Life is not fair. Often times people cross your path and stay around for a while before moving on. Others seem to move on and yet are back again and again and again. It’s like musical chairs only with people.
When life is going smooth, everything is good and everyone is happy. Then a perceived trigger event occurs and Wa-La they are gone again. It’s hard to understand these so called “Yo-Yo” friends or their motive for coming and going.
Sometimes they leave on their own without rhyme or reason and then appear at your virtual doorstep asking to be let back in. They even say it’s totally your decision and I’m fine with that. But when they fail to get a response they try guilt tripping you into letting them back in.
A wise man once said, “It’s a very imperfect world, and you can’t always choose your friends. That’s life. But you can never fail to recognize your enemies.” (DJT – 2017)
There simply comes a time to live and let go.
So that phone that never rings, or that response that never comes – that’s me letting go. – RTM
I remember when life was much simpler and we enjoyed what we had without fretting over what we didn’t have.
When it came to celebrating holidays we celebrated those which never changed – New Year’s Day (January 1st); Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12th); Valentine’s Day (February 14th); Washington’s Birthday (February 22nd); St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th); Easter Sunday (April 9th); Mother’s Day (May 14th); Armed Forces Day (May 20th); Memorial Day (May 29th); Father’s Day (June 18th); Independence Day (July 4th); Labor Day (September 4th); Columbus Day (October 9th); Halloween (October 31st); Veteran’s Day (November 11th); Thanksgiving (November 23rd); & Christmas (December 25th). Additionally each of the 50 states celebrated their statehood/independence day.
In the United States today we’ve forgotten our national identity and unifying factors and I’ll bet a dollar to a donut that you couldn’t accurately cite every holiday observed in some way shape or fashion in 2023.
Political Correctness has given birth to a myriad of holiday observances that do nothing to unite us as a nation but instead sew division. We’ve gone from celebrating very important landmark events that have brought our nation together, to the point of basically for lack of a better term “given everyone a holiday trophy”.
Examine this listing which is just one of many online websites dedicated to US Holidays:
It’s a well-known fact that the Democratic Party’s biggest fear is not of a crashing economy, or the threat to world peace and surely not the invasion of our southern border, but the fear of former President Donald J. Trump winning the 2024 election for another term.
During previous elections it was precautionary to protect the birth certificate and educational records of then Senator Barrack H. Obama.
Just as it was convenient to downplay the fact that then Secretary Hillary R. Clinton used a private server to transmit sensitive documents potentially disclosing information of national importance, and she even lost 35,000 emails because she had her server wiped clean.
Don’t forget the Hunter Biden laptop, left at a local computer repair shop with damaging information implementing then former Vice President Joe Biden in a widespread financial scandal that compromised the office he once held and now jeopardizes the office of the President.
In each case it was deemed appropriate and proper protocol to not go after a political presidential candidate during the campaign season, until along came big bad “Orange man” Donald J. Trump. It then became a street brawl with no rules (for democrats). As the Saul Alinsky rulebook would clearly say, use their own rules against them because they can’t break their own rules. We have seen over the past 6 years New York’s Attorney General’s office has assumed wrongdoing on Trump’s part and set out to prove it, so much for innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This vendetta has become a case of great national impertinence where it has become fashionable, if not politically trendy to treat the former president with insolence, irrelevance, incivility and inappropriately because he is a self-made man who ventured into the political arena without permission and upset the democratic apple cart. – RTM
I recently listened to a sermon where part of the topic was about “opposites”. We say it a lot without really analyzing what it means to be opposite of something. However this topic needs to be nailed down, taken apart and studied in greater detail.
Placed or located directly across from something else or from each other.
Facing the other way; moving or tending away from each other.
Being the other of two complementary or mutually exclusive things.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
And then we have Newton’s third law of motion, “an equal and opposite reaction to every action”.
We mistakenly think that everything or everyone has an opposite. That simply is not true.
Can you name one person who has no equal (opposite)?
The sermon I was listening to turned to certain things not being things at all.
It’s something being the lack or absence of something which we think of in terms of opposites.
Isn’t that a mouth full (don’t answer, it’s rhetorical)?
Here are some of examples used in the sermon:
Darkness isn’t a thing at all it’s the absence of light.
Silence isn’t a thing either it’s the absence of sound.
Taking it further then standing still is the absence of motion.
Left is the opposite of right and vice versa.
Up is the opposite of down.
East is the opposite of west.
North is the opposite of south.
The genders of male and female are quite the opposite of each other, but when joined together in marriage they become one flesh – they are wed.
There are no other genders, only illusions of the mind.
We often think that the opposite of good is evil because they are diametrically opposed, but that’s not true either because only God is good and evil cannot be equally opposite to God who has no equal. Remember I said earlier that there is one person who has no equal and that person is the Creator God.
We are constantly bombarded in life to the point of thinking that politically there are only left or right, wrong or right, haves and have nots.
We have forgotten that in the sight of Almighty God we are all created equal and in His image. There are no favorites with God. Nobody has to or can ever “earn” the love of God. God’s love is unconditional.
In truth Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Mark 12: 30-31
The trouble is that the man who doesn’t know God doesn’t love himself and therefore cannot love his neighbor as he loves himself.
The way out is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Hate is not a thing, but the absence of love. True love comes only from God. (No God no love) However always, always, always love trumps hate. – RTM
I never really fancied myself as a writer’s writer. Early on I’d make so many mistakes just trying to put my thoughts on paper that I’d simply give up. As a child I could never afford writing paper, tablets, journals or the like yet I found myself enveloped in one adventure after another by the books I read.
What is the purpose of writing, to become famous and sell lots of books? Anyone can string words together into sentences and paragraphs while following the proper protocols of writing. There are educational venues, specialized schools of journalism and writing with a central theme or purpose of getting everyone on the same page.
In school I was never at the top of my class. Dyslexia made reading difficult. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider venturing into the writer’s world. So I never really “got” what it took to become a really good writer.
I tell everyone that in life you got to have a “want to” in order to do or stop doing something. It could be an agenda, a goal, or a reason to write. There are different types of writers. Subject matter experts write on what they know or have learned over time with experience. Fantasy writers speculate on the “what ifs” of adventure. Writers of horror stories write to exploit the in ornate fear of man. Political writers write to embellish or slander politicians. Subtle writers draw you into the story until you feel as if you’re really there, living every word on each page.
The Bible tells us that God created by speaking words. It goes on to tell us that words bring either life or death. For the writer to put words on paper is no different that someone speaking words into the air. It behooves us to be mindful of what we do, say or write.
Looking back I guess I became a writer with the advent of typewriters, word processors and computers. In the military there were reports to write, assessments to put down on paper and instructions relayed to subordinates. Often I’d find myself proofreading the reports of others. Taking higher education courses required precise writing of computer code giving instructions to have the desired output. A number of times I’d attempt to write my biography or history of my military career, only to scrap it at the last moment.
A serious event in my life which I titled “Adrift in the Panama Canal” was my stab at documenting the capsizing of a small fishing boat and the life or death struggle of two real life scuba divers. My initial goal was to have the article published however my writing skills were not perfected yet. More recently I did manage to write a blogpost detailing the event.
For me writing is not about tabulating the number of readers or seeking their comments, it’s about presenting the truth in a way that compels the reader to give it serious thought. There are times where I might even misuse a word, or use the wrong word. I assure you it is unintentional. What I consider a cardinal sin of writing is when misinformation and/or slanderous articles are intentionally written and passed on as truth, and then picked up by others and spread like gossip across the face of the planet.
There have been times that I’ve been asked serious questions about certain people and when answering those questions with facts, my written answers are tossed aside as rubbish, because a preconceived notion based on misinformation is more acceptable than fact. I’m reminded of the saying “not to argue with a fool because he’ll beat you with experience and others will not be able to tell the difference”. Or another saying “it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.
Writing is about choosing battles. Not every battle is one you should fight. Not every fight will you win. When I write it is to educate, entertain, or inform and quite often it’s simply because I can. Writing doesn’t make me better or smarter it’s just my way of coping in a world gone haywire. – RTM
Soldiers of World War II had their K-Rations and post-Vietnam Era soldiers had their Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) but during the Vietnam War Era we had our Meal Combat Individual C more commonly called C-Rations.
Each case contained a variety pack that you either loved or hated and had absolutely no choice as to which meal you received:
Beans, w/Frankfurter Chunks in tomato Sauce B-2 Unit
Beef, Spiced Sauce B-1A Unit
Turkey, Boned B-3A Unit
Pork, Sliced & Cooked B-1A Unit
Spaghetti w/Ground Meat B-2 Unit
Beans w/Meat Balls in tomato Sauce B-2 Unit
Chicken & Noodles B-1A Unit
Ham & Eggs, Chopped B-1A Unit
Beef Slices & Potatoes w/Gravy B-2 Unit
Ham, Sliced & Cooked B-3A Unit
Beefsteak B-3A Unit
Turkey Loaf B-3A Unit
Each meal contained the canned meal, the B Unit, Canned Spread (butter), Canned Fruit and an accessory packet:
Sugar, Toilet Paper
During my tour in Southeast Asia (1968 – 1970) we drew our rations in the mess hall at Zero Dark Thirty as we ate breakfast and prepared to hit the road, convoying to wherever we were tasked. It’s been so long ago that I don’t really remember having a truly bad meal, although I probably had more ham & eggs than beefsteak. We usually heated our canned meal by placing it near on the engine exhaust about an hour before our lunch stop. Convoy speed was a whopping 25 MPH so we really did get nowhere fast.
We often stopped along the highway where no houses were and took our lunch break sitting under a tree or in the shade of the truck, but rarely did we make it out of the cab before the kids came from out of nowhere begging for the candy and cigarettes.
In today’s era of political correctness C-Rations would be taken off the market due to the cigarettes, coffee, matches and toilet paper all being hazardous to your health.
So tell me what was your favorite and least favorite meal? Do you still have your P-38? – RTM
You may have wondered why my online social media presence over the past 2 months dwindled down to almost nothing. I guess after a time online fully submersed in events it is necessary become unplugged and to just get away.
To those who know me understand that Thailand has over time become part of my DNA. My wife’s family lives in the northeastern region on the Korat Plateau called Esan in the town of Khon Kaen. When I first went to Thailand I was an 18 year old boy from Idaho and couldn’t have found the country formerly called Siam on a map.
Over the years I have made a number of trips back with family and friends. I’ve tried it on my own (don’t recommend it), traveled military space available, rode a bus, stood on the back of a farm tractor, ridden in a Thai truck, baht buses, samlars and thuk thuks (gasoline powered peticabs), rode motorcycles, rented cars and driven military trucks with each came a new experience.
You have to understand that driving in Thailand is like driving in England, but without any rules of the road. Bigger, faster and quicker are not always enough. Defensive driving on steroids is always a must, as anticipating the actions of others cannot be stressed enough.
Normally when I travel to Thailand I use a combination of charter vans with drivers and personal vehicle (mine is a Chevy Colorado pickup) that either I drive or a family member becomes our chauffer for the duration. We have covered quite a bit of ground from Bangkok north to Khon Kaen to Nong Khai and back. We have made trips around the northeastern perimeter of Thailand along the Mekong River through Nakhon Phanom (NKP) to Ubon and back to Korat to Bangkok and southwest to Cha Am in Petchaburi province that took several days.
So this time I wanted to get away from the grind and stay around the house doing absolutely nothing. It really an unattainable dream, but never the less it was mine and out of that dream often came new and unexpected experiences. I learned that whatever it is that you need, you can find it in chain stores, hardware stores or the mall.
Without the television it was customary for me to sit outside around 4 am, drinking coffee and listening to the sounds of wild creatures while swatting mosquitoes.
Since we had no television we decided to purchase a flat screen TV at the local Lotus’s grocery store, similar to Walmart but on a much smaller scale. The one we chose wasn’t in stalk but had to be delivered. That was a challenge because although we had a house number, we couldn’t find a street name in the small town of Cha Am. Nevertheless it was delivered 2 days later as promised.
Television programs are normally delivered through satellite, internet or a dedicated router with its own sim card. There is no “unlimited” package deal, although they advertise a 30 day package. What you may not realize up front is that there is a data limit that normally lasts 30 days.
My daughter’s Netflix account enabled us to watch movies when we chose and what happened real fast was the data plan was completed in 3 days. So that made it necessary to go back to the store and renew or purchase another sim card. In all it took still another trip to the store to insure we had data during our stay.
What I realized was why I don’t have a Netflix account. There were very few movies without bad language, sexual scenes or absolutely no plot. There were several movies based on true stories, events or lives of actual people.
Our house is about 2 miles from the Gulf of Thailand, so a walk on the beach is possible. What we didn’t expect was the overpass built over the railroad tracks at the village of Bon Bo Khaem. Due to its height and steepness it’s not possible to just walk over the tracks. If you don’t have transportation (bicycle won’t do either) it’s nearly impossible to get to the local market or nearby 7-11 store and going to the beach requires transportation.
It wasn’t long before the women wanted to go shopping. Our neighbor made her car available for those first few shopping trips to the City Marketplace mall in Hua Hin some 20 miles south. This mall had a Lotus’s grocery store, Home Pro hardware & furnishings store, various shops, movie theater, vendors, eateries (McDonalds, KFC and others) as well as banks and money exchange vendors, a food court along with hair, nails, massage and sporting goods, even a golf accessories store. It was truly a place to shop until you drop.
One of my favorite nearby stores was where you could find anything you needed in building supplies and home accessories, it was called Thai Watsado. Whether we needed paint, sealer, tools or pumps and solar lights, this store was similar to Lowes or Home Depot.
Like many Thai cities, towns and villages one of my favorites is the night-market open once a week where local merchants bring out their wares and cooks some amazing foods (I even saw a couple of soft ice cream machines dishing out ice cream).
We did manage to make it to the beach a couple of times and I even went swimming in the Bay. It was kind of funny to see Europeans looking like beached whales, while Thais would go in the water fully dressed, including hats and sunglasses. I on the other hand preferred the beached whale look.
Did I say the food was amazing? There were lots of seafood, shrimps and such, fish fresh catch every day and lots of spicy delicious foods that are found best only in Thailand. We only went to a beachside restaurant once and there were no left overs.
Soon it was time to prepare for our return to the bump and grind of same o, same o back in Colorado and I’ve been rather slow at diving headfirst into the social media pool. I encourage you to get unplugged, recharged and back on track and forget about the political landscape, horror stories and news events that keep you gripped by fear.
In fact it’s a great time to reconnect and dedicate oneself to the Almighty God who created you. After all He’s right there – just a pray away. – RTM
In order to get the full significance of this article you must first understand Murphy’s Law and who Murphy was.
A rule that states, “If something can go wrong, it will.” An addition to this law reads, “and usually at the worst time.” The identity of “Murphy” is unknown, but the saying was first used during the 1940s and may have originated with members of the armed forces in World War II.
An Americanism dating to 1950–55; named after Edward A. Murphy, Jr., (1918–90), an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety systems.
When traveling by air in today’s world almost everything begins online, searching for flights, comparing airfare, booking flights, selecting seats, requesting mobility assistance and more.
While domestic travel allows one to check in and print boarding passes up to 24 hours prior to the flight, international travel is a bit different in that online check in is not allowed and must be done in person at the airline counter where the “fun” begins, at least on this trip that’s where my fun began.
Late last year I booked roundtrip travel for 3 passengers from Colorado to Bangkok, Thailand traveling in mid-January and returning on March 1st. Due to the destination my itinerary involved two major carriers and I was able to download an app for each one which allowed me to monitor and/or make necessary changes and to insured we were all as the airlines say “travel ready”.
Departing from a relatively small airport in Colorado Springs that literally and figuratively turned the lights on at 4am we were among the first passengers arriving for that scheduled 7am flight to Denver, where we had connections for Los Angeles, Tokyo’s Narita airport and finally arriving in Bangkok at midnight 2 days later. We knew from the start that the timeline would be close and voicing my concerns with a customer service person on the phone assured me there was more than enough time to make each connection. I don’t think that customer service rep had ever met Murphy.
About 10 minutes after 4am airline personnel came out of their office huddle and moved to their respective spaces at the counter. As I moved forward to check in and surrender my luggage, I was stopped by an airline employee who said to check in at the kiosk. Even after I informed him that my party of 3 was traveling internationally, he pointed and said “kiosk”. So we each found our own kiosk and began the checking in process he came over quickly and said if we were traveling together only one needed to be at a kiosk. And since he was already there he “helped” us through the process, tagged our luggage and told us we were all set. We collected our carryon bags and headed to TSA for the trek through security not knowing that Murphy had already struck. As we inched closer to TSA I realized we had no boarding passes. So leaving my family in line I hurried back to the airline counter and informed the same agent we had no boarding passes. He quickly printed and handed them to me so I could get us through TSA.
There’s a saying that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but Murphy does and in spades. We got through TSA screening and down to the gate while imagining that airline employees were engaging the seat warmers for our short flight to Denver. Soon we were seated on the plane, but waited for the de-icing crew to spray our plane so we could get airborne. The 18 minute flight was soon over and we taxied up to the gate. Now we had only minutes to make our connecting flight. Everyone stood up to collect their hand carry item so they could hurriedly get off the plane and over to the various departure gates. Murphy had other ideas. The gateway was frozen and had to be thawed out so it could be moved over to the plane. Then the frozen hydraulics wouldn’t allow the gateway to be lowered to the plane. Maintenance personnel worked frantically to free us “hostages” as time slipped rapidly by, and finally the door opened. Although sprinting wasn’t an option, walking rapidly was the best us senior citizens could do. It seems that Murphy still had a trick or two up his sleeve. We hurriedly arrived at our departure gate we discovered our flight to Los Angeles had backed away from the terminal and was headed without us. We didn’t know that our luggage had actually made that flight to Los Angeles. Our only recourse was customer service who after a great deal of time managed to re-route us to Chicago telling us that our luggage would also be with us because it couldn’t travel on a different aircraft.
All I know about Chicago is what I see on TV or in the movies. It’s colder than a bucket of icy water and the ground is always covered with snow (from someone residing in Colorado). Soon we were airborne and when we landed in Chicago and all I saw out the windows were green grass and a bit of wind. We headed to our departure gate and got checked in for the flight to Tokyo’s Hanada airport.
After going through Japan’s TSA security screening we went to our departure gate. After sitting for a short time it became obvious that our gate had been changed (Murphy at it again) so we hurriedly moved over 2 gates and soon began boarding for the 5 hour flight to Bangkok.
We cleared passport control easily and headed to the baggage claim carousel. As we watched the bags come down the shoot, an airline employee came around with a list of names asking if ours was on the list – they were ALL our names so she said to follow her. We’re wondering what was going on (Murphy)?
She said our bags were not on our flight and they hadn’t located them yet. She created a missing baggage report and said once our bags arrived they would be delivered to us at our house. We met our van driver for the 2 ½ hour drive to the house.
So in reality it seems that our bags COULD fly on other aircraft with or without us as it turned out that our bags sat at Tokyo’s Narita airport instead of moving on to Bangkok. I had a list of phone numbers to check on the bags status. The airline app allowed me to “track your bags” and I found that 24 hours later they had been loaded on a flight from Tokyo’s Narita airport and would be arriving the following day. It was 10:40 pm 3 days after we arrived that our bags were delivered to our house (Murphy had that final say).
When it came time to leave Thailand I made sure that I took pictures of the luggage. This would important should our luggage become lost or delayed. We took the hotel van to the airport for a 4am check in and everything went smoothly. As we left Bangkok we had minimal waiting in Japan before boarding our flight to Los Angles.
Upon arriving at our departure gate in Los Angeles there was an announcement to check all hand carry roller bags due to lack of overhead bin space. I decided to check our hand carry bag, but didn’t see the drop off door and ended up carrying it into the aircraft and placing it in the bin over my seat. An airline agent came on board the aircraft and spotted my bag with the checked luggage tag and removed the bag from the plane, intending to hand it down to the checked bags guys at plane side (Murphy had different ideas).
When we landed in Denver, and then boarded our flight to Colorado Springs we knew were almost home free. After collecting our bags we noticed the roller bag was missing (delayed). I went to baggage claim and learned that it had been sent on a different flight out of Los Angeles and landed in Denver about the same time as we were picking up luggage at the airport. Another delayed baggage claim report. On the way home it occurred to me that inside the pocket of that bag were the keys to my house as well as the TSA keys to our luggage (Murphy’s final blow).
We left the airport for a leisurely ride home, feeling good to be back on American soil and in traffic on Powers Blvd. We rounded the final turn onto our street my doorbell camera alarm told me there was movement at my front door and as we pulled into the driveway I could see my front door wide open and my grandson standing there waiting to bring our luggage into the house. Inside was his girlfriend and they had a steak and chicken dinner with all the trimmings and place settings already on the table. I rummaged through my makeshift keybox and located an extra TSA key that did unlock our luggage. The missing bag was delivered at 2:40 am the following morning. So take that “Murphy” and stick it in your ear……RTM
Why is it so hard in this age of electronics where we are constantly bombarded with information sprinkled with bits and pieces of misinformation?
There are those who want to control what we are allowed to eat, say or think. They see themselves as possessing superior knowledge about what is good for the rest of us.
We are told that we must divest ourselves of all foreign influence. We must buy and use only products, goods and services made in America. While pride in our country, work and how well we do is strictly discouraged.
I’m reminded of a parachutist who puts his life in the hands of complete strangers, “assuming” they know what they’re doing. The same is true of passengers in cars, trucks, buses, airplanes and trains.
It seems that doctors and lawyers are always practicing to earn and maintain their professional licenses , while everyone else is simply winging it.
The Bible tells us that in the last days we will hear of wars and rumors of wars but the internet gives us the false impression that we can control the entire world as we know it.
I’ve come to the conclusion after consulting with some very smart people that the world would be a much better place if we got back to worrying about our own darn selves.
Do what you can do about what you can do and leave everything else to someone else. The Bible tells us that when it is within our power, live at peace with one another.
To put it another way, love your neighbor as you love yourself. Don’t anchor your love boat in a harbor of hate. – RTM
My dad was a disabled WWII Veteran who never let his disability become a handicap.
His leg injury in the navy led to a surgery to remove his left knee and fusing his left leg. After leaving rehabilitation at the VA hospital one of the first jobs he got was pushing a broom as a janitor at a large church not far from the VA hospital.
Not able to return to farming he worked a number of jobs including a US Postal Carrier walking a route in Boise, Idaho. He was hired with a disabled veteran’s preference and gave his all into doing his job to his best ability.
In an attempt to force him to quit he was moved over to driving a box-truck with a manual transmission picking up mail from those blue postal boxes. He couldn’t bend his “clutch” leg and had a few mishaps. After which they urged him to quit. He refused, so they moved him over to sorting mail in the MHF.
Later they again urged him to quit since he “couldn’t” do the job they hired him to do. Dad told them that he had been hired with his disability and if they wanted him out so badly they’d have to medically retire him and they did just that.
Dad went to pastoring several church over the next few years before fully retiring.
Dad wasn’t one to sit idly by, so he tended to his gardening, berry patches and tinkering with lawnmowers just to keep busy when him and mom weren’t gone fishing.
Dad asked me to help him get an increase in his VA disability rating. So I gathered his medical info and wrote a compelling letter of support for a higher rating due to secondary medical issues as a result of his leg injury.
He went for his compensation hearing he was a very senior citizen (75+) pushing his walker or using two canes. He couldn’t walk without them.
The examiner asked dad what he couldn’t do now that he used to do before his disability? This simple question got a simple straightforward response- Nothing!
Dad proceeded to tell how he rototills and irrigates the garden, mowed the lawn, shovels snow, stacks and carry’s firewood into the house for the wood burning stove by himself.
The examiner informs him his request for a higher rating was denied.
Dad was the fifth out of seven siblings born and taught to work hard and a man’s word was his bond and raised his four boys to do the same.
Dad never saw his disability as a handicap. In army terminology- he never rode his profile.
Dad figured he’d go before mom and wanted to make sure she was taken care of. It turned out that mom died 3 years before him. His local VSO did the paperwork to insure dad was rated as totally disabled and home-bound, which helped him to spend his final 3 years in a local state Veterans home.
I have a hard time watching someone who is able-bodied, but milking the system with their handicap instead of using it to open new doors.
I too am a disabled veteran who has spent the past 14 years to get the VA to raise my rating from 0% to 100% while devoting many of those latter years helping my fellow Thailand based Vietnam Veterans with their VA claims process. – RTM