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

Limboland – Day 378

Just an update as promised to my quest for benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On July 21, I had my Compensation and Pension(C&P) examination at my local VA medical center. That was exactly 366 days after I had first filed for benefits.

Let me explain what has happened to …

Battleland Battleland

No Longer Only a Young Man’s Game

I wanted to comment briefly on Mark Benjamin’s piece about casualty announcements being a painful as ever. Mark noted that three soldiers killed on July 18th in Afghanistan were all from a Pennsylvania National Guard unit, and that one of them, Sgt Brian K. Mowery, at age 49 could easily have been a grandfather. Lots of Guard and …

Battleland Battleland

Take a Chance

Last week was pretty hectic for me, so I’m just catching up on some housekeeping. I wanted to comment on my colleague Mark Thompson’s post about the suicide of Marine Sergeant Ian McConnell. Mark commented that that “Ian’s blood is on our hands,” and that “home, for many of our veterans, is a theater of war.”

These are …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland – Day 365

Well, it’s been 365 days. A year ago I filed for benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I filled out the application on line, collected up all of my documentation – orders, efficiency reports and awards, medical records – authorized all of my doctors and counselors to release information …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland – Day 360

Progress. Yesterday I received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs about my nearly year-long quest for disability benefits. I was irked to find that it looked suspiciously like the last letter I received from them, on April 21. These letters all begin with a salutation followed by a note that “We are working on your claim …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland – Day 351

Looks like I goofed. Last week I wrote here that I had submitted my claim for VA benefits ten months ago. That’s not quite right. Mea culpa. To correct the record, I submitted my claim over eleven months ago, on July 21, 2010. My claim has languished in the VA’s Baltimore office for 351 days. I promised to keep readers updated on the …

Battleland Battleland

On Priggishness


Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was a private. Most, if not all, of my leaders were Vietnam veterans. I remember seeing a picture of my platoon sergeant when he was an advisor to the ARVN. In the photo he had just been awarded a Silver Star for gallantry. He had a big smile on his face, the medal hanging from the pocket flap of …

Battleland Battleland

Limboland

It’s been over ten months since I filed my application with the Veterans Administration for benefits related to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. That’s three hundred or so days waiting to find out if one part of the VA – the Veterans Benefits Administration – agrees with another part of the VA – the Veterans …

Battleland Battleland

Long Time Gone

This is, of course, the title of a David Crosby song featured on the eponymous 1969 album Crosby, Stills and Nash. And more than just riffing on the title of my colleague Mark Thompson’s post from earlier today, it also describes the sensation I had during a meeting held at the Library of Congress for authors and historians as an …

Battleland Battleland

Take That Human Scum!

Well, it’s good to know the two Koreas are still hard at work on that reconciliation and reunification thing. This AP report from a couple weeks ago (OK, I’m a little behind in my reading…) sort of says it all about the most recent round in the never ending song of love between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic …

Battleland Battleland

Be Very Ashamed

Megan McCloskey at Stars and Stripes has just run the first of a two part piece on suicide in the army and it’s a ripper. In it, she details what drove Army Specialist Brushaun Anderson to kill himself at a remote firebase in Iraq on New Year’s Day, 2010. I think it should be required reading for leaders at all levels of the Army.

A …

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