RUMORS/FACTS ABOUT THE Veterans Administration
Dear Mr O'Reilly:

I watched the replay of your show today (Saturday) and was interested to see 
you question why mainstream media does not follow the release of the LaBella 
memo.  In this show, you said the story is "big" and right you are.  However, 
there is another story that millions of people consider equally as big, that 
continues to be ignored by both mainstream media and news sources such as 
FOX.  Specifically, I refer to the fraud that exists within the Department of 
Veterans Affairs as it relates to the illegal records fraud and mismanaged 
medical care at V.A hospitals nationwide.

Perhaps the reason for the news disregard of this problem is that it takes 
some space to detail how pervasive and illegal this problem has become.  
Regardless, the VA-OIG has investigated several instances of any number of 
illegalities, with some resulting in jail sentences for V.A. employees.  The 
malfeasance runs into millions of dollars of misappropriated funds or illegal 
expenditures by those charged with funds distribution.  The most heinous of 
acts (i.e., supposed lost medical and service records that are later found by 
private investigators) occurs on regular basis.  ABC recently did a story 
about this on their 20/20 show.  While the report was the best that veterans 
have yet to see, it could have gone much farther to see exactly who is 
profitting from such actions.  Let's bear in mind that countless veterans 
have died without much needed benefits due to the actions I am detailing.  
Thus, widows and minor dependants also go on in life without the deserved 
survivors benefits that was promised upon recruitment into the military.  
Additionally, veterans languish in V.A. hospitals that are understaffed and 
underfunded - some dying needlessly.

Why are these things not important to the news agencies?  I personally have 
lost count of the number of stories and request for help that have been 
forwarded to me over the years.  I assembled a 400 page dosier forwarded to 
Congress, which contained individual testimonials from veterans who state 
their records were lost, misplaced, or allegedly burned in a 1973 records 
fire in St. Louis (when in fact such records were never near the location of 
the fire).  The numbers of complaints have risen to such a height, that 
coincidence is no longer considered.  For healthcare, veterans can wait six 
months or longer to see much needed specialists, because of staffing issues.

If you would look into these problems, you will find that many high level 
employees and appointees within the DVA had vested interest in seeing that 
the number of disability claims processed be minimized.  To wit, two lawyers 
were jailed who worked for the DVA when it was discovered they destroyed 
records that would have assisted a veteran in processing a well grounded 
claim.  And these lawyers were just the tip of the iceberg.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) refused to renew Under Secretary of Health, Kenneth 
Kizer's appointment pending he answer some difficult questions to a Senate 
Committee. Mr. Kizer resigned rather than testify, but was immediately 
rehired as a health care consultant for the V.A., by his chief - Secretary 
Togo West.  Mr. West also said he would leave his post after much outrage 
from the veteran community.  Such promise came last year, but as you can see 
he has yet to make a move and we are on the threshold of a new 
administration.  This was fresh on the heels of Mr. Kizer selling a new 
Cadillac he had under wraps that was purchased with government funds.

I am prepared to let your station review the records of testimonials I have 
from veterans, if you are willing to do a thorough investigation of these 
problems.  The irony here, is that if these same things took place within the 
Social Security Adminstration heads would have rolled and the news agencies 
would have had endless reports on this.  However, it is apparrent that due to 
the fact it concerns veterans, we are dispensible.  The system (DVA) is 
wrought with illegalities and misgivings.  With an aggressive investigation 
and subsequent showing on the air - you could win tens of thousand more fans 
(viewers).  Just ask ABC 20/20 producers the feedback they got for their show.

The challenge is before you to do this thoroughly and correctly.  This mail 
goes to my veteran and general email list for their comments and support.

(Note:  Veterans and supporters can email Bill O'Reilly of the O'Reilly 

Walter F. Rice 


Questions about it may be addressed to:
Director, Compensation and Pension Service (21), Department of Veterans
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20420
June 2, 2000
>  In Reply Refer To: 212
>          Fast Letter (00-44)
> Director (00/21)
> All VBA Regional Offices and Centers
> SUBJ: National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Process
> Background:
>  The Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (Brady Act) of 1993 established
> the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  When
> drafting  the regulations for NICS, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Firearms  (ATF)  defined the seven categories of individuals prohibited from
purchasing or  redeeming firearms.  ATF incorporated the VA definition of
incompetent  "because of injury or disease lack the mental capacity to
contract or
> manage  their own affairs" into the category of those adjudicated as a
> defective. The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), through a
> Memorandum  of Understanding with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), is  providing the FBI with information on veterans rated as
> incompetent surviving spouses, adult helpless children and dependent
> parents.  Licensed gun dealers are required to check the NICS system to
> see  if an individual is in a prohibited category before transferring a
> to that individual.
>  What VBA has Done:
>  In November 1999, VBA provided NICS with an initial load of data on
> incompetent veterans, surviving spouses, adult helpless children and
> dependent parents from information in the Benefits Delivery Network (BDN)
> and the Fiduciary Beneficiary System (FBS).  This consisted of data on
> 88,898 beneficiaries which were loaded into the NICS index.
> Rights of Denied Firearms Purchasers:
>  If a veteran or beneficiary is denied the right to purchase or redeem a
> firearm, he or she may request the reason for the denial from the agency
> that conducted the check of the NICS data.  If that individual wishes to
> challenge the accuracy of the record upon which the denial was based or if
> he or she wishes to assert that his or her rights to possess a firearm
> have  been restored, he or she must appeal to the denying agency, i.e. the
> or  state or local law enforcement agency.  If the denying agency is
unable to
> resolve the appeal, the denying agency will inform the individual of the
> reason for the denial, as well as the name and address of the agency that
> provided the  information upon which the denial was based.  If the denial
was based on a  VA rating or court order of incompetency and the individual
denied writes  to  the VA Central Office VBA Contact Point requesting a
correction of the  record, the request will be forwarded to the regional
office with
> jurisdiction over the claims file.
> Page 2.
> Director (00/21)
>  If the denial of the purchase or redemption of a firearm was because the
> individual was rated as incompetent by VA or because of a court order,
> under  the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, he or she has the right to request
> correction or amendment of his or her records if he incompetency finding
> is  found not to have been correct.  If the regional office determines
> the  incompetency determination was correct and the records cannot be
amended,  the claimant must be informed by the regional office that he or
she has
> the  right to appeal the decision not to amend the records by writing to
> General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.,
Washington, DC 20420.  If the beneficiary has not been rated or determined
to be incompetent, he or she should be so informed.
> Also, the appropriate centralized VBA NICS contact point (See paragraph 9
> below) should be informed of that information by telephone or e-mail so
> that  the information may be passed on to the FBI NICS office.
>  How Data Quality is Determined:
>  For quality assurance purposes, NICS is requesting a quarterly review of
> a  sampling of approximately 100 cases to confirm the determination of
> incompetency, as well as the beneficiaries' Social Security number and
> date  of birth.  From the initial load of data, they requested a review of
> cases.  This review was completed by employees at 44 regional offices and
> the incompetency finding was found to be appropriate in all cases.

> However,  a number of cases were found in which the veterans' or
> names  were incorrectly spelled or required a full first name, middle
initial, or
> suffix, such as Jr.  A number of other cases required the provision or
> correction of the beneficiaries' Social Security number or date of birth.
> The next review is due in June 2000.  A special review by
> FBI personnel of 200 claims folders will also occur this year in
> Washington.
> What You Need to Know for this Program:
>  Under the law, we are to routinely provide updated information on "new"
> incompetents.  If an individual previously rated incompetent has their
> competency restored, under the law they are still permanently restricted
> from purchasing or redeeming a firearm andinformation concerning that
> individual will not be stricken from the NICS index.  We are now
> developing  procedures for providing NICS with data on veterans and
beneficiaries that  have been determined to be incompetent since November
1999 and for  periodic  future updates.
> Page 3.
> Director (00/21)
> Non-Retention of Records Related to NICS Background Checks:
>  The NICS law prohibits the retention of records as to inquiries on
> potential firearms purchasers.  Do not retain any information related to a
> NICS background check for reference or backup purposes.  Do not create a
> memorandum for file or contact report. Information that may not be
> maintained and must be destroyed includes but is not limited to:  all
> inquiry and response messages relating to the initiation and result of a
> NICS background check, all records relating to the individual or the
> transfer created as a result of a NICS background check, notes, system
> records, hard drives, disks, letters, personal logs, etc.
> Rescission:
>  This letter is rescinded effective June 1, 2001.
>        /s/
> Robert J. Epley, Director
> Compensation and Pension Service

Questions about it may be addressed to:
Director, Compensation and Pension Service (21), Department of Veterans
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20420



Fighting a New Battle
Veterans Allege Mishandling of
Records by VA

Ken Bloss, a 77-year-old World War II veteran, was told by the VA that his service records were lost. Click on the image to watch video of the 20/20 Friday investigation. (
June 2 — Ken Bloss is a 77-year-old veteran who served in the Pacific during World War II.
When he applied for financial assistance at the Veterans’ Administration — he needs a hearing aid and treatment for a disability related to malaria he contracted while serving — he was told by the VA’s Tampa office that his medical records were not available, and his application was denied.
     Bloss says that while the VA originally informed him there were no records, they later said that his records might have been burned in a fire — explanations he found unsatisfactory. After he obtained the records himself, the VA still maintained he’d never served in combat, despite the battle citations he’d won. But in the same envelope which the VA used to send Bloss his denial, out fell a copy of his discharge papers, showing the proof of his combat service.

20/20’s cameras captured piles of documents in the VA’s Washington office. (
 After 20/20 informed the VA of Bloss’s case, the agency granted him 70 percent disability and has finally measured him for a hearing aid.
     Dean Irwin, producer of the 20/20 segment, addressed some questions about the report.
       Why did 20/20 do this story?
     Bloss’s case is one of hundreds of cases of missing records we turned up. This report illustrates the extent of the problem and the VA’s response.
       What are veterans finding when they ask the VA for help?
     Under the law, the VA has a duty to assist the veteran in perfecting a benefit claim. However, many of the vets we spoke with were told their records had been destroyed, only to locate them years later by their own efforts.
       What are the reasons for this?
     The VA says it handles millions of pieces of paper each year and that some files can be lost, although that is relatively rare. Yet the VA also admits that they have no system to trace just how many claims are denied due to missing or incomplete records.
       What is the VA doing about it?
     The VA says it does everything it can to help find a veteran’s records. But in a case that went before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Hayre vs. West in August of 1999, the definition of the VA’s duty to assist came into question. Having denied the claims of Vietnam veteran Garrett Hayre due to insufficient medical records, the VA argued that one attempt to locate his missing records was sufficient. The court disagreed, and the VA appealed the decision.
       Are there any solutions available for veterans?
     Get a full copy of your military file from the National Archive system before you file a claim with the VA. To get more information on how to do so, read the information below.

Veterans: Get Your Records First!
In the course of producing a story concerning missing medical records at the Veterans’ Administration, one basic point emerged which is of help to veterans pursuing benefit claims: for the veteran to first obtain a full copy of his or her file from the appropriate national archive before approaching the VA on a benefit claim.
     Service medical records, which record medical treatment and tests while on active military duty, are often stored at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and in other archives around the country.
     Once a veteran files a benefit claim with the VA, the agency obtains the original file from the archive and orders it sent to the regional VA office, which initially handles the claim. If the claim is denied, the file may travel to the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, then back to the regional office if the board remands the claim in a process that can take several years.
     Many veterans told us that by the time they requested a copy of their service medical records from the VA, that copy lacked several crucial records that might have supported their claim. The VA told us that in a system that handles 150 million pieces of paper a year, some records can turn up missing, and that the agency tries its best to locate a veteran’s files. Denials of claims due to missing records, they say, are relatively rare.
     The VA, however, also acknowledges that it has no way to accurately check just how rare or how common these cases are because they have no system in place to trace denials of claims due to missing or incomplete records.
     According to documents from the Board of Veterans Appeals, in 1998, over 40 percent of veterans’ claims that the board sent back to the regional offices for further review were returned due to gaps in the VA’s own paperwork. Those appeals represent thousands of claims.
     The point, again, is for the veteran to take an active part in locating every record that will assist in perfecting a claim. The veteran should contact the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and request a full copy of the claims folder, even if a claim has already been filed with the VA. However, the Records Center often does not have the staff to copy the hundreds of pages contained in a file and often sends the veteran only a partial copy.
     Many vets hire a professional records searcher based in St. Louis who can obtain the full file copy. Professional searchers can charge up to $60 per hour, but considering the potential assistance to a benefit claim, the money may be well spent.
     Many of the Web sites we’ve listed in this section can assist in finding a records searcher. Ask the searcher to make sure the records contain the official seal of the archive they came from. And once obtained, always keep a copy for yourself.
     Under the law, the VA has a duty to assist a veteran perfect a claim. What we have learned in researching this story is that the veterans must take an active part in this process.
National Personnel Records Center has information for veterans who would like to request their military personnel records. Veterans need to remember that no requests for records or information can be accepted by e-mail. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Department of Defense directives require written, signed and dated requests to access information from personnel records. Nevertheless, their Web site has a lot of useful information on how to prepare requests and it even has a form that can be downloaded, filled out and sent it to them.
       The National Veterans Organization of America has a guide for veterans that are searching for service records. You can send in a request with your name and address to and they will mail a copy.
                                             — Dean Irwin

Dear Readers,
Board of Veterans Appeals Corruption is at an all time high, however don't expect any real repentance or change to come about.  As the Chief Criminal force at the BVA is the Board Chairman E.D. Clark.  Followed by Board member C. Kissel.
Below find two items; One is an article detailing corruption at the BVA from our egroups archive (see article number 58, August 18, 1999 at ).  And the second item is from the VA Inspector General reports to Congress reporting on the fate this former BVA man.  60 days of work at a VA Medical Center. 
How many veterans died alone and penniless, because he falsified reports? 
60 days of work at a VA Medical Center;
How many sleepless nights by veterans and their families worried over a pending foreclosure on their home? 
60 days of work at a VA medical center. 
And this is justice to the VA Bureaucracy ? Perhaps so.  But, if you think not? contact the VA and Congress.
And be sure to tell them Ray B. Davis, Jr. sent you.
Your Editor, Ray B. Davis, Jr.
(any letters for publication should have "letters to the Editor" in the subject area.)
####### START Archive article no. 58 ########
BVA Concealment of Evidence:

Mr. Chris Patton an Administrative Chief for the Dept.of Veterans
Affairs, Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) Decision Team which covers
claims for the Midwest United States, was recently placed on
administrative leave.   Patton had allegedly concealed evidence. He
will remain on leave while the VA Inspector General investigates the

Mr. Patton had concealed letters which were mailed to the BVA by
veterans and their representatives. These letters contained information
and evidence which should have been placed into the veterans files, and
considered when the appealed claims were decided.

The veterans evidence was found by happenstance rather that any
concerted efforts by the BVA to maintain proper controls over veterans
claims. The concealed letters were supposedly found when Patton's desk
was moved for building maintenance. Once the concealment had been found
the BVA assigned workers to place the concealed evidence into the proper

The VA Board of Veterans Appeals decides appeals of veterans claims
decisions from the VA regional offices when the VA regional office
either denies the veterans claim, or the award is not considered
sufficient by the veteran.

The wife of Mr. Chris Patton was formerly employed by the BVA, but, left
her job before this occurred. And is not believed to be implicated.

Your Editor,
Ray B. Davis, Jr.
##### START VA Inspector General report of the BVA crime listed above #####
Employee Misconduct
An individual employed as the chief of an
administrative team with the Board of Veterans
Appeals (BVA) pleaded guilty after being
arrested on charges of attempted tampering with
physical evidence and was placed in a pretrial
diversion program after admitting responsibility
for his offenses.
As part of the plea, he will
perform 60 hours of community service at a
VAMC and has resigned from VA. A joint
investigation by VA OIG and the FBI disclosed
the individual, in the course of his regular duties,
was responsible for processing approximately
200 veteran's appeals a week. A percentage of
the appeals submitted for processing were
labeled as being extremely time sensitive, in that
they were claims made by veterans in need of
immediate assistance because they were
terminally ill or because their home may have
been on the verge of foreclosure. Investigation
disclosed the individual knowingly allowed a
large amount of unprocessed materials to
accumulate in and around his office and he
falsified weekly reports in order to conceal the  
existence of these unprocessed materials.
During an office reorganization, more than
1,300 unprocessed items were found
accumulated in the individual's office area.
While most of the material found was between 1
and 2 years old, there were some items which
dated as far back as 1994. Among the
unprocessed materials found were more than
500 items containing evidence related to
veterans' appeals including some of the
aforementioned urgent, time sensitive items, as
well as Congressional materials. The large
amount of unprocessed mail had a substantial
and continuing effect on BVA operations, and
significant corrective action is required to
resolve the administrative aspects of the case.
(Source: VAOIG semi-annual report to Congress Oct. 1, 1999 to March 2000)
Ray B Davis, Jr
P.O. Box 68
East Flat Rock, NC 28726-0068
Fax: 1-202-777-2642, ex. 8132