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An editorial in the NY Times suggests that “The American Veterans’ and Servicemembers’ Survival Guide” is a promising help for dealing with veterans’ issues.
A 599-page guide to a whole spectrum of concerns, the book is a publication of the nonprofit advocacy group Veterans for America. It is available as a free download at www.veteransforamerica.org.
The book is a descendant of “The Viet Vet Survival Guide,” which was published a decade after that conflict, when veterans were still being routinely frustrated in finding the help they deserved. It comes — unsurprisingly, says the Times — from outside the system.
The new book was written by veterans and lawyers for a new generation of soldiers with old problems like PTSD and new ones like traumatic brain injury, the brutal legacy of Iraq’s and Afghanistans’s roadside bombs.
The authors caution that while this guide will help a veteran understand what’s going on, it is not a substitute for a good lawyer or other advocate.
Also: it’s not the only source of information. The government, too, has vast web sites explaining things — for example how certain officers help veterans through the disability evaluation system. [To put that last sentence into bureaucrat language: how the Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer, or Peblo, helps with the D.E.S.]
The independent Survival Guide explains all that, too, but with a caveat. It warns veterans to “pay careful attention to what you say to your Peblo,” because the Peblo is not required to act in your best interests the way your attorney is. Things told to a Peblo are not necessarily confidential.
For such information, and more, check out the Survival Guide.
sole source: NY Times Editorial piece on 12/19/08. www.nytimes.com
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