No Shave November 2020

No Shave November is a charity event hosted by
Disgruntled Vets benefiting 22 Until NoneVeterans donate their beards, eyebrows, mustaches, and other various
​body hair to be auctioned off. If the amount is high enough they will
cut, shave, or even wax their lucious locks off.
If we raise $22,000 Chapi will wax that crazy caterpillar mustache off live for your enjoyment!
If you wish to jump on the bandwagon message us a picture of your beautiful body hair,
​the amount you want for it (if any), and your approved removal technique!Tune in December 12th from 1400 – 2000 Central Standard Time
for a night of camaraderie, raffles, giveaways, and beard contests!!

Task Force Kringle 2020

Our friends at 22 Until None have a wonderful program called Task Force Kringle where families who are struggling can get up to $1000 to spend on Amazon for Christmas gifts. In 2018 they were able to help 11 families with Christmas expenses. That number grew to 18 in 2019. This year they have secured funding and sponsorship to help 30 families in need of assistance! Their application period for this amazing fund is open until November 1st so get your info into them ASAP! They have only had a handful of families register this year and would like to meet their goal of helping 30 families through the 2020 holiday season.

Required Criteria for Applicants:

– Must have a DD214 showing discharge status with honorable discharge.

– Must have a VA disability rating of 30% or more.

-Must have children under 18 in the house and listed as dependents through the VA, these must be your own children either biologically or through marriage, adoption, or fostering, a significant other’s child or a relative’s child living with you will not qualify.

-Must show you have a situation causing financial hardship to the household as in a medical event causing many bills, catastrophic accident to home or self, loss of employment, etc.

You must be able to provide proof of all the criteria listed above in the form of bills, police reports, medicare benefits, repair bills, etc. If you have been a recipient previously you forfeit your eligibility for this program. Task Force Kringle also counts as a form of financial assistance.

Apply to Task Force Kringle

Clutch’s Advice to Contractors

Dear Contractors,

We’ve all seen the news stories about the seventy or eighty year old veterans living in dilapidated homes, battling homelessness because a well meaning social worker got their home condemned. I’m not facing that, but I find them relatable. That could easily be me in thirty years. My house went without basic maintenance or repairs for over a decade as I battled PTSD, depression, and agoraphobia. My (veteran) husband watched on, patiently, but had his own struggles too. We managed to not let it get gross or unkempt looking, but our home was definitely held together with love and hope.
Now, here’s where I want to interject something. We budget for home repairs. We know how much things like a roof, flooring, and kitchen projects will cost and can afford them. Money is not the obstacle that’s keeping me from hiring you. I am. Making phone calls and talking to strangers is difficult. Making a series of decisions with long reaching consequences is difficult. Going into a situation without knowing everything that will happen is difficult. Doing all of that at once is so overwhelming that it makes me physically ill.
Last year, we finally reached that reckoning moment of “if we don’t get this fixed, we could lose our home.” I was desperate. I asked around in veteran communities, hoping I wasn’t alone. I was uniformly told to just hire a veteran owned company. Um, okay? But how do I hire them and not die in the process? It feels like that. Like I might die for this stupid and completely harmless phone call. Mental illness is whacky.
When it came time for the roof, fascia, and gutters to be done, I went to my doctor and got enough meds to comatose an elephant. In the absence of a magic button, I was gonna have to muscle through it. I called the three top rated companies (2 veteran owned) and went through the nightmare of sales visits, estimates, phone calls, and contracts. I knew that every single inch of roof and fascia needed to come off (it was not up to code and was rotten) and we moved ahead on that premise. Two out of the three underbid because, “some of the wood might be good.” I iterated that I needed a “worst case estimate” and was told that’s not a thing. Remember, I can afford this. It wasn’t about the money. It was about being forced to babysit a project, face repeat decisions, and talk to strangers over and over.
I picked company number three, for five grand more than everyone else, because they followed directions, were top rated, and said it’d be three days. I never saw the sales guy again, NO ONE on the crew spoke English. I was on the phone all day, every day, because I couldn’t communicate with the people that were on my porch asking if they could fetch the nail gun they dropped through the ceiling, or apologizing for the human shaped hole in my garage ceiling. They also drove a trailer into my garage door, left hundreds of nails in mine and my neighbor’s yards, Oh… and they took eleven days!. They shit the bed… bigly.
My nightmare wasn’t over. I still needed fifty year old bathrooms replaced and foundation work. The roofing experience was demoralizing. I didn’t get five star service and never saw this alleged veteran owner. So, what was the point of that? I finally asked on the Nextdoor app, “Help! I need to hire a contractor but I’m a basket case and need one that is low pressure and patient.” A realtor reached out and suggested dude named Doug. Doug answers his own phone and actually works at job sites. I told him, “I’m sorry, I’m not good at phone stuff. If I’m rude, it’s not you.” He laughed and told me not to worry about it. I told him I’d need a lot of work on my house but just got burned by another company and had some mental health issues that might need navigating. It was so humiliating having to say that, but it was the only way I could think of to cross this bridge, so he wouldn’t blow up when I struggled with a decision or needed hand holding.
He asked if I had a small project I wanted as a test run, and we’d go from there. “If it’s easier to e-mail, we can do that.” God bless this man for offering that! We moved to e-mail and set up a time for him to check out a bad wiring situation in my kitchen. He showed up, looked at it and goes, “$250, my electrician will rewire those and change the receptacle.” Cool! One sentence with all the information I need! He left and emailed me with a date and time for his electrician to come by. The repair was equally painless. A couple weeks later, I e-mailed that I was ready to tackle the bathrooms and foundation. We did the same thing. He swung by, peaked at the aged throne rooms, asked two questions and then said he’d e-mail me an estimate.
The estimates were detailed and fair. I replied that I wasn’t comfortable with picking stuff and asked if he had guidance for that or, “a Denny’s menu of what normal people pick.” He said his foreman was a pro and could narrow it down to one or two decisions and guaranteed the end-product would be attractive. I’m not an HGTV junky and I don’t need magical retreats, or romantic soaking tubs. I do need symmetry and light. This was workable. My final hurdle was scheduling. That eleven day roof project nearly put me in the hospital with twelve hour days of noise and constant drama. I asked about timing and how big the crew was, so I could prepare mentally (code for get adequate amounts of Ativan). Doug offered two options. He could keep it to one or two guys for half days, doing the bathrooms one at a time; OR he could have both done in four long days with an eight-man crew. Onsies, twosies, please!
Fast forward! He was right. His foreman narrowed the finish choices to two shower surrounds and showed me a common paint color, vanity, and flooring that match and are popular. I only had to choose one thing, give a thumbs up, and that was the end of it! Bathroom number two is nearly done. I was comfortable enough to expand a little. I picked from two flooring samples and a paint color from a choice of four. Oh, and the foreman said, “You like shiny stuff, right? Want bright chrome in your bathroom?” Heckin right, I do!
All of this is to say that being rigid and rushed might be how the business works, but being chill and flexible can secure a corner of the market that has ample disposable income and needs your services more than ever. This has been so easy that we’re gonna have them put a patio door in, since they’re taking the back wall of the house off anyways, then build a deck. We’ve never used our backyard… ever. Oh! And I need a pantry put in. Can you widen this door? I have hated that cabinet…. That two hundred and fifty dollar test run and a handful of one sentence e-mails will bring him nearly forty thousand dollars of cash business during a pandemic and economic downturn. It will also improve the quality of life for two veterans that have spent years holed up and struggling in a house that was very much a safety hazard.

Disgruntled Vets Halloween Contests 2020

Disgruntled Vets State Chapters are having Halloween contests! Show us your best costumes, pumpkin carvings, and porch decorations to win some sweet DV swag! All entries must be submitted through your state chapters.

Texas and Colorado have costume contests… show us your best makeup and costume!
Virginia has a porch decorating contest… show us your spookiest porch decorations!
Nebraska has a pumpkin carving contest… show off those knife skills and post your best pumpkins!

VA Caregiver Support Program

Did you know that you can be paid by the VA for taking care of your disabled veteran?
Under the VA Caregiver Support Program monthly stipends are paid to those caring for disabled veterans day to day. The level of payment is completely determined by how much time a day you spend helping your veteran accomplish tasks and the level of care your veteran requires to function normally. The disability your are helping your veteran overcome does not have to be service related in order to qualify for this program. There is no end date for this program so once you are approved, so long as your veteran continues to need care, the program is open ended.
Under current guidelines only the post 9/11 veterans are eligible for this program but they are actively working to allow other generations of veterans to receive this benefit as well.
There is a process of paperwork, exams, security checks, training, and home visits that must be done before you can be admitted to the program. However, once you apply for the program, should you be approved as a caregiver, you will start accruing stipend payments that will be back paid once the process is complete. Both the caregiver and the veteran will have to go through quarterly check-ins with the assigned Caregiver Support Coordinator via phone or web chat and yearly home visits to ensure proper care is being received by the veteran, that the caregiver keeps up on current health care practices to improve overall life support for the veteran, and to check on the mental health of both the veteran and caregiver. The support coordinators are very concerned with the care the veteran receives and that the care provided is not wearing to much on the mental health of the caregiver.

This program offers a lot of support for those caring for our veterans such as daily motivational text messages, ongoing internet training for improving care practices, tips on how to keep your veteran involved in daily activities, and so much more. Head over to the Caregiver Support Program’s webpage for more information on the program overview, who is eligible for this program, and review their support systems.

Visit the VA Caregiver Support Webpage

VA Mission Act

Tired of waiting months to see a VA doctor? Don’t want to drive an hour to your nearest VA facility for doctor appointments? The VA Mission Act solves all that!
Under the Mission Act, you have more ways to access health care than your typical VA may provide. This includes within the VA’s network and through approved non-VA medical providers in your community, called ‘community care providers’. Depending on your situation – for example, if a certain type of health service isn’t provided by the VA – you may be able to go to a non-VA provider using your VA coverage. This program not only covers disabled veterans and retired veterans who would have access to care at a VA facility but also for VA caregivers assigned to take care of disabled veterans.
To get started there are a few things to navigate. To qualify for this program your VA must either not have facilities to provide service for they health care you are desiring, your don’t have a VA facility within a certain mileage from your home, or the VA is unable to give you timely care meaning they are booked out for over 30 days. If any of these applies to you, you can request community care and in some cases even if you don’t meet those requirements they may allow you to use community care due to conflicts with the health care staff at your VA facility or personal preference.
In order to use community care and have it covered under the Mission Act you have to jump through a few hoops. First you want to request community care referral through your VA facility and what services you are requesting for be it specialty care, general medical coverage, or mental health. Once you get a referral, you will receive a letter in the mail with your referral number and what insurance group will be covering your community care. It is recommended you reach out to the insurance provider directly after that and coordinate with them regarding what doctor’s you wish to see. If you do not have a specific doctor in mind they can assign you one based on who is in their network close to you. Just because the doctor you want to see is not in their network does not mean you can’t get the care covered, but your doctor will have to go through a vetting process to get into the system and be paid. The insurance company will set up your first appointment and set parameters on visits allowed in set times, after the initial appointment you can make the follow-ups on your own. The medical providers bill the insurance under your referral number and the VA pays for the services.
Contact your local VA to find out more information on the Mission Act options available to you and take advantage of all the options for community care offered!

Visit the VA Mission Act Information Webpage