The motivation behind Ms. Baker’s compilation was not only to emphasize the extensive flaws in the VA healthcare benefits system and the incredible struggles veterans endure to obtain such benefits as a result, but to also demonstrate that these struggles are not just the plight of today’s veteran and have been going on for almost 75 years.
“My goal with this book is to raise awareness about the battle our veterans must fight with the VA long after they return home from combat,” said Ms. Baker. “Before my Uncle Eddie passed away, I vowed to continue championing his cause because no veteran should have to endure such endless efforts to receive the quality healthcare they deserve for risking their lives to defend our freedoms.
Something From Eddie is the story of Eddie Livingston - a WWII veteran and former Prisoner of War (P.O.W.). Readers are invited to endure his 20-year struggle with the physical, emotional and psychological damage from Eddie’s time in combat and his tireless pursuit of obtaining healthcare benefits from the VA. Mr. Livingston kept detailed records and copies of his correspondence with the VA, including a letter to the manager of the VA branch in Montgomery, Alabama in 1962 where he explains, “It has taken me two months to get a simple hospital application form from your agency.” Eddie goes on to lament his one-sided communication efforts by stating, “I have begged, pled, asked; but my patience is about gone. I am not sure yet just what it will take to get my VA affairs properly considered.”
In a summation that rings as true in 2014 as it did in 1962, Eddie announces to the VA that “I have asked for, at least 100 times, VA hospital and doctor findings...My health was seriously jeopardized because your agency arbitrarily denied me a simple hospital application form.”
It is with great detail that Ms. Baker outlines her uncle’s frustration with the VA system using his correspondences with public and government officials, hospital employees and VA branches locally and nationally.
Something from Eddie is available on paperback for $19.95 (including shipping). To purchase a copy, contact Ken Faulkner, President of the Vets and Vines Foundation (VVF) at 209-855-6773, or visit the VVF website at www.vvfusa.org.
For more information about Something from Eddie, or to share your story with Ms. Baker, send an email to somethingfromeddie@
About the Author
Pam Baker is the owner of CustomSportsCards.com, the company she founded after a career of more than 20 years in manufacturing, working for such companies as Apple Computer and Flextronics - a leading global contract manufacturing company - before deciding to leverage her skills to launch her own business. Ms. Baker became involved in veteran’s advocacy in 2000 after meeting her Uncle Eddie - a decorated WWII veteran, POW survivor and family member she had only communicated with through letters as a young child. After taking Eddie into her home, she became acutely aware of the difficulties he had suffered for many years throughout his battle with the VA and vowed to take up his cause of doing whatever possible to help make sure that other veterans would never have to suffer in the same fashion as her Uncle. Something from Eddie is Ms. Baker’s testament to that vow and an effort to raise awareness of agony our veterans have been enduring far longer than most people realize. Ms. Baker resides in Sacramento with her big yellow dog, Thunder.
About Valor Industries USA
Valor Industries USA is a California-based company working with Valor Winery and other strategic partners to provide support to and assist the Vets and Vines Foundation with carrying out their mission to help veterans and their families.