The Reverend Doctor Noel T. Benoist, N.S.A. Retired
Co-Pastor Vietnamese United Baptist Church
Co-Founder Arizona Inter-Tribal Veteran’s Association
Co-Founder National American Indian Veterans
Member Republican Chairman’s Veterans' Advisory Executive-Board,
(In 1971 and 72 Noel had enough evidence to convince him of massive wrong doing in the areas of Veterans’ claims and healthcare. Noel started the fight to get these conditions changed. Noel pushed for and finally got the Equal Access to Justice Act also referred to as E.A.J.A. This was to get relief from the fact, that at the time, an attorney was not allowed to get more than$10.00 fighting a Veteran’s claim. This law prevented veterans from getting legal representation. No attorney will or would work for a total of $10.00. Military groups like DAV, VFW, and other member organizations, authorized to help veterans, were totally trained by the Veterans’ Affairs to do and interpret everything the way the VA wanted and interpreted. This is comparable to a capital murder case in which the District Attorney dictates everything said and done for the defense and the prosecution.
Now veterans must continue to appeal all the way to the US District Court for Veteran’s Appeals. When they get to the US District Court for Veterans’ Appeals, attorneys will write asking if they can represent the veteran. Some of these attorneys will only read what the VA has said and done and then they will tell the Veteran that there is no case for appeal. The Veteran needs to keep interviewing attorneys until an attorney is found and that attorney is willing to go to the beginning of the problem and work his or her way forward then errors and wrong doing can be clearly seen and be presented to win the case.
Noel fought for forty years with several victories being ignored then Noel won a big victory that could not be ignored in 2012. Noel got attorney Sean Raven who was willing to go back to 1967-1968 and work his way forward. It took Sean Raven the last five years of this forty year battle to achieve benefits. Now Noel and Sean are fighting together to write old wrongs for the benefit of Noel and Veterans everywhere. During the time of this fight Noel served as an Executive Board Member for the Veterans’ Advisory Board for the Republican Party Arizona Chairman. This was to try and influence legislators to do what is just and right. Noel was and is the spearhead pushing for doctors and nurses to help Veterans by blowing the whistle. This finally came to light and people blew the whistle in 2014.
Noel is actively pushing for the same kind of investigation and changes to take place in VA claims the way they are taking place in health care. VA claims whistle blowers are needed! Every veteran needs to hound his or her state and federal legislator(s) andcall for VA claims workers to blow the whistle on VA claims wrongful activities nation-wide.
Noel and the people of this ministry believe that ministry has only those boundaries and limits listed in the Bible. For this reason Noel ministers and pushes for justice and righteousness in every field of life. His Lakota Sioux and veteran ties opened the door for him to see the VA abuses and neglect in serving American Indian Veterans. He met, and personally knew: as well as saw first-hand: as claims that should have been approved were turned down. He also saw the widows and children of American Indian Veterans as they were told they had no claim or claims submitted were turned down.
Noel and his Lakota cousin Marvin Youngdog were sitting on the sofa when Noel got the inspiration and he told Marvin that the American Indian Veterans need an organization that understands their culture and ways of doing things. Noel told Marvin that part of the problem was and is VA lack of understanding mixed with the American Indian pride and culture. Marvin agreed and he talked to Carrie James because her VA position at the hospital gave her an open door and path to get the word out. Noel also visited with Carrie and she told him she would spread the word far and wide. She shared this vision with the council of the 500 nations. Don Loudner and Colonel Joey Strickland said they would come and help if Noel, Marvin and Carrie wanted to get it started. At that time Don Loudner was an advisor for the President of the United States on American Indian Affairs. Also at that time, Colonel Joey was the Deputy Director for the VA in Louisiana.
Noel wrote up the by-laws and a number of others got involved. A large meeting was held in Phoenix Arizona and the “National American Indian Veterans” (NAIV), as well as the “Arizona Inter-Tribal Veterans Association” (AITAV), were started. The “National American Indian Veterans” and affiliate state lodges make up the only approved groups for servicing the 500 American Indian nations.
Out of this, the team achieved recognition for World War I and World War II “Code Talkers” who were instrumental in our success in both wars. Monuments and National Cemeteries have been established. Long over-due recognition has been given and we are still pushing for the recognition of the fact that “Code Talkers” worked under conditions worthy of receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor. “Code Talker “Guards” were there to protect the Code Talker AND to make sure the “Code Talkers” were not taken alive if the group was going to be over-run. “Code Talkers” had death facing them AND guarding them. They agreed to these conditions of service. Every time Code Talkers went into action, they were going “above and beyond the call of duty without regard to the personal risk of the loss of life or limb”. That is what is required for the Medal of Honor. The movie that was accomplished gives some recognition but it fails to portray the Medal of Honor style of heroism represented by the “American Indian Code Talkers”.
This ministry exerts and exercises our right to free speech in order to let legislators know the fact that the Constitution prevents legislators from dictating to or preventing the exercise of our faith and the choice of our religion or what church we attend. IT DOES NOT SILENCE THE CHRISTIAN VOICE OR RELIEVE LEGISLATORS OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE THE KIND OF LEADER THAT GOD WANTS THEM TO BE! If the legislature or courts want to try and claim Noel is in violation of “separation of church and state”, Noel is more than ready for that fight! He says “Bring it on!” In truth, the legislature and legislators are in violation of the US Constitution as are court decisions. The legislature and court decisions have resulted in many laws regarding the “establishment of religion” and “preventing the establishment thereof”. Our ministry would be “prevented” if we had not complied with those laws and decisions.This is the Republican Party Executive Board. It is proper to support political concerns and Christian politicians; it is also our duty to place Christians in our government whenever we have a choice.)
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