Topic: "Forms For Everything"(6)
Upon the death of his father, Frodo first told Bilbo that his wish was that when Bilbo's time comes, Bilbo would leave exactly .05 cents. Frodo wished then, and has never stopped hoping that Bilbo would enjoy the time available, and not worry about what is left behind. Frodo has repeated, and repeated, and repeated, but the issue keeps coming up and biting him in the butt. Now there is a different twist, and Frodo fights to avoid problems.
Frodo's father was a combat veteran of World War II. The Veteran's Administration, so Frodo discovered quite by accident, has a benefit available to eligible widows of combat veterans to off-set the cost of a home care or assisted living situation. The benefit, for those with less than a gazillion dollars, can be as much as $1,056 monthly. Since Bilbo's savings and monthly Social Security benefits are entirely devoted to her assisted living facility, there is an end-date in sight for the dispersal of everything, including the aforementioned .05. The grand a month from the VA would take the 92-year-old Bilbo onto a new level of things to worry about. It would also give Frodo a few more minutes of sound sleep.
Frodo anticipated that there would be a lot of paperwork, so he sought out the Georgia Veterans Office, a State agency, to soften his approach to the Federal behemoth. He obtained all of the necessary forms, and got everything filled out, and reviewed, within a short distance from the Shire, and with no interminable lines awaiting. Even better, the State agency filed Frodo's forms for him. Frodo was actually thinking of writing Georgia's Governor a congratulatory letter, and thereby publicly admitting that he may not be a complete and total failure in office, after all.
Frodo should not have been either surprised or non-plussed when a package arrived within 10 days, ta da, requesting more forms. What bothered him however was that they appeared to be a virtual repeat of the documents already submitted. A careful reading of the instructions was in order, and Frodo found that he was going to spend almost two hours indeed, answering all of the questions previously answered, save one. There was a question regarding the "type" of marriage ceremony.
Frodo has the original marriage certificate, so certified in Winchester, Virginia, on the 5th of October 1943. The actual document does not identify if the marriage was "tribal," or "common law," or "ceremonial," or "other." The light shone on Frodo's countenance as he comprehended the subtlety of this new request. Frodo thought about asking Bilbo, but he would probably hear that there were no gay people during World War II. The longer Frodo tarries over the, as yet, unanswered question, the angrier he becomes. He knows, first and foremost, that he will have to answer, forthrightly, just what response is required, or his application will return to the absolute bottom of the pile. That will do Bilbo no good at all.
But it pisses Frodo to the max. Did the Congress of the United States, who created the benefit, intend or even consider not paying benefit in the name of a deceased combat veteran who was gay? Maybe they did, but if Bilbo is correct about the absence of a gay population, they probably didn't. The benefit itself is short-term assistance to golden generationers quickly slipping into the long goodnight, and some ideological bullfrog has seen fit to make sure that no queers need apply. It is a good thing that the same determination is not made to determine who is buried in a military cemetery, like Arlington.
Holy mackerel! You don't suppose?