Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Big Difference Between VA Regions

Over the past few weeks, I have had appointments in different VA regions, and I have noticed a pretty big difference between different hospitals.  I live in New Hampshire, which is the only state without a full-service VA medical facility.  I had an appointment in Boston in the pain clinic, and it was amazing how different that hospital is from Manchester, NH.  The staff in Boston seemed a lot more friendly than in Manchester, and the doctor I saw actually listened to me about my knee problems when nobody in Manchester would.  I have had to call the White River Jct, VT hospital to set up appointments, and I get a hold of somebody right away without being put on hold, which has never happened in over four years at Manchester.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don't like your doctor? Change it!

When I got out of the Army over four years ago, I was assigned a doctor at the location closest to me.  As time has passed, I have grown more and more frustrated at the level of care I am receiving and I knew that I needed some change.  I recently found out that I had the right to change doctors, or go to a different office or region all together.  My reason for making the change is that my doctors have basically given up on trying to fix my disabilities, and they are resorting to pain management.  I am not ready to give up, so I thought it was time to get a fresh set of eyes on my case.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline" to be Renamed

The topic of PTSD and mental health issues among veterans is a topic that is growing every day.  Many veterans experience serious traumatic events during their time of service, whether it was during war or not.  It is easy to see a physical injury, but it is far more difficult to see a mental health issue.  For a long time mental health was not an issue taken seriously, but that seems to be changing.  Over the past year or so there seems to be a sense of urgency to take a closer look at the system and to make some changes to help veterans in need.  One step that was announced yesterday is to rename the "Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline" to the "Crisis Hotline".  The hotline is meant for anybody that is in crisis, and more people are likely to call if the stigma of suicide is removed from the equation.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

VA Disability Ratings Taking Too Long

I know that a lot of people have had issues with how long it takes to get the decision for their disability rating.  I have been waiting since May 2010 for my paperwork to go through and for the medical evaluations to go through.  I have been out of work, and paying the bills is really tough.  This is an issue that all veterans are affected by, and it is something that needs to change.  We need to come together and figure out a way to make some changes in the way the VA works.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why I'm Doing This

Welcome to my Veterans Helping Veterans blog!  My name is Steve Dade and I am a disabled veteran going on four years now.  I decided to start this blog because I have found that the best help I have received with veterans' issues and VA issues has come from other veterans.  This site is designed in a way so people can ask me questions and I can try to help answer.  If I don't know the answer I will either try to find it out or make a posting requesting others to help.

I have had my fair shares of difficulty since my times in the Army; physically, mentally, and otherwise.  If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggles.  Sometimes it is difficult to get help through the VA, and sometimes it might feel like there is nobody out there to make things easier.  That is why we need to stick together.

You can expect to hear some stories that I have from my experiences as a veteran and postings about helpful resources for veterans.  If you want to hear about something in particular, write a comment or send me an email at  Any emails or questions can be strictly confidential if you choose, so feel free to contact me.