The following E-mail just came in from Paul Sullivan, Executive Director for Veterans for Common Sense (VCS). VCS has launched a class action suit vs the VA re inefficiency and neglect and baseless denials of benefits, regarding Veterans' claims. As you know by now, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, and falls right in with VetSpeak's current campaign to share the Veterans' perspective regarding PTSD and Government failures to properly address it for what it is. The lawsuit reinforces the fact that nothing has really changed in this regard in over thirty years, as evidenced in a video clip taken from the documentary film Still at War, VVAW circa 1976 . The legal-beagles are asking for input from Veterans who are currently in the process of claims to submit their stories, in order to bolster the case with documented Objective Reality...or, as we call it here on these pages; Truth, spoken in VetSpeak. In this case, truly the language of the "first responders...". It is with that in mind that I post this appeal from Paul on on behalf of VCS, so that we can all assist and participate in the success of the lawsuit...after-all, it will take all of us to finally win this one. I am placing the VCS Lawsuit Link on our bulletin board, for future reference, as well. Here is Paul's letter, edited for our pages...WH:
I wanted to provide our supporters with a progress report on our landmark VCS class action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition, VCS needs your help today so we can gather and document individual "real-life" examples of VA horror stories - veterans who experiencing difficulty such as delays or denials getting PTSD treatment or PTSD disability benefits from VA.
First, a status report on our case. VA says our lawsuit is only a "policy gripe." VA tried to dismiss our case on the grounds that our complaint fails to state a claim. Our legal team is currently drafting a response that outlines the government's mistakes and the merits of our suit. We expect a ruling from the Judge by Spring 2008.
Second, an important element in the success of our lawsuit will be our ability to present "real-life" stories to the Judge and the Jury. While the overall statistics demonstrate how the government has failed our veterans on a grand scale, we must show the Court how these systematic failures ruined individual veterans and their families.
While all stories involving PTSD claims and healthcare are important, some of the most compelling stories are:
- Tragic situations resulting in suicide or attempted suicide
- Cases where VA turned away or delayed a veteran for PTSD care because of a lack of VA healthcare providers
- Situations where VA denied PTSD medical treatment and/or disability benefits where a personality disorder discharge was involved in any way with VA's decision.
If you have a compelling story regarding delays or denials of PTSD medical treatment or PTSD disability benefits, and you would be willing to have your story documented in support of our lawsuit, now is the time to step forward.
While we have many horror stories on file, each additional story from different parts of the country can help the hundreds of thousands of our veterans waiting now. Your story can also help the hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans still in the service who are about to get discharged and enter the VA.
To learn more about how you can help our lawsuit, please go to our website, www.veteransptsdclassaction.com, or contact Paul Taira from our legal team at (415) 268-7610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone from our fantastic team of lawyers will contact you for an interview. Veterans, family members, and former VA employees or VA consultants are encouraged to contact us.
VCS will be sending out up-dates on a quarterly basis to keep everyone informed on developments. In the meantime, please contact me at VCS if you have any questions. Your support for our lawsuit is appreciated.
Paul Sullivan, Executive Director, VCS