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Friday, March 7, 2014

Free At Last

Hopefully, the anchor will not be stuck and easily come loose when we get ready to roll.  It’s been in place here in South Carolina for way longer than we ever anticipated.

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The reason we spent so much time in or close to South Carolina was for dealing with the Veterans Administration (VA) Regional Office in Columbia, SC for issues concerning injuries I received while on active duty with the Coast Guard.

There were many appointments, tests and interviews that I had to do, and I had no control over when they would pop up with little or no warning.  I sometimes had a week’s notice, but one time, on a car trip to visit our granddaughters in Missouri I received a phone call indicating an appointment in two day’s time.  Since we had already driven more than halfway of the 700 mile trip, we continued all the way there. I then had to catch a plane from St. Louis back to SC, and rent a car to make the appointment.  Several hundred dollars later, I made the appointment.

When you’ve applied for a disability claim with the VA, you don’t want to miss an appointment, or your claim gets put on the bottom of the huge pile of backlog cases.  It’s bad enough of a wait, even when everything is done on time.

I received a notice in the mail that my disability claim has now been resolved and the results are way better than I could have anticipated.  It opens up a whole range of lifetime VA benefits for me, for which I am very pleased and thankful.

In the end, looking at the big picture, the result was worth the 29 month wait.  We now have additional peace of mind.  I will continue to use the VA for my routine medical checkups, but now, further appointments I can make for myself, when I want or need them.

We are free at last, free to travel without the worry of potentially missing an appointment.  We are making plans now for the rest of the year and even next year.  We will be departing our home of six months at J. Strom Thurmond COE the end of March, it was a great place to stay, lots of enjoyable people, fun tasks and a campsite that was one of the nicest we’ve had this side of Disney World’s Fort Wilderness.

Two “incoming” granddaughters are the first priority, one in Missouri in April and one in New Jersey in July.  We’re now looking to fit in a cruise (our first).  A trip to the Winnebago factory in Iowa early May for some maintenance on the Journey, late May to Branson, MO with my dad, possibly a Disney World trip in June (and hopefully another Disney World trip in September) as well as a visit to Marti’s sister in Rhode Island in August. 

We might even return to J. Strom Thurmond for October through December (yeah, we like this place) before a long overdue visit of the great American West in 2015 for some Arizona fun in the sun.

Or not. 

Our motto is:  Semper Gumby (Always Flexible).

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Thanks for visiting (and hanging in there with us).  Feel free to leave a comment.

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87 comments:

  1. Does the VA have a treatment for PDD? Hopefully, it can be treated and you will be avle to cruise....but not like us the last 4 days. Happy that your VA situation has been resolved.

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  2. Yahoo! Let the excessive driving begin!!

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  3. Sounds like you are going to burn a lot of diesel!

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  4. What a relief to hear it has all worked out in your favor! So often nowadays we hear the opposite where our poor service men and vets get the short end of the stick. Yay for you and may you have many years of good health and trouble free travels!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  5. Congrats. Get out there and put some miles on that bus. Those grandbabies need you.

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  6. Congratulations on completing the jumping through the hoops ritual. Wagons ho!

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  7. RI in August and Florida in Sept sounds like you still have PDD. Glad everything turned out in your favor after so long. I thought all those who retire from our military were entitled to VA healthcare forever. I had no idea they had to work through such red tape.

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  8. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy...it is time for the Happy Dance;o))) Really so glad to hear you have been set free and that you got the benefits you deserved!!! Now get out here and enjoy those wheels that come with your home:o)) Sounds like your travel plans are making up for lost time...PDD Forever!!!

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  9. Well congratulations, getting back on the road again, enjoy!

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  10. Hallelujah! Glad it finally all worked out for you. Now the fun can begin :-)

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  11. Looks like you have PDD with your planning too! It'll be great to get that tether off and be able to travel like you want. I'm glad the VA is behind you and the results are great!!

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  12. Happy to see you finally got through that. Now you can join the rest of us and have fun in the sun. :)

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  13. We would love to visit but our communication has been difficult...for some reason we are not receiving any of your messages. We are in Canton, TX and will be heading east on Tuesday...should be in your area on Friday for a few days. Send us some info on camping and let us know if you would be available for a visit that weekend (3/14-3/17), if not we will just bypass and head for Myrtle Beach. Let us know, we would love to get together if at all possible.

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    Replies
    1. We will be here then! I left info on your blog in comments. Your email link didn't work, email us at our address on bottom of this blog page.

      Petersburg COE campground is open, on GA side of Thurmond Lake, close by us. Reserve America to book site.

      Would love to visit with you! :c)

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  14. Whoop! Whoop! It's about time things started to fall into place. You stood the chance of not even qualifying for the PDD race this year. Now, hands down, you'll win it! :)

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  15. Congrats on your well deserved victory over the bureaucrats!

    Hopefully, that's the last you'll have to see of that outfit other than routine checkups.

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  16. 'Always Flexible'.....now that's the way to do it alright. Good for you guys in toughing out all that red tape stuff. And 'Arizona fun in the sun'....is there any other way. Just get out there & go for it:))

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  17. Hmmm ... I bet this cruise will be different from the ones you've taken before ;-))) Glad to hear all was resolved with your claim and you're happy with the results ... sort of makes the wait worthwhile.

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  18. Wow...such good news! You certainly had to show a lot of patience, but then again, what else could you do.

    Can you please answer a question for me? Do you have to have a service related illness/injury to qualify for VA benefits? Both of our fathers retired from the Air Force, but didn't use the VA. If you're only in the military for say 4 years, can you use the VA? Just curious.

    I hope we will finally be able to meet in Key West for the sunset celebration in Mallory Square!

    Congrats again!!!

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  19. Hooray! Glad to hear the end result was more than worth the wait! Would love to have you join us for a beautiful Arizona winter. :-) We will be back here for 6 months, starting in October of this year.

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  20. Sorry for your troubles, glad they've now been resolved.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  21. I'll add my congrats on your perseverance and the excellent outcome. Looking forward to some PDD travel stories. Enjoy your cruise, we love them.

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  22. On the road again is a nice feeling, and for PDD a nice long feeling.

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  24. Now, that's a tip I'd tell every vet that I'll meet: don't miss an appointment! I guess this looks a lot more difficult when you're traveling around in your RV, but the credit belongs to you in securing your claim, as you were flexible enough to secure those benefits. Congratulations!
    Jan Dils @ Fight4Vets.com

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