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February 24, 2013

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Rose Banks

Dear Blogger,

I would like to repectfully submit the following questions:

If the veteran is having financial problems,how can he pay to go to a hearing? If this is so rare, why is there a form letter? Why don't they state the problme in the letter?

Make poor life decisions? What does that mean, not voting for a Republican?

What is the name of your veteran expert? What makes him an expert?

We've all seen the letter... can you give us any facts to back up what you are saying?

Yours Truly,

Not Convinced

anon

Hoax?

Texas Renegade

Major:

I passed this one by a friend of mine who works in Benefits for the VA here in the DFW area, her comments:

"I haven't heard about this one yet. I do have to say that in four and a half years of reviewing Veterans' files, I have only seen a handful that were declared incompetent, and those were mainly requested by a spouse or adult child to be declared because of memory issues. Sometimes due to Alzheimer's and sometimes due to drug abuse. I've never seen incompetency due to the loss of a limb? Incompetence is declared by VA doctors though, and most of them won't unless it's obviously needed. A diagnosis of PTSD doesn't mean you are incompetent.".

'Nuff said, this is obviously the loons letting loose....

Texas Renegade

Not Convinced?

1) See above
2) Anyone with a word processing program later than 1995 can produce a form letter - ever heard of phishing???

Tim

Not Convinced - was this letter to you? Are you the guy mentioned? If not, have you recieved one of these? Do you know anyone who has? Have you actually seen it? Like the Maj posted, this is one blog that posted the letter and many other blogs that refer back to that blog. If it were numerous blogs posting about it with different names on the letters equating to "numerous" letters being sent, that would support your thoughts. However, again like the Maj said, until someone can come forward and tell us that "here are a bunch of examples" we have to keep this one in perspective. I think the Maj is a big gun proponent, the last thing he wants is for someone to give up their weapon unwarrented. Just saying.

Doc

Not convinced where do you get that the veteran is in financial problems and where dod you get he has to go for a hearing ?
You are talkingtwo different issues and trying to mix them together
One is if he is not paying his bills,spending his money wrecklessly orshowing any other signs of a problem of handling his money ,then a parent ,a wife,a sister or even a friend can submit to the Va to appoint someone in charge of his affairs.
He can submit a request for a hearing .That can be done by phone or in person or maybe in some casses by mail. If there should be a hearing it would be held somewhere with in reason of where he lives.
In most casses he would be either given the funds to make the trip or will be paid when he gets there with his receipts for the trip
Th eother part is the firearms part. This is not anything new as the Michael Connelys of the world would lead you to believe. These letters havebeen around for pprobably 15 yeras or more.
Again the VA does not just say you can't have a firearm. It is usually after a loved one has requested that you are no longer competent to have one and the VA after an investigation agrees ,then the letter is sent .You have the right to appeal that as well as a decision is not made that is why it says "if found" not "you have been found" incompetent. They have to wait on your appeal and a hearing with you and then and only then is a decision made. The other way you get the letter is if you answered questions when trying to get VA health care and these questions were such as I have memories of wantingto kill,I get so mad I do not remember anything and I get violent ,I get mad and threaten people. Then there is a investigation to see if you are mentally incompetent if so again the letter is sent and it still says "if " not "were" after an appeal and hearing
There has been nothing aboutthis on any of the mainstream news media that is because one there is nothing to it and second the letter has been around for years
Just like others have said as well,it may even be fake ones floating around hoping someone will answer with a lot of personal info.
Look how many people just return replies of email form their bank only to find out it is a scam
Hope this clears it up some for you

MINDY1

Glad you are looking into this, and being calm and raional :)

MINDY1

Should have said RATIONAL

Larry E. Hardison

Connelly's letter is more true than you think. I know because I have received the letter from the V A proposing I am incompetent. They stated as the reason is that I have seizures they call epilepsy. I have never been diagnosed with having epilepsy so I consider their reasoning as pure bunk! I had a stroke in 2002 resulting absence seizures. The neurologist put me on medication that completely controlled them to the point I haven't had one in years.

As soon as I got the V A letter I took it to my VFW Veteran Service Officer. She immediately fired off a letter saying I was not incompetent. To further prove my point, she also sent letters of support from the Commander of my VFW Post and my District VFW Commander. I have held many offices in my VFW Post including Post Commander and eleven years as Post Adjutant. Currently I am a Trustee with the responsibility of insuring the post financial records are in order. I am also an officer on VFW District Level, and am responsible for twenty three VFW Posts. I have been informed I am receiving an award for VFW Outstanding District Officer in my state. I say this not to brag, but to prove my point that I am not incompetent.

If other veterans are experiencing the same ordeal as me . I truely pray for them.

James

Larry- First, thank you for your service. Second, you proved our point and I bet you still have a weapon. Stay safe soldier!

William Ricketts

This is put out by the Tea Party and the NRA to get people riled up, mainly veterans. It's BS. The VA has enough on it's hands without getting millions of vets riled up. It's a part of their plan to fight gun control no matter what side you are on.

JohnR

I heard this at a Vets meeting. the counselor said it was true and here's a link to am image of the letter.
http://static.squarespace.com/static/4f34530ecb12e336a9dfe29c/t/5127fe2ae4b0706f4bc5fa50/1361575466089/VA-letter%20Copy%20by%20RedFlag%20News.pdf

Larry E. Hardison

Sorry William, but everything I posted is happening to me and to other vets. It is BS, but it is BS against veterans by the V A and the government.

Lorraine

After a Combat Veterans International meeting yesterday, we heard that form letter was mailed to many in the group and my husband received one. After reading about it here & elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that it is a precurser to further gun control legislation. A veiled threat with no teeth in it, yet. . .

Larry E. Hardison

Lorraine, did your husband receive a phone call from the V A advising him of being proposed as incompetent, followed with a letter? In my case it is no veiled threat. The V A has sent me a letter saying they propose to rate me incompetent as a result of a C&P examination. The examiner notified the V A that I have siezures (epilepsy), and has given me 60 days to respond or be tagged as incompetent, I haven't had a siezure in years, and I am certainly not an epileptic. My Service Officer is taking my situation very seriously, and is fighting hard to prove I'm competent.

I surely hope in your husband's case everything is o.k.

rico richardson

I am 100 percent for ptsd p/t and just got granted aid and attendance got unofficial letter saying a finding of incompetency is proposed whats up with that

Bob Gray

After reading the letter that someone kindly linked to, I have some ideas. First, sure it is a form letter to ensure it says exactly what the VA wants it to say as clearly as possible. But as the letter shows, it does give the specifics for the person. Second, the primary purpose of the letter is for the VA to declare the person incapable of handling the money the VA is giving. I am not so sure that is a bad idea but would want to know if it is legal for the VA to be concerned once they give the money. As for the reference to the Brady Act and gun ownership prohibition, consider this - maybe this VA warning is intended to ensure the person is aware of an issue that the VA does not even support. Maybe the VA doesn't even think this particular aspect of the Brady Act is right and the real action to take is amend the Brady Act.

Larry E. Hardison

Things maybe looking up for me concerning the V A's proposal to rate me as incompetent. This week I had a V A mental health appointment and the doctor who did the examination told me there is no basis for ruling me as incompetent. He told me to have my Veteran Service Officer call him, and he would write a letter of support for me explaining his findings. I beleive there is a light at the end of the tunnel now, however, the government works in strange ways so I guess I'll just have to wait to see what happens.

Debby Reagan

What you all seem to be missing is this...under the 5th Amendment...only a COURT OF LAW can find you incompetent. You cannot be deprived of life, liberty of pursuit of happiness without due process of law. It is also in your individual state constitutions. The VA cannot unilaterally declare you incompetent as even though you ust the VA for medical reasons, and have a compensation/pension from them, you are no longer in the service and are a civilian and to take away your 5th Amendment right is beyond the scope of the VA's abilities! And what does a physical disability have to do with incompetence? The letter states: This evidence indicates that you are not able to handle your VA benefit payments because of a physical or mental condition. Our veterans have paid a high enough price for their service, let's not make them pay more. It has NOTHING to do with liberals wanting to take away our guns, nor conservatives trying to make the 2nd Amendment an issue....and everything to do with our brave servicemen and women having their constitutional rights violated. I respect you, my brother...but even if just a handful of us are receiving this, it isn't right and we need to leave no soldier behind on this battlefield!
A Sister Marine

Debby Reagan

The VA cannot unilaterally declare you incompetent as, even though you use the VA for medical reasons, and have a compensation/pension from them,you are no longer in the service and are a civilian and to take away your 5th Amendment right is beyond the scope of the VA's abilities! (Sorry, somehow this sentence got messed up in my first post).

Ryan Hall

6I have read many articles about this topic this past weekend and it seems that people either believe it or they don't. So I researched the current legislation and I found that a Texas Republican (Steve Stockman) is pushing Bill H.R. 577 Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, and a Florida Republican (Jeff Miller) is pushing Bill H.R. 602 which is an identical bill. Currently they are the only two listed on the bills as supporters but to me that only means someone hasn't updated the webpage The bills do not mention anything about notifying veterans, but I doubt a bill would be that detailed anyway. These are the only bills that I found that refer to the VA and weapons.
Here is a copy and paste of the the actual bill H.R. 577; "2/6/2013--Introduced. Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act - Prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), considering any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others."

Debby Reagan

And there wouldn't be any need for these bills to be introduced if this wasn't happening! TY Ryan for your research. Now maybe people will believe our veterans instead of putting their belief in a government that is failing its citizens as well as its heroes!

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Freaking Awesome!!! Instills continued pride for Vets, serves a trade they are very familiar with, good at and protects soft targets. Additionally provides an immediate job gap

Ken Chrosniak

I received a call from the Philadelphia VA on 20 April 2013 informing me that I am being processed as incompetent, will receive an 80% rating, and will have my right to gbear arms taken from me. I informed her very nicely that I would like to receive this in writing, and she stated it would be forthcoming. I then called the number back, and it was from the Phil VA Regional office.

Jim

It would be kindly appreciated if everyone would start using proper "title case" for the words "Sailor", "Sailors" and "Navy". The Marines had a hissy fit a number of years back that "Marine" must always be in capital letters and to appease them the Department of the Navy went ahead and simply "agreed" to their whimpers. In as much as that has been argued, resolved, etc., the fact remains that the Marines are still, and always will be a detachment of the Navy and as such, they as well have to adhere to the directive that "Sailor" and "Navy" will also be in "title case" as well in any correspondence.

Bob McAuley

Purple Heart magazine has an article about this in their july/august issue in the opinion section. They neither verify nor deny the article but do say that the opinion expressed are the authors. Michael Connelly is a Consitution Lawyer, and executive director of the United States Justice Foundation. I heard about this going on about a year ago. Do i Believe it, i don't know, but what i do know after being in treatment for 10 years for ptsd is that Pres. Obama has done more for the V.A. than anyone else before him and i find it hard to believe he would allow this. If it were true i think at least one of the news channels would be on it.

Ron

I am a veteran (US Army, June '01 - '06) pursuing a VA benefits claim. Recently, after having my C&P mental health evaluation (a 20 minute interview) I received this same letter. It is because the form that is submitted by the doctor to the VA has a checkbox for "Is this veteran capable of handling their finances" - mine was marked 'no'. I'm a professional software engineer and have been working in this industry for nearly 6 years now, anyone who knows me knows that I am more than competent with handling my money. After a small freakout, I did some leg work:

1. Internet searches about the issue (leading to this website and others)
2. Contacted the DAV (my veteran's service organization) who told me I should gather some documents and submit a dispute. The service officer also fired off a letter saying that I would like a hearing and that I intend to submit evidence to the contrary.
3. Retrieve print-outs of financial statements from my bank, as well as a letter indicating my good standing
4. Retrieve letters from my last two landlords indicating that I have never been behind on rent
5. (This is the big one) Contacted the doctor that interviewed me. He returned my call and indicated that it was a mistake and he would be sending me a letter indicating that I am fully competent to handle my finances

The items from #3 - #5 will be put together in a packet that the DAV will submit on my behalf to dispute the incompetence motion. The most important piece is to get a letter from a psych doctor (preferably a PhD in Psychology as Psychiatrists cost a lot of money for their time). Combine this with some other ancillary evidence about your finances and submit it.

I won't delve into the political or alarmist implications above, but this is not a hoax and it is happening to normal vets. I just want to provide some information so other vets in this situation can have a plan and not feel so lost and helpless.

Stay safe

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The VA is a big bureaucracy, it makes mistakes. "Clerical Error"..That's what they called it. I served in the US Army in the early 90s, discharged honorably.

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    These views, opinions and ideas are my own and do not represent those of the US Marines, Department of Defense, or any Government organization. I usually think about this stuff when I'm running or suffering from stress or lack of sleep. You can torture me, kill me but just don't bore me "All original material copyright © by Maj Pain, 2004-2013. All rights reserved. No content may be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission."