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Mr. LIND. No, sir; the Federal board never has in all the time I have went to them, given any reason why or not they should not go to a man and tell him what they can do for him and what they won't do for him.
The CHAIRMAN. Were there not others ahead of you?
Mr. LIND. There was some, but there wasn't any large number of them.
The CHAIRMAN. Were they applicants for training?
Mr. LIND. Probably they were doing the same as I was doing, sir. I think they were taking vocational training, the same line as I
The CHAIRMAN. When you spoke of having to wait four or five hours, when you evidently thought it was a neglect of you. Do you think it was neglect?
Mr. LIND. It was, sir, because they had men there that wasn't competent to take care of the people.
The CHAIRMAN. How do you know that?
Mr. LIND. You could see it from the way they done it. What I seen done in front of me was enough to tell me, to make me feel that way.
The CHAIRMAN. Your disability was deafness?
Mr. LIND. Only here last Saturday I had an examination and it proves that my right ear was affected.
The CHAIRMAN. Those who were ahead of you that day that you waited so long, could you tell whether they had been suffering from any physical defects?
Mr. LIND. That is something I can not answer, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It might be that they were more seriously injured than you were.
Mr. Lind. That is in all probability, but I can not answer for them.
The CHAIRMAN. What were you doing-what was your work before you went into the service?
Mr. Lind. Wood finishing,
The CHAIRMAN. Wood polisher? How does the deafness affect the skill for wood polishing?
Mr. Lind. I can not stand the noise, sir. I went to my former employer and he told me that I could not come back; that I should go out and stay away at least three or four months and come back, and then probably they would take me back, but I seen fit for myself not to go out and do that.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean that the noise would make you nervous ?
Mr. LIND. Yes, sir; I have been nervous. Any man would be nervous from a mastoiditis operation, which is too close to the brain, and I am nervous at the present time from it.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the cause of this deafness?
Mr. LIND. The concussion of a shell in July, 1918, at La Catien, France.
The CHAIRMAN. Does a sudden noise unnerve you?
The CHAIRMAN. I am trying to get at whether the deafness caused by the shell would make you nervous to any noise that you would hear now?
Mr. LIND. It is on account of the injury to my ear and the three incisions I have received back there.
The CHAIRMAN. You said a moment ago that you could not stand noises.
Mr. LIND. I can not either.
The CHAIRMAN. You may continue with your experience with the board.
Mr. LIND. I went to the Federal board, as I said before, on July 1. I waited there at least four and a half hours after I registered. Then they told me I would have to submit to an examination before their medical adviser. I was examined by Dr. Merriman the following day. He could not see any more men then. I went back the following day and was examined. I kept going back. Dr. Merriman never said anything in regard to my examination, but a man that they sent me to to put me in training was Mr. Solander. He gave me a letter after he asked me what I desired to do, and I goes to the Hefley Institute with it. It was sort of a formal introduction to some one in charge of the Hefley Institute. When I went to the Hefler Institute the party I was supposed to see wasn't there. There was a woman at the desk, and I asked if I could give the letter to somebody in charge, and she said Dr. Hefley was away at present, but that I could leave the letter with her. She opened the letter and read it and asked me in regard to my education. I told her I graduated from elementary school, and that I started in to high school, and when America went into the war I turned around and enlisted. She said: "I think it would be advisable for you to start training in September," and I could come there for the summer mathematics course.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know the name of this woman?
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know who was in charge of the office at this place?
Mr. LIND. It was a woman. I don't know.her name, but I would know her face if I seen it again.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed.
Mr. LIND. So I took the letter back to Mr. Solender the following day, and he read the letter and told me I could start my training in September.
Well, September came. I was supposed to start on the 6th of September. The 6th of September passed and to-day it is the 29th of March and I have received several letters telling me that I should have come over and seen them in regard to my vocational training. I went over to see them and they told me that they took the matter up with the central office in Washington. After the central office in Washington notifying them that my case was not one of those that should take training under section 2, instead of taking training under section 2 they turned around and offered me training under section 3, which, in other words, is that I could have the privilege of attending any evening school or day school throughout New York, and had I seen fit for myself, if I cared to take the training I
do not have to go to the Federal board in regard to going to evening school. I can go myself to any of the evening schools that are open in New York.
The Federal board wishes only to pay for my tuition and books and things that would come handy for me while I took the section 3 training, if I did.
So I went back again to the Federal board. I kept going back, and every time I went back they told me that I would have to have another examination. I had several examinations, and uponin, particularly, I was supposed to see Dr. Merriman, I think it was October 16 or October 13, from a letter I have from them.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is Dr. Merriman?
Mr. LIND. Dr. Merriman has been one of their doctors. I haven't brought that letter with me, sir, but I have it at home. I have one from them on December 13, 1919, which says: Mr. THEODORE LIND,
175 St. James Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. DEAR Sır: Will you kindly call at this office at your earliest ronvenience and ask to see the writer relative to your case? Please bring this letter with you when Hoping to see you soon, I beg to remain, Yours, very truly,
S. E. FARWELL.
Assistant D. N. 0. Which I don't know what the initials mean.
I went there and Dr. Merriman was out, and, instead of letting a doctor examine me, they let somebody just take a form of a pedigree, as I would say. They asked me the questions which they already had. I gave them those questions. Then they told me I would have to come back again. That was on a Monday, and I would have to come again the middle of the week. I went back in the middle of the week. I could not see Dr. Merriman. He was busy examining other men.
I kept going back and forth in answer to their letters, and the papers they sent me I filled out and returned to them. I finally got disheartened from it after hanging on for nine months, and I thought it wasn't worth while. I lost faith in them, so I said to myself: "I will leave the matter go for awhile and see what happens." Nothing has happened since.
I have other letters from them, one on December 22. I have another one on March 10, since the Evening Post has represented my case--what I told about them.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lind, the board has not declined to give you training, but has declined to give certain rating? For example, they denied to you training under one section, but will concede it to you under another? Your feeling is that you have been sufficiently seriously injured that you ought to be put into the class where you could be given pay while you are taking training?
Mr. LIND. No, sir; I don't quite agree with you on that question. My grievance is, if it should take a person nine months to tell me that I was not able to take training, they could have told me that after the second time I went there, instead of waiting until nine months or so to send me a letter and tell me that I wasn't an applicant for training under section. 2.
The CHAIRMAN. How long after your first application did you get the word that you could not be accepted under section 2?
Mr. LIND. I got that, sir, in the latter part of September or the early part of October.
The CHAIRMAN. And when had you made your application?
The CHAIRMAN. My impression has been, from listening to the statements of the service men here, that the board has not declined to offer training, but has declined to give that particular kind which will require the Government to pay a certain amount, and the boys think that ought to be done. Now, I am of the impression that that is the source of most of the dissatisfaction on the part of the men, such as yourself. I understand that the board will not refuse you admission to section 3, but they have not found you eligible to section 2, isn't that true? You said a moment ago that you could go to evening school yourself if you wanted to.
Mr. LIND. I could.
Mr. LIND. Because that is really what the board wants to do. That is all they want to do, is to turn around and offer me an eveningschool education or a day-school education, and naturally I wouldn't have to go to the board for that.
The CHAIRMAN. That is evidently because they do not think under the law your injury is of a degree to demand section 2.
Mr. Lind. But, sir, may I read this to the committee, this last letter from them?
Mr. TOWNER. That is dated March 10?
Mr. LIND. Yes, sir [reading]:
175 St. James Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. DEAR MR. LIND: We suppose you have applied to the Bureau of War Risk Insurance for compensation. In case this compensation is granted, you will be eligible for a course of training under section 3 of the act. That is, you may choose one of the following courses: Any approved correspondence course, any approved evening school, any approved course in day instruction, any approved part time in any approved course.
If you are not financially able to accept training in an all-day course, you are urged to notify us to that effect, so that we may, il possible, assist in locating you in some suitable position in which you would hé of such financial assi-tance that it would enable you to accept the training in an all-day course, and taking one of these couses under section 3, our board will pay for your tuition, books, training, equipirent, and transportation only;
Should you decide that you can not accept training under section 3, will you please give us your reasons for refusing training? Under what conditions do you consider ihat section 3 training would be acceptal le to you?
Please advise this office whether compensation has been granted to you by the Bureau of War Risk, and also wþether you desire to take advantage of any one of the alove mentioned opportunities.
Then they give me another sheet here.
Mr. LIND. This year, sir. It says:
The following is quoted from section 3 of the Federal act providing for reeducation of disabled soldiers, sailors, and marines:
“Sec. 3. Courses of vocational rehabilitation provided for under this act shall, as far as practical and under such conditions as the board may prescribe, he made available without cost of instruction for the benefit of any person who is disabled under circumstances entitling him after discharge from the military or naval forces of the United States, to compensation under article 3 of the said act, and who is not included in section 2 hereof."
I was told when I went there the first time that I should file my application and if I was to get compensation I could be taken in training under section 2. That was Mr. Solender's words to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is he?
Mr. LIND. He was the man that is supposed to place me in training. I went to him again and he told me it was discontinued, or in other words, it was not approved.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know who was at the head of the New York office at this time?
Mr. LIND. I suppose Mr. Farwell was. That was along in July. Mr. Farwell was at the head of the office then. Mr. Clark was recently added to the head of the office.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever had any interview with Mr. Griffin ?
Mr. LIND. No, sir; I did not, unless Mr. Griffin was there then. I never had a chance to have an interview with him.
The CHAIRMAN. You feel that personal references would lead you to believe you could have had section 2 training; however, all the communications officially from the board were to the effect that section 3 would be given, but not section 2? That section seems to be the source of the difficulty.
Mr. Lind. No, sir; I don't quite agree with you.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you feel that you could not have gotten any training under any section?
Mr. LIND. I feel that I could have had my training under section 2 if Dr. Merriam had lived up to his words in his letter when I got there to see the party, to see the above-mentioned person relative to my case. If I went there with that letter I didn't see Dr. Merriam; I was transferred to somebody else.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you have some communication, which is now a matter of writing, promising you section 2 training?
Mr. Lind. I did, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That would be well to have that letter a part of the record.
Mr. Linn. I think that you can get the original from the Federal Board's oflice, because they have a copy of the letters that they sent out.
Mr. BLAND. What was the date of that letter you are talking about?
Mr. Towyer. By the explosion of a shell, I think you told the committee!
Mr. LIND. Well, it started and affected my hearing. The ear has been discharging.