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Veteran Sues VA, Claims VA Benefits Withheld After He Criticized VA

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  • Samuel Hennon, RN.
    Veteran Sues VA, Claims VA Benefits Withheld After He Criticized VA Sun-Times News ABC 7 News (Chicago) Sep 19, 2007 September 17, 2007 - A disabled Vietnam
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2008
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      Veteran Sues VA, Claims VA Benefits Withheld After He Criticized VA
      Sun-Times News

      ABC 7 News (Chicago)

      Sep 19, 2007

      September 17, 2007 - A disabled Vietnam era veteran says his
      disability benefits were withheld by administrators after he spoke
      critically of the handling of benefits claims by the Veterans
      Administration and the group Paralyzed Veterans of America.
      In a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday, Samuel L. Hennon says he
      is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Navy and, since his discharge in
      April of 1971, he has received disability benefits "associated with
      injuries from his military service."
      Hennon also has received benefits -- under the Federal Employment
      Compensation Act (FECA) -- as a result of the effects of a flu shot
      he was given in 1999, "in association with his duties as a registered
      nurse for the Veterans' Administration," the suit says. Hennon has
      been a registered nurse for the VA since 1972. The flu shot he
      received in 1999 resulted in his contracting Guillan Barre Syndrome --
      a nervous system disorder which can increase in intensity until the
      person is almost totally paralyzed -- "and other related ailments
      preventing him from continuing in his employment."
      Hennon's service-connected disabilities were submitted for review and
      occasional update by defendants Bo Rollins, Director of Field
      Services, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Charles Ed Rogers,
      National Field Director for PVA, the suit says. At the same time,
      Hennon has "acted as a representative and advocate for other veterans
      in the obtaining of benefits to which they are entitled," according
      to the suit.
      "In connection with his advocacy on behalf of other veterans," Hennon
      says he "has been a vocal critic of the handling of veterans'
      benefits claims by both the VA and PVA. As he assisted more veterans
      in their claims and expressed increased criticism of the handling of
      those claims by the VA and PVA, defendants began to interfere with
      the updates of benefits [he] received based on his service-connected
      disabilities and [his] FECA benefits."
      The suit alleges Rollins, Rogers and Michael Stephens, Veterans
      Service Center Manager for the VA, have "acted to withhold increases
      in benefits to which [Hennon] was entitled because of his advocacy
      and criticism." The suit also claims Hennon has "been denied
      increased service-connected disability benefits and FECA benefits be
      defendants' actions to deprive him of his rights to those benefits."
      Since his criticisms of the VA and PVA are protected speech, the
      alleged actions by Rollins, Rogers and Stephens are a violation of
      Hennon's first amendment rights, the suit contends.
      The suit seeks unspecified damages.

      It has been too long since I have posted any messages on the websites
      of the Veteran activists. Fighting the Federal Government can have a
      chilling effect on you as the resources that are available to them to
      punish, harass and destroy the life and family of a veteran who
      doesn't go along with the program are inexhaustible and at the
      taxpayers' expense. But the time has come...the evidence is accurate
      and obtainable...the VA is vulnerable...and the sorte has been
      launched by me. Why is my suit so important? Because I have found a
      way to bring VA out of its own courts and into the light of day in
      Federal District Court and a jury trial. The government is
      scrambling now because they see their case is weak, they have
      motioned to stop all discovery to prevfent me from opening the
      records of VA and they have filed for a motion to dismiss the case

      I worked for VA for 22 years...I know my adversary. When I filed my
      complaints with the powers at be and my political position on
      veterans rights became known to them it took them exactly 45 days to
      reduce my disability from 100% to 60%. This retaliation by VA with
      the help of Paralyzed Veterans of America was predicated on my
      complaints and my politics which is protected speech, thus a
      violation of my 1ST Amendment Rights to free and uncensored speech.
      This is a violation of the Constitution of the United States of
      America, my veteran brothers, and it is a case that the VA court has
      no jurisdiction over. The VA is represented by the U.S. Attorney for
      the Northern District of Illinois.

      But I come to the surface now because I need your help! Any veteran
      who has received encouragement, advise, comfort or any other help by
      my words on the internet must send an email stating that to me or my
      lawyer, Armand Andry. Such support from the grass roots would seal
      the fate of the VA in my case. When I win I will detail to you how
      you can take VA to court for Constitutional violations of your
      rights. But first I must win...and we are unafraid of the VA at this
      time because it is in the news for some violation or atrosity almost
      everyday. When it comes out that VA commits crimes against veterans
      by subverting the Constitution the VA will be defeated and Congress
      will have no regress, but to listen to our positions for manditory
      funding and review of the claims procedure and oversite to prevent
      government bureaucrats from punishing, harassing and denying
      disability for the sake of their own preservation.

      E-mail me at week2late@... and tell me who you are by first
      name only and what help, however insignificant it may seem, that you
      received by interacting with me on the veteran boards. The salvo
      this will cause will turn the tide grossly in our favor in the eyes
      of the Federal District Judge hearing the case.

      If you have question, post them to me on the board here or by e-
      mail. I will respond to you.

      Semper Fi, long may the Flag wave, up with the veterans cause,

      The Corpsman, Samuel Hennon
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