B-146443, OCT. 17, 1961

B-146443: Oct 17, 1961

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CRULL III: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST OF JULY 9. YOU ALLEGE IN YOUR LETTER THAT YOU WERE RELEASED FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVY ON JUNE 6. " THAT SINCE "IT WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT" FOR YOU TO COMMENCE YOUR SCHOOLING "UNTIL 4 DAYS AFTER THIS THREE-YEAR DEADLINE. IT WAS SUGGESTED BY OFFICIALS AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE (SLI) INCLUDING THE VA OFFICER THERE. THAT THIS PROCEDURE "WAS APPROVED BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE IN NEW ORLEANS" WHEREUPON YOU WERE REGISTERED AND ENROLLED AT SLI ON MAY 30. YOU "COULD HAVE REGISTERED AT ANOTHER SCHOOL WHICH CONVENED REGULARLY AROUND JUNE 5 OF THAT YEAR. "THIS WAS IMPRUDENT. " YOU PROCEEDED TO REGISTER AT SLI FEELING THAT YOUR ACTIONS "WERE WHOLLY WITHIN THE SCOPE OF PL .'.

B-146443, OCT. 17, 1961

TO MR. WILLIAM L. CRULL III:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST OF JULY 9, 1961, THAT WE REVIEW THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCES ALLEGED TO BE DUE UNDER CHAPTER 33, TITLE 38 OF THE U.S.C. AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF SUCH ALLOWANCES TO KOREAN CONFLICT VETERANS.

YOU ALLEGE IN YOUR LETTER THAT YOU WERE RELEASED FROM THE UNITED STATES NAVY ON JUNE 6, 1954, WHICH MADE YOU "ELIGIBLE THROUGH JUNE 6, 1957 TO COMMENCE EDUCATION UNDER PUBLIC LAW 550; " THAT SINCE "IT WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT" FOR YOU TO COMMENCE YOUR SCHOOLING "UNTIL 4 DAYS AFTER THIS THREE-YEAR DEADLINE, IT WAS SUGGESTED BY OFFICIALS AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE (SLI) INCLUDING THE VA OFFICER THERE, THAT (YOU) REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957, AND THEN JUST COMMENCE CLASSES AT THE REGULAR TIME ON JUNE 11, 1957.' YOU ALLEGE ALSO, THAT THIS PROCEDURE "WAS APPROVED BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE IN NEW ORLEANS" WHEREUPON YOU WERE REGISTERED AND ENROLLED AT SLI ON MAY 30, 1957, AS EVIDENCED BY A SIGNED AND SEALED CERTIFICATION OF THE REGISTRAR OF THE INSTITUTION; THAT HAD YOU FORESEEN THE DIFFICULTIES AHEAD, YOU "COULD HAVE REGISTERED AT ANOTHER SCHOOL WHICH CONVENED REGULARLY AROUND JUNE 5 OF THAT YEAR; " WEVER,"THIS WAS IMPRUDENT, AND ACTING IN GOOD FAITH ON ADVICE OF SCHOOL OFFICIALS AND OFFICIALS," YOU PROCEEDED TO REGISTER AT SLI FEELING THAT YOUR ACTIONS "WERE WHOLLY WITHIN THE SCOPE OF PL .' YOU ALLEGE FURTHER THAT FOR SOME REASON THE SLI VETERANS OFFICE INFORMED THE VA REGIONAL OFFICE THAT YOU "HAD NOT REGISTERED ON MAY 30TH" AND YOUR APPLICATION FOR EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS WAS DENIED; AND THAT THIS DETERMINATION, UPON APPEAL, WAS AFFIRMED BY A DECISION OF BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS AND UPON RECONSIDERATION THE BOARD HAS TWICE SUSTAINED THIS DECISION.

YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS PREDICATED ON THE THEORY THAT "BASICALLY THE PROBLEM IS ONE OF INTENT AND INTERPRETATION" AND "IN THE LIGHT OF EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES, IT APPEARS THAT JUSTICE HAS NOT BEEN SERVED IN THIS CASE.' YOU CONTEND THAT "INSOFAR AS (YOU) KNEW OR COULD POSSIBLY HAVE KNOWN OR ASCERTAINED" YOU WERE "DOING EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO QUALIFY FOR EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS UNDER PL 550; " THAT WELL BEFORE THE 3-YEAR DEADLINE YOU HAD "COMMENCED THE PROCESS OF PURSUING (YOUR) EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES; " AND THAT THE "ONLY THING THAT (YOU) HAD NOT DONE WAS ACTUALLY START ATTENDING CLASSES; EVEN THE ENROLLMENT AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURE HAD BEEN COMPLETED. (HAD (YOU) BEEN PROPERLY ADVISED, (YOU) WOULD HAVE EVEN BEEN ABLE TO COMMENCE CLASSES BEFORE THE DELIMITING DATE.)" NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE WAS RECEIVED WITH YOUR

REQUEST.

THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 550, 82ND CONGRESS, AS NOW CARRIED IN CHAPTER 33, TITLE 38 OF THE U.S.C. ENTITLED "EDUCATION OF KOREAN CONFLICT VETERANS" ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 1612. COMMENCEMENT; TIME LIMITATIONS

"/A) NO ELIGIBLE VETERAN SHALL BE ENTITLED TO INITIATE A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING UNDER THIS CHAPTER AFTER THREE YEARS AFTER HIS DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. * * *

"SEC. 1621. APPLICATIONS; APPROVAL

"ANY ELIGIBLE VETERAN WHO DESIRES TO INITIATE A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING UNDER THIS CHAPTER SHALL SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO THE ADMINISTRATOR WHICH SHALL BE IN SUCH FORM, AND CONTAIN SUCH INFORMATION, AS THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL PRESCRIBE. THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL APPROVE SUCH APPLICATION UNLESS HE FINDS THAT SUCH VETERAN IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR OR ENTITLED TO THE EDUCATION OR TRAINING APPLIED FOR OR THAT HIS PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING FAILS TO MEET ANY OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CHAPTER, OR THAT THE ELIGIBLE VETERAN IS ALREADY QUALIFIED, BY REASON OF PREVIOUS EDUCATION AND TRAINING, FOR THE EDUCATIONAL, PROFESSIONAL, OR VOCATIONAL OBJECTIVE FOR WHICH THE COURSES OF THE PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING ARE OFFERED. THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL NOTIFY THE ELIGIBLE VETERAN OF THE APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF HIS APPLICATION. (PUB.L. 85-857, SEPT. 2, 1958, 72 STAT. 1177.)

"SEC. 1631. EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE

"/A)THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL PAY TO EACH ELIGIBLE VETERAN WHO IS PURSUING A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING UNDER THIS CHAPTER, AND WHO APPLIES THEREFOR, AN EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE TO MEET IN PART THE EXPENSES OF HIS SUBSISTENCE, TUITION, FEES, SUPPLIES, BOOKS, AND EQUIPMENT.

"/B) THE EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE FOR AN ELIGIBLE VETERAN SHALL BE PAID, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 1632 OF THIS TITLE, ONLY FOR THE PERIOD OF THE VETERAN'S ENROLLMENT AS APPROVED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR, BUT NO ALLOWANCE SHALL BE PAID---

"/1) TO ANY VETERAN ENROLLED IN AN INSTITUTIONAL COURSE WHICH LEADS TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE OR A COURSE OF INSTITUTIONAL ON-FARM TRAINING FOR ANY PERIOD WHEN THE VETERAN IS NOT PURSUING HIS COURSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULARLY ESTABLISHED POLICIES AND REGULATIONS OF THE INSTITUTION AND THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CHAPTER;

"/2) TO ANY VETERAN ENROLLED IN AN INSTITUTIONAL COURSE WHICH DOES NOT LEAD TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE OR IN A COURSE OF APPRENTICE OR OTHER TRAINING ON THE JOB FOR ANY DAY OF ABSENCE IN EXCESS OF THIRTY DAYS IN A TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD, NOT COUNTING AS ABSENCES WEEKENDS OR LEGAL HOLIDAYS ESTABLISHED BY FEDERAL OR STATE LAW DURING WHICH THE INSTITUTION OR ESTABLISHMENT IS NOT REGULARLY IN SESSION OR OPERATION; * * *

"SEC. 1661. AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF ADMINISTRATOR

"/A) PAYMENTS UNDER THIS CHAPTER SHALL BE SUBJECT TO AUDIT AND REVIEW BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS PROVIDED BY THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT OF 1921 AND THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES ACT OF 1950.'

THE IMPLEMENTING ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS PUBLISHED IN THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (REVISED, 1956), TITLE 38, PART 21, SUBPART B (WITH CHANGES AS OF JANUARY 1, 1961, IN CUMULATIVE POCKET SUPPLEMENT), PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 21.2012 COMMENCEMENT; TIME LIMITATIONS.

"/A) INITIATION OF PROGRAM. THE VETERAN MUST ENROLL IN AND BEGIN THE ACTIVE PURSUIT OF HIS APPROVED PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING ON OR BEFORE HIS DEADLINE DATE.

"/1) THE DEADLINE DATE FOR BEGINNING A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING UNDER 38 U.S.C. CH. 33 MEANS 3 YEARS AFTER THE VETERAN'S DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY. * * *

"/C) SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION. (1) THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SECTION WILL HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTIVELY MET WHERE A VETERAN TIMELY FILED AN APPLICATION BUT WAS PREVENTED FROM INITIATING HIS PROGRAM AS A DIRECT RESULT OF ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

"/I) THERE IS A RECORD SHOWING THAT HIS APPLICATION WAS DENIED THROUGH CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE ERROR ON THE PART OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION AND THE VETERAN PROTESTED THE DENIAL WITHIN 60 DAYS FOLLOWING THE DATE OF NOTICE OF DENIAL.

"/III) THERE IS EVIDENCE OF RECORD THAT THE VETERAN WAS ERRONEOUSLY INFORMED BY A RESPONSIBLE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEE THAT HE COULD COMMENCE HIS PROGRAM AFTER HIS DEADLINE DATE AND THE VETERAN DID IN FACT COMMENCE HIS COURSE WITHIN THE PERIOD PROVIDED BY THE MISINFORMATION.

"/2) THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS UPON THE VETERAN TO ESTABLISH THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INITIATE HIS PROGRAM ON OR BEFORE HIS DEADLINE DATE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR ONE OF THE CONDITIONS LISTED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS PARAGRAPH. * * *

"SEC. 21.2054 EFFECTIVE BEGINNING DATES OF ENTRANCE OR REENTRANCE INTO TRAINING AND FOR PAYMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE.

"/A) OF ENTRANCE OR REENTRANCE INTO TRAINING. THE EFFECTIVE BEGINNING DATE FOR THE AUTHORIZATION OF ENTRANCE OR REENTRANCE INTO TRAINING SHALL BE THE DATE CERTIFIED BY THE SCHOOL OR ESTABLISHMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SECTION, OR THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE COURSE, WHICHEVER IS THE LATER, PROVIDED THE VETERAN'S ORIGINAL APPLICATION OR REQUEST FOR A CHANGE OF PROGRAM OR PLACE OF TRAINING IS RECEIVED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION NOT LATER THAN 15 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF ENTRANCE OR REENTRANCE, AND THE STATE APPROVING AGENCY'S NOTICE OF APPROVAL IS RECEIVED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION NOT LATER THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF APPROVAL.

"/B) DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OR RECOMMENCEMENT OF A COURSE--- (1) COURSES LEADING TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE. THE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OR RECOMMENCEMENT OF A COURSE LEADING TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE SHALL BE THE DATE THAT THE SCHOOL, UNDER ITS CUSTOMARY PRACTICE, CONSIDERS THE VETERAN TO BE AN ENROLLED STUDENT. THIS DATE MAY NOT BE EARLIER THAN THE ACTUAL DATE OF REGISTRATION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE ENROLLMENT PERIOD EXCEPT WHERE STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED BY THE PUBLISHED STANDARDS OF THE SCHOOL TO REPORT IN ADVANCE OF REGISTRATION, NOR LATER THAN THE DATE THE VETERAN FIRST REPORTS FOR CLASSES.

"/2) COURSES WHICH DO NOT LEAD TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE. THE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OR RECOMMENCEMENT IN A COURSE WHICH DOES NOT LEAD TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE SHALL BE THE FIRST DATE OF CLASS ATTENDANCE.'

EXAMINATION OF THE FILES MADE AVAILABLE TO US BY THE VA DISCLOSES THAT BY LETTER DATED MAY 30, 1957, ADDRESSED TO MR. K. V. WARD, CHIEF, BENEFITS AND FACILITIES SECTION OF THE VA REGIONAL OFFICE AT NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (RECEIVED IN THAT OFFICE MAY 31, 1957), YOU TRANSMITTED YOUR APPLICATION FOR PROGRAM OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING, VA FORM 7-1990, DATED MAY 21, 1957, TOGETHER WITH A STATEMENT DATED MAY 13, 1957, FROM THE CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, TULANE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, AND A LETTER TO YOU DATE MAY 14, 1957. FROM THE DEAN OF LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, RECOMMENDING THAT YOU TAKE PRELEGAL COURSES GIVEN DURING THE SUMMER SESSION AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE (SLI) PRIOR TO ENROLLING FOR A LAW DEGREE. YOU ALSO TRANSMITTED IN SUPPORT OF YOUR APPLICATION A CERTIFICATION BY THE REGISTRAR OF SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE, LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA, UNDER ITS SEAL DATED MAY 30, 1957, AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT WILLIAM LUTHER CRULL III IS ENROLLED IN SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE FOR THE 1957 SUMMER SESSION AS OF THIS DATE.'

YOU STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 30, 1957, AS FOLLOWS:

"IN OUR CONVERSATION OF MAY 6, 1957, VIA LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE, WE DISCUSSED THE PROCEDURE FOR MY ENROLLMENT AT SLI SUMMER SESSION. SINCE MY 3-YEAR ELIGIBILITY FOR THE GI BILL EXPIRES ON JUNE 6, 1957, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO REGISTER BEFORE THAT DATE. A LETTER FROM THE SLI REGISTRAR CERTIFYING MY REGISTRATION IS ATTACHED. IN OUR CONVERSATION YOU SPECIFIED THIS PROCEDURE.

"FURTHERMORE, SINCE I HAVE A BBA FROM TULANE, I WOULD NORMALLY BE ELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION TO TULANE OR LSU LAW SCHOOLS. HOWEVER, IT IS DESIRABLE DUE TO DEFICIENCIES IN MY BACKGROUND THAT I HAVE SEVERAL ADDITIONAL COURSES BEFORE ENTERING LAW SCHOOL. THESE COURSES ARE LISTED BY NUMBER ON MY APPLICATION, FORM 7-1990. AS YOU WILL SEE BY THE ATTACHED LETTERS, THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS DESIRABLE ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND BY THE DEANS OF THE LSU AND TULANE LAW SCHOOLS.

"MY APPLICATION FOR EDUCATIONAL TRAINING UNDER THE GI BILL FOR KOREAN VETERANS IS HEREBY SUBMITTED. IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE APPLICATION, PLEASE CALL ME LONG DISTANCE COLLECT AT CENTER 4-4975 OR CENTER 5-6425 IN LAFAYETTE, SINCE JUNE 6, 1957, IS MY DEADLINE. ALSO, I WILL BE UNAVAILABLE ON JUNE 5.'

YOU SPECIFIED IN YOUR APPLICATION THAT "ATTORNEY AT LAW" WAS THE PROFESSIONAL GOAL YOU EXPECTED TO REACH THROUGH THE PROGRAM OF EDUCATION FOR WHICH YOU WERE APPLYING, DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM NAME AND ADDRESS OF SCHOOL

"1. THE FOLLOWING COURSES SOUTHWESTERN LA. INSTITUTE

DESIRED FOR ADDITIONAL LAFAYETTE, LA.

BACKGROUND FOR ENTRANCE INTO

LAW SCHOOL:FRENCH 101E, FRENCH

102, HISTORY 412, GEOGRAPHY 350,

POLITICAL SCIENCE 201, 202, BA 310,

BA 361, SPEECH 310.

"2. LLB AND LAW REVIEW COURSE 2. UNKNOWN

"3. ATTORNEY AT LAW 3. UNKNOWN"

FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF YOUR APPLICATION, THE VA ADDRESSED AN INQUIRY DATED JUNE 28, 1957, TO SLI IN WHICH REFERENCE WAS MADE TO THE REGISTRAR'S CERTIFICATION OF YOUR ENROLLMENT AS OF MAY 30, 1957. IT WAS POINTED OUT IN THIS LETTER THAT THE RECORDS INDICATE THAT "THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION DATE FOR THE 1957 SUMMER SESSION IS JUNE 10, 1957," AND SLI WAS REQUESTED TO EXPLAIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH YOU WERE ABLE TO ENROLL PRIOR TO THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION DATE. IN HIS REPLY OF JULY 18, 1957, THE ASSISTANT DEAN OF MEN AT SLI ADVISED THE VA THAT YOU HAD MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH DR. LEA SEALE TO ACTUALLY REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957; THAT THIS WAS DONE AT THAT TIME BECAUSE YOUR DELIMITING DATE WAS JUNE 6, 1957, AND YOU HAD INFORMED THEM THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO INITIATE YOUR TRAINING PRIOR TO THIS DATE DUE TO FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES. THE VA WAS ALSO ADVISED IN THIS LETTER AS FOLLOWS: "AN ERROR WAS MADE IN OUR OFFICE, HOWEVER, BY ENROLLING HIM AS OF MAY 30, 1957. ACTUALLY HE DID NOT BEGIN CLASSES PRIOR TO JUNE 12, 1957. THE FIRST DATE OF REGISTRATION WAS JUNE 10, 1957. "PLEASE GIVE HIM ANY CONSIDERATION YOU SEE FIT OR ADVISE IF HE NEEDS ANY ADDITIONAL PROOF.'

YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE CHIEF OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION OF THE NEW ORLEANS OFFICE IN LETTER DATED AUGUST 16, 1957, VA FORM FL 7- 20, THAT YOUR CLAIM FOR EDUCATION OR TRAINING BENEFITS UNDER PUBLIC LAW 550 HAD BEEN CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS OF ALL THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD AND IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT YOU WERE NOT ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THESE BENEFITS BECAUSE YOU HAD FAILED TO BEGIN A COURSE OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING BEFORE YOUR CUTOFF DATE OF JUNE 6, 1957. YOU WERE ALSO ADVISED THAT YOU MIGHT SUBMIT EVIDENCE AVAILABLE TO YOU FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM AND THE PROCEDURE FOR FILING AN APPEAL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1957, YOU SUBMITTED AN APPEAL ON VA FORM 1-9, CLAIMANT'S APPEAL TO ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, WHEREIN YOU STATED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"I ENROLLED AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE IN LAFAYETTE, AS A PART- TIME STUDENT, THIS SUMMER (1957) TO TAKE SOME ADDITIONAL PRE-LAW COURSES. EVEN THOUGH I HOLD A DEGREE, THESE COURSES HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY SPECIFIED AS NECESSARY BY THE DEANS OF BOTH TULANE AND LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOLS. (I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE TWO SCHOOLS.)

"REGULAR REGISTRATION AT SLI (THE SCHOOL ATTENDED THIS PAST SUMMER) WAS 10 JUNE 1957. CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION COMMENCED 12 JUNE 1957. HOWEVER, IN ORDER THAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO "GET UNDER THE WIRE" I WAS PRE-REGISTERED AND ENROLLED ON 30 MAY 1957--- JUST WITHIN THE THREE YEAR PERIOD. SPECIAL PERMISSION OF THE REGISTRAR HAD BEEN SECURED FOR ME TO DO THIS. ALSO, I HAD CONSULTED THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE AND THEY INDICATED THAT THIS PROCEDURE WOULD BE SATISFACTORY.

"I HAD PLANNED EARLIER TO ENROLL IN A TRADE SCHOOL THAT SPRING AND THEN DROP OUT.

"WHEN THE PROCEDURE OF ENROLLING AT SLI WAS SUGGESTED, IT APPEALED TO ME MUCH MORE. IT WOULD PUT ME IN THE LINE WHICH I EVENTUALLY INTENDED TO FOLLOW, AND IT WOULD HELP ME ACQUIRE SOME OF THE ADDITIONAL NEEDED CREDITS. THIS PROCEDURE WAS MUCH MORE IN KEEPING WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW AND WAS IN KEEPING WITH THE LETTER OF THE LAW EXCEPT FOR A SMALL TECHNICALITY WHICH APPARENTLY COULD BE REMEDIED.

"AFTER APPLYING FOR VETERAN'S EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS FOR THE SUMMER SESSION, I WAS REFUSED ON THE GROUNDS THAT I HAD GONE OVER THE THREE YEAR PERIOD. ACTUALLY THOUGH, I HAD BEEN ENROLLED WITHIN THE THREE YEAR PERIOD.

"THE BOARD IS ASKED TO CONSIDER THESE POINTS CLOSELY AND SEE IF IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE TO RECOGNIZE THIS MATTER AS AN ENROLLMENT REGISTRATION DEFINITION TECHNICALITY. IF I HAD TAKEN NO ACTION AT ALL UNTIL 10 JUNE 1957, I WOULD NOT HAVE EVEN SOUGHT VETERAN'S BENEFITS--- EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ONLY 4 DAYS OVER, BECAUSE THAT IS THE LAW. BUT INSOFAR AS I KNEW, I WAS REGISTERED AND ENROLLED AND CONSIDERED A STUDENT AT SLI ON 30 MAY 1957.'

YOU ALSO FILED VA FORM 646, STATEMENT OF ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVE IN APPEALED CASE, DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1957, REQUESTING "THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED BASED ON EVIDENCE OF RECORD" AND APPOINTED THE AMERICAN LEGION AS YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.

IN HIS MEMORANDUM DATED OCTOBER 11, 1957, TRANSMITTING YOUR APPEAL TO THE ACTING CHIEF, VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION DIVISION (VR AND E DIVISION) OF THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE, THE CHIEF OF THE BENEFITS AND FACILITIES SECTION OF THAT OFFICE STATED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS AS SET FORTH IN 1B7-72, PARAGRAPH 7, THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THIS VETERAN WAS REGISTERED PRIOR TO THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION DATE OF JUNE 10, 1957, DOES NOT WARRANT PAYING HIS EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCE PRIOR TO THAT DATE. THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH VA REGULATION 12012 (A), THE VETERAN WAS DENIED TRAINING BENEFITS UNDER PUBLIC LAW 550 BECAUSE HE FAILED TO COMMENCE A COURSE OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING ON OR BEFORE HIS DELIMITING DATE OF JUNE 6, 1957. THE VETERAN WAS ADVISED AS TO THIS DETERMINATION BY OUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 6, (16) 1957.

"THE VETERAN IS NOW APPEALING THIS DECISION. HIS APPEAL IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT HE WAS REGISTERED AND ENROLLED, AND CONSIDERED A STUDENT AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE ON MAY 30, 1957.'

ALSO FORWARDED WITH HIS MEMORANDUM WAS A CERTIFICATION OF APPEAL, VA FORM 8, BY THE ACTING CHIEF OF THE VR AND E DIVISION, BEARING THE SAME DATE AND CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING REMARKS:

"DETERMINATION OF AUGUST 16, 1957 CONFIRMED AND CONTINUED.

"VETERAN DENIED ENTRANCE INTO TRAINING UNDER VA REGULATION 12012 (A).'

IN ITS DECISION DATED OCTOBER 31, 1957, DENYING YOUR APPEAL, THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS MADE REFERENCE TO THE EVIDENCE YOU ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED SHOWING YOUR REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT AT SLI AS OF MAY 30, 1957; QUOTED THE MATERIAL PART OF THE LETTER DATED JULY 18, 1957, FROM SLI ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOUR ENROLLMENT WAS IN ERROR AND CONCLUDED AS FOLLOWS:

"GOVERNING LAW AND REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING MUST BE INITIATED ON OR BEFORE THE APPLICABLE DELIMITING DATE. ON THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD IT CANNOT BE CONSIDERED THAT EDUCATION OR TRAINING IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE WAS COMMENCED UNTIL AFTER THE DELIMITING DATE. THE PREREGISTRATION ON MAY 30, 1957, WAS A SUBTERFUGE INTENDED TO CIRCUMVENT THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE LAW AND THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THIS PREREGISTRATION HAS BEEN REPUDIATED BY THE SCHOOL ITSELF. THE EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE SHOWS THAT THE PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING WAS NOT TIMELY INITIATED AND THE ACTION OF THE OFFICE OF ORIGINAL JURISDICTION IN DENYING PERMISSION FOR INITIATION OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING SUBSEQUENT TO THE DELIMITING DATE IS, ACCORDINGLY, AFFIRMED AND THE APPEAL IS DENIED.'

INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS DETERMINATION WAS FURNISHED TO YOU BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD IN HIS LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1957. IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 24, 1957, YOU REQUESTED INFORMATION AS TO WHAT COURSE MIGHT BE PURSUED FOR RECONSIDERATION, AND YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE CHAIRMAN IN LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1957, THAT THE BOARD'S DECISION DID NOT PRECLUDE YOU FROM REOPENING YOUR CLAIM BY THE SUBMISSION OF NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE TO THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE. THEREAFTER, THE MATTER WAS RELATED IN SOME DETAIL IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1957, TO CONGRESSMAN EDWIN E. WILLIS IN WHICH YOU STATED AS FOLLOWS:

"THERE IS A THREE-YEAR CUT-OFF OR DELIMITING DATE TO COMMENCE EDUCATION UNDER THE KOREAN GI BILL (PUBLIC LAW 550, 82ND CONGRESS), THEREFORE MY DEADLINE WAS JUNE 6, 1957. IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE THREE-YEAR RULE, IT WAS MY ORIGINAL INTENTION TO ENROLL IN THE GI-APPROVED TRADE SCHOOL IN CROWLEY, LA., A FEW MONTHS BEFORE THE DEADLINE. THEN I WOULD DROP OUT OF THAT SCHOOL AND CHANGE COURSES (ONE ALLOWED) AT A LATER DATE. EVEN THOUGH THAT PROCEDURE WOULD HAVE COMPLIED WITH THE LAW, I FEEL THAT IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE PROPER SPIRIT, BECAUSE I NEVER INTENDED TO COMPLETE A VOCATIONAL COURSE.

"IT WAS VERBALLY RECOMMENDED TO ME BY THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE THAT, SINCE I HAD TO ENROLL AT SLI IN LAFAYETTE TO ACQUIRE SOME DESIRABLE ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND FOR LAW SCHOOL, THAT I PRE-REGISTER THERE. IN THAT MANNER, IT WAS SAID, I WOULD BE GETTING THE PROPER COURSES AND ALSO COMPLYING WITH THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE.

"THIS I DID. THEN, WHEN MY CLAIM WAS SUBMITTED TO THE VA REGIONAL OFFICE, MY COURSE WAS APPROVED, BUT MY REGISTRATION DATE WAS JUDGED TO BE TOO LATE. HERE IS THE CRUX: I HAD ACTUALLY BEEN ACCEPTED AND ENROLLED (SEE REGISTRAR'S ACCOMPANYING LETTER); BUT, CLASSES DID NOT ACTUALLY COMMENCE UNTIL JUNE 12.'

THIS LETTER, WITH ITS ENCLOSURES AND COPIES OF RELATED CORRESPONDENCE, WAS FORWARDED BY CONGRESSMAN WILLIS TO THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE WITH HIS LETTER DATED DECEMBER 28, 1957, AND SUPPLEMENTED JANUARY 28, 1958. IN HIS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1958, TO CONGRESSMAN WILLIS, THE MANAGER OF THE VA NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE EXPLAINED THE ACTION TAKEN ON YOUR CLAIM AND EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT YOU HAD NOT SUBMITTED ANY ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE BY WHICH YOUR CASE COULD BE REOPENED. THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH RELATIVE TO THE ADVICE FURNISHED TO YOU BY THE CHIEF OF THE BENEFITS AND FACILITIES SECTION OF THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE IS QUOTED FROM THAT LETTER:

"MR. WILLIAM CRULL DID CONTACT MR. K. V. WARD OF THIS OFFICE WITH REGARD TO INITIATING HIS PROGRAM PRIOR TO HIS DELIMITING DATE OF JUNE 6, 1957. THE VETERAN WAS INFORMED BY MR. WARD THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY THAT HE COMMENCE HIS PROGRAM ON OR PRIOR TO HIS DELIMITING DATE OF JUNE 6, 1957.'

COPIES OF THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN CONGRESSMAN WILLIS AND THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE WERE SUBMITTED TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS BY MR. CHARLES STEVENS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION WITH THE SUGGESTION THAT THIS CORRESPONDENCE RAISED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER YOU WERE MISINFORMED OR MISLED BY VA AUTHORITIES TO YOUR DETRIMENT AND THAT THIS QUESTION HAD NOT BEEN ADEQUATELY ANSWERED IN THE BOARD'S DECISION. EXCEPTION WAS ALSO TAKEN TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE DECISION THAT "THE PREREGISTRATION ON MAY 30, 1957, WAS A SUBTERFUGE INTENDED TO CIRCUMVENT THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE LAW * * *.' YOUR CASE WAS THEREUPON REOPENED.

THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS RECONSIDERED YOUR CLAIM IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION OF RECORD AND BY ITS DECISION DATED AUGUST 18, 1958, THE DETERMINATION OF AUGUST 16, 1957, DENYING YOUR CLAIM WAS AGAIN SUSTAINED, THE BOARD'S PRIOR DECISION OF OCTOBER 31, 1957, WAS AFFIRMED AND YOUR APPEAL WAS DENIED. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD TRANSMITTED A COPY THIS DECISION TO CONGRESSMAN WILLIS AND TO THE AMERICAN LEGION, AS WELL AS TO YOU. IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF THE DECISION IT WAS STATED: "IN THIS RECONSIDERATION OF THE CLAIM, THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS HAS FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF DETRIMENTAL MISADVICE TO THE VETERAN BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION AND NO ERROR OF FACT OR LAW WARRANTING REVERSAL OF THE PRIOR APPELLATE DETERMINATION OF OCTOBER 31, 1957.'

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 26, 1960, YOU TRANSMITTED TO THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE VA FORM 1-9 OF THE SAME DATE AND REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THE BOARD'S DECISION OF AUGUST 18, 1958, BASED ON NEW EVIDENCE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

"ON AUGUST 18, 1958, THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS, WASHINGTON, D.C. RENDERED A DECISION DENYING MY APPLICATION FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE KOREAN G.I. BILL. MY DELIMITING DATE FOR INITIATING BENEFITS WAS JUNE 6, 1957.

"ALTHOUGH I REGISTERED AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE ON MAY 30, 1957, I WAS STILL DENIED MY KOREAN BENEFITS. IT APPEARS THAT THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS RENDERED THEIR DECISION BASED ON A LETTER FROM THE ASSISTANT DEAN OF MEN, S.L.I., DATED JULY 18, 1957. DEAN GUILLORY ON THIS DATE MADE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: "AN ERROR WAS MADE IN OUR OFFICE, HOWEVER BY ENROLLING HIM AS OF MAY 30, 1957.'

"I AM NOW ENCLOSING A LETTER FROM DEAN GUILLERY DATED APRIL 20, 1960. MR. GUILLORY NOW STATES THAT I WAS ALLOWED TO REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957. DEAN GUILLORY HAS ALSO ATTACHED A COPY OF A CERTIFICATE FROM THE REGISTRAR WHICH AUTHORIZED MY REGISTRATION. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT I REGISTERED AT S.L.I. ON MAY 30, 1957. THEREFORE, I AGAIN CONTEND THAT ALTHOUGH THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION WAS NOT UNTIL JUNE 10, 1957, THE OFFICIALS OF S.L.I. DID ALLOW ME TO REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957. THIS WAS A SPECIAL CONSIDERATION IN MY PARTICULAR CASE, AND I BELIEVE THAT UNDER A FAIR INTERPRETATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE KOREAN G.I. BILL I WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS INITIATING MY PROGRAM PRIOR TO MY DELIMITING DATE.

"THE MERE FACT THAT I REPORTED TO SCHOOL ON MAY 30, 1957 AND REGISTERED WOULD DETERMINE MY DATE OF ENTRANCE INTO TRAINING. I THEREFORE REQUEST THAT MY CASE AGAIN BE FORWARDED TO THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS FOR RECONSIDERATION BASED ON THE ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE WHICH IS NOW OF RECORD IN MY FILE.'

YOU ALSO ENCLOSED A LETTER DATED APRIL 20, 1960, FROM THE ASSISTANT DEAN OF MEN AT SLI TO THE CHIEF OF THE BENEFITS AND FACILITIES SECTION OF THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE WHICH CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

"REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION CONCERNING THE ABOVE NAMED VETERAN. I ALSO WISH TO REFER TO A LETTER FROM YOU DATED JUNE 28, 1957.

"AS YOU KNOW, THIS VETERAN WAS PERMITTED TO REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957 ALTHOUGH THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION DATE FOR THE SUMMER SESSION OF 1957 WAS NOT UNTIL JUNE 10, 1957. ALTHOUGH A LETTER FROM ME DATED JUNE 18, 1957 STATING THAT HE WOULD NOT BEGIN CLASSES PRIOR TO JUNE 12, SPECIAL CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN MR. CRULL AND HE REGISTERED ON MAY 30, 1957. I AM ENCLOSING A CARBON COPY FROM DR. LEA SEALE, THE REGISTRAR, VERIFYING THIS.'

IN A MEMORANDUM DATED APRIL 26, 1960, REGARDING YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION, THE CHIEF OF THE BENEFITS AND FACILITIES SECTION STATED THAT IN VIEW OF THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU THE CASE WAS AGAIN BEING REFERRED TO THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS FOR RECONSIDERATION. HIS MEMORANDUM CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATION: "ALTHOUGH I CANNOT MAKE A FINAL RULING IN THIS CASE, SINCE THE BOARD HAS CONSIDERED IT ON TWO OCCASIONS, I AM RECOMMENDING THAT SINCE THE VETERAN ACTUALLY REPORTED TO THE INSTITUTION ON MAY 30, 1957, THAT HE MEETS THE CRITERIA OF THE LAW OF INITIATING HIS TRAINING PROGRAM PRIOR TO HIS DELIMITING DATE OF JUNE 6, 1957.'

THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS AGAIN CONSIDERED YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR REGISTRATION ON MAY 30, 1957, CONSTITUTED THE INITIATION OF A PROGRAM BEFORE YOUR DELIMITING OR DEADLINE DATE IN THE LIGHT OF THE ADDITIONAL STATEMENT OF APRIL 20, 1960, BY THE ASSISTANT DEAN OF MEN AT SLI. IN ITS DECISION DATED MAY 19, 1960, A COPY OF WHICH YOU HAVE RECEIVED, THE BOARD RECOGNIZED THAT YOU DID REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957, BUT POINTED OUT THAT YOUR DATE OF REGISTRATION WAS NOT DURING THE REGISTRATION PERIOD SHOWN IN THE SLI CATALOG AS JUNE 10, 1957. THE BOARD THEREFORE HELD IT COULD NOT BE MAINTAINED THAT YOU WERE IN ACTIVE PURSUIT OF YOUR PROGRAM PRIOR TO JUNE 6, 1957, YOUR DEADLINE DATE AS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE CONTROLLING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS, AFFIRMED ITS DECISIONS OF OCTOBER 31, 1957, AND AUGUST 18, 1958, AND AGAIN DENIED YOUR APPEAL.

YOUR PRIMARY CONTENTION APPARENTLY IS THAT THE RECEIPT OF IMPROPER AND ERRONEOUS ADVICE PREVENTED YOU FROM INITIATING YOUR PROGRAM ON OR BEFORE YOUR DEADLINE DATE. IT APPEARS FROM THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER TO US OF JULY 9, 1961, THAT THIS ADVICE CONSISTED OF A SUGGESTION "BY OFFICIALS AT SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA INSTITUTE (SLI) INCLUDING THE VA OFFICER ERE," THAT YOU "REGISTER ON MAY 30, 1957, AND THEN JUST COMMENCE CLASSES AT THE REGULAR TIME ON JUNE 11, 1957," AND THAT THIS "PROCEDURE WAS APPROVED BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE IN NEW ORLEANS.' SIMILAR STATEMENTS WERE MADE IN YOUR APPEAL OF SEPTEMBER 16, 1957, TO THE EFFECT THAT REGULAR REGISTRATION AT SLI WAS JUNE 10, 1957, AND CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION COMMENCED JUNE 12, 1957, BUT IN ORDER THAT YOU "MIGHT BE ABLE TO "GET UNDER THE WIRE" " SPECIAL PERMISSION OF THE REGISTRAR WAS SECURED WHEREBY YOU WERE PREREGISTERED AND ENROLLED ON MAY 30, 1957, JUST WITHIN THE 3-YEAR PERIOD AND THAT YOU "HAD CONSULTED THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE AND THEY INDICATED THAT THIS PROCEDURE WOULD BE SATISFACTORY.' ALSO IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1957, TO CONGRESSMAN WILLIS YOU STATED THAT "IT WAS VERBALLY RECOMMENDED TO ME BY THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE THAT, SINCE I HAD TO ENROLL AT SLI AT LAFAYETTE TO ACQUIRE SOME ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND FOR LAW SCHOOL, THAT I PRE -REGISTER THERE.' ALSO "IN THAT MANNER, IT WAS SAID, I WOULD BE GETTING THE PROPER COURSES AND ALSO COMPLYING WITH THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE.' AND FURTHER IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 30, 1957, TO MR. K. V. WARD, CHIEF OF THE BENEFITS AND FACILITIES SECTION OF THE NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL OFFICE, TRANSMITTING YOUR PROGRAM APPLICATION YOU MADE REFERENCE TO "OUR CONVERSATION OF MAY 6, 1957, VIA LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE" REGARDING "THE PROCEDURE FOR MY ENROLLMENT AT SLI SUMMER SESSION" PRIOR TO YOUR DEADLINE DATE AND INDICATED BY YOUR STATEMENT, ,IN OUR CONVERSATION YOU SPECIFIED THIS PROCEDURE," THAT MR. WARD'S APPROVAL OF SUCH PROCEDURE HAD BEEN OBTAINED. YOU HAVE FAILED TO FURNISH, HOWEVER, ANY SUPPORTING OR CORROBORATING EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH PRECISELY WHAT WAS CONSIDERED AND THE STATEMENTS WHICH ALLEGEDLY WERE MADE BY THE RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES OF THE VA IN THE ORAL DISCUSSIONS AND CONVERSATIONS RELATED BY YOU. PARTICULAR SIGNIFICANCE, WE BELIEVE, IS THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION OR EVIDENCE THAT YOU MADE IT CLEAR TO RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES OF THE VA AT THE TIME OF YOUR APPLICATION THAT YOUR REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT WERE ACCOMPLISHED PRIOR TO THE OFFICIAL DATE FOR REGISTRATION PURSUANT TO SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE REGISTRAR AT SLI. IN THIS CONNECTION THE STATEMENT OF THE MANAGER OF THE REGIONAL OFFICE IN HIS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1958, TO CONGRESSMAN WILLIS, REFERRED TO ABOVE, IS TO THE EFFECT THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY MR. WARD AS TO THE NECESSITY OF COMMENCING YOUR PROGRAM PRIOR TO YOUR DEADLINE DATE. ALSO, IT IS NOTED THAT IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 18, 1958,"THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS HAS FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF DETRIMENTAL MISADVICE TO THE VETERAN BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION * * *.' IN FACT, THE PRESENT RECORD INDICATES THAT THE ADVICE RELIED UPON BY YOU IN SELECTING YOUR PROGRAM OF EDUCATION AND IN ARRANGING FOR YOUR ,PREREGISTRATION" AND ENROLLMENT AT SLI WAS OBTAINED FROM UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES RATHER THAN FROM RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES OF THE VA.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS QUOTED ABOVE WHICH PROVIDE THAT A VETERAN MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING "CONSTRUCTIVELY MET" HIS DEADLINE DATE WHERE THERE IS EVIDENCE OF RECORD THAT HE "WAS ERRONEOUSLY INFORMED BY A RESPONSIBLE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEE THAT HE COULD COMMENCE HIS PROGRAM AFTER HIS DEADLINE DATE AND THE VETERAN DID IN FACT COMMENCE HIS COURSE WITHIN THE PERIOD PROVIDED BY THE MISINFORMATION," THE "BURDEN OF PROOF IS UPON THE VETERAN TO ESTABLISH THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INITIATE HIS PROGRAM ON OR BEFORE HIS DEADLINE DATE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR" SUCH ERRONEOUS INFORMATION. IN OUR OPINION YOU HAVE NOT MET THIS BURDEN. ON THE CONTRARY, WE BELIEVE THE RECORD REASONABLY ESTABLISHES THAT INSTEAD OF BEING DUE TO ERRONEOUS INFORMATION FROM RESPONSIBLE VA EMPLOYEES YOUR INABILITY TO COMMENCE YOUR PROGRAM TIMELY MAY BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO YOUR INORDINATE DELAY UNTIL MAY 1957 BEFORE SELECTING AND SUBMITTING PROGRAM FOR APPROVAL. AND IT SEEMS EVIDENT THAT THE PROGRAM ULTIMATELY CHOSEN AND SUBMITTED BY YOU FOR VA APPROVAL, WHICH INCLUDED INITIAL "BACKGROUND COURSES" NOT LEADING TO A STANDARD COLLEGE DEGREE, COULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN FACT INITIATED AND COMMENCED BEFORE YOUR DEADLINE DATE OF JUNE 6, 1957, AS REQUIRED BY THE CONTROLLING STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS QUOTED ABOVE, SINCE THE CLASSES IN WHICH YOU WERE ENROLLED WERE NOT SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE UNTIL JUNE 12, 1957--- 6 DAYS AFTER YOUR DEADLINE DATE. THE MERE FACT THAT YOU REPORTED TO THE SCHOOL ON MAY 30, 1957, AND REGISTERED AND ENROLLED IN THE COURSES SPECIFIED IN YOUR APPLICATION FOR THE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS IN QUESTION WOULD NOT DETERMINE, IN OUR OPINION, YOUR "DATE OF ENTRANCE INTO TRAINING," AS ALLEGED IN YOUR APPEAL OF APRIL 26, 1960, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE APPLICABLE REGULATION, 38 C.F.R. 21.2054 (B) (2) QUOTED ABOVE, CLEARLY PROVIDING THAT THE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF SUCH COURSES "SHALL BE THE FIRST DATE OF CLASS ATTENDANCE.' FURTHERMORE, THE POSSIBILITY OF YOUR ENROLLING IN A VOCATIONAL COURSE AND THEN CHANGING TO A COURSE LEADING TO A COLLEGE DEGREE AS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 21, 1957, TO CONGRESSMAN WILLIS, APPARENTLY WOULD NOT HAVE PROVIDED A SOLUTION TO YOUR DILEMMA INASMUCH AS A CHANGE OF PROGRAM BY A VETERAN WHICH IS NOT A NORMAL PROGRESSION OF HIS CURRENT PROGRAM IS PERMITTED BY THE PROVISIONS OF 38 U.S.C. 1622 ONLY IF IT IS MADE BEFORE HIS DEADLINE DATE.

FROM THE STATEMENTS IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 9, 1961, REQUESTING OUR REVIEW, TO THE EFFECT THAT ,NO CRITICISM IS LEVELED AT ANY PERSON OR BUREAU OR BOARD" AND YOU "REALIZE THAT FINE-LINE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION- MAKING IS NECESSARY; HOWEVER, IN THE LIGHT OF EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES, IT APPEARS THAT JUSTICE HAS NOT BEEN SERVED IN THIS CASE," THE INFERENCE SEEMINGLY INDICATED IS THAT THE RESULT REACHED UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IS NOT FAIR AND REASONABLE. WE BELIEVE YOU WILL AGREE THAT CLAIMS, SUCH AS YOURS, SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AND DETERMINED IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW. ONE OF ITS PRIMARY PURPOSES IS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING ALLOWANCES TO ELIGIBLE VETERANS WHILE PURSUING A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION OR TRAINING ,GENERALLY ACCEPTED AS NECESSARY TO FULFILL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF A PREDETERMINED AND IDENTIFIED EDUCATIONAL, PROFESSIONAL, OR VOCATIONAL OBJECTIVE.' U.S.C. 1601. THE FIXING OF A DEFINITE PERIOD WITHIN WHICH A PROGRAM MUST BE INITIATED IS INTENDED TO PLACE ALL VETERANS SIMILARLY CIRCUMSTANCED ON AN EQUAL FOOTING IN OBTAINING THE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS AUTHORIZED. ANY EXTENSION OF SUCH PRESCRIBED PERIOD BY MEANS OF A SPECIAL "PREREGISTRATION" OR OTHER SIMILAR ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF INDIVIDUAL VETERANS, IN OUR OPINION, REASONABLY MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS CONFORMING WITH THE INTENT OF SPIRIT OF THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS, AND THIS SEEMINGLY FOLLOWS ALTHOUGH THE MOTIVES AND INTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES CONCERNED, AS IN YOUR CASE, MAY BE OTHERWISE COMMENDABLE.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT FROM A CAREFUL EXAMINATION AND CONSIDERATION OF ALL THE INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION DENYING YOUR CLAIM.