ABILENE, TX - On February, 22, 2017, Bennie Dooley, a Vietnam Veteran from Taylor County was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Dooley went to the Veterans Service Office to apply for service connection. After his representative Bryan Massey was thrown through obstacles and loops, they finally turned to President Trump’s hotline for Veterans. It was this service that acted and granted Dooley with justice.
Dooley applied for the service connection that is on the VA's list of presumptive conditions for exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.
Assistant Veterans Service Officer for Taylor County, Massey, took on the case for Dooley to get him the compensation he was owed. Time was of the essence for Dooley, because the cancer had become terminal, and Massey wanted to make sure Dooley would still be with us when he was compensated for his condition.
As Dooley’s representative, Massey made sure that he exhausted all options to get the claim approved for the Veteran in a timely manner. In the six months the VA possessed the claim; it went back and forth from the National Work Que to five different VA Regional Offices for development alone. Every time this claim passed through a VA Regional Office, Massey and I pleaded our case informing the “Development Teams” that all the evidence was available in the Veterans claims file to make a decision.
Our requests essentially fell on deaf ears, because the VA continued to request records that were already in the Veteran’s file, because it was part of the “process.” Our office became increasingly frustrated as weeks went by with little to no action by the VA.
After searching for every possible way to get this claim moving, Massey discovered President Trump’s hotline for Veterans. In June of 2017, President Trump launched a hotline that Veterans could call to voice their complaints or concerns directly to the president.
Massey gave Dooley the phone number to call and present his complaint against the VA. The hotline representative assured Dooley that they would look into his case.
On August 15, 2017 the Veteran received a call from Houston VA Regional Office informing him that his claim was granted that very morning by an executive order from the White House.
Dooley was granted 100 percent for his active cancer and it was all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Massey and President Trump’s hotline that motivated the VA to come to a decision.
Our office offers our sincere gratitude to President Trump and the hard working representatives of the hotline who helped Dooley get the justice he deserved.
The number to the hotline is (855) 948-2311.
Information provided by Marcus Romero, Veterans Service Officer, Taylor County.
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