Category Archives: President Donald J. Trump

A Test of President Trump’s New Veteran Administration

WMAfter one year and one month of active duty service in the U.S. Marine Corps, during the Vietnam era, I was discharged on a medical under Honorable conditions. It seemed that the rigors of boot camp had ruined my knee, as it clearly states in my medical boards. Some may say that was not a lot of time to serve, but the fact is it did give me a permanent injury.  And sometimes it is not the quantity, but the quality. The Vietnam era Woman Marines paved the way for the new Women Marine Corps. During the peak Vietnam campaign there were only 2,700 women that served in the Corps. We trained with the guys in those days, it was tough and one had to be tough to survive! It wasn’t till after the Vietnam campaign that the boot camp for women was ‘lightened up and geared more towards a woman’s body’, rather than a mans. But because of these initial women, blazing the trail, and the lighter duty training, there are at least five times as many Woman Marines that serve our nation today! So while it may not have been a long time, it was an import, challenging and historic time!

Many were called, but few were made!

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King

While, sometimes, this type of injury can be corrected by surgery, often it is not. During that exact time of my injury, tennis player, Billie Jean King, was suffering from the same issue. She elected to have the surgery. She spoke about it at an event in Palm Springs, that I attended. During this time I was on convalescent trying to decide if I wanted the surgery and she stated that if she had to choose again, she would not have elected to have the surgery. She has since had to have both knees replaced. I chose not to have the surgery and, sadly, consequently took the 10% disability rating and my Honorable discharge and said goodbye to my beloved Corps.

The injury is a recurring subluxation of the patella. The V.A. tried to fix it, after it occurred during my first job after the Corps, with Southern Pacific Railroad. I jumped from a locomotive in the roundhouse to the deck and there it went. I laid in painful agony, as my entire knee cap had destabilized and was now on the side of my knee! I waved goodbye to my job at the railroad and took the long ambulance ride to the Los Angeles V.A. The next six months were spent in a full leg cast to stabilize the region. Talk about a pain! 

For six months I had to bathe with a garbage bag and needless to say, getting around was a chore. When the cast was finally removed, my leg had totally atrophied and I dared not wear shorts and show it off! But once I regained strength in it, it seemed to have healed, for that moment in time.

Later in years, I started a business where I built fixed-wireless Internet networks. It was a physically rigorous business, climbing high rises and towers. But it had its rewards of bringing broadband to areas where it had never existed and I enjoyed the challenge.

The spring morning of 2008 was beautiful and sunny, I noted, as I was strapping on my climbing gear, and was thankful for the good visibility.  Visibility was important, as we were verifying ‘line of sight‘ to another location that we wanted to connect a radio link and open a new service area. The climb I was about to embark on was a 120’ water tower. Water towers, to me, were a bit scary as one has to climb in a dark tube and there are heavy hatches that have to be opened along the way.  I was lucky to have my favorite climbing partner with me, Norm, as he was a very strong fellow and could handle these hatches with no problem. As I checked my gear, I lightened my belt of unnecessary tools and whatnot’s, I grabbed an energy drink from the cooler; thinking it would be my reward after the last hatch had been popped and daylight was once again visible.

The climb was uneventful up to the 80′ level when that pesky ‘war injury‘ decided to revisit me …  I raised my right leg onto the rung and put pressure on it and it gave way! Norm was busy unlatching the first hatch when I yelled out, “Norm I am in trouble!” … he replied “Whatever you do, don’t look down!” … Too late, I had already done so! As I was hanging by the rung, I actually had visions of me falling and breaking my back thinking … ‘who is going to take my daughter to the orthodontist?‘ … Wild what ones mind will think of when they are in a stressful situation.  As I gathered my ‘calmness‘ and  my Marine, I reached for my pelican clip so that I could clip off to the next rung. The darn thing was stuck, frozen, the clip would not open! … I yelled this to Norm … he said, “Where is your WD-40?” Of course this was one of the items I left behind … I told him “I left it in the jeep and put a Red Bull in its place” … he yelled back “Drink it, it will give you wings!”  as he tossed his can of WD-40 down at me.

Needless to say, this was my last tower climb, as it showed me I was getting too old for this type of work, as well as the fact that the old injury was back in my life.

The V.A. never awarded me compensation for this injury and in fact denied it when they put me into the full leg cast in 1975. I did not challenge it, because it appeared to correct the issue for sometime. However through out life, it has clearly been an issue for me. I decided when I got the time I would refile on this disability, but I did not want to do it during the Obama administration … after all, he had the IRS chasing Tea Party groups, what would they do to a patriot Marine? And now that I have waited my knee has deteriorated with age. Arthritis has set in which I am pretty sure is triggering sciatic nerve attacks. I tried to be seen last summer at the Poplar Bluff V.A. and waited in the emergency room for over four hours. I finally checked with the E.R. physician and he told me that there were eight people still in front of me and he was the only physician on staff. I left, so the others could be seen. It was only, non-life threatening, pain I had to deal with not like, potentially, the other veterans. But I became very aware of how our V.A.’s have been compromised. In fact in 2015 there was $1.4 billion cut from the V.A., so I have been very discouraged.

How $1.4 billion in budget cuts will impact Veterans

“Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the 2016 Veterans Affairs funding bill, and slashed more than $1.4 billion from the president’s requested budget for America’s Veterans. Today, VA Secretary Bob McDonald appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss that budget proposal.”

And now we see that President Trump has rehired part of this same administration.

TRUMP TAPS OBAMA UNDER SECRETARY FOR SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Dr. David Shulkin will be the first to serve as Secretary of Veteran Affairs who is not a veteran. As well as it is concerning that this appointment could lead to the privatization of the department of Veteran Affairs, which to many veterans is unacceptable!

Will Veterans Affairs Nominee David Shulkin Privatize the VA? We Don’t Know

 “Sadly our great veterans have not gotten the level of care they deserve, but Dr. Shulkin has the experience and the vision to ensure we will meet the healthcare needs of every veteran,” Trump said in a statement.

The appointment is puzzling in that Trump has long touted his commitment to veterans and criticized the VA for treating veterans “horribly.”

So yesterday, the day of President Donald J. Trumps inauguration, I filled out my claim using the V.A. online system called eBenefits. The V.A. now has a program called ‘Fully Developed Claim‘ (FDC) … This is where it is up to the veteran to gather their information and submit to the V.A. This is great, it sort of cuts out the ‘middle-man‘! The previous year, in knowing I was going to refile, I had already started the process and obtained my Service Record Book (SRB). Although it took over six months to receive, I do not have to add that time now to my FDC, so that is a benefit right out the door for anyone that already has their paperwork!

Fully Developed Claims

“The Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is an optional initiative that offers Veterans and survivors faster decisions from VA on compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims.”

“It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots!” ~President Donald J. Trump

President Trump at Arlington
President Trump at Arlington National Cemetary

Is President Trump’s V.A. going to be any different than any other president? At this point I do not know. But I do know that he has made us a promise that it will! And in fact, ‘Veterans Affairs Reform‘ was part of his political platform:

VETERANS AFFAIRS REFORM

djt-policy-infographic-va__medium

As I travel down this path, I will keep our readers updated, as our country may have changed in the past and maybe about to embark on a bright new future, but I have always been a patriot and will keep watch!

~Semper Fi!




Hail to the Chief – President Donald J. Trump!

Donald J. TrumpPrayers to the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump. May he fulfill his vision and he and his cabinet make America Great Again!

Transcript of President Donald J Trump’s Inaugural Address

“Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

And we are grateful to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition.

They have been magnificent.

Thank you.

Today’s ceremony, however, has a very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment.

It belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day.

This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves.

These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists.

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.

An education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.

And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation, and their pain is our pain.

Their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own. And we’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world. But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs.

We will bring back our borders.

We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example.

We will shine for everyone to follow.

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.

A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions. It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.

We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.

So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again.

And, yes, together we will make America great again.

Thank you.

God bless you.

And God bless America.”

“We will be protected by our military, by our police, and most importantly we will be protected by God!” ~President Donald J. Trump

AMERICA FIRST!

1