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    • Temporary 100% post surgery/convalescense pay
      Whats up guys, hopefully someone out there can help me out here. Ok I had surgery on my right knee (service connected) on 4-13-16 at the VA hospital in Phoenix. I applied for convalescense pay the day before which was 4-12-16. My surgeon wrote a statemwnt saying I would be out of commission for 8-10 weeks or more if "desired strength in leg is not met" how long does the VA take to process something like this? And my understanding is the VA doesnt pro-rate meaning my convalescent start date is 5-1-16 and for 8 weeks will that be from 5-1-16 until 7-31-16? I currently am at 40% so i get $699.36/month. With convalescense do they pay 100% per month (in my case its $3187) or will they pay one lump sum for both months? Thank you     Quote   Edit
    • Ankylosing spondylitis. Rheumatologist diagnosis
      Hi all. Got a good one for you again. I saw my rheumatologist today and was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis. It affect both my feet and my right hand. Apparently this condition is related to rheumatoid arthritis and when i start treatment i will have to take shots for the rest of my life. I just got low balled at 30% for bilateral plantar fascitis which i just found out is related to to ankylosing spondylitis. My question is do you think i should file a claim and will this get services connected??? So internet research i have seen said RA is easier to get service connected but this is another new road i must go down so i would apperciate some Knowledgable feedback. This condition also affect my neck and back and i did have some back issues in my service medical records. Thanks all and i look forward to youtlr replies. 
    • CUE? Not using SMR?
      What I see missing here is any mention of 38 CFR 1154(b) Combat enhancement. VA did not give  him enhanced credibility in 1983. In fact, they didn't even mention it which they would be required to discuss by law (and then discount as not being probative). That is CUE. VA is required to take any testimony about his feet in the combat environment as Gospel. It's clear they had the STRs when they made the 1983 decision. Presumption of Soundness at entry on the physical sets the injury metric.  If he had flat feet when he left, then it occurred in service -38 CFR 3.303(a). If he says he got flat feet and he has a PH and CIB, VA cannot argue otherwise. Having proved CUE, all he has to do is show that the error manifestly changed the outcome. The 2015 grant is proof of that. The only thing that could poke a hole in this balloon would be an unappealed BVA decision which would have rendered the subject closed. No appeal up to the BVA on any of those reopens following 1983 means a CUE  claim is still viable for 1983 as well as any follow on denials in the interim. Personally, I'd go for it. I'd get an atty. because it's going to be a cat fight for that many dineros. Sorry about that sugar. Your email didn't mention the medals and the CIB. That's a whole different ballgame. Anyone who would die in combat for their country gets a bye on their testimony as being credible without corroboration. 
    • NOD / DRO or TARP?
      Also, I want to point out that my husband returned from his 2nd tour in October of 2008. I do not believe I would have said that I was that concerned with him returning when he had just got back as was stated in the decision. He usually has at least a couple of years between deployments.  I could be wrong, I don't remember. I do recollect saying that when he was gone, a lot of the memories of what we did and seen during the invasion returned or bothered me more..?.  Sorry, I can't be sure.
    • Dr Ellis IMO
      Thanks for the info Flores.  I actually called the clinic this morning.  I am in the process of gathering my records and will be sending them out hopefully by Monday.  They said that they are currently scheduling for the end of June, beginning of July.  The lady sounded very nice.  I am looking forward to meeting Dr. Ellis soon.   Good luck on your claim. Travis  
    • Pending Case Dispatch
      They said it was remanded back to the RO.
    • 25 Year Long Service Connected Disability Denied After C/p Exam.
      Thanks all for the kind words. And yes I do sometimes feel that i don't deserve anything as i did not do combat. And there is way too many service men and women who have given up way more and come home with less than they left with. So it is even harder to stand up and ask for help when I see those Brothers in Arms coming home with severe injuries and some coming home with the Flag we all swore to defend. Thomas that road of drinking and drugs i went down and it almost destroyed my whole family. And after spending 30 days locked up in a rehabilitation hospital i don't care to go back again. I have been sober now for over 2 years have not had a drink and don't miss it none at all. I still pain medications but the VA limits that now and I have to sign that contract every month to get it. I do want to mention something I feel is Good News... As I look at the eBenefits website almost constantly to see if any changes are made. Good news tonight when I looked at it as one of my Open Claims is now in the Notification Stage. And then I looked to see and they had approved my second application to include my wife and kids on. Of course my daughter is in college and my son is 25 now, which they did not accept him as a dependent. That means they may have approved my Claim for Depression and Anxiety. But most likely they are going to a New condition and I will have to fight for the back pay. But since my previous Claim is in the DRO stage and I am awaiting the outcome of it. This new claim for Depression should move over to it now and be included. Is that correct as I can't file another NOD on it til the DRO issue's a SOC first. Anyways here a screenshot of them accepting my wife and daughter as dependents and also a screenshot of the awaiting Notification letter to be delivered. . 
    • NOD / DRO or TARP?
      After some digging, I was not able to find my complete original 2009 decision. I did however find my PTSD appeal decision from 2011 and the rating part of my 2009 letter. I must have separated the 2009 letter at some point to prove I had a 10% service connection, but didn't want them seeing the notes. I hope this is enough to maybe point a path. I can't express how much I appreciate what you guy's are doing here. I have never been comfortable sharing this stuff with anyone, To the point that I have been doing this with just my husbands help because I did not want to talk to a VSO that I don't know. But I see on here that everyone is helping everyone fight the same fight. Thank you very much!  In reference to the previous questions: It appears I did file the DRO route, and no, I did not continue the appeal to the BVA. I actually found where I started to fill out the VA form 9, but I was so fed up with the OKC VA back then that I must have said "screw it". Big mistake on my part I know. Appeal Decision 2011.pdf Original Rating 2009.pdf

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Dioxin: What The Navy Knew And When

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Posted on June 15, 2009 by VNVETS

What the U.S. Navy knew and didn’t [or wouldn’t!] tell us.

An OP-ED Paper by Chuck Graham, with Susie Belanger

I’m a U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran and I have had a claim in place with the Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA] since 2003. Like so many of you I’ve been on the hamster wheel and suffered through the Haas appeal all to no avail. Over the years I’ve researched any available material that might help prove that the U.S. Navy had knowledge to support the findings of the Australian Study, ENTOX, also called NRCET from 2002. This study involved the co-distillation of Dioxin through the fresh water evaporator systems commonly used aboard Royal Australian Naval Ships that were present in Vietnam. The same evaporator systems were commonly used by U.S. Navy Ships that were present in Vietnam, as the majority of the Australian Naval Ships were built at U.S. Naval Shipyards. It is my hope that the following information will shed some knowledge of what the U.S. Navy knew and had in their possession and if they knew then the Department of Defense [DOD] and more than likely the Veterans Administration [VA], now the Department of Veterans Affairs [DVA], also knew.

Click here to read the Australian Study

As far back as 1946 the U.S. Navy had knowledge of the dangers of distilling water for shipboard uses while in littoral waters or certain other locations. This was evidenced by the fact that while conducting atomic radiation testing at Bikini Atoll, they were warned not to utilize any seawater aboard ships in the area, for fear of contamination by the radiation which had contaminated the coastal waters. This was “Operation Crossroads” and 79 ships that were present during these tests, were salvaged and sent to Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco for decontamination. An acid wash had to be used to decontaminate the evaporators and water purification systems.

In the U.S. Army Technical Manual TM 5-813-8 from September 1986 on water Desalination chapter 5-1 paragraph C, states "Some organic materials will carry across a distillation/condensation process with the water. Pesticides and industrial organic chemicals may be difficult to remove by distillation/condensation."

Click here to read the U.S. Army Technical Manual TM 5-813-8, SEP 1986

Ok folks, let’s look at and re-read that statement!! Someone in the Army had to have done some tests to make that statement. How else would they have known, without testing the condensate, that this was so? That proves that the Military knew that dioxin/herbicides/pesticides would remain in distilled water.

The Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine NAVMED P -5010-6 rev 1990, chapter 6 Water Supply Afloat sec 6-3 states, "Distillation of water from harbors or from polluted sea water is to be avoided except in emergencies. Sea water must be assumed polluted when ships are operated in close formation."

Click here to read NAVMED P-5010-6 rev 1990

In the U.S. Navy’s Risk Analysis of Shipboard Drinking Water Chemical Contaminants, August 18, 2000, author Lieutenant Michael D. Cassady, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy states, "An important aspect of the drinking water produced onboard ships and submarines is, its source. Ships and submarines routinely do not produce water unless they are at least twelve miles from the shoreline...However, the operational environment for ships and submarines is changing and more missions are requiring operations in littoral waters for extended lengths of time. Littoral waters are more likely to be at risk for primary and secondary contaminates."

Click here to read Risk Analysis of Shipboard Drinking Water Chemical Contaminants, August 18, 2000

Now while on the gun-line conducting Naval Gun Fire Support [NGFS] firing missions off the coast of Vietnam, we did not have time to pull off and run out 12 miles and make fresh water. We made water where we were -- 24/7.

Now to get to the heart of the matter and the reason for this paper: We have discovered several Naval Documents that we feel should shed some light on the knowledge that the U.S. Navy had over the years starting in 1963 with BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3B, 30 SEP 1963. Pay special attention to page 3 where it lists Chemical Characteristics Limits. No where do you see the word Herbicides mentioned.

Click here to read BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3B 30 SEP 1963

Then in 1972 we see BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3C DEC 1972, Pay special attention to page 6 on Chemical Concentrations, where it now includes Pesticides, Herbicides, and Fungicides; and see footnote [2]. This is just a short period of 9 years from 1963 through 1972 that something brought to their attention that it would be desirable to remove Pesticides and Herbicides from our drinking water! In my humble opinion, scientific tests of some sort had to be conducted to verify this concern over Herbicides.

Click here to read BUMED INSTRUCTION 6240.3C, DEC 1972

Then in February 1987 we have this document from Naval Facilities Engineering Command: Guide Performance Work Statement [GPWS] For Water Plants and System Operation and Maintenance. Prepared by Southern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Charleston, South Carolina, it states, "The contractor shall produce and store treated water free of taste and or odor and that meets the minimum water quality standards described below:" see page 44 of he GWPS PDF Document where we see Herbicides are a concern again.


Finally, see the following study where Researchers in Vietnam in 1970 tested fish and crustaceans For the presence of TCDD {Dioxin}. These are the same researchers that were mentioned in the Australian ENTOX study and the fish tested were caught by local fishermen in Vietnam, both in fresh water as well as saltwater. This shows that dioxin’s were present in local fish in 1970 and If dioxin stopped at lands-end, as the DVA would have us believe, how did it pollute saltwater fish and crustaceans?

Click here to read An Analytical Method for Detecting TCDD [Dioxin]: Levels of TCDD in Samples from Vietnam - SEP 1973

Thanks Chuck and thanks Susie! Outstanding research work here.

We will add the folowing to wrap this up:

Clearly, then, not only did the Army and Navy, and their respective offices overseeing potable water handling, the Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration, all know of the presence of dioxin in the drinking water and the difficulties of getting rid of it [which was not solved until the introduction of reverse osmosis filtration, but the lengths to which they went to caution about its presence show the awareness of the danger of it in the potable water. There can be no doubt that thousands of sailors and embarked Marines were exposed to dioxins from their ship's potable water system: they drank, cooked, and showered with water contaminated by high concentrations of deadly toxic dioxins.


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."-- President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2009: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Fifth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved.

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