When I first fell and injured my arm, I went to my local military treatment facility for care. As part of the paperwork, I reported that the injury was due to a slip-and-fall. The paperwork seemed to indicate that since the injury occurred outside the U.S, the government would not pursue compensation from the resort. I heard nothing further for three years.
No news is not good news, in the legal world.
After my fourth surgery to repair the damage from that fall, I again received paperwork from the government. They stated that they were withholding payment to my surgeon until I completed the same form I had originally completed, detailing how and where the injury occurred. Thinking this was odd, since I had already completed the paperwork over three years ago, I nevertheless completed the form again, and sent it in. Again, I assumed that would be the end of the matter.
You know what they say about assuming things…
In addition to letters from the surgeon’s office inquiring as why my bill has not been paid, I have now received a letter from the Air Force Legal Operations Agency (AFLOA) threatening legal action against me, and suggesting that I should possibly retain my own lawyer. In addition to the previous DD Form 2527 that I submitted, AFLOA is demanding I also submit “the attached MCRP Questionnaire…within 30 days.” There are also threats of notification of First Sergeant or Commander if I am still active duty and do not return the form within 30 days.
So now, in addition to dealing with rehabilitation of the arm, beginning physical therapy for the knees, and pursuing diagnosis of the chronic, debilitating disorder from which I suffer, I need to defend myself against legal action from the Air Force because they do not want to pay for the health benefits Spousal Unit and I earned in active duty service to our country.
When the accident occurred, I remember being grateful that I had excellent medical coverage. After the malpractice that occurred in the military’s treatment of my arm, and the current threatened legal action in an attempt not to pay for my treatment, I no longer consider my medical coverage excellent.
The deterioration of medical coverage for veterans, currently serving military members, and their families is a breach of contracts, both actual and psychological, that the government agreed to with members of the armed forces, in exchange for their selfless service. We were promised full healthcare coverage for life. Those benefits were earned through blood, sweat, and tears. But they are being eroded. The government is not living up to their end of the agreement.
Threatening to sue veterans because their treatment has become too expensive is disgraceful. No veteran, service member, or family member should have to add the anxiety of threatened legal action (by the branch of service in which they selflessly served) to the burden of being sick or injured. No veteran, service member, or family member should have to worry that their health benefits will be denied, or that their assets will be taken from them.
Does anyone know a lawyer with expertise in this area? Apparently I have to defend myself against the Air Force. Apparently the greatest fight of my life will not be in defense OF my country, but in defense FROM my country. May God help us all.