Broken Promises: The VA Struggle Is Real

See my latest column in that chronicles my battle with the VA’s broken bureaucracy when it comes to lung damage and burn pits.  Please share if you know a veteran in a similar situation.  There are 166k signed up to the VA’s Burn Pits and Open Hazards Registry.  Sadly, it’s a very real thing.



  1. Ray Dyal on June 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    I’m a USAF Vietnam veteran, 1967-68. I have also been battling with the VA concerning service connected disability claims due to Agent Orange exposure. I have been in the pipeline for approximately 4 1/2 years.

    I would very much like to get some advice from you on how I might proceed.

    Its criminal what the VA does to Vets. They only continually deny our claims forcing us to keep appealing while all the time we continue to age and our diseases get worse.

    Congratulation on your success with the courts and your Class Action Law Suit.

    Thank you for your service Matthew and good luck with your lawsuit.

    Prayers and Best Wishes,

    Ray Dyal
    Vietnam Veteran

  2. Ray Dyal on June 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm


    I’m a Vietnam Veteran also battling with the VA concerning service connected disabilities. I have been in the VA pipeline approximately 4 1/2 years. All I do is continue to make appeals.

    I would greatly appreciate any help / advice you would provide.

    Congratulation on your success with the courts. Thank you for your service and good luck on all future endeavors.

    Prayers and best wishes,

    Ray Dyal
    Vietnam Veteran

  3. Rod Garrido on June 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience about your struggle with the Veteran’s Administration. After I returned from my last tour as a Medical Service Specialist in Iraq and the “burn pits” in 2007, I complained to my doctors about my gradually increasing shortness of breath. Breathing tests and X-Rays were conducted. One doctor who examined my X-Rays had noticed that I had nodules in one of my lungs. When a second opinion was inquired, I was sent to a local Pulmonologist where sleep studies were conducted. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, yet the Pulmonologist prescribed me an inhaler to treat my shortness of breath, and placed me on CPAP therapy. During my retirement processing in 2010, I filed a claim with the VA on my respiratory problems (among the many other medical conditions I have). The VA Clinic conducted their own breathing tests on me with their own equipment. I was told by the VA doctor at the time that the VA had not yet conducted any studies of the effects of burn pits on soldiers, and that although the VA had received many claims submitted around the nation, the VA was not compensating anyone with a claim for exposure to the burn pits (The VA had also denied my claim for right kidney failure–I was awarded 0 %). The VA, though, placed me on continued CPAP therapy, and inhalers are prescribed when I complain of shortness of breath. Looking back to my assignment in Iraq, I still remember the things we had thrown into the burn pits and that we were exposed to and were breathing in; everything from paint products that contained lead, to human body parts that had been amputated from wounded soldiers during surgery.

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