I’m not a big fan of talking about myself.
After all, this is the Veterans Law Blog, not the “Chris-Attig-Breaks-His-Arm-Patting-Himself-on-the-Back” Blog.
Over the years, I’ve received emails asking me to tell my background. Emails like this:
“The blog is great and helpful – but who are you? Why are you doing this?”
“Do you ever sleep? Why are you writing so much for Veterans?”
“Tell your story. The emails are good but I don’t know anything about you.”
I guess it is human nature to want to know who someone is and what their motivation is.
So here it is – in a nutshell:
As a Veterans Disability Attorney, I’m a Man on a Mission.
I’m a service-connected disabled Vet and a Veterans Disability Attorney. When I was in the Army, (1993-2004), I had the opportunity to jump out of a few airplanes.
On one jump, from a C141 Starlifter, a freak gust of air flipped me through my risers at the very moment the chute opened. Some part of the chute – the Jumpmaster thought it was the clasp that connected the risers to the harness – ripped my face to ribbons.
When I landed, covered in blood; I looked in the mirror one of the medics gave me. He handed me the mirror to explain, visually, why he was refusing to give me a cigarette to calm my nerves: my face was torn wide open from my chin to my cheek.
I had also banged up my skull and damaged my teeth, jaw, and gums.
I still have the facial scarring – and recurring problems with my teeth and jaw.
It was 10 years after I left active duty – and 3 years after my honorable discharge – before I realized I was entitled to compensation for those and a few other injuries from service.
In the “Cold War” days, nobody talked about VA benefits. It wasn’t a mandatory part of our out-processing, and I had no clue about them.
In 2007, I learned about VA Benefits when I represented a Veteran who had been battling the VA for decades. So, I filed my own VA claim.
One BIG Problem: I had no idea how hard it was – even for an attorney – to understand this process.
* There was nobody to show me how to file and prove a claim.
* The VSOs wouldn’t talk to me because I was an officer and an attorney. (It’s not the first time that a VSO has turned away someone in our family).
* And the VA damn sure didn’t help – it took years before they finally conceded that my scars were the result of the jump from the C141, though I had all the records to prove it.
Then and there, I decided to do something about it.
I decided that I was going to create the resources that were not available to me when I filed my VA Claim.
Here’s what I’ve done since then:
#1: I’ve represented a great many Veterans at all levels of the VA Claims Process.
I’m building a network of connections at VA Regional Offices nationwide.
I regularly appear before the BVA. And I’ve handled cases at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
One of my favorite experiences was engaging in Oral Argument at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in a Veterans employment matter.
My Firm has an extensive Claims Review Process – which you can read about here – before we offer to represent a Veteran. I want to know as much – or more – about your claim as you do so I can make an informed decision whether my law firm can help.
#2: I built the Veterans Law Blog: the longest running blog by a Veterans Disability Attorney.
Since 2007, the Veterans Law Blog has provided daily posts – loaded with information and content to help empower Veterans in their own VA Claims.
All of the Blog Posts center on teaching Veterans the 8 Steps to Improving Your VA Claim – which you can see on the category listing to your right.
The Blog reached over 25,000 Veterans in July 2014 – and by May 2015, the Veterans Law Blog has over 50,000 followers – whether from direct visitors or from our email delivery of the blog.
Are you getting the Veterans Blog by email? If not, click here.
#3: I have published 10 Veterans Law Guidebooks.
One of my strongest skills – or so all the professional aptitude tests told me – was my ability to find patterns in events.
I used this skill to not only teach myself Veterans Benefits law, but to identify the patterns in the VA’s handling of claims.
I then turn my analysis of these patterns into Veterans Law Guidebooks that teach Veterans how to improve their own claims.
Nobody else is doing this – nobody else is sharing their experience representing hundreds of Veterans, before VAROs nationwide, the BVA and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Nobody else is showing you the way out of the Hamster Wheel.
Nobody else is “turning on the light” so you can see the path forward in your VA Claim.
And it’s working.
Every week I hear from a Veteran who had a different experience with the VA because of the power and knowledge and information I share.
#4: I actively recruit and train new Veterans Disability Attorney.
Every year, I train attorneys how to represent Veterans.
I’ve taught them the “Journey to Service Connection”.
Recently, I volunteered my time to put on a webinar – through the National Organization for Veterans Advocates (NOVA) – for 50+ attorneys that wanted to add a Veterans Law Practice to their Established Law Firm.
I want to pass on to others what my mentors gave to me: the skills, knowledge and experience to help More Veterans get out of the Hamster Wheel.
Are you interested in joining my Team – at the Attig Law Firm or the Veterans Law Blog? Tell me about yourself here.
#5: I’m building the Law Firm of the Future for the Veterans Community.
Behind the scenes, we are building what can only be described as a “Web 2.0” experience for Veterans – clients or not.
What does this mean?
I have software coders and developers working on a Case Management System for our clients that will allow them real-time access to their case and their attorney anywhere they have an internet connection.
We are building a law firm that streamlines the Veterans’ claim so that we can:
a) hire more attorneys, and
b) empower those attorneys to do what they do best – get Veterans out of the Hamster Wheel.
We’ve got a lot to do before we can roll this feature out…but it’s coming in 2015. Sure as rain, we are going to build the Law Firm of the Future for the Veterans Community.
#6: Starting in 2015….. I’m taking the Veterans Law Blog to the Next Level
Read all about that here.
I’m going to build the very thing that Veterans do not have: an organization that teaches and helps Veterans file, develop and prove their own claims.
Stay tuned for more…..
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