Town Hall Meeting Update

So the PHX VA held a Town Hall meeting this last Thursday. The first thing is if you didn’t know. We now have a new permanent Director. Her name is Deborah Amdur (more info). The first thing I can tell you is there is a genuine feeling that she cares….whether that is true or not we will have to wait and see. But the best part that I noticed was the different style of leadership she showed compared to bast directors. She spent time with each case, making sure she understood the issue, spoke to the Veterans specifically about there issues and directed them to the correct help. From what I understand the follow up to the issues were almost immediate the next day. I did receive a phone call on Friday stating that the in patient labs will start doing my test so I can access that lab 24 hrs a day.

Though through the media the appointment for a permanent director is being praised, all I have to say is she has her work cut out for her. Veterans here in PHX are done playing the games and are no longer taking the abuse and the uncaring environment that the PHX VA has created.

She did lay out goals for the VA hospital which was refreshing, but again, something we will have to wait and see what happens. One goal that I brought up during the meeting was that personalize care needs to be a priority, because there is no personalized health care at the VA. They too often bunch your condition or issues in with a group of people which is unfair to the Veteran. As with my condition, I’m 24 years old, but I am grouped in with the 65+ Veterans because my condition is usually something that senior experience. Because of that I am issued medicine that isn’t for prolonged use, especially at 34. So personalized Health Care is a must to make sure the PHX VA gets it right.

Its still a long road to get Veterans the Health Care they deserve. Over the next few years the increase of Veterans will continue, even though there is a study that shows that there is a decline of Veterans because the older Veterans are growing old, but that’s not an excuse to continue the decline the care of Veterans.

Lets keep our prayers for this new director. Hopefully she can turn around parts of the issues and doesn’t follow suit with every other director that has worked at the PHX VA.

VA Town Hall Jan-2016

The PHX VA will be hosting a VA Town Hall meeting at 6:30 PM, January 21st @ the Phoenix VA Health Care System (ACC Quad) located at 650 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ.

So I posted this because in the past there really hasn’t been a large push for these events. They only happen quarterly and I can tell you first hand that they do help. If you have a benefits issue, a true complaint about the Phoenix VA they will hear your complaint. Though sometimes you will see the true Veteran Patriots act out it is usually a quiet meeting for Veterans to voice their opinion and like anything like this some things are fixed and some just continue to get swept under the rug. But if you have a true complaint, come prepared to defend it and get your voice out there. Whether it is small or large, come and complain. The more that is heard the more that we know.

I’m hoping that unlike the past 3 that I have attended that there is more talking among the directors to us Veterans. In the past you presented your issue and the only thing these directors could say was, can someone help them. These directors are the first line of defense to our issues and should have something to say about them instead of just facilitating help on the spot. I want to hear more about whats happening, what the VA is doing or isn’t doing. More interaction instead of being a puppet for the VA. I want to see more action and more knowledge from these so called leaders than dumping the issue on something else. Speak up Directors of the PHX VA. We need to hear you!!!

Now with that said, if you haven’t been to one you should. The more that we get the more we will have. Its important to the VA to see that there are more than just the regulars showing up with issues. Even if you don’t have a VA issue I encourage you to attend because it will open your eyes to other Veteran issues that you would otherwise not know was happening.

Again, if you have an issue or know of a Veteran who is having an issue please be there. They will work with you one on one to get you the answer you need, yes it is sad that you have to come to a town hall meeting to have this corrected or your issue resolved, but its what you have to do to protect yourself. Now there are some people that have been coming to the VA Town Halls for years and there issues haven’t been fixed and again this is why they have these town hall meetings.

So come out, support your fellow Veterans and lets come together as a group of people and not individuals!!!

 

Sleep Perception

Its so over rated. Who needs it right. It seems the faster our society starts moving the less sleep we get and the less we can live without. I remember the transformation of how I saw sleep when I joined the Army. Before, I could lay in a field of grass with my eyes closed and just enjoy the sounds and the smells. I could close my eyes for just a few seconds to take in a moment, but once I joined the Army, that one second that I would close my eyes, I was sleeping. If I closed my eyes to take in a moment, I was being yelled out to wake up. The perception of eyes closed means sleep.

Just think of that for a moment. If you used that logic, every person in church when the Pastor begins to pray is sleeping and I would say, that some are. It brings me to a more complex situation. Perception is everything. I used to hear that a lot in the Army. If someone perceives you of doing something you did it. This is wear I learned the command walk, where you walk everywhere with a purpose so that if someone saw you, they would say, that soldier is always on the move.

Our your perceptions of yourself a reflection on God? The way you speak, the way you eat, the way you walk, the way you drive, the way you carry yourself. It not easy being a believer. But its the best feeling in the world. You have to be cautious of how you present yourself to the public. Its really not that hard, just follow the teachings of the Lord and you’ve already got it down. But there are those that are socially awkward. And from time to time, have to be reminded that its not just a perception of those around you, but the main one from the Man upstairs. He know the false you, the sneaking you, the I’m not at Church so I don’t have to be a Christian you. So why not just be you all the time. I say, if your gonna be fake, than be the best at being fake. In the end its Gods interpretation of who you really are. Your not going to have to answer to your friends, or our family, or that random guy on the street that your faking to impress. Just be you!

I tell my kids all the time, “Be the best you, that you can be, Only you can do you.” God already knows who your gonna be and how your gonna get there. Make a good perception to the world. Be a Jesus Freak, be on Fire so much that people say, calm down now….that just too much. Just tell them that they can’t handle it.

So back to sleep. How much do we need? Some say 8 hrs. Other say 6 hours. I say, as much as you need to do God’s work. Yeah its the cheap way out, but if you live on His time and not your own, then He will award you with enough time to achieve all that you need because He already knows what you need to get there. Working in the Ministry years ago, I learned to concepts, always work to find your replacement and never work yourself into a place where no one can do your job. The reason for these are fairly easy.

Always work to find your replacement because you shouldn’t have a permanent job in the ministry. You should continue to push forward and wonder into other ministries. Always take a break and find time to not do ministry. Like me, many dive into ministry and just get overwhelmed with doing it. At first its fun, but eventually you get burned out and instead of finding someone part time your replaced. Ministry should be done in moderation.

Perception is everything!! Always put your best foot forward and strive to project a Christ Like Image. Live for Christ, through work, sleep, school, driving, walking, running, and even just taking care of the kids. Christ is in everything we do!!

Be a light unto the world!!! Be a perception worthy of a notice!!!!

Need vs Want

There are two things in life that really drive us. The need and the want. As a parent I have tried to teach my children the difference between needing and wanting. As I have started to dive into my reading I started to think last night, am I living by the same teachings?

As I move forward in life I have to remember that there is only one thing in my life I truly need. That one thing is God. The need greatly out weighs the want. God will provide everything I need, He will provide me the necessary tools for the things I want. The things I want in life should place focus on Him in the end.

We too often place the wants in front of the needs and forget that through His grace and love that those things we want will come with our continued commitment to Him.

In 2008 I gave my life to Christ. At the time I knew what it meant, but didn’t know what it was truly going to do to me. What it would change me into. Since, the life of a believer hasn’t been easy. In times I have wondered, why me Lord, I gave my life to You. Why have you forsaken me. This is when the want outweighed the need. I looked back and realized that what I was asking for was obtainable through my own actions and not through God’s.

Even through my ups and downs, my time away from the church, my many days of doubts, my fight with my medical condition and the everyday fight to stay a believer, I have not wavered my love for Him. The one thing I really did learn through it is that as I was blaming God, I forgot that its not God’s fault for the things that happen in my life. The choices I make that weren’t the greatest fall on Satan’s ears and I allow him into my heart. God can’t dwell within the heart of one that allows Satan to live there. There are always two sides to every story, so when you blame God remember, its not God, its you allowing Satan into your heart.

The need over the want!!! Need God, Need His love, Need his guidance, Need His comfort, Need His devotion, Need His wisdom, Need His word, and dwell in the house of the Lord. God doesn’t want your love, He needs your love. He doesn’t want your devotion, He needs it. It makes Him stronger within you. It allows Him to surround your life with His love and protection.

Devote your needs to God and He will bless your wants. Its never to late to accept Christ as your savior and never to late to wonder, what can He do for me? I am here to tell you, He doesn’t just move mountains, but he can change a sinners heart to a believers heart.

Need God!!!

 

2016

For many years I have done two things at the end of the year. The first has always been cleaning. I have always cleaned out my storage or closets and tried to make changes in my life for the next year. I’ve seen the many post online and social media, “Whats your New Year Resolution?”

What is a New Years Resolution? Mostly it is what people decide to change about themselves or their surroundings for the upcoming year. And mostly they fail at keeping those Resolutions. This year I decided not to make any resolutions. I mean don’t get me wrong, I want to lose some weight, I want to work on some key parts of my life, I want to make some changes, but why?

What I have decided to do is just keep my original promise. One that I made years ago. The promise to live for Christ. With that all the changes I need to make or would like to make, He will make for me. For He knows what needs to be done. There is no need to give a Resolution to make a change when the change needs to be made between Him and me.

We seem to fall away from Him when life is hard, when life is good we forget about Him. It is only when life has no meaning that we seek Him. Instead of a Resolution we should be seeking His Resolution for us. His meaning for us to change and His meaning for us to live for Him. Because it only through Him do we truly live. So many have a hard time devoting time to Him, changing for Him, accepting His need of Love from us. I once heard a sermon that asked, why can’t we give 1 hour a week for Him, when we give so many more hours to other things in our lives. He asks for more than an hour, but one hour a week is where it starts.

So this year, I put back on my full Armor of God and begin the journey I started so many years ago. To go forth into the world to make disciples of those that I meet. To show the world that God does exist, that He lives within all of us, whether we believe in Him or not, He believes in us. That He has a purpose for all of us, whether we seek His purpose, He will continue to use us and those around us for His purpose. To be the one that moves forward when He calls, to be the one that raises his hand and says, I will go forth, I will walk with you as you walk with me. The most inspirational thing I get when reading the Bible is the many times that the words, “I AM, ” are used by Jesus. It is Jesus declaring over and over again the He is everything to this world.

So to those out that seeking His wisdom, He is waiting for your words. For those that are unsure, He is never unsure. For those that doubt His love, He will never doubt you or the great things you can do.

Have a great and wonderful year. Make it a year for Him. Live for Him. Seek Him!!!!

Ending this Year

Its been awhile since I posted anything about the VA and anything about whats been going on in the news. The main reason is that in my own life things have been working in a way that have been changing. The issues with the VA still persist, though I have seen many of my close Veteran friends come out on the positive end at the VA. One of those close friends was able to come out with 100% disability without ever really using the VA because he uses TriCare because he is retired. And to tell you that that type of information is a life changer is an understatement. I enjoy hearing those stories, because it means that we are making changes, small as they are, some Veterans get a great experience from the VA and many receive the worst.

My medical issues still persist, I have finished many rounds of Physical Therapy, really for the VA to check a box that I did it, but I feel better, but that’s just my back that they say is not service connected. I have a future appointment with an outside the VA provider to dig deep into my Post Thrombotic Syndrome, courtesy of my good friend Steve Cooper. He is such an inspiration to all us Vets. I still have an appeal waiting through the VA on that condition and don’t foresee and answer anytime soon.

Future events are a must – I am working with my local church to help collect toys for children for this Christmas that we will be delivering to the West Valley on the 19th which is an amazing event. The Church I attend is very involved in the community which is just what all churches should be doing. So I think I found my new home church.

There are so many other things in my personal life that I’m not ready to share as of yet, its one of those things that I don’t want to stir the pot to much.

News ~ I know that many are watching this presidential debate very closely and I have to honestly tell you, I was at first, but the more and more I watch the more I continued to believe that its all a stunt. The presidential run is all about money, power, and media. It will never be about anything more than that. You have the power hungry candidate, Donald Trump, who, even though he isn’t take money from the media, is still using money to win the election. No matter how you spin it, having to use millions of dollars to run for president is pathetic in my opinion. Instead of doing that, spend the money on the homeless and help those less fortunate, that you know you won’t help once you win the presidency. You have Jeb Bush that really only has his last name to stand on. Marco Rubio who I’ve been watching because I relate to him, but in the end he’s the same as everyone else. Big dreams, until they are president. Ted Cruz is one that really makes you think, could he really turn America around?

You may think I’m just bitter, but as with History, no matter what is promised by a President prepare to be disappointed. Every president uses promises to get in and promises to stay in. I don’t need promises, I need action. I believe that for many reasons, candidates promise so much because they aren’t fully aware of the truth until they become president and that’s why there promises disappear. But we will see. The next president that takes the throne will really have to step up their game to keep this country together.

And to leave you with a thought. God is the gift to all. I know that during this time of season religion starts to come out more because of Christmas. Please understand that God isn’t just the reason for the season, He is the reason for every season. He isn’t just here for Christmas, He is there with you for every walk of your life. God is slowly falling away from our country and we need every believer to truly stand up for Jesus. We must not falter. We must not allow the non believers to interfere with our love of Christ. For too long the Love and excitement of Christ has become repressed in our society. It seems over the last few years that more and more Christians and believers have become complacent with the mission of being a Christian. We are to be a light unto the world of darkness and our world is becoming more and more dark. We are slowly loosing our foothold of this world by turning an ear to profanity and sin with the fear of upsetting someone. We have become complacent of accepting non believers behaviors instead of spreading the gospel….we have gone away from Church and the true meaning of being a follower of Christ. We aren’t excited anymore to have such an Amazing God. Only because of fear, we are all become more and more like Peter. Peter denied Jesus three times as Jesus was being crucified. His fear overcame his belief and Jesus already knew this. We must not let fear overcome our belief, we must deny our belief and we must stand together to stop this world from destroying our belief.

Ok enough religious stuff. I do hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. Remember those deployed during this time of the year and those that will not be with immediate families, but will be spending it with the closeness of brothers and sisters at arms. Our military defends us when we sleep, when we celebrate and when we forget them. They still serve. Please watch after each other during this holiday season. God bless everyone and again, Merry Christmas

Veterans Day

Veterans – Men and woman of the United States that at one point decided that the freedoms we enjoy can’t be enjoyed unless someone sacrifices their time and lives to protect and defend those freedoms. Veterans are Soldiers, Airmen, Seaman, and Marines – The strongest military to walk the face of the earth.

Without Veterans this country wouldn’t still be standing today. We wouldn’t have rose to the highest power in the world and as we are starting to see our country fall its because of those in the White House that are failing not only the people of the United States, but are failing our Veterans. The first Veterans of this country fought the first fights that removed us from Great Britain. They fought the first front lines and fought for something we are still fighting for today. The idea that a man or woman is free, freedoms that are a God given right, not a right given by birth. That’s one of the biggest issues with our Nation today, we continue to think that just because your born in America you have been granted a free pass to all the freedoms here, but those rights weren’t just given to all Americans, but they were formed by those that believed that those rights were given to you by God and God alone. Whether you believe it or not, God formed this country on the backs of Veterans. He protects this country each and every day on the backs of Veterans and the future of this country will survive on the back of Veterans. Veterans are the true back bone of this country. History shows us that through Veteran ingenuity we prevailed during War War I and II. After those wars Veterans came home with the knowledge of War and began to build a better America. Same thing with the Iraq and Afghan war, Veterans came home to help build a better America. There are now more representatives in our government that are Veterans that are working hard to make this country better. Its what we do as Veterans, we have the passion to serve and when we leave service we never truly stop serving our country. If your a Veteran and your not plugged in…you should be. Veterans serving Veterans!!

No civilian will ever understand the ties Veterans have to America. Its not just a place we call home and its not just a place where are families live, it is the ultimate place we will defend with out lives. Its something that is truly hard to understand. It takes courage and fortitude to become a Veteran.

On this Veterans day it is even more important to thank a Veteran for their service, the state of the world we live in may depend more on Veterans than we can imagine.

I say thank you to all the Veterans before me, during my service and those that continue to serve this great country. Volunteering to serve your country to me is the highest honor that you can bestow on yourself and your family. I am proud of every soldier that decides to serve and those that feel the call to one day serve.

Happy Veterans day! Stay Safe, Call a Veteran if you need help!!

“No Mission Too Difficult. No Sacrifice Too Great. Duty First!” ~ 1ID

The Good

Since I started this site I know that I have stated a lot of negative things about the Veterans Administration. My personal experience hasn’t been the best, mostly the transition from service to using the VA is my main concern, but what is more important is the future of the VA and how current and future Veterans will be treated. I believe Veterans should get the best care as soon as humanly possible no matter the situation or the injury, not just because we are Veterans, but because we stood up, whether we volunteered or was drafted, and answered the call to defend this country, whether we agreed with the war or not, we did are job and came home, we are the unlucky ones that made it through combat because we had to come home to a country that refuses to acknowledge there’s and issue with the VA.

So I do want to talk about some good from the VA. Yes, sometimes through all the VA crap there is good. Its hard to find and hard to come by, but I assure its there. I have been going to Physical Therapy for my back and my therapist at the PHX VA are amazing, once you get an appointment they are great. They give you every opportunity to get better and give you all the tools you need to get better. They don’t want you to come back, so they give you everything you need without any questions to make sure you have the information to conduct your own physical therapy at home. They are very informative and very clear on what their goals for you are. They follow up and they make sure your appointments are within the right amount of time. So that’s my good so far at the VA.

I’m still dealing with my other medical issues, no followups from my PCP, so I guess I have to do that on my own. Still have a differed condition in the Que which no one seems to be worried about and still no change in my medical outlook. I do have to say my appointments have seem to come faster, but still are far out.

As I have stated before the worst is yet to come and if you see the news more and more scandals keep coming out. My good friend Steve Cooper just officially started a lawsuit against the VA for malpractice with his Cancer. This man fought for this country and they misdiagnosed his cancer and then when they found out it was cancer they gave him a short amount of time to live and then proceeded to tell him that he couldn’t get an appointment for months which was almost the time line they gave him to live. I wish Steve an incredible amount of luck and pray for a good outcome. Its sad that our American men and women go and fight the wars this country decides are the wars we should be fighting, and those that survive are treated worst than the ones that never came home, at least they are at peace, while the Veterans continue to struggle, die, and face issues with there health. And I’ll say it, the worst is yet to come!!

Brothers & Sisters

When I left service in 2009, I left running as fast as I could. I turned my back on the Army as fast as I could because of what I went through the last few years I was in. What I have learned is that no matter what I went through the Army gave me skills that I will use for the rest of my life. Most of those skills I still use today, like being able to accomplish things that I don’t have the strength to accomplish, face things that I would have normally feared. For a brief moment when I left the service I stayed far away from the military, I didn’t associate with the Army, I didn’t seek the VA, I never even put Veterans plates on my car. I saw the service as something in my life that is my past and I needed to move on.

Last weekend I spoke to a fellow Vet that left service in 91 of the Gulf War. He did the same thing, he moved on with his life and left it all behind. He is now dealing with PTSD, hearing issues and many other issues that affect him today. He thought the same thing that I did, that I volunteered and I felt the world didn’t owe me anything. I didn’t my duty and that was it. But I learned quickly in 2014 that it wasn’t so much that the world owed me something, but I owed it to myself and my family to make sure that the things that happened to me while in service were taken care of so I could be around longer for them. Its not that the government promised me that the VA would take care of me, I never heard of the VA until I was about to get out of the military, my father never used the VA and I don’t think he even knew he could. But its not a promise its an earned right. As a Veteran I think my sacrifices are worth good health care, better benefits, and things being taken care of in a timely manner. The VA isn’t a right, its something I earned. I gave my all in service to this country, the least this country can do is give its all for Veterans.

Now this Veteran that I spoke too is filing claims and starting the long uphill battle that awaits in Veteran. The continued waiting and denials will begin, but I assured him that he would accomplish what he needed as long as he stays on top of them, question everything they do and make sure you have proof of what your asking for. Don’t take no for an answer and don’t let them lie during the claims. Request a full audit of your claims file and record everything the doctors do and say.

I’m glad that the groups I have worked with have shown me what being a Veteran is all about. Its not a title, its a way of life just like the military was. I’m here to protect my brothers and sisters through the struggles they face after service. We need to educate more Veterans and get them on board with advocating to other Veterans that don’t know how to file a claim, how to file for a representative and how to process a claim appointment. The transition from service is vague and there really isn’t a transition from service to the VA. The Veteran has to do all the work.

I thank the Army for making me the man I am today. I thank the Army for giving me the skills that allow me to live and work ethically and to have morals instilled where others don’t. I may be out of service but my service to this country hasn’t ended its only begun!. To any brothers and sisters out there struggling, your not alone, we are in this fight together. Never hesitate to reach out for help.

Family

 

 

2016-05-30 13.20.30

This is the most amazing person I know. She is loving, caring, and very family oriented. She is an amazing nurse that loves to take care of babies. Not only is she amazing she is also crazy, just crazy enough to marry me.

IMG_0843

This is Braden. He is my oldest son. He enjoys singing, dancing, drawing, being creative, playing Minecraft and is very acrobatic. He is currently 9 years old and is in the 4th Grade. He aspires to be a Doctor (not a real doctor) but Doctor Who.

IMG_0842

This is Ryder. He is my youngest son. He enjoys being goofy (you can never expect what comes out of his mouth). He enjoys playing Army, he likes to run around with guns and swords taking out the bad guys. He also loves to snuggle and enjoys watching educational programs on TV. He is currently 7 years old and is in 2nd Grade. He says he wants to be an Army Sniper when he gets older.

IMG_0897

This is Leah. She is my one and only daughter. She loves Littlest Pet Shops and collects them avidly. She enjoys making videos with her LPS’. She also is an avid Diet Coke drinker. She loves to read and enjoys school. She wants to be a Veterinarian one day because she loves animals. She is currently 12 years old and in the 5th Grade.