March 21, 2008 Updated 5-3-2008

Fund raiser to pay an E-6 Reservist's medical bills

To website visitors;

I donít accept donations to the website, never have and probably never will. All expenses are paid by me. The only exception was when we purchased the deck logs for the Neshoba and people sponsored months.

What I have done is to accept donations for various causes such as the USS Slater, my local Volunteer Ambulance Squad, the USO and other worthy organizations. (checks payable directly to the organization)

Iíve also helped purchase body armor for Reservists who have been called up, but this was a personal donation.

What I am asking now is if you would be willing to help out an Army Reservist who has been called up again for his 4th tour and is now in Afghanistan. He received a Purple Heart for injuries on his 2nd tour. 

Reservists are covered by the VA for 2 years after their most recent deployment.  2 Ĺ years after this Reservist returned he had seizures and was rushed to a local emergency room. He also went to the VA. The incidents were diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to his service in Afghanistan and Iraq. But guess what Ė itís not covered by the VA (it was past 2 years).

I have personally paid his VA bill Ė after investigating and finding out that he really ISNíT covered. The emergency room charges are over $2,000 - so far. Like one in seven in this country, his civilian job did not provide health insurance.  The collection notices are coming now that he is away - serving.

Like I said, this guy is now active duty and he is in Afghanistan.

This is NOT a scam - I know this soldier personally and have copies of his bills and his orders.

A lifetime of potential problems - 2 years of coverage.  One of my Wife's Uncles didn't accept his PTSD for over 30 years, but he was a 'Nam vet - so the VA covered it.  My Uncle had issues from WWII until he died.  Don't Reservists deserve the same?

Thank you,
Russ Padden Ė webmaster for Amphibious Forces of WWII

Update March 26, 2008:

It has been suggested that I contact my Senators and also the VFW for assistance in this.

I had already contacted my Senators, but there isn't really anything they can do - the rules are simple - coverage for Reservists only lasts for 2 years - unless diagnosis is made prior to expiration.

As one contact at the VA confirmed "2 years of coverage for a lifetime of issues."

The VA really is a great organization that does what it can with what it is funded to do.

Regarding the VFW and Legion - there are other Reservists with needs greater than this. That's why I'm hoping to get his bills covered through donations and let them deal with the ones with greater needs.

Update April 14, 2008:

Our Reservist is on leave until Thursday, then he heads back to ship out to Afghanistan.  So far we have raised over $200 towards his $2,000+ in medical bills related to his PTSD.  Almost all of this was donated by people connected with the USS Neshoba for which I am very grateful.