Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's Going on Here?

I thought that the Attorneys for Veterans legislation was a done deal, passed in the waning days of the last congress.

For those not in the know, the legislation was needed to update a 140-year old Civil War relic that said that while a veteran could have an attorney's representation in a dispute with the VA, that attorney could charge no more than ten dollars!

It was a law that was in serious need of repealing or updating, but guess who was against that -- the service organizations. Yep, the DVA was at the head of the pack, followed closely by the VFW and American Legion. Not surprising, since this was nothing more than a turf issue to those fuckers.

Here's how it worked: Their sevice officer would help the veteran with his or her VA paperwork, and at the same time exercise some of that good ole boy networking with their drinking buddies inside the VA. The veteran gets his benefits and then out of a sense of gratitude or obligation would feel compelled to join the service organization that did such a wonderful job of getting his bennies. So it really in't any wonder they were against it. It means money out of their pockets for every vet they don't sign up.

But despite their objections, the bill passed, as part of an omnibus bill in the last days of the 109th. But it seems that one Senator Kent Conrad, a goddam Democrat for crissake, but apparently beholden to the special interests of the DVA etc, tried to hold up passage of the bill, and then inserted "repealer" language in the act, which now puts its repeal on the fast track with the 110th Congress.

What a fucking disappointment, over a goddam turf issue. The VA itself has an army of lawyers at its disposal, who do nothing but try to prevent the award of benefits to deserving veterans. It's way past time that the veteran himself has access to a lawyer to represent his interests.

And fuck those goddam turf warriors in the VSOs. I never had much use for them, and I still don't.