Bashing of Bill McLemore

 

Recently I noticed some e-mail floating around the Internet by some Veterans on the assistant Deputy Director of the VA for intergovernmental RELATIONS; Mr. William Mclemore.

 

This mail has had personal attacks and comparisons on this man and I do mean personal attacks that no one deserves and accusations that it was Mr. McLemore’s fault the VA’s budget was 1.5 billon dollars short.

 

This comes from a verbal exchange between Mr. McLemore and some Veterans in attendance in DC.  The challenge was made as to who was responsible for the 1.5 Billon dollars short fall and Mr. McLemore in tongue and cheek replied, “I am.”

 

While Mr. McLemore’s title is impressive, I can assure the Veterans Mr. McLemore had no more to do with that VA fiasco than I did or you did.  So lets put some reality and common sense back into this scenario and stop the accusations and personal attacks.

 

Sure get mad if you want but against the right people.  I get angry with the VA as a whole and the guy who is ultimately in charge of this adversarial agency because he is ultimately in charge as appointed by the president and confirmed or crowned by the Senate VAC.

 

The elected officials including the congress and the president are responsible for the disarray at the VA.  They have let this go on and on and on with no accountability and as I have stated very little integrity.

 

I have found Mr. McLemore to be reasonable and helpful not only to me in my case but in many cases that we get contacted on.

 

For instance, we got a call from a Hill 881 Marine widow who is living out of her car on Saturday.  Glenda contacted Mr. McLemore about this and she received a reply that help was on the way almost immediately.  This was on a Saturday afternoon no less. 

 

He cannot change the present rules no matter how screwed up the congress has let them get.  On the other hand, how disingenuous the White House has directed the VA operate.  He can help but he cannot change the rules.

 

Yes, Mr. McLemore and I stood toe to toe on some issues and I proved my point but the rules will not allow my point to be taken.  This is not his problem this is the Veterans problem and we have to unite to fix it and mandate the White House fix it and/or congress fix it.  As it stands now with the VA there is not a lot of separation of powers over one segment of our nations society.  Again, this is our problem that we have let it get this way.

 

The same for Colonel Jeff Phillips.  He can only do what the rules state and has done more for me than any of my elected Georgia senators and congressman for whom I will never vote again and will do everything I can to make sure they do not go back to DC as long as my health holds up.

 

Mr. McLemore is in the same category as trying to do what he can for Veterans within the present rules.  He is also a three time combat veteran in Vietnam.

 

If not for these two men, I would not now be at 20% for diabetes and have completed a C & P on May 11th for associated nerve damages and other disorder issues that go along with this associated disorder.  Bearing in mind, I had been fighting this battle since 2002.  It remains to be seen if I will win the ultimate war with this agency.  As we know winning a few battles here and there does not mean the war is won. 

 

Now can they direct what the Atlanta VA will give me as a percentage?  The answer is no of course not.  Even if they give me a 0% rating, at least I am on record as service connected and can fight for the disability percentage that I think I deserve.  I would hope it does not come to that but I will fight for it if it does; you can take that to the bank as most of you know.

 

Can they make the Atlanta VA give me my C & P rating results in a timely manner?  The answer is no. 

 

Now how long will it take is anyone's guess.  I have the Marines tell me from 90 days to over a year and if it is over a year then you have to redo the entire C & P again and get back in line.  Not much accountability there only allowed stalling and budget control I would suggest.   Congress thinks this is a good thing as they seemed to NOT care about such details.

 

Although, I tried to make it clear to the VA that three other civilian doctors had found me 100% disabled and not able to work any more and statements on my SS record – “Not expected to recover or improve.”

 

However, at least I am now back in the VA fight again and without these men I was having to retreat and lose ground based on “VA power” not medical, scientific, and statistical logic or reason; or evidentiary facts.

 

Anyway just passing on how this all got started and how I found these men helpful in not only my case but also others.

 

I would add one more statement that without these men agreeing to hear my presentation on Peripheral Neuropathy and the nervous system damages that apply to about every Vietnam Veteran still alive.  This resulted in Mr. Len Sistek of the Veterans Affairs Oversight sending a letter from the Congress to the Secretary of the VA requesting an investigation into this form of damages not only from Agent Orange but also Agents White and Blue.  This letter was signed by the minority leaders in both the House and Senate Affairs Committee.  While that is not exactly what I wanted at least it is an attempt. 

 

Will the VA do anything with it or even answer it?  I doubt it because if they did that would mean that all these years the VA has been lying to us and I would say characteristically misleading the congressional folks.

 

However, without this at least attempt at resolving some of these issues with Colonel Phillips and Mr. Mclemore; it would never have taken place.

 

Only we as a unit can mandate the rules be changed and how the VA operates and that is through our politicians and presidents and that includes getting rid of a few of them if need be.

 

Veterans need to quit biting the few helping hands that are extended to them.

 

 

Kelley