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Monday, June 28, 2010

Jim Strickland's "Straight Talk" is moving

Hello Invisible Readers!  I have news.  I've been telling you about Jim Stricklands' Google Forum, Straight Talk for Military Veterans since we opened it last October.  It has grown tremendously and I'm proud to say I'm sure we've helped a lot of Veterans along the way.  The beautiful thing about Straight Talk is that all the advice doesn't just come from Jim Strickland.  It comes from the members.  Veterans reaching out to Veterans and it's a beautiful sight to behold.  The moderators, Jim, Womenvets, Painter & myself have an easy job.  We just sit back, approve new members, moderate messages and occasionally get rid of members who can't/won't abide by our simple rules:  no bashing of other members and no cussing.  Be respectful of everyone.  How hard is that?  We chip in and offer advice, too, but the board runs itself and isn't dependent on any one singular person.  In my opinion, Straight Talk is an overwhelming success and I'm not just saying that because I like Jim Strickland and call him my friend.

Google has been a good host for Straight Talk but we think we've outgrown its capacities.  This morning we unveiled our new home and you can reach it by going to  When you register, you'll automatically be approved.  We've changed that from the old forum to save time.  We're growing so rapidly that it just doesn't make sense to have to approve each person individually.  We still approve each message so hopefully we'll still catch the spammers.

The new sight will take some getting used to for everyone.  The owners, the moderators and the members.  We ask the you be patient with the owners/moderators as we learn our way around the board.  I've been playing around with it for a couple of weeks now so I've had a head start on the members.  It's fairly straight forward once you start poking around in it.  It has options to notify you any time a new message has been posted, it has options to notify you when a response has been posted to something you've posted ... you get the idea.

The new forum is broken down into 12 categories.  That's different from the Google forum where members created a new "Topic" each time they posted something.  Hopefully, this will keep things more organized as long as members post to the correct category. 

If you haven't been a member of Straight Talk in the past I urge you to check it out.  Our members include but are not limited to VA employees, Veterans Service Officers, a NOVA attorney, veterans advocates and veterans like you and I, Invisible Reader, who just need help with our claims.  Some of us have more experience in one area than the other and everyone is willing to share what they know.  There is no charge for this advice --- everyone gives freely of their knowledge --- and there is a wealth of knowledge at Straight Talk.  

Of course, we also have Jim Strickland on board.  Owner, creator of Straight Talk,  contributor to VA Watchdog dot Org and Veterans Advocate Extraordinaire.  He is also my friend and I swear he didn't pay me to say that.  (I'll take that twenty now, Jim) (Oops, did I say that?)  Jim, as you know, preaches do-it-yourself claims and his website will walk you through how to do that, step by step.  Under his tutelage, that's what I am learning to preach and teach as well.

Come see us at our new home, Invisible Reader.  If you haven't joined us before, now is the time.  Having problems with your VA Claim for benefits?  Thinking about submitting a claim for an increase?  Got questions about applying for SSDI?  What will happen when you go in for your Comp and Pension exam? We can help you with all of that and so much more.  There isn't anything we aren't willing to tackle.  Try us out.  If you've done nothing to begin with, what have you got to lose?  We are Veterans helping Veterans.  Family members, you are welcome, too.  We recognize that family members are often times the ones taking care of their Veterans, handling their claims and entering an unknown, very strange world called the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Come see us.  We'll help you sort out the unknown.

In the meantime, I have to go chase down the nine month old doberman puppy we adopted yesterday from SPAY-LEE, Inc, an animal rescue organization. He's trying to eat everything in sight.

Rocco worn out after his first day with us.

Until the next time, Invisible Reader .......

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