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I'm Jim Strickland.
That's me above, at my VA clinic in Savannah, Georgia. I edit and contribute to the VAWatchdog.
I'm a veteran of the Army 1967 - 1970. I served in Germany at the 98th General Hospital.
I'm retired from a career in health care that started at Ft. Sam Houston.
I use VA services just like you do. I started working with Larry Scott at VAWatchdog in 2006.
The Military Veteran's Disability Guide - 2006
Let's see what I was writing 12 years ago.
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There is no substitute
for the veteran claimant who is involved and informed. Once you've learned how the system really works, filing correctly...getting it right the first time...isn't that hard to do. Educate yourself by reading what the experts have to say.
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Filing your VA and/or Social Security disability claim is not a spectator sport.
We believe you are the best person to manage your claim. You're smart enough to hold an honorable discharge, then you're smart enough to fill out some forms and put those forms in the mail.
You must be involved. If you expect someone else to do the grunt work for you and for FREE, you lose.
This web site can provide you with all you need to file and win your well grounded claim. But we can't file that claim for you.
Yes, your VA is supposed to help you. No, your VA will NOT help you. You're on your own.
Research your claim as you file it, do it right the first time. We're here to help.
Questions and comments can be sent directly to Jim.
No, we don't use the phone very much. We won't call you, we don't publish our number. We prefer to use email for the security and record it gives us when we are reviewing your claim or evidence.
The veteran or a family member must contact us by email. We can't reach out to veterans, the veteran must contact us.
If you'll enter the URL of the VAWatchdog
(or any other web site you want to explore)
the Wayback Machine will show you screenshots and history of your chosen target.
The fellow above is Larry Scott.
He founded the VAWatchdog in 2005. Larry and I started aggressive advocacy efforts together in 2006.
Larry passed away some years ago from a non-service connected illness.
I promised Larry I'd carry on the tradition of helping veterans to obtain the benefits they've earned.
Jim at work editing the VAWatchdog
Our mission, goals and values are simple. We are all about educating veterans.
We do that by providing a headline news aggregation service for veterans and their families. We believe that an informed veteran will fare much better in life.
The benefits we earned through our dedicated and honorable military service can often be complex and not easy to obtain. VAWatchdog provides you with simple instructions that you can use to manage your VA benefits. We believe that most veterans should take a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach to handling VA benefits claims.
VA does not require that you have a "representative". The fact is that VA would rather work directly with the veteran to adjudicate a veterans disability claim.
Veterans disability claims are often challenging but once the veteran understands the Veterans Administration rules, the process of managing your benefits is much easier.
Nobody cares about your claim the way you do.
You may be filing a disability claim about obstructive sleep apnea, prostate cancer, agent orange related benefits or you may want information about any of the hundreds of other VA benefits that are available to you. We don't shy from the more controversial topics like marijuana and the VA or your rights as a veteran to own a gun, pistol or to be given a concealed weapons carry permit.We avoid rumors. We aren't here to bash the VA.
We publish the facts that we believe are the most correct and of most use to you. That's all.
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How to navigate to what you need and what we're all about. Welcome aboard!
There is no fee to use the VAWatchdog.
We don't ask that you register or give us any information.
We don't ask for donations, you can't find a way to give us your money.
We aren't tracking you and using your personal information.
We don't have a mailing list and we won't email you unless you email us first.
We are supported by the advertisers you see on the pages of the VAWatchdog.
Because there are ads, we aren't asking you for your hard earned dollars.
Please show them some respect, thanks.
If you'd like to advertise with us, our rates are very reasonable.
Email Jim to talk about your ad here <email@example.com>
You're now at the most informative veterans disability benefits site anywhere. Welcome Aboard!
Since 2005 the VAWatchdog has been keeping an eye on VA...because somebody has to.
The primary goal of VAWatchdog is to educate veterans. It's our philosophy that a veteran should understand the reality of what he or she faces when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other, similar agencies. Rather than handing your Power of Attorney (POA) over to a stranger who may or may not have any particular skills, education of training, we believe that you are equipped to manage your own VA claim. All you lack is the information about how the system really works. You'll find that here in the pages of VAWatchdog.
As the site grows, navigation becomes more of a challenge. Finding what you need on any busy site can be a problem. We're working hard to try and make it simpler for you. You must devote some time to the task. Many veterans believe that they can hand their benefits issues over to a representative and that the rep will take care of it for them. Nothing is further from the
The vet who expects a representative to handle their claim is in for a disappointing adventure. We teach DIY...Do It Yourself. A new veterans claim begins with a VA Form 21-526EZ
.Completing that form isn't rocket science. The quality of your outcome is largely up to you. The time you devote to learning how this works will impact the result when you get the award letter.