The Toughest Fight

The toughest time in my life was after getting out of the Corps as an E-5 with disability. An ongoing battle fighting to get the right help from the VA. I loved the time I was in the Corps and brotherhood is like no other. Between the contaminated LST’s and the tainted water at Camp Lejeune I face an enemy hard to defeat. I am currently fighting Lung Cancer for the 3rd time. All of these are new cancers not repeats. Both kinds of lung caner Small Cell and Non Small Cell. One of each in the right lung and Small cell in the left lung. I quit smoking along time ago, this is NOT from smoking 20 years ago. There is no other case like mine. For me to get treatment through the VA I would have to travel 130 miles to a VA center capable of treating me. But the VA clinic that is 20 miles away disqualifies me from getting Non VA local healthcare. Even tho they can not treat me it counts under the 40 mile clause. Imagine traveling 130 miles while sick as a dog 4 times a month for 4 months. The only saving grace was/is private health care insurance and now just Medicare. I have battling this now for 9 years. Semper Fi.

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27 thoughts on “The Toughest Fight”

  1. Maybe with President Trump we Vets might finally get a fair shake. I’m from Fl. and we had a true warrior in Congressman Charles Bennett. I remember making a call to “Charley” and he chewed some VA ass for me. He was an old WWII Army vet who did not surrender when Bataan fell. He would have made a hell of a Marine. So hold on you old war horse, I hear a bugle call in the distance.

  2. Once again one of our comrades are getting the VA run around!! Under the new regulations of the Veterans Choice Act if a you have a condition that makes it burdensome to travel to your treatment and ,or you require assistance to travel,the 40 mile requirement could and should be waived but ,you will need a third party to help( ie v a trained social worker or a v a trained service officer) Never give up the fight Marine!! Bless You and Semper Fi!! Harry

  3. Sounds like the typical VA BS at work again. Hang tough Marine. Talk to the patient advocate at your local VA clinic, or with a service officer, or better yet your US Senator. I was able to get the help I needed through the patient advocate on the first attempt. But don’t give up and don’t accept no for an answer. Semper Fi Sarge and may God and fellow Marines watch over you.

  4. For veterans in Southwest Pennsylvania centered around Pittsburgh, there is a Pets for Vets program at Animal Friends where any veteran from any era can be provided with a trained emotional support dog free. The dog is trained uniquely to the vet’s needs to provide emotional support and the program is focused on vets with PTSD, TBI or unresolved stress. It works. Beyond that, any vet can adopt a dog, cat or domesticated bunny without cost. Animal Friend says “Thank you for your service.”

  5. Something is way wrong! I was diagnosed with an Agent Orange cancer ( multiple myeloma) in January of 2014 by an oncologist at the VA in Memphis. I received several rounds of chemo there. I too was more than a hundred miles from the hospital, the oncologist and the VA made arrangements for me to be seen by a private cancer clinic only 35 miles from my residence. My local VA clinic ( general practice) is only 13 miles away. Like I said something is wrong here. I earnestly suggest that a Congressional Representative be contacted ASAP. There is no need for this. Semper Fi my brother!

  6. To all my fellow marines. Don’t give up tge fight . Have your family members contact local positions and congressional representatives. This must be resolved you earned your benefits by putting your life on the line everyday.

  7. Kerry, you hang in there!! Remember, Marines are not allowed to go anywhere unless they get orders to another duty station and your orders aren’t in yet!! Have you looked into your American Legion? They should have a VA rep that can help. If not there, then I suggest you go immediately to your Congressional representative. If they are worth their salt, they will get on this ASAP and kick some a$$! You need to get your story out, anyway you can. If you can get some press on this, that will get those VA reps scrambling to help. Open sunshine is the best antiseptic. To all my Marine brethren, if you are not in a veterans organization, this is the main reason to do so. The American Legion, VFW and Marine Corps League amongst a score of other veterans groups will be the ones to hold the VA’s feet to the fire. Semper Fi!!

  8. Ron Dougherty sorry about your problem, I will keep you in my prayers that you get better and also get help.ialso was stationed at camp Lajune in the early 50’sigot a letter about the water,but thank GOD I wasn’t affected by it. but I did have a problem with the VA. so called my Congressmen and he took care of right away.maybe you should try that. God bless you marine, semper fi.

    1. Served with G-3-8 at lejune 51-54 there was a dougherty in our mortar section. any relation??? Guess I was lucky had no problem with affects from water. I never had any dealings with VA

  9. Semper Fi Marine: SSgt Stewart (1975-81). VA rep came to my work where we have Veterans Association. He got me the paperwork and I got a VA Card due to President Obama signing the “Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Act”.My wife and I lived in Lejeune’s Tarawa Terrace off-base housing. Now have VA coverage for several cancers as a result of the shallow wells used for water consumption on Lejeune. Check it out. God’s speed leatherneck.

  10. Hang tuff bro- VA battles have always been long and drawn out with no recognizable ROE’s. And we don’t have consistency in diagnosis or treatments. We’re all hoping for a major changewith the installment of the new pres-elect’s awareness and stated commitment to a better system for veterans to receive proper health care. As I stated at the start- hang tuff, bro!

  11. I live in New Hampshire, (my choice), where we Do Not have a full facility V.A. Hospital. Under a plan called Veterans Choice, I just had a hip replacement at a local hospital, (ten minutes from my house), other wise I would have to travel to either Mass. or Vermont. My point being, at Your V.A. Hospital there should be an office with, 1) Patient Advocate, or 2) A Veterans Choice Rep. I ran the gauntlet to receive Veterans choice, but with their help. Ask for one of these reps !!!!!!! Their function at the V.A. is to help You receive what You Are Entitled To. If they say no ,, That is a load of Scuttlebutt ,, (trying to be polite) ….. We have small clinics in N.H. (but that’s what they are ,, Clinics !!!! They do not X-ray ,, do operations in any form ,, All they do is give shots and be a home base for your PCP !!! Do Not Give Up !!!!!!!!!!! Semper Fi

  12. I am so frustrated reading your message. I am sorry you’re having to go through this, especially because what you’ve been told is not true! You can get treatment closer to home under the CHOICE program. If you are in Eastern NC and Durham VAMC is your VA hospital please respond here. I am also a disabled veteran who uses DVAMC and I will do my utmost best to assist you in any way I can.

  13. Perserverince Marine. I to have a rare cancer, from serving 70-72. Okinawa( 3/12) 71′ then floated in gulf of Tonkin several months being stuck in the belly of a LST. It takes time, but with assistance from VFW, private vet assistance programs the help and compensation is there. Semper Fi

  14. The few times I attempted to connect with the VA, I was reminded too much of times trying to deal with the Dept of Motor Vehicles. Plenty of frustration ! I refuse to have some lard-ass with no military experience sit there and dictate to me a bunch of bureaucratic chicken crap regulations. I have nothing to add to the above wise advice offered by our brothers & sisters. Hang tough,Buddy. As a side issue, LOWES offers a 10% discount to veterans . . . but only if you can produce a VA membership card. You can show them your VFW or American Legion cards, or reven your DD214 ; they only accept a VA card as proof that you’re a vet !

    1. Hi Cpl, I get a 10% discount from Lowes with my PINK discharge ID. Its all they ever ask for here in Longview, WA. Here is a solution for the VA. Put all of the elected officails and their families under the VA system and it would get fixed in less then a year. They would not put up with that crap if it was their children and wives getting messed with! KL Heston, Sgt USMC ’68-’72

  15. Use your Chain of command. If the VA is not treating you illness correctly you need to write an e-mail, or a letter to the commander in chief, that right The president of the united states, he does listen and can make things happen, secondly ,write an e-mail or letter to the director of the VA. it will also get you action. I have done this myself and got real action in my own trials and tribulations with the VA health care system.

  16. I have a 320 mile round trip to a VA Medical Center, I cannot travel due to my injury. When I did go down with the pain, I found the idiot who did not see my issue as a hardship, I told him that I would pray for him, pray that hell find he and his loved ones.

  17. Agreed on the suggestions to receive treatment via the choice program or a local facility .Contact the Patient care advocate at the clinic or hospital if no satisfaction contact your local Congresman or Senator .Copy a Service Officer from a local Association DAV !!! Semper Fidelis ” Doc “

  18. As a former Marine of 1970’s and 80’s at Swamp Lagoon, I’ve trying for the last five years just for VSO’s to listen. The problem is I’m FEMALE and Pat me on my head and tell me to go my merry way. It’s hard to do when one has neurological disorders that mimic MS. So, I feel for you brother. I just hope you get the treatment you need. SEMPER FI.

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