Posted by Janelle Vigil
My husband is a 100% combat related disabled veteran after a highly esteemed twenty-year career. Diagnosed with severe PTSD in 1998 among other documented illnesses, his career was largely classified, and like Oliver North, was beyond classification. It was during one of these operations that his neck was broken during a night jump.
Years after separation, Rudy finally had surgery to put the vertebrae back where they belonged. Three years after the surgery, he was hit at a stop light by a fully loaded dump truck doing 40 mph. His car was totaled and it is a miracle he wasn't killed.
After dragging on for years, Traveler's Insurance finally awarded him $150K to pay his medical expenses, the lawyers, and various other expenses, leaving us with
50K and a terrible, untreatable, chronic injury. The PTSD which had been steadily improving is now back full force and I am unable to ride with him in the passenger seat!
When Armando Rudy Vigil left the military, he wasn't even offered a medical review. His PTSD was so bad, that after a three month stay at Walter Reed, he was released as “fit for duty” and shipped to RGLA in California, which invented a job for him My husband was a highly decorated officer, from the time he joined at 17 in the USMC, to when he received the full benefits of an officer after graduating from the U of Utah. Later he received his Masters in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. He speaks Portuguese fluently, and in any country where Portuguese is spoken, he was stationed, as they became “hot spots” for the Soviet Union.
I am convinced that he was programmed at Walter Reed. Asking to be removed from Intelligence Work at Ft. Mead and shoved into an old WW2 job that had been vacant since the war ended. Whether his obsession with suicide was planted at Ft. Meade, or he felt that suicide was his final option, I DO NOT Believe that my husband is suicidal. However, he explains his final effort as "a blood atonement" for all the innocent lives he had taken over the course of his career. I cannot stress enough this man's brilliance, Robert. He is in the middle of writing a book about the military even as I write you this letter. I have no idea how it's going to turn out, but likely, it will anger many men in positions of power.
Please do not mistake us for "nuts." I am finishing my masters program in film and media next year with a 3.93 GPA. I am looking forward to working on my husband's story for what it's worth. He is a mercurial man with a mind like a comet, and I am amazed that Traveler's didn't take him more seriously.
For our pitiful defense, we used the Brinton's, father and son, and they insisted that we turn over all of Rudy's medical records. Was that necessary? No other drivers were interviewed although I am quite certain there were other injuries reported. All we had was a short mediation, and Rudy accepted the terms. By this time, we were broke, his pain levels were through the roof, and they knew that he couldn't hold out any longer. We have since gone through the $50K and are wondering if a discrimination lawsuit is in order. They equated his service-connected injuries with his civilian injuries.
They allowed the VA to pick up all the medical expenses with no conscience. Their driver was clearly at fault. He was ticketed and my husband was not. What can we do to send a clear message to Travelers that disabled veterans are still viable citizens with families that love and care for them. They aren't all under viaducts! Please take this matter into serious consideration. Rudy received an honorable discharge, and as many medals as they could legitimately award him, (considering the nature of the bulk of his work) I should mention that he was twice made company commander of broken down tank outfits, and both units graduated to "Top Gun" status under Rudy's command