Ron Capps

Ron Capps was a soldier for 25 years. He enlisted in the National Guard in 1983, received a commission in 1985 and served on active duty for nine years before returning to the Army Reserve. As a reservist, he was re-called a number of times to active service including work with special operations forces in central Africa, a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003, and work as an international peacekeeper in Darfur. Ron served as a Foreign Service officer from 1994-2008 with postings in Kosovo, Rwanda, Iraq and Sudan. Now retired from government service, he is a freelance writer and directs the Veterans Writing Project, a non-profit organization that provides no-cost writing seminars and workshops for veterans.

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

School’s Out

I’m in a bit of a celebratory mood. You see, I finished graduate school this week. Like nearly half a million other OEF and OIF veterans (431,000 more or less), I was using VA benefits to attend university. For all my whining and complaining about the VA—particularly the Veterans Benefits Administration—getting my education …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland: A Correction.

I received a note from Rick Maze over at Military Times this morning commenting on an assertion I made here that things might be improving for veterans’ benefits claims over at the VA. Maze, who took the time to note he’s “only been covering military and veterans issues for three decades,” says that things are getting worse over at VA in …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland: VA Backlog Shrinking?

Rick Maze over at Military Times has a piece this morning about Senator Patty Murray’s ongoing discussion with the VA over benefits. The entire article is worth a read, but one detail is worth pulling out: according to Maze, the VA now has “868,000 pending claims, 61% of which are more than 125 days old.”

These numbers are huge, but …

Battleland Battleland

Who is at War?

I arrived in Afghanistan about nine years ago, in the first week of November 2002. It took a couple days to get there. We left Fort Benning and drove to Atlanta. From there we flew commercial to Baltimore and had a seven-hour layover. My wife drove up to the airport and we spent the day together before she dropped me off to catch a …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland – Day 470: Decision

Dear Mr. Capps,

We made a decision on your claim for service connected compensation received on July 22, 2010.

The letter came in today’s mail. Day 470; for me, Decision Day. Things have moved really quickly in the past week. On October 20th, I posted a note here that I had been waiting 15 months—463 days—for a decision on my …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland – Day 463

Well, it’s been three months since my last examination at the VA hospital. Three months since the VA doctors completed my Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. Three months beyond the twelve months it took to get me to that point.

That’s four-hundred-sixty-three days of waiting for the Department of Veterans Affairs to adjudicate my …

Battleland Battleland

A Terrorist by Any Other Name

Normally I would have let this go. But, wow, sometimes the level of stupidity demands a comment.

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh took President Obama to task for sending troops to central Africa in an effort to take out Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. This in itself isn’t newsworthy. Limbaugh would take the President to task …

Battleland Battleland

Why Not Pot?

There have been a raft of articles here recently about PTSD and veterans including one on the difficulty of diagnosing PTSD, the staggering number of new veterans seeking mental health care at the VA, and the both surprising and somewhat sobering news that younger veterans are more willing to ask for mental health care—this is …

Battleland Battleland

U.S. to Go After Kony and the LRA

In a short statement on Friday, the State Department announced that the U.S. is sending 132 advisors to Uganda to help capture elusive rebel leader Joseph Kony and end the terrorism of his Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony has led the LRA for nearly 25 years. He and his lieutenants have been under an arrest warrant from the International …

Battleland Battleland

Back to School

Today seems to be military and veterans’ education commentary day. ROTC is back at Harvard, and both Bloomberg News and Holly Petraeus are railing on the for-profit colleges.

First the good news story: after a 40 years hiatus, ROTC is back at Harvard. The death of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has re-opened doors long closed to the military …

Battleland Battleland

Draft Threat a Fallacy

I keep trying to beat Mark Thompson to the gate with a Battleland post, but just can’t seem to do it. What time does he get up in the morning, anyway? Mark has already commented on Congressman McKeon’s absurd interesting comment that defense reductions might bring back the draft. But I still want to join the bloody fray.

Last …

Battleland Battleland

Soldier’s Heart?

My colleague Mark Thomspon has already highlighted the Miller-McCune piece about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sometimes being thought of as an injury to the warrior’s soul. But I wanted to comment on this one as well. As I have noted here several times I was treated for PTSD both in theater and stateside. I’ve spent a lot of time …

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