My Dear Ladies-- You are approaching this problem in a completely WRONG way.You are trying to play by the rules and the deck is stacked against you before you start.
The VA is NOT the ARMY, and the ARMY is not the VA.They are completely different.What you get from the VA is strictly Medical.From the Army is more service connected.The VA seldom elaborates on the past wartime circumstance except to mention it.The VA operates more in a modern time frame.
Now about playing by the rules----forget the rules--you have to get down and dirty--you are going nose to nose with the entire weight of government bureaucracy against you.You have to improvise--adapt--and overcome. These people are clerks.They do not think outside their very small area of responsibility.The easiest thing for them to say is "no", and send out form letters--I often wonder how they can sleep nights. 24 weeks--is an abomination.
You have to get your advocate WORKING for you.Namely your Congressman--or your Senator. Find out his/her military service record--if he/she doesn't have one--go to the person in the next district. USE THE MILITARY CONNECTION. Tell them "you are my reperesentative--and I expect results--that's why I voted for you..."Forget about writing letters and emails to faceless gov't Records centers---get a face to face appointment and make your case with a human being with clout.You have every right to be p-o'd--and you should let them know it.That your requests have been given a runaround and you're damn sick of it.IT IS A DISSERVICE TO THE MEMORY OF YOUR VETERAN RELATIONS THE WAY YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED.
Kick tail and take names.Play their game the way they play it.You know the materials are there--when they tell you "we'll look into it" hand them the phone number and say you'll wait in the lobby while they make the call.Don't give them the chance to wiggle out of it. Don't talk to secretaries, admin assistants, or flunkies--talk to the man--- Press On!