By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Dear Sgt Shaft: I've heard from a veteran friend here in North Carolina that he can get talking prescriptions from the VA hospital. He gets his prescriptions with an special electronic label. They also gave him a free device that reads the electronic labels and speaks the label information out.
Dear Sgt Shaft: I am way out of touch with possible benefits after being honorably discharged in 1977; I actually enlisted in 1971 after serving in Camp Lejeune and also on the MSG program, serving at the American Embassy in London for some three years inclusive. I currently live in the United Kingdom, where I married here and brought up our two daughters. Please give me some help and guide me on any benefits that I can claim, retirement or some other financial benefit.
Dear Sgt. Shaft: Thank you so much for all you did to help me. ... I had a wonderful time on my trip. I challenged myself emotionally and physically and was able to sleep and act without focusing on everyone else's welfare — real respite. I'm hoping to use our respite hours again in late January to take out little ones to Disney.
Two Republican lawmakers have called on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki to fire his chief of staff for approving two training conferences that led to $762,000 in questionable spending.
Dear Sgt. Shaft: I currently have three dog tags that I would be willing to ship to the respective families if I could ever find them. They were stored with the WWII medals of my great uncle who passed, and I would venture to say that they must have been friends at some time.
Dear Sgt. Shaft: I read your Nov. 17, 2010, post related to a woman seeking her military ID after having divorced her second husband. You stated that she could get her ID card but not medical benefits. Do you have a sense for whether or not widow's benefits could be reinstated after a divorce?
Dear Sgt. Shaft: My mother is 85 years old and hasn't received anything from the government. They even took her ID card at Camp Lejeune. Her husband served in World War II and the Korean War. He retired in 1967 from the Marine Corps with 25 years active service and five in the reserves. She has just gotten her ID card back. Nobody can explain why she has not received any benefits all these years, or why they took her card in the first place. He passed away in 1973 and my mother has been without benefits all these years. She has never remarried. Should she not be entitled to something?
Dear Sgt. Shaft: I attended ROTC boot camp in the summer of 1958 at Corps of Engineers, Fort Belvoir, Va. I sustained tinnitus and hearing injury at the M1 rifle range. I reported that to the VA at the time and they turned down my claim because my training "... is not considered as service in the armed forces."
Dear Sgt. Shaft: My wife recently suffered a heart attack during her sleep and died. One week later, I was informed that I had prostate cancer. In May 2011, I filed a claim with VA, and heard nothing, I filed another claim August 2011. Thanks to your intervention, I received a call from a VA rep in Oakland and notification of scheduled medical appointments on May 5, and 6. On May 22, I received a packet requesting any supporting documentation, which I then sent to them.
Dear Sgt. Shaft: I am a totally disabled veteran from service-connected disabilities. If I were to go to a nursing home, will the government or VA take any of the pay I get from veterans or from Social Security?
Dear Sgt. Shaft: My husband Vincent was in the Korean War in the 1950s. He is having his Army medals sent to him. The Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM) is not included with the medals he is receiving. Can the Korean Defense Service Medal be sent to him, or does he have to pay for it. If he has to pay for it, where can he order it on the computer? Thank you for your help.
Dear Sgt. Shaft: I just read your response (July 30, 2007) to Donald about ROTC [Reserve Officers Training Corps] Summer Camp counting for Civil Service Retirement. My problem is that I do not have pay voucher or orders documenting my attendance. DFAS [Defense Finance and Accounting Services] and ROTC Brigade haven’t been able to help. Do you know where I can get copies of required information? Also, will ROTC Summer Camp count toward reserve retirement?
Dear Sgt. Shaft: I want to marry a woman who is currently receiving a widow's pension. At one point in time she had a document that said she could remarry at age 55, but lately we have been reading that the age is 57. As would be expected we cannot find that document now. Which is it? Was it originally 55 and later changed? If so, is there a grandfather clause?
Dear Sgt Shaft: I just wanted to drop you a quick hello. Hope all is going well. I am finally on my three weeks off of school. The semester went well. I received A's in all my classes. Not to mention, I made the Dean's List with a 3.94 GPA! Once again thanks again for all your help in getting my GI Bill squared away.
Dear Sgt. Shaft: In a previous column, Detective Douglas Scheller of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department wrote that he had been asked to try to locate a person whose dog tag was found.