- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

Last year, I contacted you for assistance with my VA claim because in March 2011, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and on June 2, 2011, my prostate was removed. I submitted a VA claim in Virginia, which was lost.

I submitted another in California where I had to move to be near my son so he could assist me. After contacting you, I was contacted by California VA, and was scheduled for various medical examinations, which I immediately underwent. As of this date, my VA claim still has not been processed,

Thank you very much, and any assistance you can provide me will be greatly appreciated.

William T.
Via the Internet

Dear William:

I forwarded your inquire to the powers that be at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Hopefully, they will track your case to determine who dropped the ball.

Shaft notes

• The Sarge is looking forward to joining the Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF) and other invited guests on June 13 at the organization’s 28th annual Congressional Awards reception commencing at 11:30 a.m. in Room 334 of the Cannon House Office Building.

Our nation’s colors will be presented by the Military District of Washington’s Joint Color Guard, and the very talented Marine Corps Brass Quintet will once again perform patriotic music.

Recipients of the BAVF’s “Buck” Gillispie Congressional Award are Rep. Martha Roby, Alabama, and Rep. Mike Michaud, Maine. The Carlton Sherwood Media Award will be present to George L. Skypeck, military historical artist and poet, and to John Harper, editor of Military.com.

The George Alexander Memorial Volunteer Award will be presented to: Christopher Holley, Veterans Benefits counselor, Department of Veterans Affairs; and to Jonathan Wilson, advocacy officer, Department of Veterans Affairs. The Corporate Volunteer Award will be presented to Randy Ortanez, president of PCTEST Engineering Laboratory Inc.

Bob Madigan, WTOP “Man About Town” will be the Master of Ceremony of the event.

The BAVF will host the annual Flag Week picnic on Saturday, June 15, in Silver Spring, honoring Fernando Rivera, VA VISN Director, (DelMarVa region) Medical Centers. Local, state and federal leaders will be also be present. Picnickers will be serenaded with live music, and as in past years, there will be plenty of refreshments and Lakis will provide his famous New York hot dogs, Washington-style.

• The Sarge encourages all members of Congress to join Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis, a Florida Republican and the  vice-chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, who has introduced H.R. 2063, which would authorize enrollment at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities for all veterans who served during World War II.

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