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A Tribute to Arthur Bernklau

Executive Director / Founder

by Webmaster David Todeschini


We are exceedingly sad to announce the passing of

Art Bernklau, Executive Director

NOTICE: Visitors who knew Art personally, or have had personal experience with Art, are asked to send a letter of testimony of how he affected your life, or helped you battle the powers-that-be. Email your letter to Art's wife at Thank you.

I am very sad to inform you that one of the most effective and persistent Veterans Advocates - Mr. Arthur Bernklau of Veterans For Constitutional Law – has passed away. A Marine's Marine, Art spearheaded the passage of Senate Bill §3421 which affects over 600,000 disabled and injured veterans who fight the VA for their disability benefits. He is survived by his wife Nina Gervais Bernklau, his two (grown) children Allen and Dina, and three grandsons Cody, Jesse, and Wyatt.

I met Art in July 2004, when he appeared on Radio Liberty with Doctor Stan Monteith. I was the next guest on the program that day, and although the nearest affiliate station was not in our listening area in Long Island City where I was living at the time, I was able to hear most of the broadcast over the phone as I was waiting to be introduced as the next guest. I wrote his telephone number down and called him the next day. Since both of us were involved in exposing corruption related to the Veteran's Administration, we had much in common. I met Art in person a few weeks later, and from that point forward, we became the best of friends.

Art was a dog lover, as am I. His two German shorthaired Pointers named Starr and Belle, were the love of his life. He fed them gourmet meals; things like shrimp, freshly-cut fruits and vegetables, and even yoghurt. I once told Art
"Those dogs eat better than me!" When I first saw the dogs, I asked him "What kind of dogs are they?" He called his dogs "Foonics", and had me going crazy looking up this (fictitious) breed on the search engines, using every variation of the spelling I could think of. My two dogs Rocky and Ziggy (who are no longer with me) came to visit Art and his "Foonics" a number of times.

Art was also a consummate artist. His oil paintings of wildlife are truly remarkable. His unfulfilled dream and plans before he died was to go to Italy to finish an art apprenticeship he started many years ago.

Art had a "Three Stooges" sense of humor. He used to regularly call a friend of his at 3AM in the morning as "Bubba" from "cell block #3 in Attica", telling him that he was being considered for a starring role in a new film titled
"A-pack-o-lips Now".

Art was a computerphobe; he (reluctantly) checked his email on the average of once per week. Despite this, I was able to get enough attention with the Web site to keep his phone busy. Hundreds, if not thousands of veterans have called him and received the help and advice they needed. There is still much work to be done.

Over the 8 years that I knew him, we worked together on several projects – the most important of which was the passage of Senate Bill
§3421, and getting the information out to the veterans who needed to know. The latter function seemed an insurmountable task to accomplish by personal (snail-mail) correspondence and word-of-mouth, so I donated the domain and hosting for this Web site, added hundreds of pages of information, and promoted the site with the major search engines. As a result of our efforts
– and the efforts of others in the organization (Veterans For Constitutional Law) – a major victory for injured and disabled veterans was won with the passage of Senate Bill §3421.

Over the 30 years or so that Art has been a veteran's advocate, he never drew a salary (VFCLL paid him a token $1.00 per year), and indeed, Art contributed a major portion of his personal income to keep the small organization functional. He felt that veterans
– particularly injured or disabled veterans – had enough of a financial burden laid upon them and had made a sufficient enough sacrifice with their lives, their limbs, their health, and their sanity to be required to pay "dues" to an advocacy organization. "They already paid their dues", he used to say, when I suggested that the organization collect dues from its members. In fact, I was the first member of VFCLL to pay "dues" – insisting that he take my $50.00 check for the cause. Art reluctantly accepted the check, and had a copy of it framed for posterity.

Veterans For Constitutional Law is the only veteran's advocacy group that is NOT subsidized (and thereby controlled) by the Veterans Administration. We are simply a loose-knit organization of unpaid volunteers; all of us veterans
– who simply want to see our brothers and sisters in arms be respected if not honored for their sacrifices for this country. We want to end the abuse of our soldiers, and punish the depraved indifference of the politicians and government officials who exploit the patriotism of our young men and women in order to commit war crimes, or for their own personal gain.

There are a few people in the Veteran's Administration who are breathing sighs of relief, now that Art Bernklau has gone to his just reward... however, these same people
– who know who they are – don't realize that there are many more of us out here who Art has passed the torch to, that have the capability to be much more of a thorn in their side than Art Bernklau ever was; and indeed, we have a moral obligation to our fellow veterans to do so.

Art was my best friend. He was dearly loved by those who knew him, and hated by the bureaucrats in DC. Art fought the good fight and won, and for 30 years, donated his time and a major portion of his personal resources to the cause. Art was perhaps best known for his prank of sending dog shit parcels to Senator Arlin Specter when he was in charge of Veteran's Affairs, and lately to Nancy Pelosi. When the contents were deemed to be "not aromatic enough", he added a few drops of a substance called "Liquid Ass" to
"enhance the recipient's olfactory experience". He had a method to his "madness" – defying them to have him arrested so that he could appear in front of a jury and explain before a court, the REASONS for his sending the "doo-doo" packages. It would be a fitting tribute to the man who gave the best years of his life to help his brothers-in-arms, if just 100 of us would emulate his prank just once in his memory; there would be belly-laughs in heaven that day.

The next mission of the organization that Art and I discussed at length before his passing, is the repeal of Judicial Immunity – a victory that would far surpass the passage of
Senate Bill §3421, and have crooked politicians scurrying for cover like cockroaches in a spotlight.




            Arthur N. Bernklau – 76 years old of Port Jefferson, New York, passed away on March 8, 2012 at the Northport VA Hospital. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1935 and resided most of his life on Long Island. His mother was Marion Batterman and his father was Alan Bernklau. He is survived by his wife Nina, his children Allen Bernklau and Dina Kail, and three grandsons Cody, Jesse, and Wyatt. Art was a marine veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and after discharge from the service, he entered the ART Student League in New York City and completed his studies of art with Harold Stevenson of the Stevenson Art Academy in Seacliff, Long Island. Art was a gifted realist artist in oil painting and was recognized as an accomplished painter of the human figure as well as specializing in painting wildlife.


            Art dedicated the greater part of his life to serving the veterans of this country, and founded Veterans for Constitutional Law which gave veterans the assistance they needed to receive the benefits they were entitled to. Art was so devoted to his cause, he was forced to make many sacrifices which included giving up his love of painting, and surviving on his $1.00 a year salary as a veterans advocate. He was known throughout the country as a guest speaker on many radio shows, and kept the veterans informed of their rights and any changes in the law that affected them.


            Another great passion of Art’s was his two German Shorthaired Pointers Belle and Starr. Art insisted on preparing their gourmet meals himself and got more joy out of seeing them eat their meals rather than eating himself. Art’s last request was to be buried with the ashes of his beloved dogs.      


Although his burial arrangements are going to be private, donations can be made towards his cause to help continue assisting veterans receive the benefits that they deserve. Any questions, donations, or condolences can be sent to     

In loving memory of a good friend – I am Dave Todeschini

 I'll miss you, my friend. Semper Fi!



I've known Art Bernklau since June or July of 2004 - not a very long time by anyone's reckoning. I met him by hearing him as a guest on Radio Liberty, talking with Doctor Stan Monteith about Veteran's Disability Compensation, and calling him after the program.


Art Bernklau was a former Marine (USMC), and a veteran of the Korean War, and served multiple tours in Vietnam. His battlefield is now at home, fighting for the rights of Veterans and Active Duty Servicemen as an unpaid volunteer.


Art was been a Pit-Bull for Veterans and active duty servicemen for well over a quarter of a century. This is the Web site for the organization he founded, and has worked for as a full-time, unpaid volunteer for all of that time; and in fact, he contributed a major portion of his personal income for all of that time towards keeping the organization viable. Some of his methods for getting the attention of Washington Politicians were... shall we say, "unique".


If ever there was an example of dedication and persistence in the face of overwhelming opposition, Art Bernklau was the epitome' of that example. Due largely to his efforts, and the efforts of a few very active members of this organization, a MAJOR VICTORY was won for Veterans and Servicemen by the passing of Senate Bill §3421. This bill allows a serviceman or veteran to hire his or her own attorney, and Sue the Veteran's Administration in Federal District Court at any point during the farce of the VA claims process, if their legitimate claim for benefits or disability compensation for service-connected injury or illness is denied.


It is not every day that one has the honor of meeting a man who, almost single-handedly, fought one of the biggest and most corrupt and cumbersome agencies of the Federal Government and WON!! - But there is still much work to be done, and I am honored to be a part of it. By donating the time to do this Web site, I am playing a small but vital role in securing the respect, honor, and the just compensation for their unselfish sacrifice that our brave men and women render every day in the service of their country. No, we do NOT support the war in the Middle East - In fact, we do NOT support ANY war - but we DO support and defend those Americans who are called to fight them.


A look at Art's office - which is in his home - reveals mountains of paperwork, files, and equipment, and hundreds of audio tapes of talk show programs that he duplicates one at a time, and labels meticulously by hand (with very small hand-printed cassette labels) which are sent out to members, and anyone else who requests them.


Art has personally helped hundreds - if not thousands of Veterans who had previously battled the Veteran's Administration for years, and sometimes decades - and sometimes until the day they died; Veterans who had been represented by a number of "Service Organizations" including VFW, DAV, and a host of others who had failed to prevail in the complex and corrupt VA claims adjudication process. These NVSOs do not prevail against the VA because they are funded by, and affiliated with the VA - a conflict of interest if there ever was one.


Well, thanks to Art Bernklau and Veterans For Constitutional Law, the conflict of interest and the negative effect it can have on your legitimate service-connected injury, illness, or disability claim - for those who know the law - has been rendered moot. The purpose of this Web site is to educate Veterans and Active-Duty personnel on the LAW.


If you have a service-connected injury, illness, or disability and are unsuccessfully fighting the VA for your benefits, read this Web site - then get yourself a lawyer, and then and ONLY then, call Veterans For Constitutional Law for a free consultation. We are here to help you, but you have to be willing to help yourself.


I count Arthur Bernklau as one of the few best friends I ever had... and those are exceedingly rare; believe me! I will miss him.



Art Bernklau (R) and myself (L) working with Art's computer (2009)

Art Bernklau in his home office - deep in thought, busy at work.

Art regularly sent audio tapes of his radio programs to anyone who wanted them, or for those who don't have computers and therefore wouldn't know what to do with an .mp3 file. The tapes were duplicated from a master tape at double speed (I call it "chipmunk mode") one at a time, and he labeled them by hand. This takes took the patience of Job.

One of Art's great passions was his love of genuine Italian food (chased down with a bottle or two of Bira Moretti, or a few swigs of Grappa).

Art and his two Spotted German Short-Hair Pointers (aka "Foonics") were inseparable. Art actually prepared gourmet meals including shrimp, yogurt, cut green beans, chicken filets, et al. for his two companions, and I once commented to him "Those dogs eat better than I do".

You can tell a lot about a person by his or her love of animals.

My dog Rocky (A Shepherd / Terrier mix, (R)) was an occasional visitor. This photo was taken on the beach in the summer of 2009.





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Contact Information:

Veterans For Constitutional Law, Ltd.,
112 Jefferson Avenue,
Port Jefferson, N.Y. 11777

Tel # (631) 474-4261   Fax # (631) 474-1968

Art Bernklau, Executive Director
Contact Art Bernklau by e-Mail


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