Saturday, November 22, 2008


I hang onto my prejudices,
they are the testicles of my mind


--General McAuliffe
on German request for surrender

If your testicles are crushed, or your male member missing,

you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord

--Deuteronomy 23:1


So, Ranger could properly quote the Bible if he ever needed to get out of church duty.

In yet another We Support the Troops initiative (Not) comes Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness David Chu's rejiggering of the standards for
Combat-Related injuries, which disqualifies thousands of disabled veterans from receiving certain benefits, like Combat-Related Special Compensation.

His decision will also require many disabled service members to "repay their military disability severance pay before they could receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs." (Pentagon Narrows Combat-Related Definition.)
Unsurprisingly, the Department of Defense has adopted Mr. Chu's reconfiguring of the Congressional mandate as it will result in a reduced disability compensation load form the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Contrary to the 2088 Defense Authorization Act, in which Congress defined disability as
combat-related if it resulted from service in a combat zone or performance of duty in combat-realted operations, Chu argued that the DoD 'endorsed the premise that the benefit for those hurt in combat should be more robust than for members with disabilities incurred in other situations (e.g. simulation of war, instrumentality of war or participation in hazards not related to combat).'"

According to Chu, if a disability results not "as a disease or injury incurred in the line of duty as a direct result of armed combat," such affected service members will be remunerated at a considerably "less robust" rate.

The DAV claims Chu has "(D)isregarded the broader intent of Congress," through eliminated disability resulting from hazardous service, duty under conditions simulating war or disability incurred through an instrumentality or war incurred outside of a combat zone as "combat-related" injuries. As a result, these disabled veterans are no longer eligible for their CRSC as mandated by Congress.

This issue affects Ranger, who has been riding the merry-go-round for years with Officer in Charge Fred Sissons of the Army's CRSC determination board. Only after pursuing congressional channels was Ranger able to receive his CRSC.

The administrative battle was distasteful and contrary to the spirit and intent of the law. Congress honored combat-related disabled vets by awarding CRSC, but then the Army creates a jungle-like maze one must wade through in order to receive the special compensation.

The other services have different interpretations of the regulations, resulting in application and qualifying procedures which are more liberal than those of the Army. DoD lacks a comprehensive approach to qualification for these funds, as each branch controls its own program. For instance, Chu's new guidelines for the Army disqualify combat-related training injuries from CRSC application, yet more servicemen are training-injured than combat-wounded.

In Ranger's case, he was injured in the Republic of Vietnam in a STABO rig accident. He suffered a crushed testicular artery and left testicle practicing jungle combat extractions in a 1970 field exercise. This was a practice exercise, in country, and Ranger was Infantry, Special Forces and drawing combat pay. The injury was surgically treated in the 24th evac hospital. But today's CRSC reps say
this service-connected disability is not combat-related.

The problem in applying for the CRSC is a Catch-22: CRSC requires "combat-relatedness," however, this term does not exist in the pantheon of DVA terminology. The VA uses only the term "service-connected," as required by law.

38 years ago Ranger lacked the presence of mind and forethought to ask the doctor to put in the medical record, "combat-related." The Army didn't care how Ranger was injured, they simply operated to alleviate the problem.
Today, my left nut is service-connected but not combat-related.

Now that's really nuts.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i think that among the smartest things i did was to walk (ok, limp) away. the navy did the same petty, stupid shit. it's been a hallmark of veteran's affairs since the time of the romans. the spartans and the athenians were the last society to truly honor and care for their wounded vets.

kipling led an outcry over the veterans of british service who were wandering the streets of london destitute disabled. they were supposed to be pensioned and cared for, after all they were the noble heroes of balaclava and other glorious fuckups. he wrote "the final charge of the light brigade" which was a searing indictment of the way that the veterans of crimea and india were treated.

not many people know this but after the civil war there was a huge problem with hordes of amputees and other disfigured veterans wandering the highways and byways of the united states. many of them were also addicted to morphine. lucky for us they invented heroin which was presented as a "cure" for morphine addiction.

the shell shocked or lung seared vets of ww1 were denied their promised bonuses, when they marched on the capital to protest this, they were taken down by macarthur, eisenhower and patton.

ww2, korea, all of them had their problems. once the fighting stops and you are sent through the VA system you see, not soldiers, but bean counters. tongue depressor counters, towell counters.

it's disgusting. i left the service rather than be sent into the regular fleet. not only would the disability that was obvious to anybody who's ever seen me walk or try to stand for a long period (to say nothing of mapping the scar tissue up and down my whole left side). that's another thing they do, they tell guys with prosthetics on their legs that they are fit to drive trucks and humvees in iraq. (forgetting that this is the most dangerous job there).

the whole idea of a difference between "service connected" and "combat related" is bullshit bullshit bullshit.

the VA is bullshit. the jungle telegraph is saying that obama is considering tammy duckworth to head up the VA.

good sez i.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 9:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...


was also the reply macauliffe at bastogne gave to the german demand for surrender.

hooah ranger.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 11:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Re. Gen McAuliffe's quote: duly noted in my choice of quotes! (Thank you, though.)


Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I've never for a moment believed that McA's reply was -NUTS. There is some oral history that he really said-F..K you. jim PS-I've had drinks at the Gen. McA hotel in Bastogne.Paras don't buy many drinks there. j.

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 1:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Talking about giving you left nut...

This doesn't surprise me. As MB points out, the history of soldiering has been one of "honoring" the fighting while ignoring and dismissing the soldier and sailor. Some of this has to do with the class system perpetuated in the officer-versus-trooper/sailor divide. Most of our VA officialdom deals with officers, who have a vested interest in ensuring that enlisted treatement costs don't break the VA/tricare bank. Another is the tradition of military medicine, which is to medicine as marching music is to music: designed to keep the boys faced to the front and moving forwards.

When I was a young medic my first senior medic impressed on me that the motto of our corps was "Conserve the FIGHTING Strength" and discussed the concept of "triage", whereby a certain proportion of our injured were abandoned to die to ensure that those most likely to survive (and, by inference, to return to duty) could be saved. I've never forgotten that.

And Kipling's poem MB references is called "The Last of the Light Brigade" and it's worth quoting in full:

There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.

They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.

They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;

And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;

And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;

With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.

An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?

We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."

And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;

Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made - "
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

As it was in the Beginning, is now and ever shall be...

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Over the years the little fellow has caused a lot of pain. Nut in to worry about.I had it operated on in the B'ham Medical center- a civilian hospital in 84-thet tied of the artery and put in a steel shunt of some sort to absorb the blood and cut off blood flow into the little rascal.

The VA wanted to put in a prosthetic device that was much like a ping pong ball but it could've been a golf ball lost by Publius.I declined because i was afraid that ping pong tables would excite me if i accepted their solution.

NUTS. jim

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 1:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Jim: Dude, you coud have had a Neuticle(TM)!!!

Ran across these things somewhere in pet-land; little prosthetic nuts so your dog can sport his pride long after he's lost the interest in doing so...

Glad to hear that you had good docs and are not overtroubled by the after-effects. Wish I'd been as lucky with my ortho people at Womack, maybe my knees'd be worth a damn these past years...

Monday, November 24, 2008 at 12:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Jim: Re: "Nuts!", the story I got from the XO of the 1/327 after a field problem at Ft. Campbell in 1983 was that McAuliffe's original reply was "Balls!!" or "My balls!" and one of his dogrobbers changed it to "Nuts!". He also said that it was the original version that was reported to Patton, whose delight in the man's fibre helped speed the 3rd Army north that week.

Monday, November 24, 2008 at 12:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Junior African Grey said...

Bean counter Chu has been nothing but a 'roid on the Servicemember's arse since this admin has been in power.

Not as seroius as screwing wounded vets over, but frustrating none the less is how he's effed up military travel. Travel pay & Travel issues are now handled under DTS, a most user UN-friendly system to say the least.

Hope the S.O.B. hatches an enormous cancer of the prostate after he departs the Pentagon.

Monday, November 24, 2008 at 12:58:00 PM GMT-5  

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