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    • Please pardon the length of my post, but I am looking for feedback.  I haven’t been on the board for awhile, and already miss the critique that Carlie and Stretch would have offered. I am 100% service-connected Permanent and Total for Bipolar Disorder.  I was awarded 100% in October 2009, backdated to September 2007.  Initially, I was in the VA system from 1994 to mid-1997, before they finally successfully diagnosed me as having a Bipolar Disorder.  I responded to medication treatment well for seven years (during which time I used the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program to obtain two computer-related degrees, until the medication stopped working overnight.  My Bipolar Disorder came back worse than ever, and nothing tried by VA and private psychiatrists worked in the least bit.  Finally after 2007, in which I missed half the year being hospitalized time and again, I listened to my psychiatrists telling me I was disabled and resigned.  After 8 years of failed attempts at controlling my Bipolar Disorder, the VA has finally given me the Veterans Choice program allowing me to see a psychiatrists and psychologists specializing in Bipolar Disorder. I have a rare form of Bipolar Disorder, which is why it took the VA so long to diagnose what was wrong with me.  I am hyper-manic, as a result, I have longer days than most people do, and look for things to fill up my time.  I do not suffer from depressive episodes like many others having Bipolar Disorder do.  The lack of depression, in itself, is a danger sign, and the VA has given me months of therapy to cope with depression if it should hit me.  There is a school of thought that people with my form of Bipolar Disorder cannot handle depression, and just spiral downwards until they commit suicide.  But I digress, sorry about that. I was recently talking to another veteran about MIT offering their entire course curriculum online for free.  You don’t get any credit, but you can study the subjects and I was playing around with that.  He informed me that the VA is required by law to retrain me into a different profession, since I cannot work at my previous one; due to not being able to work a regular full-time job in the field I was previously trained in through VR&E.  So I researched it and found: According to 38 USC Chapter 31 §3103. Periods of eligibility:  (c) In any case in which the Secretary determines that a veteran is in need of services to overcome a serious employment handicap, such veteran may be afforded a vocational rehabilitation program after the expiration of the period of eligibility otherwise applicable to such veteran if the Secretary also determines, on the basis of such veteran's current employment handicap and need for such services, that an extension of the applicable period of eligibility is necessary for such veteran and—(2) that such veteran had previously been rehabilitated to the point of employability but (A) the need for such services had arisen out of a worsening of such veteran's service-connected disability that precludes such veteran from performing the duties of the occupation for which such veteran was previously trained in a vocational rehabilitation program under this chapter, or (B) the occupation for which such veteran had been so trained is not suitable in view of such veteran's current employment handicap and capabilities. So, indeed I qualify, but there is a caveat.  I must have a feasible Rehabilitation Plan to present to the Vocation Rehabilitation counselor consisting of education needed, and employment plans.  The only option that would fit me is self-employment.  So I looked at self-employment careers, and found photography.  I researched further, and found that VR&E had even given someone $30,000 to start their own photography studio after they were trained.  I know I cannot be relied upon to work at the studio full-time, but I am not alone.  I have a wife who wants to use her Dependents Educational Assistance to obtain a degree in photography too.  The difference being is that mine would be a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography, while hers would be a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography.  While I would be the one to setup everything to run the studio on my own time, she would actually be the manager with a receptionist.  We would even hire local freelance photographers to shoot events, if need be. So basically, I would utilize project management skills to develop a business plan for the studio, and perform everything necessary for the start-up.  Having a Masters degree would give me the necessary knowledge to oversee the entire operation, but not have to be there 8 to 5; which I know I cannot do.  My wife will be the studio manager. I have researched 100% service connected Permanent and Total for Mental Disorders and going to college.  Most of what I have read is “why would you risk the Golden Apple?”.  First:  I cannot be absolutely sure I will achieve the Masters degree, although I am quite confident; because having a Bipolar Disorder has no impact on your Intelligence Quotient.  Second:  Each and every one of us is unique, and not one size fits all.  While some may consider 100% SC P&T the Golden Apple, I feel a need to do something other than exist and age.  Third:  I doubt that I will the studio will make enough after expenses for the initial couple of years for me to make more than Substantial Gainful Activity.  If the studio starts to succeed and grow, then I can put myself on the payroll.  Fourth:  With a Masters degree, I will be qualified to teach other photographers the finer arts of photography.  Fifth:  I can undertake subjects for photojournalism and submit my work in competitions.  Sixth:  I believe in helping others.  I live in a small rural town, and there are under-privileged Seniors who cannot afford to have Senior Pictures taken.  I would love to help them.  Seven:  There is a World of opportunities to be explored that I haven’t even thought of. I have not read anywhere that someone with a 100% SC P&T Mental cannot go to college.  I know “a 100 percent evaluation is warranted where there is total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as: gross impairment in thought processes or communication; persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; and memory loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name.”. I know I cannot attend a traditional college with scheduled courses, but I have found an online University that is regionally accredited where I can take the classes at my own pace.  My social interactions would be online and not in person.  I can study at-home, even when I have locked myself away from the World.  There will be deadlines to meet, but I worry more about getting the work done too early, rather than late.  Going to college is different than having an occupational job, although obtaining an occupational job is the goal of attending college. I need to mention that my wife is my rock I cling to.  She tells me to go lay down, when I’m getting manic.  It is absolute torture to lay down and rest your body, when your mind is racing with all the things you could be doing, and the minutes go by ever so slowly.  She goes to all my appointments with me, and tattles about everything! The floor is open for comments, and thank you in advance.  
    • Sure its worth fighting for  you love your father..so fight to your last breath. I Would think you need to finds a good VA Attorney    someone like Dr Bash team  with Attorney John Dorle.  As for as the school tuition I'm not so sure?  but it sounds like your father could get some compensation for his condition   especially if he is a Vietnam Vet? Does he have a claim in appeals? Other members can chime in here  I am not that familiar with what you have mention. Ms Berta can sure give you some great Advice..she be on tomorrow Morning. good Luck .....................Buck
    • Check to see what he put in your C&P report, it should be in the EVet Bluebutton report. If the guy was doing you any favors, you would find it there, if not, you will find it there.    Point is, even if he did a halfassed job, wait to see what he put down in writing before you do anything.  He just might fool ya!
    • you need to wait for a decision   well actually you have to before you can file NOD. Was this was a C&P at the VA? I'd go see the C&P Director...take the CFR Reg's with you (found here on hadit) about what and how the exam is to be conducted how the scars are measured and ROM...Let the Director know what this examiner did by not measuring your scare's correctly  or using the correct tool  for  ROM and request another C&P with a different Dr....... & that if he/she can't help you with this? you will find someone who can. Also ask the Director  why did the examiner ask you what your rating was? why did he need to know that? JMO .................Buck
    • I had wrote a very long post previously but it did not send. To summarize I am a dependent and the son of two veterans my mother who is a disabled Veteran and my father who is a Veteran that had finished honorably. When I was 14 my father was diagnosed with kidney failure do to high blood pressure, and it quickly progressed to end stage kidney disease. I took care of my father the best I could given the circumstances He got a bit of disability  and was put on government healthcare I was in charge for all his health related care and taking care of him which I did so I got some benefits from my mothers disability as a dependent   which helped us scrape by throughout the years over and over again the insurance would request that he applied for VA health care because of his status income and inability to work originally he was told that he did not qualify when we went up to the office because he did not have a preexisting condition while enlisted we stated that he developed high blood pressure during which was the cause of his kidney failure now. He was even hospitalized when it was discovered despite this the man stated he did not qualify no matter how many times we told the insurance this they would stop his medical and state that he had to apply over and over again we took the form to the office throughout the years which they just pulled up the file from before we told them they said they had to sign something stating he didn't qualify this went on for a long time. When I turned 18 i decided to go to school via my education benefits on my mothers side. Everything was fine until my fathers health took another turn for the worst he was diagnosed with type two diabetes do to his home dialysis machine malfunctioning and pumping more of the l liquid that was highly glucose based into his body only draining half before pumping again while he slept. We found out the nurses were aware of this problem and even told the company but they did nothing. This was until people started to complain. I had to stop school to take care of him now that his health had gotten worst and  the company not returning my calls and said they would not talk to us without an attorney. I had told both the school and the local VA office that I had to stop going the VA office told me I had to feel out a form and due to the fact that it was an emergency I would not be charged because of my failure to complete and or attend classes I filled out the form that same day they sent it to my local regional office and I focused all my time taking care of him and trying to get a pro Bono lawyer to handle the case. I had contacted every single pro Bono and non profit lawyer in Arizona  none of them wanted to take on the case despite us having proof from a log we kept from the machine backing up our claims. I tried this up until my father got a transplant in 2015 in the mean time I started to receive letters from the VA stating that I owed them because I did not attend the classes and or failed. I contacted the VA who told me that had no such file I contacted the school who told me they did not work for the VA although they were a VA office and said that they sent it. I contacted the VA every chance I got while dealing with my fathers issues and his insurance constantly screwing things up. Until I got a letter stating if I did not repay or get on a payment plan I would be noted as an unpaid debt sent off into collections and I would lose all future educational benefits in the future. I tried again and again to get this resolved until I finally got to someone who knew who to send me to. They transferred me to some guy who I told him what had happened at first he told me I had to either get on a payment plan or lose my benefits at this point i was upset and I am a pretty calm guy. He than reluctantly said if I got a note from my fathers doctor and or his head dialysis nurse about his condition he would put it in the system and it would be as good as solved. He gave me a fax and said I had 7 days I got the letter from both within 3 and faxed it to him several times. I had contacted him afterwards letting him know that I had faxed it but didn't get a reply  but having dealt with the via for so long in this case wasn't that strange I was told after I had sent him the letter to look out for something in the mail. He was also meant to email me a few weeks past and I no longer got any lettings from the VA about the bills but I started getting some from the school I told them the situation and they said they would contact the VA and get back to me never happened. I ended up getting one final letter stating that I failed to make a payment and my education benefits would be halted and the bill would be sent to collections this made me so angry not just the VA the system itself insurance and all I called the VA knowing very well it was to late simply to vent my frustrations of course there was nothing that could be done and I was told there was nothing they could do I took what my dad told me and the fact that there was nothing that could be done right now. He was positive and regretted me having to take care of him which I love my father for he stood tall no matter what happened. Moving on and not being able to get any lawyer because they figured despite what we had it wouldn't be worth fighting a giant medical firm pro bono and most who were interested didn't even read my inquiry and assumed it was concerning a recall for the same device and not a new malfunction. 

      The nurses who knew about this told my father when he was reporting issues previously before getting diagnosed they were aware but the company would not allow the techs to alter it they even knew how to fix it. But they didn't say it was dangerous eventually my father had to be taken via ambulance to the hospital and they told him his blood sugar was almost at lethal rates this was the only time my father had gotten upset about a medical problem only because he had no control over this one and he knew it could have been prevented and that lasted for one day and he went back to accepting it. I continued looking for lawyers up until he got his transplant at the end of 2015 thanks to a great doctor on the transplant bored of mayo clinic who heard from a social worker about my father. He was put on the transplant list right away and at the top because of the length of time he was on the list. This was the best news in years aside from the insurance once again messing up as he was doing to testing that was required before than. It is only because of the great people on the mayo clinic transplant team that talked to the insurance to fix the problems we couldn't that it got approved of course they also requested that we go back to the VA again and once again they said he did not qualify. We got him approved for the transplant and despite some other hiccups with the insurance refusing to cover his crazy high kidney medication which he needed so his body wouldn't reject it. Once again thank you mayo clinic for footing that bill. He got the transplant and as soon as he could work he did Me and my brothers and sisters who were in California put what we had together  to get my father a car which he used to start work. He is still disabled but is doing much better.  Today was the first day I could get time to request info about getting my educational benefits back I had talked to someone about getting it back and along the line my father being a Veteran popped up and she asked if I got my benefits from him I stated no he did not have any benefits which we talked for a bit I stated that we had his dd214 with honorable discharge and he didn't qualify for any medical because he didn't have any preexisting conditions while he was in which I told her that I told them about the high blood pressure the cause of his kidneys shutting down and how he even got cancer on his kidneys. She mentioned that he should of been entitled if not they should have looked into it because of the high blood pressure instead the guy took the form signed it for the insurance marked are reason for visit in the system and said he got nothing. 

      This made me think I am not after anything and I wont fight it if he wasn't entitled I will fight for my education given the circumstances but I would be so upset to think that he could of had VA medical or other benefits this whole time but was told no over and over again. Like I said personally I dont know but I wanted the opinion of others on the subject on what I should do I dont even care that my credit got ruined because of the VA and the school thing having my father healthy after beating so many things I am proud of my father regardless but the only reason I am fighting for my education is because my father told me that I should.    Sorry, for the long read for anyone that managed to read all that I has not planned on it being that long but this was my first chance to vent having my father recover enough to do things on his own up until recently. I know there are tons of stories about falling through the system and injustice so on and so on my real question is should i fight for any possible benefits for my father. I dont want to go through another long battle if the lady was wrong and the people at the local office was right. But having filed to get a lawyer and not being able to help my father aside from taking care of him. I now have to fight Arizona and request my certificate of birth Abroad so Arizona will recognize me as a us citizen because of a immigration law that was passed and being born overseas in England because of a military family and despite having duel citizenship I am getting a bit tired of falling through the cracks and want my father to get what he deserves if he does deserve it. I had talked to my father recently and we do know that he qualify for a home loan from the VA potentially we need to provide some kind of point sheet requirement. If i have to request that stuff for him I might as well do the same for any possible benefits. 

      Will the VA fight us on this despite him being hospitalized with high blood pressure while in service and tested before joining? If so and you think we wont win I dont want to drag my father through another battle for a slim chance he is working and rebuilding his credit to try and get a home regardless so he is fine but he said he doesn't know what the VA would do. 


      Thanks for any and all feedback like i said this is mainly an inquire for if I Should fight for anything he should of have. 

  • HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran providing FREE information and community to veterans since 1997.

    I am proud that I've been able to offer all that HadIt.com has for free for 19 years and continue to do so.





allan

The Impact Of Gulf War Exposures/illnesses/deaths At Charleston Afb For Aircrew Members

1 post in this topic

The Impact of Gulf War Exposures/Illnesses/Deaths at Charleston AFB for AIRCREW MEMBERS

Posted on July 20, 2009 by DSNurse

by Denise Nichols, Staff Writer

A disturbing and shocking listing of names hit my desk from a connection with the Charleston 141 unit of C-141 crewmembers that flew during Desert Storm. This was a unit of 160 aircrew members, AF Reserve, these units were some of the healthiest in the force at that time that had annual flight physicals and pilots that also flew with major airline companies.

This list I received of names confirms at least 23 deaths since Operation Desert Storm(15 cancers, 1 stroke, 1 Blood disorder unspecified, 2 suicides, I house fire, 1 questionable death, 2 unknown causes) and at least 22 more suffering 20 with cancers and 2 with renal disease. I am astonished that the DOD and/or CDC or anyone has not mobilized a full team of epidemiologists to do a full investigation. I am equally astonished that US Representatives and US Senators that have been notified have done nothing.

I believe that the CDC should be contacted immediately to find out all of the facts without delay. I also believe that this warrants full House and Senate VA Committee Joint Hearings and Senate and House Transportation Committee hearings. These were gulf war veteran pilots they flew on mandays in support of Operation Desert Storm and they have struggled and their families that lost their loved ones have not been compensated by the VA.

My concern has been there all along for our flight crews since I am a flight nurse and knew many of our pilots throughout the system in the reserves. I was also concerned because of the symptoms ie neuro cognitive disorders ie memory, visual changes due to exposures and having monitored this for years 19 now! I have watched every story of airline mishaps civilian and military through the 19 years and my questions and concerns have not been addressed! I even spent time taking information to Senate and House Transportation Committees to have them exam the problems and hold hearings, they never did!

Also I noted the crashes of military airplanes that crashed carrying Presidential support equipment years back I believe if memory serves me in Wyoming during the Clinton time period? I also noted a USMC helicopter "Squadron One" taxi incident at Andrews AFB running a plane or helicopter into something while taxing is somewhat unusual especially with highly qualified pilots, I took news reports of that incident to the staffer for Former US Representative "B1" Bob Dornan, the military would not confirm or deny that the pilot was a gulf war veteran. I have brought this up at the CDC conference on Gulf War illness in 1999. Much less a couple of airplane crashes ie civilian commercial airlines in the 1990's and air rescue helicopter crashes.

So many connecting points ignored that impacts not just military but civilians too!

So much that could be connected if there was true investigative journalism still existing in our news today but I guess they don't want to dig and think.

In honor of the C-141 Crew members of Charleston Air Force Base and their devotion to their duty I now publish the list as known at the current time of Deaths. Data on illnesses by name will not be published but statistics on this units illnesses as known is listed at the end. Unfortunately I do not have dates of deaths but thankful to one of the officers of this unit that has stayed atuned to the health of his troops and fellow pilots this is what we have. It is a shame that more units deployed during Desert Storm have not monitored the health of their unit members.

WE encourage Desert Storm veterans to set up SPECIFIC UNIT FACEBOOK PAGES on their unit they served with during 1990-91 and reconnect and get health surveys done. What we have always been missing is unit specific research by location in theater or nondeployed. The need is still there and we at Veterans Today will help you get the word out!

One Marine(from NY) did this back in the Government Reform and Oversight hearings in the 90's and Former Congressman Shays had him testify to the results. It took him awhile but I believe he located at least 98% of his people by reconnecting with the people that got involved in Family support type efforts during the war that had kept lists of family members, phone numbers, and locations. He reconnected and did a survey of his members and the symptoms and health problems they were having and testified to the results.

This should have been set up when we served and tracked at every unit but it was not done but it is never too late and may definitely help investigators and researchers. It may trigger a closer look at Gulf War Illnesses by our elected officials in DC and encourage the VA to do the same! The Gulf War I Veterans from 1990-91 will not be forgotten!

WE also ask DOD to make changes now to track the health of their current troops better, a lesson we thought they had learned from Gulf War 1. The obligation starts while we are in service and should never end! It does not just rest with Medical service personnel or those at the top but at unit level! Units should have logs and computerized systems to track their indivduals so that later as troops transition to VA that they can also be reporting back to their own specific unit to compile the data. It is an officer's duty the health and welfare of their unit members. It goes up and down the chain of command!

I will say that a congrats go out to the Charleston unit individual and his concerned NCOIC's that provided the information and has been tracking the problem through the years and sharing the information in the form of a newsletter informal to the past and current members of Charleston Aircrew alumni.

The names of those deaths , crew position, and cause of death that I was provided are:

1. SMSGT George Culp Loadmaster AS 300 Brain Tumor

2. MSGT Robert Sheffield Loadmaster AS707 Brain Tumor

3. MSGT Craig Morris Loadmaster AS707 Colon Cancer

4. SMSGT Barron Foster Loadmaster AS707 Brain Tumor Eye/

Brain

5. TSGT Charlie Radford Loadmaster AS707 Tumor

6. SSGT Phillipe Manore Loadmaster 16 AS 707 Cancer

7. MSGT Herb Loveless Flight Engineer AS 707 Cancer(chest)

8. MSGT Ed Goble AS 315 Colon Cancer

9. MSGT Rick Meyer AS 707 Flight Engineer*

10. MSGT William Hawthorne AS 315 Flight Engineer*

11. COL Archibald Martin Flight Surgeon AW 701 Cancer

12. TSGT Candice Taylor Engineer AS 707 Blood Disease

13. SMSGT Warren Thompson Loadmaster AS 707 Cancer

14. COL Bruce Dobbs Pilot Cancer

15. LTCOL Trigg Wood Pilot Brain Tumor

16. MSGT Elmore Jackson Load Master Cancer

17. LTCOL Jeff Bland Pilot Questionable Death*

18. LTCOL Glenn Butler Pilot Cancer

19. Major Tom Legodais Pilot Stroke

20. Col James Miller Combat Sgdn/CC Unknown*

21. SMSGT Dallas Sims 8 MAS/51 AP Sqnd Unknown*

22. JoAnn Russell 315th Current OPS EYE and Liver Cancer

23 MSGT Buck Owens Flight Engineer Home Fire *

The ones listed as ill : 20 are cancers, 1 bilateral renal failure, , 1 kidney disease(unspecified)

http://www.veteranstoday.com/modules.php?n...le&sid=8027

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