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Friday, July 5, 2013

Guardedly Optimistic

As my dealings with the Veterans Administration (VA) continue, I think we may have actually moved my disability claim forward, thanks to a gentleman that works in the VA hospital.

My VA social worker recommended I contact this man.  He is a kind of “trouble shooter” that looks into claim problems, sorts through them, and recommends the best course of action.  If there is anything holding up the claim, like missing paperwork, etc., he’ll get that corrected.

The most encouraging part is he then is able to hand carry my claim through the VA system, locate the individual handling my paperwork and gently “push” my paperwork to the top of the pile of claims sitting on that someone’s desk.  Then he can monitor and follow up on everything.  Before you think this is cheating in the VA system, with the staggering amount of disability claims filed, older paperwork tends to get pushed towards the bottom as new claims arrive.  It just is the way the system tends to work.

Not that this will instantly move my claim forward, but it moves it into a faster track.  I should be notified in a couple of weeks that my claim has been received and then over the next few months, all the appointments necessary to examine my injuries should take place.

This is helpful, because it gives us an idea of how much longer we’ll be having to stay in South Carolina before we can hit the road and do some serious traveling.  Is this the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been looking for?  We think so, because up to now, we weren’t even able to find the tunnel. ;c)

Had a follow up on my eye at the VA, and everything is looking good.  My vision in the eye is now 20/25 and the doc says it should hit 20/20 after my stiches are removed next week.  It was not a fun procedure, but I’m happy with the results.


We spent a quiet Independence Day at home in the Journey.  It has been raining on and off here, so we haven’t done anything exciting.  We did go over to our daughter’s house for an evening cook out and a backyard fireworks show.  Little Owie was so excited to have the fireworks that he was frustrated on it not getting dark soon enough to suit him.

Finally, the rain stopped and it got dark enough, so out went Owie and Andrew with daddy Brian to put on the show. 

First, there was the safety brief.  Even though the fireworks that Heather bought were not the kind that shoot up in the air, there was still the possibility of getting burned, so caution was important.  Plus, the boys were going to be the ones lighting off the fireworks under Brian’s careful supervision.


First Andrew lit one of the fuses.


Then Owie got his turn.


He done good!


We even had a Disney style display from a castle in the yard.


Lots of fun, the boys enjoyed putting on the show, we enjoyed watching, and best of all…no crowds!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. This is just my kind of fire works show. No crowds and cute guys. Glad to hear your claim may well be moving forward. It's about time.

  2. It's fun for the little ones to enjoy some fireworks. Wish the illegal ones were not so readily available here - last night was a nightmare!! Good luck with your claim. I'm sure you are anxious to get those big wheels rolling again.

  3. Can you not correspond with the claims guy via internet? Seems like you've been stuck there forever. Hope you get your freedom sooner than later.

    1. I met this guy in person. I've found the VA's internet system to be very poor and their telephone system even worse. They have one 800 number for the whole country! I've waited hours on hold and never had an operator answer. The other option was to leave a message for someone to call back. You can guess how many times I received a call back...0!

  4. Glad the eye is improving and perhaps you have found the tunnel:o) Know this has been difficult and not exactly what you had planned:-(( Hopefully you will get resolution soon and be out enjoying this beautiful country in the near future!!

  5. Fireworks scare me. I'm glad the little guys had the safety talk and plenty of supervision. Sounds like the best kind of holiday celebration.

  6. Getting a helper involved in your claim was a great idea and probably a very necessary one. Sure hope it moves things along for you.

    Good news on the eye test too - just think how much money your going to save on toothpaste by getting most of it on your toothbrush now!

  7. Glad you had a few fireworks yesterday. Always fun to spend it with the boys :) George & I hope that you aren't stuck there through the Carolina Clan reunion!

    1. Nope, we'll be there. Myrtle Beach is close enough for me to drive back to the VA if I have to. :c)

  8. Glad the eye is doing well! Good luck with the VA, it seems it does help to be an optimist:)

  9. So glad to hear that the eye is getting better. Now if you could just get this VA thing going before the Journey grows roots. Fingers crossed that this guy can help it along for you. The boys look like they're having so much fun.

  10. Glad to hear your vision is improving. It sounds like the surgery was worth the pain.

    I hope your VA claim can get moved along now. I hate that happens, and I'm wondering if the severely injured soldiers coming back from the war are treated this badly?

  11. Fingers crossed that your claim finally moves forward. Fantastic news on the progress of your eye.

  12. The waiting is long for those VA claims but if you're young enough, you have time. And, look at the back pay you'll get!! You could take us all out to eat.

    Hate the crowds at the fireworks but we've found the perfect place. It's the little towns where the locals put it on themselves. Travel time ... under 5 minutes.

  13. Any step with the VA is a step forward. Just finished 7.5 years on my appeal, talked with 3 people. Next step court and about 3 years. I think I'll get on with my life, to much to see.