No Congressman, No problem -Becoming the voice of change!

Right now, millions of our Nation’s Veterans are at risk. There is a horrifying practice being orchestrated by the Veterans Affairs administration to purposely hurt them. It is criminal, it is fraudulent, it is dishonorable, and it is time for it to stop.

I served with Brian in the Marine Corps and have known him for over 20 years.  He has a beautiful wife, and 4 awesome kids.  His life, and that of his family’s has been completely flipped upside down because of VA malpractice that nearly killed him. He was stripped of his livelihood, his right to due process, and denied rightful compensation because of a legal loophole that has been dishonoring veterans like him for over 74 years now.  It is extremely disappointing that Brian has had to fight this battle almost single handed -with only the help and support of his family and friends.  When I speak of fighting battles, I’m not talking about being in a foreign country thousands of miles away from your family.  I’m talking about a battle with elected officials that are supposed to be protecting us.

He lives in the only district in the entire nation without a sitting member of Congress and has no representation for nearly 3 years now.

Brian essentially has taxation without representation. He lives in the only district in the entire nation without a sitting member of Congress and has no representation for nearly 3 years now.  Congressman Duncan Hunter was stripped of his committee’s and completely disengaged from his constituents after being federally indicted. He left people like Brian feeling hopeless and helpless. What are the odds of this happening after everything Brian has had to endure. With no voice in Washington D.C., Brian has had to become his own Congressman. He has done the work of Congress at his own expense.  Brian doesn’t have much these days.  He’s lost damn near everything because of financial ruin after his medical malpractice has kept him from working and providing for his family. Everything he has done in creating a voice has been done on his own, along with fellow veterans and thousands of supporters across the country.

Brian has logged and worked over 10,000 hours to ensure the rights and protections of all veterans. He also has sent over 3,000 emails and have made just over 1,000 phone calls.  He is carrying this out because he feels it is his responsibility and duty as an American to change the very law that has ruined his life and countless others. He is doing this because he is fighting for what is right so no other veteran ever suffers like he and his family have.

Where is Congress? What he is selflessly doing everyday doesn’t come with a paycheck either!! I have followed his story closely and I have witnessed what he has had to do over the last 4 years of his life. He has had to teach himself how to read and draft legislation. Teach himself how to advocate and lobby congress. Every time I turn around I see the look of defeat and exhaustion on his face. Obviously the job he has taken on is not fun and it’s a very demanding and exhausting job. He continues to fight despite having every reason to give up.

Brian is advocating for an estimated 20.2 million American Veterans that are susceptible to VA medical malpractice.

Brian has traveled to D.C. 3 times at his own expense.  He has walked the halls of Congress going door to door urging lawmakers to change the very law that ruined his life. He has participated in dozens of town halls, telephone town halls and Facebook town halls. Because of his hard work and efforts, there have been 3 Bill’s introduced in his name in 15 months.  Again, he has done this without any help from his very own elected officials. Obviously congress must know there is a major problem here if he can find congressman from different parts of the country to see and read his story and they introduce legislation in his name to fix the long standing problem. I can only imagine the toll that this has taken on Brian not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.

Brian has built a grass roots movement to change a law that has ruined his life in an effort to ensure that no other veterans continue to be treated how he was. The legislation is simple, and there should be no excuse for congress not pushing these through.

John Steelman
USMC Veteran