1966-67 were wild years for me. I was drafted in '65, took basic at Ft. Polk and then the U.S. Army aimed me at South Vietnam where I served gloriously with the 1st Air Cav (Airmobile). We kicked ass! For that adventure they pinned a Bronze Star on my chest and sent me back to Texas. Oops! Almost forgot. The Army also sprayed me with Agent Orange; a defoliant/herbicide contaminated with a dioxin, ...TCDD-the most horrific, toxic molecule ever synthesized by man. For me it meant diabetes type II, cataracts, coronary artery disease, peripheral neuropathy, etc. For my Air Cav brothers it meant cancer, lymphomas, missing limbs and death. For the South Vietnamese it was 400,000 killed or maimed, innumerable miscarriages and stillbirths in women, cattle, water buffalo and pigs. 2003: The VA rated me 60% disabled. Many of my war buds came into my gun store with the same sit rep as me but with 100% which gets you more monthly compensation, medical treatment, life insurance and PX privileges. 2013: Healthwise, things started going south for me but I was reluctant to contact the VA because I felt others needed care more than me...because I was still vertical...because the tens of thousands of Irag and Afghanistan vets didn't have arms and legs and I did. Besides, I had heard that the VA was overloaded and couldn't deal with you for months, even years. A totally bogus bad rap! I contacted the Disabled American Vets and DONALD HODGES, National Service Officer and Veteran's Advocate (Houston Office). He convinced me that my thinking was unsound and that he would assist me with claims, claims processing, appeals and most veteran's benefits and issues. He said he would work with my original 2003 VA hero Dwayne Bowles (Decision Review Officer). And work they did! And Fast! I filled out a few forms, took a couple to my doctors, went to the VA Hospital for three back to back one hour verification physicals and three weeks later was rated 90% disabled. 15 days after that I got my first increased check. THE VA & DAV WERE NOT SLOW. THEY WERE FAST, EFFICIENT, PERSONABLE AND READY TO ROCK! All vets listen up: If you have a service connected disability our government owes you medical care and money. You paid for it with flesh and blood. America is taking care of it's vets! We always will. If you had difficulty with benefits before I'm here to inform you that there's a new VA in town and DAV is part of that effort. In many cases the VA and DAV personnel are veterans! When I went to the VA Hospital-Houston. everybody was there to help, to give instructions and advise and direct. Disabled vets were there to help the disabled vets. Even Samsung had organized volunteers to hand out early morning cupcakes decorated with red, white and blue icing and little U.S. flags and iced tea. Consider the organization involved in putting together that kind of act...cooking, decorating, buying cups & paper towels, driving in Houston traffic and spending a large part of your day being kind to others who really need a cup...cake of kindness. Kinda what God had in mind for us? You bet!!!