Sorry Coop- i worked for DoD, but always officially as a civvie...never was plugged into the VA system, but i can at least identify w/ the frustration of finding out how easy it is for Uncle Sam to utilize your skillset, only to get a severe case of bureaucratic amnesia, as to whether or not you even existed; at least as far as trying to get some kind of of help when your "use by:" date has expired...
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.
-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III