Born and raised in Chicago, I joined the Army in 1976 two weeks after high school graduation. I retired in 1994 as an E6 with full benefits due to the downsizing in the mid-90's. Thank you President Bill Clinton. This blog is what happened to me after I retired. I post about the VA system, MST, service dogs, LGBT issues, DADT and more. This isn't a VA bashing site. I recognize that VA employees (most of them) work hard and want to do right by us. Follow me. Perhaps you will learn something that will help you. That is my goal. To teach and to share. I am in the process of becoming a Veteran's Advocate. I've enrolled myself in the NVLSP Course. For all intents and purposes, that's just a piece of paper but in some circles, that piece of paper goes a long way. Becoming an "Advocate" is an evolving process in my humble opinion. Each day is a learning process. If you remain stagnant, how can you help others? Feel free to email me or leave comments. That's the only way I will know what you like, don't like, feel, think, etc. Thanks to all for your service. Each of you have my deepest gratitude. To the spouses and family members who love us Veterans, my thanks to you too.