I Think The Government Is Trying To Kill Me
And not in any blatant hail-of-gunfire kinda way. No, the bureaucracy that is the U.S. Gubmint is trying to kill me by making me have a rage-induced aneurism.
Let me attempt to explain…
My father is a veteran. He’s also a 176 lb. infant these days, due to advancing Alzheimer’s. Knowing the end is inevitable I decide to do the responsible daughter thing and get funeral pre-arrangements going. (That’s another post..one with more funny and less rage.)
In my naiveté, I figure this will be a relatively *simple* process.
*proceeds to laugh hysterically for a moment*
Whew…oh yes, where was I?
Convo with me and funeral director:
Me: Hi, I’m here to do some funeral planning for my father. He’s a veteran, so the interment and perpetual care are already taken care of…
FD: Do you have the DD-214?
Me: The wha…?
FD: The DD-214 form. It’s your father’s discharge from the military.
Me: I have a discharge certificate.
FD:*shaking her head* That’s not the DD-214. I’ll get you the web address to send an electronic request for the DD-214. It’s a fairly simple process.
The rest of the funeral pre-arrangement meeting went well….even though I laughed at precisely the wrong moments. Every. Time.
I got back to my computer and proceeded to place the e-request for a copy of Dad’s DD-214.
This morning I got this e-mail from an Archive Technician (who knew they existed and are they like The Librarian?):
I have been assigned your request submitted for verification of military service for the veteran:
Wyle E. Cattle
Center Policy is that if the veteran is living, their signature is required to authorized release of information from military records. If the veteran is not living, immediate next-of-kin must send written request for information. Please identify your relationship to the veteran as you signed the web request indicating you were the veteran.
Additionally, the service number, provided in your request, is identifying a veteran with a different name than you submitted. Was the veteran known by a different name during his military career?
There was no place to indicate on the form who I am, but I requested the form on behalf of my father. I am Awesome Sauciness (nee Cattlecall).
My father is Wyle E. Cattlecall. I didn’t apply for the form under the name you list below. I applied for it under his name, Wyle E. Cattlecall.
He is a resident at ******* in Redacted, TX. It’s a nursing home and he is in their secured wing as an elopement risk. He has advanced Alzheimer’s and no language/writing skills.
I requested the DD-214 as part of funeral pre-planning arrangements I am making with You Stab ‘Em, We Slab ‘Em Funeral Home in Dallas, TX.
And I wait.
I have no faith I’ll get what I ask. At least not until I trot one of these Archive Technicians over to the home and have him/her attempt to communicate with Dad.
Though if they are anything like the Librarian I would hope they have a Babelfish in their knapsack. Then, maybe, I could talk to Dad too.
Then maybe I could explain to him why his next SS benefit check will be $200 short.
It’s because the SSA thinks Dad is not in a nursing home.
And that’s because the TX Dept of Health and Human Services told them that in October of 2011 Dad left the home he was in in Ft. Worth.
That part is true, but he wasn’t discharged he was transferred to a home where I wouldn’t get calls at 2:00 a.m. to tell me he had been beaten up again and had a head injury…again.
So the new home he went to filed all the necessary paperwork for the transfer, only somewhere along the bureaucratic nightmare of tangled webs the whole thing got lost.
I’ve now spoken to FOUR different people and gotten FOUR different answers about Dad’s benefits.
The only consistency is their insistence that I’m not someone to whom they may speak, but they must speak to Dad.
I finally told the last twit that I’d be glad to drive her over to the home and see, just see, how much of a conversation she could have with him.
I probably screamed that into the phone.
I have my own caseworker now.
And, probably, my own surveillance satellite.