with American cowboys, or challenge the US military.
You can heed my advice or maybe find yourself hiding in a flea-infested spider hole
someday, cowering in fear, and worrying that American soldiers are going to find you.
Finally, Mr. Rupp, if God forbid, Germany would fall prey to a horrible earthquake, blizzard,
or some natural disaster killing hundreds of thousands of your citizens, like the recent tsunami, who will be in the very
forefront of countries bringing aide and hope to your fellow countrymen? Iran? They're your buddies! Believe that, Player,
and I have a blimp to sell you . . . called the Hindenburg.
VETERANS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, LTD.
112 Jefferson Avenue
Port Jefferson, N.Y 11777
Tel: (631) 4 74-4261 · Fax (631) 4 74-1968THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS:
A TOTAL FRAUD BY OUR CONGRESS, PERPETRATED NOT ONLY UPON DISABLED
VETERANS, BUT UPON OUR ENTIRE NATION'S TAXPAYERS.Since our Congress deviously passed "The Veteran's Benefits Improvement
Act Of 1940", encompassing many of the outrageous statutes of "The Economic Emergency Act of 1933", which had been previously
declared unconstitutional by our U.S. Supreme Court five or six years before, America's veterans have been deprived of both
the protection of the U.S. Constitution, and the God-given right to have their grievances or claims heard in a fair and equitable
legal forum (A real Article III Federal District
Court, closest to the veteran's home).
For many years, veterans have been victimized by an illegal quota of 4% on service connected disability
compensation claims, and by some of the most implausible decisions imaginable. You may ask .... How can this take place in
America to the one class of people, who have been more responsible for the preservation of the U.S. Constitution, and are
now being deprived of it's protection ??? How can Congress and the V.A. get away with it ???
The answer is quite simple, and it’s a combination of several contributing factors 1.) Take
away the protection of that same U.S. Constitution, and replace it with USC Title 38, depriving veterans of the legal right
to dispute a bad V.A. decision in a real equity court, in front of a real judge or a jury (USC TITI,E 38, SECTION 511(a)).
2.) At the same time, deprive that veteran the right to retain his own attorney from the onset of his claim, and again, at
the same time force him over into using National Veterans Service Organization representatives instead of real attorneys that
are needed for a complex case (USC TITLE 38, SECTION 5904) leading to .... 3.) A CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTEREST, CONSIDERING THAT
THE NVSOs ARE RAKING IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF V.A. "FREEBIES" APIECE, EACH AND EVERY YEAR (USC TITLE 38, SECTION 5902(a)).
And of course 4). The cooperation of "tainted" Congressional and Senate Veterans Committees, who are devoted to protecting
the "vested private interests", and "hidden legal turf" of these same NVSOs and the V.A.
In 1988, a 7th Circuit Federal Court decision was made concerning a veteran, Marozsan v U.S.(In Banc)
852 F. 2nd 1469, which frightened the V.A., Congress, and the NVSOs, and fearing the coming of real judicial review of V.A.
decisions, caused them into creating what they called "a veteran's court". The inception of this "court" November 18, 1988
called the COURT OF VETERANS APPEAIS (COVA for short) was a "slap in the face" to every veteran, who had ever served in the
armed forces of the U.S. Make no mistake about it, this "court" has one aim, and one aim only.... "TO DERAIL THE ONCOMING
FREIGHT TRAIN OF JUDICIAL REVIEW". TO THIS EFFECT, IT HAS SERVED IT'S PURPOSE WELL. SINCE 1988, OUT OF OVER 17,000 CASES,
WITH ONLY A PALTRY 119 "DEFINITE CLEAR CUT VETERAN WINS". Recently, COVA has had to change it's name to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). There were too many people calling it COVA, the court of the V.A. And in all essence,
they are correct. It has been the butt of many jokes.
There is nothing real about this fraud of a court. They have blatantly insulted American jurisprudence,
and built a monumentto the arrogance of Congress by "snookering" or "pulling the wool over the eyes" of the American people.
Of all the shameful things that Congress has done to this country, this ranks as one of the worst. At one point, this 'court"
was even remanding over 71% of it's cases back to "Mother V.A.", the majority of them, with very few exceptions, were lost
in the V.A.'s and the cardboard court's tabulations records, and never made it back to any court. One of tbe most ridiculous
things about this "court" is that is was created to be an appellate court .... meaning it is supposed to be an appeals court
from a lower court. IT IS NOT. THESE CASES HAVE NEVER GONE THROUGH A LOWER COURT. ONLY THROUGH THE V.A., A RENEGADE ADMINISTRATIVE
AGENCY, WHICH REGARDLESS OF WHAT CONGRESS CLAIMS, CAN NEVER BE CONSTRUED AS A COURT OF ANY KIND, TURNING THIS ENTIRE SCENARIO
INTO A FRAUD.
At the time of this court's" creation, several of the Senate Record's pages had remarks made by Senator
Arlen Specter (R-PA), currently now the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, stating that if within one or two
years, this court has not effected satisfactory judicial review, the issue was to be revisited by the Senate. Within far less
than two years, it was obvious that judicial review would never happen with this "court" I had, on four separate occasions,
written letters to Senator Specter regarding this subject. He never answered the first three letters, however I did receive
an reply to my fourth It was, Thank you for your comments on the economy. . Considering the intent of the S.V.A.C. and the
H.V.A.C., it was not an unexpected answer. A very short time afterwards the Senate confirmed Donald Ivers, formerly Chief
Counsel to the V.A. as a judge in COVA. Ivers, while with the V.A. testified to Congress that he considers veteran's benefits
and entitlement gratuities. (gifts). The debate by the Senate was more of a coronation than confirmation, and was welcomed
witb open arms by the V.A.'s cohorts, the NVSOs. Also, not unexpected.
Immediately, upon the creation of this 'court" now called the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans
Claims, V.A.'s General Counsel clandestinely moved into the "court's" building in order to access the court, which everyone
in Washington seems to know, and if there is nothing illegal, there is certainly something unethical about it. The mail is
delivered by special messenger from the V.A. Central Office to the Court Building. The court lawyers and the V.A. lawyers
very often car pool together, have lunch together, and even tell veteran's horror stories together.... HOW COZY. The only
judicial review veterans will ever see in
this cruel joke of a court is the very narrowest interpretation of it. A VETERAN STANDS TWO CHANCES
HERE. SLIM AND NONE.
Recently, the "court" rendered another of their outrageous pro V.A. decisions in the case of Morton
v West 12 Vet.App.477. USC Title 38 says that the V.A. has a duty to assist disabled veterans with their claims. Since the
inception of this so called "court", it has been found, to nobody's surprise, that very rarely, if ever, does the V.R. assist
anyone. This is an embarrassment to the "court" as well as to the V.A., who I'm sure really couldn't care less. So, they rendered
a decision in the Morton case, that the V.A. cannot assist veterans witb their claims, unless it is proven to be a "well grounded
claim". Now, who is to determine if the claim is really a "well grounded claim" ??? Why, Mother V.A., of course. Wouldn't
have you guessed it???
The V.A. was incredibly quick to send out "a fast letter" to all veteran applicants to attempt to close out as
many veterans as possible from their claims. The V.A.'s "court", of course, knowing tbe reluctance of Congress to pass any
pro veteran legislation, relating to benefits, said tbat if Congress didn't like the new ruling, they could pass a bill to
countermand it. The effect of tbis latest fallacy by the V.A., and it's "court" on veterans suffering from emotional disorders
such as P.T.S.D. have been disastrous. It has even induced several suicide attempts.THE LACK OF A STANDARD OF HUMAN DECENCY
BY THE V.A. IS WELL KNOWN BY VETERANS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND SURVIVORS. WE FEEL THAT THE MEDIA OF OUR NATION HAS A DUTY TO THE
AMERICAN PUBLIC TO INFORM THEM, AND TO PUBLISH THE FACTS ABOUT THE V.A. AND THEIR "COURT", (THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR
VETERANS CLAIMS). THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT FOR THE PUHLIC TO REMEMBER ABOUT THE V.A.'s "COURT" IS THAT IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW
MUCH BONOFIDE EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED BY THE VETERAN, THEIR AGENDA IS TO BACK UP THE V.A. REGULATION, NOT THE LAW OR THE FACTS,
AND DENY. A READING OF MOST OF THEIR QUASI LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO DECISIONS SHOULD CONVINCE ANYONE THAT THIS IS NOT A REAL COURT
BY ANY STRETGH OF THE IMAGINATION. IS THIS THE BEST THAT WE CAN DO FOR OUR NATION'S VETERANS ???
Arthur N. Bernklau
NO DRAFTS WITHOUT FULL CONSTITUTIONAL RESTORATIONS
The unrelenting truths must be told why military recruitment is the lowest today in our nation's history.
This story of truths and facts have been compiled and recorded by the author, a WW-II Permanent & Totally Disabled Veteran,
who has been "individually unemployable" since 1977 due to an injury to his spine after having served in the Aleutian Island
Campaign with the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946. I re-enlisted in 1948, and was deactivated after naval hospitalization on Sept.
19, 1949. I was honorably discharged in May of 1950, but never received the discharge papers from the navy, as noted in my
naval records.... NO KNOWN ADDRESS ON THE SERVICEMAN??? STRANGELY, THIS VETERAN'S ADDRESS WAS THE SAME AS WHEN HE VOLUNTARILY
ENLISTED THE FIRST TIME IN 1943, AND AGAIN IN 1948, BUT THE NAVY COULDN'T FIND ME AT MY HOME, AND THEREFORE, TECHNICALLY I'M
STILL IN UNCLE SAM'S NAVY THE AGE OF 74.
This article is submitted in rebuttal to the Tribune's article of June l, 2000 titled. "EVERY 18 YEAR OLD
SHOULD REGISTER FOR THE DRAFT".
History teaches us sometimes a bitter lesson as not to repeat our mistakes, but yet, a multitude of this
nation's disabled veterans have been deceived and defrauded out of their proper and rightful claims for disability entitlement,
after filing their claims.... And cannot obtain any gainful occupation due to the nature of their injuries sustained, while
in military service, after either having been drafted or patriotically enlisting for duty, honor, and country during our wars.
It’s a total bewilderment that the editorial staff of the South Bend Tribune could not recollect before
writing the article. That those hundreds of thousands of abandoned, disenfranchised veterans were also fathers of families,
uncles, grandfathers to another generation. Many whose children were accepted into military service, and sent to serve in
the Korean, Vietnam, and the Gulf War, each producing veteran’s claims for financial help for their individual type
of "INTERNAL CHRONIC LIFE TIME DISABILITIES". Wars do produce many types of injuries. Some involve amputations, after which,
there is little physical pain, but can leave the veteran emotionally scarred for life. With the proper prosthesis, many disabled
veterans can fulfill their dreams of returning to college and resuming their interrupted careers.
My rebuttal to the Tribune's article is focusing on the vast amount of veterans whose injuries from both
boot camp training and combat operations, while serving their country, and sustaining injuries which are chronic in nature
for the rest of their lives. We are talking about Gastroenterology, Neurology, the Spine and the Musculoskeletal System, and
Cardiovascular System, each producing their own individual secondary disorders, particularly back injuries, which have no
prosthesis replacement parts to assist the veteran to be gainfully employed again for the rest of their lives.
What should concern every parent of a young person thinking about registering for the draft or enlisting
in the near future, is the source of the V.A.'s pathological determinations of degrees of disability, injuries, and diseases,
and how they have effected the veterans abilities to engage in any activities, whether it be employment or any other exercises
in civilian life. PRESENTLY IN THE V.A.'s CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (38 C.F.R., SECTIONS 4.71(a), ACUTE, SUB-ACUTE, OR
CHRONIC DISEASES, INCLUSIVE TO SECTIONS (b)(c), 4.73 LISTS ALL THE CODE NUMBERS TC THE VETERAN'S DISEASE AND DISORDERS)....
THIS HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE 1945, WHICH MEANS MEDICALLY SPEAKING, EVERY IMAGINABLE TYPE OF INJURY A SOLDIER, SAILOR, OR
MARINE CAN BE EXPOSED TO, WITH IT'S CORRESPONDING DISEASE NOMENCLATURE, AND THE TREATMENTS REQUIRED, ARE ARCHAIC, AND DO NOT
MEET TODAY'S MEDICAI, EVALUATIONS TO THE DEGREE OF SEVERITY OF THE VETERAN'S IN RELATIONSHIPS TO THEIR CAPABILITIES TO SEEK
AND MAINTAIN A LIVELYHOOD FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.
Further enlightenment into how our government, through the V.A. compensate those servicemen and women, who
are discharged from the armed forces is rarely on the basis of a medical discharge, as the military should really discharge
them with A MILITARY PENSION. Instead they are told to file a claim with the V.A. when they get home. This way, nobody in
the military, including the Dept. of Defense has to make monetary payments for injuries sustained, and places the whole system
into the hands of bureaucratic civil service officers (the V.A.), who are protected by federal laws from any accountability
or liabilities for their "discretionary decision making on veteran’s claims and entitlement". (See: Marozsan v. U.S.,
Dept. of the V.A., et.al, 1984 to 1997- Federal Reporter)
In my above federal suit against the Agency, first filed in our Federal District Court, Northern District
of Indiana and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, through my petition to the United States Supreme Court, the judges all unanimously
ruled that all V.A. Officers performing discretionary functions have "ABSOLUTE AND TOTAL IMMUNITY FROM ANY PROSECUTORIAL
ACTIONS OR ATTEMPTS THEREOF, FROM VETERANS IN THEIR CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS AND ENTITLEMENT". CONSTITUTIONAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS
MUST BE ABROGATED IN ORDER TO SERVE.
WHAT MILLIONS OF ABANDONED AND DISENFRANCHISSD DISABLED VETERANS AND THOSE RESTING IN THEIR GRAVES IN THE
PACIFIC ISLANDS, EUROPE, KOREA, VIETNAM, OR WHEREVER THEY HAVE COME INTO "HARM’S WAY".... HAVE NEVER BEEN TOLD BY THEIR
RECRUITERS OR THEIR SUPERIOR OFFICERS IN THE MILITARY SERVICES, WHAT IS ABOUT TO BE FULLY REVEALED HERE AND NOW.... IF YOU
BECOME INJURED IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OR ACQUIRE ANY TYPE OF CHRONIC LIFELONG LASTING DISEASES, WHILE IN HONORABLE SERVICE
OF YOUR COUNTRY, AS NOBLE AS THE HUMAN SPIRIT MIGHT BE IN DESIRING TO REGISTER FOR THE DRAFT OR ENLIST, THE YOUNG MEN AND
WOMEN, UPON TAKING THE CLASSIFICATION OF VETERANS, AFTER THEIR HONORABLE DISCHARGE, AND FILE CLAIMS FOR INJURIES SUSTAINED
WHILE IN ACTIVE SERVICE, ARE QUICKLY AWAKENED TO THE HARD REALITIES THAT THEIR ECONOMICAL FATE IS TOTALLY CONTROLLED BY A
RENEGADE QUASI-GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE OUTSIDE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, WHOSE PROTECTION THEY FORFEITED,
WHEN COMPLYING WITH FEDERAL LAW, REQUIRING THEM TO REGISTER FOR THE MILITARY DRAFT.
Those veterans, who "lucked out" after serving their enlistment, without incurring any physical disabilities,
or those whose injuries healed with the passage of time, and were able to resume a normal life, and return to their careers
or job without having to go up against the V.A. (those bureaucratic tyrannical despots, whose powers are wielded without any
liabilities or accountability, and free from any federal court punishments), are indeed
fortunate. This quasi-governmental agency, the V.A. was originally titled the War Risk Insurance Dept. during W.W.I, and re-titled
the V.A. from 1919 up until November 18, 1988.
Previously, from 1919 to Nov.l8, 1988, the V.A.'s tribunals consisted of three member Regional Office Adjudicating
Hearing Panels, including one rating officer, one retired medical officer, and one attorney. The Washington, D.C.'s Agency
Tribunal Officers were made up of six sections with three members in each section. One member conducting the hearing as a
judge, with again, one attorney, and one retired military doctor functioning as The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). This
has now been cut to one and only one rating board member whether your case is being heard at the regional office or at the
BVA. When a veteran-claimant is in disagreement with the decisions of the Regional Office he can appeal to SVA. When he is
in disagreement with the BVA, he can appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran's Claims (CAVC), the V.A.'s very own
"KANGAROO COURT", formerly known as COVA. These personnel in charge of this travesty of justice make decisions,
as to granting, or not granting of service connection status, and to rating of the degrees of disability; i.e. 0, 10%, 20%,
30%.... Up in increments to 100. They also make decisions on total unemployability. The ratings most granted are 0, 10, and
20% ($188.00 per month).
The V.A.'s time game system, to include their vile remand games, are played on all levels of adjudication,
losing and destruction of veteran's claims files (Ref: Two BVA Attorneys, Mr. Lawrence Gottfried and Ms. Jill Rygwalski,
being sent to federal prison to serve 15 month sentences each, for altering and destroying veterans claim's files in order
to deny compensation) The system has also been geared to SERVICE CONNECTED CLAIMS being held to a QUOTA OF FOUR PERCENT
across the entire country, despite the false figures being quoted by the V.A. and the NVSOs. It gets worse in the V.A.'s poor
excuse for a court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).... After more than 17,000 cases over an eleven-year
period, only 119 veterans have clearly won their cases, and out of that meager total, only 18 have seen their money.
According to federal regulations, 100% for disability compensation or for total unemployability is currently
paid at $2,153.00, and this rating will be considered to exist when there is present any "Impairment of mind or body, which
is sufficient to render it impossible for the average person to follow a substantial gainful occupation, provided that permanent
and total disability will exist throughout the life of the disabled person". The Veteran's Appeals Court ruled in Moore v.
Derwinski 1 Vet. App. 356 (1991), which the veteran does not have to be a "basket case" for a 100% rating.
The record speaks in this veteran's case, that after 32 years of denying me my service connection status,
in lieu of having submitted the affidavits of four (4) direct eye witnessing Naval Station Personnel at the South Bend, Indiana
facility, and the U.S. Naval Hospital at Great Lakes, I11. Orthopedic physicians entered into my Naval Records, the following
initials DNEPTE.... Meaning, "DID NOT EXIST PRIOR TO ENLISTMENT". The Naval Records were crystal clear, with
preponderance of LAY WITNESS AFFIDAVITS AND MEDICAL EXAMINATION FINDINGS, PLUS OPERATIONS AND FUSION FOR DEGENERATIVE SPINAIL
DISC DISEASE ... BUT STILL FOR 32 YEARS, THIS NOW AGED VETERAN OF 74 YEARS, HAD TO FIGHT THE SYSTEM JUST TO HAVE HIS INJURY
GRANTED SERVICE CONNECTION IN MAY OF 1980. I, ONCE MORE HAD TO BE EXAMINED AGAIN BY A V.A. GENERAL PRACTITIONER AT THE INDIANAPOLIS
V.A. HOSPITAL, WHO MERELY WROTE DOWN MY ANSWERS TO HIS QUESTIONS REGARDING MY SPINAL QPERATIONS, AND FROM A "WASTE BASKET
DIAGNOSIS" BASED ON A SIMPLE X-RAY FILM PROCEDURE, THAT REVEALED WHICH LOWER LUMBAR DISC HAD TO BE REMOVED SURGICALLY - (AN
The Regional Rating Officer, without bothering to retrieve all of my V.A. Hospital Records, and disregarding
all other private physician statements, and their findings, proving incontrovertibly, my long history of unemployability,
had also ignored the evidence of my Social Security Disability Award in May of 1981, as 100% unemployable since 1980 through
to the present time (ANOTHER 20 YEARS LATER). Because the Rating Officer refused to consider all of my burdens of proof evidentiary
materializes on August 9,1981, and disregarded innumerable federal statutes and regulatory provisions, to arbitrarily, capriciously,
and intentionally grant this veteran his pittance of a 20% rating. This rating pays $188.00 per month, but however I have
been cumulatively unemployable for 23 years, after having had to undergo a second spinal operation on Feb.l3, 1971. (LET THE
EVIDENCES BE DAMNED).
I have researched for 17 out of my 47 years of fighting the V.A., the fact that many combat related veterans
fared about 20o better in getting their injuries service connected, with corresponding higher ratings than those of us who
were injured during peace time. Although my military records show naval service from 1943 to 1949, with the Aleutian Campaign
as a Island Radio Operator for our Combined Military Branches, and beginning of our Pacific Campaign in 1944 through to my
first honorable discharge on May 26, 1945.... THE WILLFUL ERRORS COMMITTED BY THE RUBBER STAMPING BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS
PANEL, AND THE OUTRIGHT DELIBERATE CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE ERRORS HAVING BEEN COMMITTED TO DECEIVE AND DEFRAUD MYSELF, AND
A MULTITUDE OF OTHER VETERAN CLAIMANTS SINCE THE END OF W.W.II, PARTICULARLY AGAINST VETERANS, WHOSE INJURIES WERE CHRONIC
AND LIFE LASTING. ABSOLUTELY, NO PROSTHESIS COULD ALLEVIATE FOR EMPLOYABILITY PROVIDES THE UNDER CURRENT AND MOTIVATIONS TO
NEVER ALLOW OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS TO REGISTER FOR THE DRAFT.
Contrary to the falsehoods uttered by our County Service Officer, here in Indiana, that the V.A. has tremendously
improved in their adjudicating of veteran's claims for compensatory entitlement since the advent of the new Veteran's Court
on Nov. 18, 1988, just 4 months after the 7th Circuit Court En banc remanded my lawsuit against the V.A. on July of 1988.
Facts in evidence from many veteran's files being sent to me from around the country, show that because the new Court of Veterans
Appeals, was established by our National Veterans Service Organizations, and certain Congressmen friendly to the NVSOs, it
purposely limited the "court" only to review Board of Veterans Appeals Decisions, and not where it counts, by dollars in the
veteran's pockets. THE MERITS OF THE CASE, AND THE FACTS WOULD NEVER BE REVIEWED. THE V.A. WOULD NEVER HE HELD IN CONTEMPT
OF COURT, NOR WOULD SANCTIONS EVER BE CALLED ON THEM NO MATTER WHAT OUTRAGES OR TRANSGRESSIONS THAT THEY COMMITTED. ALSO,
REVIEWING THE RATING DECISIONS, AND HOLDING V.A. ADJUDICATORY OFFICERS LIABLE FOR THEIR INTENTIONAL, WILLFUL, AND DELIBERATE
DISREGARD OF STATUTES, EVIDENCES, AND REGULATQRY PROVISIONS IN DECIDING CASES, AND REVERSAL OF BAD JUDGMENTAL DECISIONS IN
CASES ONGOING FOR 30 AND 40 YEARS CLEARLY WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN THIS POOR EXCUSE FOR A COURT. THE V.A.'s ABOMINABLE REMAND
GAME IS BY FAR THE MAJORITY OF THE DECISIONS MADE HERE. THE BOTTOM LINE ON THIS "COURT" IS CLEAR.... ONLY 18 VETERANS IN 11
YEARS OUT OF THOUSANDS OF CLAIMS HAVE SEEN THEIR MONEY. THIS IS ONE "SMOKING GUN" THAT THE V.A. AND ALL THEIR NVSO AND CONGRESSIONAL
COHORTS WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PUT OUT.
This V.A. Rating System, and it's Rating Board Members, who pay each other bonuses under the guise of V.A.
Employee and Executive Incentive Programs have been stripping our nation's disabled veterans of millions upon millions dollars
worth of compensation money each and every year for decades. They have not only robbed the disabled, unemployable veterans,
but between their thievery, and the NVSO's V.A. "FREEBIES", they have robbed the American taxpayers out of billions.
To validate the creditability of this story, all, and any of those veteran cynics in our various veterans
service posts throughout Indiana, and the rest of the country have to do is read Chief Judge Frank Q. Nebeker's -
STATE OF THE COURT ADDRESS FOR PRESENTATION TO THE U.S. COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS, DATED OCT. l7-18, 1994" AND HIS REPORT
AGAIN TO THE HOUSE AND SENATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEES GIVEN IN JANUARY OF 2000, CONFIRMING THE COURT IS NOTHING BUT A PAPER COURT,
POWERLESS TO EFFECT CONTROLS OVER THE 52 AGENCIES OF ORIGINAL JURISDICTION (THE V.A. REGIONAL OFFICES). AND POWERLESS TO MAKE
THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS ASIDE BY ALL OF THE FEDERAL STATUTES CONTROLLING THE V.A. AND TO MAKE THESE BUREAUCRATS COMPLY
WITH THE LAW, OR FACE STIFF JAIL TERMS.
QUOTING CHIEF JUDGE NEBEKER: "NEITHER THE COURT, THROUGH THE BOARD, THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS,
NOR THE GENERAL COUNSEL: HAS ANY MEANINGFUL CONTROL OVER THE AGENCIES OF ORIGINAL JURISDICTION (V.A. REGIONAL OFFICES) AND
THAT VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (VHA) IGNORES SPECIFIC DIRECTIVES TO PROVIDE MEDICAL OPINIONS AS DIRECTED BY.... TITLE
38 AND THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, AND THIS IS CAUSING UNCONSCIONABLE DELAYS OF AT LEAST.... 10 TO 40 YEARS".
To further deceive and defraud the unsuspecting, powerless veterans, the Regional Office Rating Boards dictate
what medical findings and reports they want from the V.A.'s examining non-specialist, general practitioner physicians, and
yes, even from the V.A. hospital’s specialist physicians in order to justify their arbitrary, capricious, and abuses
of discretionary actions in rating of veterans for their degrees of disabilities, with the "GOOD OL BOY'S NETWORK OF FAVORITE
VETERAN'S STATUSES FOR THOSE IN LINE FOR FAVORS BY THE NATIONAIL VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS IN DECIDING PARTICULAR VETERANS
CLAIMS". (The granting of 100% ratings to veterans, who were able to retire from private jobs, and were in extreme
favor from the DAV, VFW, American legion, and other V.A. cohorts, and whose injuries were, shall we say, of questionable impairment....
and were "pushed through" as part of the ongoing NVSO "GRAVY TRAIN").
In the interim, many thousands of deserving disabled veterans, with chronic life lasting injuries and disorders
are denied their benefits, unless they are connected to a Congressman or Senator sitting on the Veteran's Committees in Washington,
D.C. or has a friend of theirs in high national leadership of the National Veterans Service Organizations, such as the Disabled
American Veterans (DAV), the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), AMVETS, or the Military Order of the Purple
Heart (MOPH). THIS IS CALLED RIDING THE "GRAVY TRAIN" WITH THE "GOOD OL BOY'S NETWORK" Meanwhile, the American taxpayer
has to pay the bill for this thievery, and the truly disabled veteran never sees the compensation that his injuries should
have earned him.
These NVSOs Service Officers are called in by the V.A. on a regular basis to politically pressure our Congressional
leaders to negate any votes in favor of decent Veteran legislation, including Judicial Review. These organizations all have
their Political Action Committees (PACs) donating thousands of dollars into the Congressmen and Senator's Political Coffers.
Meanwhile, in the state of Indiana, we can't get Senator Richard Luger, Congressman Tim Roemer, or any other of our congressmen
at least study our documentation and V.A. case file records. It looks like they are all in somebody's pocket.
I ask a question of why haven't our Congressional Veterans Committees, or even our National Veterans Service
Organizations had the moral indignation to initiate any Congressional Investigations as to why this nation has over 455,000
veterans from all of our wars, who are "homeless", many of them sleeping in abandoned warehouses, and in cardboard boxes underneath
bridges in almost every city??? Why not??? What are the NVSOs, and those on Congressional Veterans Affairs Committees so fearful
of finding out???
In closing, I must ask the Tribune's Editorial Staff, who wrote "EVERY 18 YEAR OLD SHOULD REGISTER FOR THE
DRAFT", that if they had a son or daughter, who had fallen victim to the broken promises made to these unsuspecting youngsters,
that were never meant to be kept, like hospitalization, health care, and compensation, and if they were injured during military
service their country, and unable to get any help from the V.A., where would you stand??? And additionally, if your son or
daughter had fallen victim to the V.A.'s system of deception, lies, and thievery, and you were so informed, would you be so
"quick" to advise other people's children to serve their country, knowing the risk of injury, and the strong possibility of
ending up as a physical, mental, and financial liability on you and their other loved ones for the rest of their lives. There
is a very strong reason why the "roll models" for these youngsters.... relatives, friends, and veterans, who have served,
know the score, and are privy to the "charades" being played by military recruiters, the D.O.D, the V.A., the NVSOs, and,
yes, lets not forget Congress, are all, very strongly advising our youth that.... UNLESS THE LAWS ARE DRASTICALLY CHANGED
TO REDEFINE VETERANS’ BENEFITS AND ENTITLEMENTS, AND MADE TO CONTROL THE TYRANNICAL AND PREDATORY NATURE AND ACTIVITIES
OF THE V.A. AND THE NVSOs, MILITARY SERVICE SHOULD BE ONE OPTION OF WHICH I CAN ONLY ADVISE THE YOUTH OF AMERICA ONE THING....
"PASS IT BY".
WAR MONUMENTS ARE FOR OUR DEAD COMRADES, NOT FOR US BELEAGUERED VICTIMS OF THE V.A., AND "VETERANS DAY" IS
JUST ONE MORE INSULT TO OUR INTELLIGENCE, AND EXPERIENCES UPON FINDING OUT THAT OUR ENEMY WAS NOT JUST ON FOREIGN SOILS, BUT
HERE WITHIN OUR VERY OWN GOVERNMENT, AND THAT, AS VETERANS, WE HAVE NO VISABLE CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATION TO WHERE WE CAN
PETITION OUR GRIEVANCES.
The established news media has forgotten the warning from General George Washington. Our nation's
first President said to Congress: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve
in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier Wars were treated
and appreciated". ... George Washington, 1787.
SPECIAL NOTE: The V.A. employs over 1200 attorneys, Where is our level playing field???
Stephen S. Marozsan
FIREBASE SOUTH BEND, Indiana
W.W.II & Peace Time Service
U.S. Navy 1943 to 1949
TO WIN THE WAR IN VIET NAM!
Opinion by Don Bendell
Some of us went and fought and bled. Some died. Some stayed home and cried out against our fight. Some,
with heads draped in hooded cloaks of shame and fear, went to Canada, most claiming disdain and loathing for that far-off
war, not admitting actually succumbing to an inner fear of death or of wounding in a foreign land.
We won every major battle, in the tradition of our forefathers at St Mere E’Glise, Normandy, San Juan Hill, and we left
our virgin naiveté in those steaming emerald jungles of fear, or in the muddy larvae-laden waters of the lowland paddies checker-boarding
the giant green and brown, dirty sponge called the Mekong Delta.
Then came Tet, 1968, and it was more like Christmas for those of us who became men in less than one year’s time. Those
black-pajamaed shadow warriors and khaki-clad dedicated soldiers of Hanoi, came up out of the ground, like AK-armed human
coatimundis bravely, sometimes insanely, hurling their bodies, thousands of them, at the staccato blazing fire of M-16’s,
M-60’s, and many other weapons of choice of our GI’s and Marines. We did not have to look beyond the moonlit
bloodied bodies in the barbed wire perimeters across the dark jade countryside to see the tide was about to change in that
bitter war. Like G.I. Joe or Sergeant Rock, with drops of real blood, and the acrid smell of napalm in our nostrils, we lit
our cigarettes with shaky hands, patting one another on sweaty shoulders, trying hard to pretend it was just another day at
But, our forever protectors, those camera-toting, micro-phone-holding, self-appointed arbiters of information, back home in
the World, said otherwise on network newscasts and in daily written tomes. It was the “Communist’s successful
Tet Offensive,” not even close to its true back-breaking role in the communist’s insurgency effort. The
serpent’s head was severed, but then, following the media’s lead, one shimmering ray of light made them
decide to grip with worn yellow fingers and just hold on. Those holding that tiny beacon of hope for Hanoi had names like
Kerry, Fonda, and McCarthy, and so the North Vietnamese waited for the tide to turn, and so it did.
Politicians, who had been telling our jets to fly over Sam Missile factories in the north, without “dropping deadly
eggs” on civilian factory workers just to satisfy political-correctness, finally caved in to those who stayed and played,
those who called us the crazies, baby-killers, and war criminals.
Some guys in suits in Washington and Paris said that we lost that war, but I did not. I did not surrender or even lose a battle.
It was the same with all my brothers in blood, my trauma team.
We were given
a mission, and many; like me, still work to accomplish it, to this day. Oh, I know the well-worn Hollywood stereotype, a fatigue-clad,
bearded hippy with PTSD and a Bottle of Ripple, under the local urban bridge in a flea-infested K-Mart economy model sleeping
bag, right? I think not. Actually, less than one half of one percent of Viet Nam vets have ever been arrested, our personal
income is one-fifth higher on average than all similar age groups, 2/3rds of us were volunteers not draftees, and Viet Nam
veterans as a group are more successful and have more education than any similar age group? No, we were not all “black
and poor.” In fact, 13% of the US population during the Viet Nam War was black, and 12% of all American fighting
men in Viet Nam were black.
died in Viet Nam and millions more, who were all heroes, came home, but we were not treated as heroes by our neighbors like
our soldiers were from all other wars. It was inexpedient, and oh so uncomfortable, to do so. People would actually have to
admit to nationalism, maybe even patriotism in those days, hardly a way to make the A-party list of the intelligentsia.
pro-American nomadic, proud Montagnard tribespeople, who I lived and fought beside in 1968 and 1969, are still being decimated,
executed, forcibly-sterilized, and falsely-imprisoned at the hands of the Vietnamese government in Hanoi, and led by the storm
trooper-like secret police, the Cong An. To a lesser extent, the Cham minority, as well as some Buddhist sects, suffer discrimination
So far, we
are being selective in the carrots we dangle for Hanoi, but there are those in Congress who are pushing hard, and have been
for years, to fill the pockets of lobbyist buddies from the Rice Bowl and to fully normalize relations with Hanoi. As we successfully
fought, with quills and not spears, to deter an infiltration into the White House by those with no honor, who would use the
blood of fallen heroes to try wash away their betrayal, so we must all stand with the ethnic minorities in Viet Nam, as well
as those of the greater population who are mere serfs for the aristocracy of Hanoi and other population centers.
citizenry, both lowlander and highlander alike who value the blessings of human freedom and national enrichment of liberty
and democracy, taught me a valuable lesson. I have been patient. We shall win this horrible war yet. Between February
and November of 2004, we fought a major and glorious battle and stood in triumph at the end, and victory is now in sight.
Dr. Rice, Mademoiselle Secretary, those in power in Hanoi
refer to the Montagnard tribespeople as “Moi,” which in their dictionary means “Savage,” but in their
everyday slang means, “Nigger.” They refuse to allow us to freely examine or monitor suspected human rights abuses
in the Central Highlands or to allow the free travel back and forth of their indigenous mountain people. As brazen as Saddam
Hussein’s treachery, their’s has simply been shrouded in secrecy and hidden behind a curtain of bamboo. It is
time for us to talk and them to listen. We patiently await your response. When the Montagnards and all Vietnamese are no longer
suppressed, then my brothers and I will finally be free, too, of the pledge we who wore the green beret made, to always help
our Montagnard brothers and sisters who always helped us. On that day, our war will have been won, and we will point to Heaven
in victory and praise.
Don Bendell served as an officer in four
Special Forces Groups, including a tour on a green beret A-team (Dak Pek) in Vietnam in 1968-1969, and was in the Top Secret
Phoenix Program, is a top-selling author of 21 books, with over 1,500,000 copies of his books in print worldwide, a 1995 inductee
into the International Karate Hall of Fame, and owns karate schools in southern Colorado. His pro-Bush/anti-Kerry editorials
were widely-published in newspapers and magazines, and circulated by millions all over the world on the internet. He has been
interviewed on FOX NEWS LIVE and on many radio shows and speaks all over the country.
Permission is hereby granted
to reprint, copy, or pass this on wherever and to whomever you choose. This is posted on my website with other political editorials: