Sorry you were not serving your country

That is the response form both the Federal Government and the National Guard.

I have tried not to do this as I feel that making too much of my private life public is not a good thing, but they have left me no choice.

I was part of the search and rescue at the World Trade Center with the New York National Guard. At first a a guard for the on sight morgue and than as a worker on the bucket brigade. While there on Sept 13th I was injured as the front of the American Express Building was coming down and I was helping people get out of there.

While I continued to work on getting better I also continued to serve my country with the National Guard at the World Trade Center. In Jan of 2002 I had surgery on my neck for the injury that I received while working at the WTC. In 2003 I was part of the Homeland Security for NYC. Than later in 2003 when my unit was being called up for Iraq I was found unfit for service due to my injury.

While it was sad for me, I felt that I would be fine, I believed that my country would take care of me the way that I took care of it.

When I processed out I went through the VA for my benefits. After years of fighting the VA I was told that while I would get some benefits for disabilities I received while serving on active duty that my time at the WTC would not be covered as I was with the National Guard and not serving my country.

I tried going through the National Guard, but for years they did not have anything set up for those who were injured or got ill during that time. Later when they did, I was told that it would take a little while, but that they knew my situation and that it should be fine.

Than the person who was handling the claims left due to his own medial problems and things just went down hill from there. The new people in charge did not know what I was talking about and said that I would have to go through the whole process from the beginning. I contacted my congressman, who called the National Guard for me, and they told him that they would put a rush on my claim. That was 3 years ago.

I contacted my state senator Owen Johnson whose office sent a letter to the NG, and when they sent him a letter back saying I was not eligible for a medal and that they would look into my claim, that was according to his office all that he could do about it.

Every year the NG calls or sends me an email saying that they are going to set me an appointment for an evaluation, and every year nothing happens.

The US Congress and the State Congress have both passed laws to help the police, firefighters and civilian workers at the WTC, but they left out the National Guard assuming that they would be covered by the military, and we are not.

According to the National Guard, we don’t deserve any medals for the time, because it was just state active duty. This was not a case of shoveling snow, or dealing with a flood (which even than if a soldier risks his life should get something), this was a terrorist attack on the US. I hurt my neck, have lung problems, and PTSD the likes of which is worse than many that were there. But while others are getting their pensions and money from the government, myself and others like me who are part of the National Guard are getting nothing.

I don’t want millions of dollars or a bunch of praises, I would just like to get my benefits from the National Guard and be able to go on with my life. But here I sit now 11 years later, with the same answers. You were with the National Guard, therefore you were not serving your country, and so you deserve nothing….

While I normally would keep this private and not spread it around, I am going to start a social media blog daily until either I get some answers or they take my access…

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