I am going to answer my own question here since I solved it in case it may be of benefit to someone else.
First, verify that there is not a firewall issue on the indexer servers by doing "telnet local 9997" If this works (which mine did) your good to go here. If it does not work check your iptables.
Second, manually check that there is connectivity between the FW and INX (and not with ping) by doing "telnet ipaddressINDX 9997".
If this fails(which mine did not) is a network firewall problem. BTW I am assuming that you have already verified that the correct hostname is shown in the server.conf file on all servers.
Third, with all apps pushed out successfully by your DS verify that Splunk is happy with all of your conf files by doing "./splunk cmd btool check". This will make sure all the conf files are written in a way that will be accepted by Splunk.
Fourth, verify that the path where you data resides is being monitored by running "./splunk list monitor"
Lastly if all is well from everything above (as it was in my case) go and look at the following file to verify that the forwarder is successfully connecting to your indexer (which mine was not in my case):
If there is no connection, reboot your forwarder. That is what I did and it worked.