- Written by Michael Z Williamson
"ZOMG! SSANs are used for identity theft! This was unforeseeable and is an insoluble problem!"
Dear general: Way back in the Dark Ages, about the time YOU came into service, they assigned everyone a "service number" for military functions. It is not an SSAN and is no use outside the military network. There, I've solved your problem for you. Dumbass. Turn in your star.
Also, Gail's unit Christmas party was last weekend. They rented an American Legion hall. It not only allows smoking, it had had a HUGE smoking event the night before. It not only had a huge smoking event the night before, it had bad ventilation. I walked in, smelled humidity, mustiness, mildew, and smoke. It was still hazy.
Well, second hand smoke was always an issue for me, even when I smoked. It's chemically different and pervasive. Now, of course, I'm asthmatic, and generally fine...unless I walk into a cloud of smoke.
We keep the kids out of smoke-filled establishments.
Gail is allergic to the additives in cigarette smoke (actually, so am I. A good cigar or pipe side smoke doesn't bother us at all. Just fags for addicts).
I walked in, choked, started to react, got out fast, held the door for the cooks to take everything in, waited outside.
Gail explained, they released us, and we got to drive 100 miles home with no party.
Adding insult to injury, they're now angry with her.
So, she actually had to quote them this:
DOD Instruction 1010.15
3.1 DoD Facility. Any interior space owned, rented, or leased by the Department of Defense.
3.2. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). Also referred to as "secondhand" or "passive" smoke. Exhaled and/or sidestream smoke emitted from smokers and the burning of cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco. A major source of harmful indoor air pollution, designated a "Class A carcinogen" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and known to cause respiratory illness and heart disease (refer to NIOSH CIB54
and the EPA Report, references (e) and (f)).
It is DoD policy, under references (b) through (d), that smoke-free DoD facilities be established to protect all DoD civilian and military personnel and members of the public visiting or using DoD facilities from the health hazards caused by exposure to tobacco smoke.
7-3. Policy for controlling tobacco use
a. Tobacco use is prohibited in all DA-occupied workplaces except for designated smoking areas, as authorized by DODI 1010.15, Smoke-Free DOD Facilities. The workplace includes any area inside a building or facility over which DA has custody and control, and where work is performed by military personnel, civilians, or persons under contract to the Army.
j. Smoking policy specific to MWR and Army lodging facilities is addressed in AR 215-1. MWR facilities include fitness and recreation centers, Armed Forces Recreation Center hotels, cabins and campsites, clubs, bowling centers, and so forth.
13-15. Safety, fire prevention, and health programs
(1) Smoking in MWR facilities will be in accordance with AR 600-63. All DOD civilian and military personnel will be protected from the health hazards caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
(2) Enclosed designated smoking areas must be exhausted directly to the outside, located away from air intakes, and maintained under negative pressure sufficient to contain tobacco smoke in the
designated area. Employees will not be required to enter such areas during normal business hours while environmental tobacco smoke is present.
Once again, cigarette smoke seems to affect the cognitive functions of smokers. "I can't smell it because I've destroyed my olfactory nerves, and I enjoy wallowing in toxins, so I don't notice a problem. Therefore, there is no problem, and as long as no one sees the cigarette in my hand, all is dandy."
These must be the same morons who smoked in their parents' houses and insisted no, really, there wasn't any smoke.
Yes, there was. After three minutes in that place, we had to wash her black poly, because it had soaked up so much smoke it lingered for a hundred miles.
And this means everyone in the chain of command was equally unaware of regs they make everyone aware of from Day One, callous about it, and willing to argue the point.
I call it like I see it: MORONS.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
He sounded bad on the phone. By the time I got there, he was convulsive. So his neighbor (A stunningly gorgeous disabled vet) and I shoved him into my van and I hauled him to the VA, while Gail brought the Buick from the other direction, because my van will not fit in a 6'8" parking rampand there's no outside parking to speak of.
I hauled him out in a heap at the Emergency ramp, and three people went sprinting for wheelchairs. Gail arrived and swapped vehicles.
It wasn't a long wait, and we have another visit on file. Doc came in, prescribed a painkiller and an anti-anxiety shot. Pulse came down from 85 to 61, BP from 160/85 to 120/75.
Jack was unable to communicate beyond nod and shake and mumble. I can translate reasonably well in context. Even a dim red penlight on his pupils elicited moans and thrashing.The observation room was dark, curtain drawn, and he still had a towel over his eyes. The trip in sunlight had to be excruciating.
He did not remember how he got there, or the shots from the hot blonde nurse.
I took him home two hours later, giddy on what he calls "hippie drugs."
The good news: He's well documented as having seizure episode headaches. He can go to his primary care physician to renew the previous scrip, which worst case should mean they mail him drugs, best case means I go in with him next week and talk to the doc about little details--such as the diagnosed "depressive order" and something else are possible, but I think the CRIPPLING CONVULSIVE HEADACHES might need priority.
Also, the Patient Advocate may be able to assist in expediting things.
This is all part of dealing with a federal bureaucracy, which most of us can figure out with effort, but when you're in screaming pain, asking "help" and being told, "we don't do that here, go see X" is a brick wall.
Also, someone active duty hunted up the regs for me. Diagnosis of a "personality disorder" requires professional testing by a pshrink. The Army did not do this, and apparently doesn't in about 40% of cases. A number of assholes in a number of units use it as a convenient excuse to toss people they don't want to do with. There's supposed to be some kind of accounting on this, but I imagine they'll all play dumb and weasel out of it, the @#$%ers. So, with that in hand and an actual doctor, I'm hopeful the @#$%ing @#$bag @#$er who stripped his benefits, who is neither an MD or a Pshrink, will have the relevant paperwork folded to all corners and shoved up his ass, with backpay of relevant benefits.
Because my friend does not have a "personality disorder." He's had a migraine that's lasted 4 years and occasionally spikes into convulsions that are at least a 12 on the "how bad does it hurt?" scale, and he cannot @#$ing work because he cannot reliably think, balance, leave the house in daylight, or be sure he won't collapse on the street, to be hauled off to the charity hospital, as has happened several times.
Is his personality hard to deal with? Yeah, I imagine it is. I call that a "Symptom," not a "Diagnosis."
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
While serving in Germany, Jack took ill with recurring, debilitating headaches. Bad enough he'll wind up on the floor in convulsions for hours at a time. Bright light (daylight) and chemicals can trigger this.
The Army and the Germans were unable to identify a cause.
Do to a misunderstanding of this, his command decided it was a "personality disorder," and that he was malingering, and processed him for discharge.
After several months, VA initially decided to award disability.
He's stayed at my house at times, and I've seen him on the floor, incoherent and twitching. Anything brighter than a night light can do it. He wears welding goggles to go outside in daylight.
For some reason, the VA never actually assigned him a primary care physician.
Recently, some administrative assbag did the same thing the Army did, and with no medical exam or credentials, ruled it to be a "personality disorder." His benefits are gone.
Because his brain doesn't work right, Jack had no savings.
On appeal (they sent the paperwork to an old address, and he never saw it in time to argue at the time), they scheduled a medical appt.
Because his brain doesn't work right, he missed the appt.
They have now ruled that he's not only not disabled, but not entitled to ANY VA care at all, unless he can "prove" he has headaches by coming to their hospital, which he can't do since he's not authorized VA medical care, and because when a headache hits he can't make a phone call.
DAV has been unable to assist.
He's agreeable to a durable POA so I can access the ER records from the places he's been taken when he's been found on the street during an attack.
What agencies and what strategy do we use to get him covered?
What non-VA options does he have, such as social security, etc?
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
Oct 21, 2010 6:37:16 PM
I totally disagree with allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the
military. There are many assignments in all of the branches that would
not see much of an impact if the gays were able to serve openly. But,
on the other hand, so many of our positions and assignments would make
it a very uncomfortable and possibly unsafe for all concerned. For
example, as a new private out of boot camp you arrive at your first
duty assignment and your roommate is openly gay. I personally would
have a very difficult time sleeping at night or sharing the latrine
with this individual. Another example with the same private; the
openly gay individual brings his gay lover to his room for a visit...I
could not handle this, because now I'm being teased by others unit
members that I must be gay also. As I mentioned before there are
situations where there wouldn't be much of an impact, but a lot of the
military is not your typical 9-5 job at Wal-Mart. We have to work,
eat, sleep, shower and live together 24-7.
"Oh, god, they might TEASE me!!!!"
I mean, really. "My roommate is a repressed and hated minority, very visible and taking all kinds of flak, but FUCK HIM! People might tease ME!!!!!"
This clown claims to be a retired E8. Possible, I suppose. Douchebags do get promoted on occasion.
But he should also be aware that they try to place like roommates together, and allow swapping of rooms--people who like loud heavy metal tend not to room with those who like country or rap. Smokers and non-smokers try not to room together. Ditto with straights and gays.
I assume he had a very nice, pleasant, desk-bound career where he never had to share a tent, fighting position or bus with females. After all, it would have made him uncomfortable.
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