The Veterans Department at The Mesothelioma Center helps veterans. That's our sole job. We believe we do it well, and we appreciate it when these veterans and their family members take time to tell us about a job well done.
We have helped hundreds of veterans’ families navigate through the paper-filled world of the Department of Veterans Affairs, helping them understand the complex world of asbestos-related diseases. Here are excerpts from some of the thank-you cards and emails that came our way from some of these veterans or their family members. We are happy we could provide some service to families that already have sacrificed so much.
Dear Asbestos.com, I want to thank you so much for what you have done for Jim and me. It was you who sent us on the right road. I was so scared when I pushed the button on the computer to Asbestos.com. I thought I was crazy with all the scams that are [out there]. Shortly after, the phone rang and you were on the other end. I still didn’t know if I could trust you, but I now know that you were one of the many Angels God was sending our way. If it wasn’t for your call, we never would have known of Dr. Lebenthal and received the encouragement you and the asbestos network gave to us. I know the days ahead are still going to take some patience, but you and the staff at asbestos helped give us a gift that we never would have received had I not taken that scary step. Please let Missy and Jose and the rest of the people that were there for us our love and know that we are doing fine and we are going to make it through this. God Bless every one of you.
-Dottie Hill Neenah, Wis.
Thank you for all that you have done to make filing my brother’s VA Mesothelioma claim as easy as possible. It is hard enough to deal with the heartache of learning that our beloved brother and son was diagnosed with Stage IV Peritoneal Mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure and then to wonder what could we do to help make him as comfortable as possible. Your friendly voice and desire to help prompted me to call you back. I felt a sense of comfort in your words and your understanding of what we were going through and your desire to help prompted me to trust that you had my brother’s best interest at heart. If you had not been there to guide me each step of the way, I would have felt helpless and perhaps given up. You made the process of filling out the disability claim easier than I could have imagined. I want the very best for my brother and want to team up with people who also feel this way. There are no guarantees that he will receive VA Disability Benefits from his time spent in the Navy, but if we don’t try, then we will never know.
-Carrie Deane Richmond, Va.
I am a US Navy veteran with Mesothelioma that was exposed to asbestos while in the Navy. In June 2011, I accessed the Asbestos.com website to gather information about Mesothelioma veterans claims information. The website referred me to Allen Dutton, a retired LCDR (O-4) in the US Navy and operations manager of the Veterans Assistance Network. He also serves as a Veterans Benefit Counselor for the Mesothelioma Center, assisting veteran clients in obtaining the maximum benefits for which they are entitled. I called Allen and talked to him about my options regarding veteran’s claims on mesothelioma. He was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and informative. As a follow up, Allen sent me an email with detailed information. The email included information about the filing process including contact information for a Veterans Service Officer in my local area. Additionally, Allen suggested that I may want to pursue civilian legal actions, explained some of the options, and provided me with some pertinent contact information. I have exchanged numerous emails and telephone calls with Allen. And, in all instances he has been very responsive and informative. I highly recommend Allen to anyone that needs assistance with Mesothelioma claims issues.
-Cornelius (Neil) Stone Formerly Electricians Mate 2nd Class (E-5) US Navy Waukesha, Wis.
Just want to thank you and commend you on your role as an advocate during the process of filing a claim with the military. Positively you made all the difference for the entire process. Your prompt return of phone calls, your expedient sending of required forms (ugh) and most importantly your moral support. My wife and I tackled the forms one day at a time, and that was our method of plowing through it. Before I knew it, the package was ready! Many thanks for being there for us!
-Jack and Penny Keyian Santa Maria, Calif.
The patient advocates at asbestos.com are wonderful people who are providing guidance to people like me who are affected by mesothelioma. Overall, the guidance from all who I have met thus far has been compassionate and extremely helpful. Thanks to all of you for doing a job well done.
It started with the diagnosis of mesothelioma and me looking for information on the computer. My sister pointed me to your website and I researched much of the wealth of information the site has to offer. I was hesitant to put my information into the site but did so anyway because I wanted the free booklets. The next thing I knew, you called and left a message on our answering machine with a number and time that I could call back. After a few days, I was overwhelmed with thoughts and more questions about the disease and I called you. I am so thankful that I made that call because…you answered many questions and pointed us in the right direction for assistance…We had no idea what to do at the beginning of this terrible ordeal; we would have been lost if it was not for your help. I am so glad that you directed us and we were able to discuss things. Time is so critical with this type of cancer. At the end of his short fight with this awful disease, my family was able to assure Bob that he had done everything he could and that we would be okay. Thanks so much for your help!
-Amber Boger Miami, Fla.
I just wanted to thank you for all of your assistance in helping obtain the necessary documents for my father Gerald Nichols to apply for VA benefits. You have been extremely helpful, not to mention very kind throughout this process. God Bless.
-Nina Cruz Menifee, Calif.
The professionalism and expert advice extended by Asbestos.com was truly a blessing as we dealt with my father’s Mesothelioma illness. The advocacy group’s expert guidance and advice dealing with the Veterans Administration was a miracle for my family. Thank you for everything
-Steve Reeck Vancouver, Wash.
I would like to once again thank you for all you did to help my family. We will be forever grateful for your guidance and kindness.
-Kim Andella Tewksbury, Mass.
Allen Dutton has been a tremendous help to me and my parents. I sent for the free information kit and within a few days Allen contacted me by phone offering any assistance I could need. He also contacted my father and spoke to him, a conversation my Dad quite enjoyed. He loved talking to a fellow Navy man. In addition to the phone calls, he emailed a lot of very helpful information and referred my parents to a law firm which has been very helpful as well. He helped my Dad understand the process to get total disability from the VA. Although my Dad lived several months longer than expected he died in October of 2010. Allen assisted my Mom in obtaining all the benefits available to her as the surviving spouse. Since then I have contacted him once again, and once again received a prompt and helpful answer. He was a Godsend to me and my parents.
-Joni Bartell Curwensville, PA
Former U.S. Army Capt. Aaron Munz is the director of the Veterans Department at The Mesothelioma Center, and he is a VA-accredited Claims Agent. He received the Bronze Star in 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Munz has intimate knowledge of how veterans were exposed to asbestos because he served under similar conditions.
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