We would like to bring to the public attention a letter we recently received from one of our readers, Chauncey L. Robinson.
I am a United States of America Veteran. I enlisted on January 7, 1992 and was honorably discharged on July 7, 1992. While serving at Fort Leonard Wood MO, some time around March 30, 1992 I suffered an injury to my left eye socket, an orbital fracture and needed surgery. In April of 1992 I had a chest x-ray preparing me for surgery and all came back normal. The surgery was performed by Doctor Captain Susan Parks and I was placed on medical profile, and issued a doctor’s letter stating I am restricted to desk duty at (CQ) desk to answer the telephone.
On May 3, 1992 I was in my bunk asleep and drill sergeant Michael Buehler sent three soldiers to wake me up three separate times, and each time I showed them the doctor’s letter. So drill sergeant Michael Buehler came upstairs and started to scream and yell at me before turning my bunk over with me in it. He forced me to go to (KP) kitchen privileges, and I went as ordered even though I was restricted. The (KP) sergeant sent me back to the barracks with instructions to tell drill sergeant Michael Buehler to never again send an injured or sick soldier to (KP) duty.
Upon my return to the barracks I started to experience chest pain and I asked to go to the medical clinic. I was examined there, and my blood pressure which was sky high, so I was sent to General Leonard Wood Hospital for a chest x-ray that showed enlargement of the heart. I was sent home to New York City with a honorable discharge on July 7, 1992. A couple of weeks into July of 1992 I filed a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional in New York City. I was also examined by a civilian hospital doctors at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for my heart condition.
It was constantly denied regardless of the medical evidence and had a hearing at the NY regional oofece, and it was again denied. I filed another claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs in New York City for (P.T.S.D.), and both claims were denied and I appealed to the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington DC in 1995.
Suddenly, my original claim folder turned up missing or destroyed sometime around 1996. I received a letter from the Board of Veterans Affairs the (VARO) in New York City had committed administrative error in my appeal. In December of 1998 the (P.T.S.D.) claim was granted but the heart condition was again denied. I appealed the denial and sometime around September of 2004 my appeal was sent to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. On September 14, 2005 the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims remanded my appeal back to the Board of Veterans Appeals with a court order instructing them to locate my original claim folder, and the Board of Veterans Appeals remanded my appeal back to the VA Regional Office (VARO) in New York City with the same court order that they locate my original claim folder.
Sometime around August of 2008, 41 of 57 VARO’s were placed under investigation by the Office of Inspector General and the VARO in New York City was found to have six employees placed on administrative leave with pay due to their involvement. Around October of 2008, Joseph Collorafi, the Chief administrator, was one of those suspended. Joseph Collorafi handled my claim. On September 10, 2008 Joseph Collorafi signed off on the Supplemental Statement of the Case denying my appeal without locating my original claim folder, again on March 23, 2009. These denials were a violation of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims court order!
What we have here is a true fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs has been lying to United States Veterans of America, the public and the media.”
A video, which aired on Channel 6 on November 11, 2009 follows: