A Jacksonville area attorney has published a handbook aimed at helping military veterans navigate the VA system.
Tyson Manker of South Jacksonville, is a practicing attorney and former active duty Marine who is using lessons learned during his own experience in filing a claim for Veteran’s Administration benefits to help other Vets who may be just starting the process.
The book is titled “VA Handbook for Veterans and Advocates- How to file for VA Benefits and Appeal Your Claim”. Manker says both the book and his willingness to help others navigate the system, were both born out of his own experiences with the claims process.
“I feel a duty to share what I’ve learn, and as a public interest attorney, in the time that I’ve been an attorney, that’s kind of what I’ve focused on. I’ve never felt comfortable charging clients large sums of money for my service because it’s largely knowledge that I’m able to share. If I am able to help people and in this case veterans, that’s what I want to do. I’ve battled the VA on my own, and I’ve come out on top. I want to make sure other veterans are feeling empowered and knowledgeable when they try and do the same thing.”
Manker says over the years he has found many veterans who are unable or unwilling to apply for benefits through the VA they are legally entitled to. Manker says the book not only helps give veterans a guide through the benefit application process, but that early in the book he dives into the deep history of benefits that have been provided to veterans, some dating back to Revolutionary times.
Manker says at the nation came out of each conflict since the very beginning of the United States, the veterans who emerged from the conflicts have organized themselves and pushed the lawmakers of the time to do better for themselves and future veterans.
Manker feels the book is a way he can help continue the long history of veterans paying it forward for veterans:
“I’m a service connected veteran in the VA myself from my time in the Marine Corps, so I wanted to make sure that. You know it’s not exactly the easiest system to navigate, but I was able to figure things out, and I wanted to share the information that I learned, so that other veterans and other advocates can do better by those that they serve.”
Manker says in similar fashion, he hopes to use his experience as an attorney to help teach law students a greater understanding of how to navigate the VA for their future clients.
“You know over the next year, I’m going to be making contact with all of the law schools in the country that have veterans clinics to make sure that the next generation of veterans advocates and young attorneys have access to this information that when I was a young law student about 7 years ago was lacking. The materials that were available to us just were sub-par, so that’s another reason. I wanted to make sure that the right teaching aids were out there, and so that’s a big role that I hope this book will play.”
“VA Handbook for Veterans and Advocates- How to file for VA Benefits and Appeal Your Claim” is available through Amazon and the publisher’s website at: VA Handbook – How to file for VA Benefits (va-handbook.com)
Manker says print copies will be available soon at Our Town Books in Jacksonville, and he is currently in discussion to have an official book release event there sometime in January.