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SLCvet

New To Board Currently Filing Claim

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I'm new here, but there seems to be a wealth of knowledgeable vets so I would like to ask you what you think of my case. I was activated to Iraq in 2005 in the Al Anbar Province. I saw some nasty stuff and do not really feel like mentioning it here, but I do have the evidence I need of a combat stressor, actually several. When I was discharged the VA immediately awarded a 10% disability based on hearing tests I took before and after the deployment and specifically tied it to an IED I hit while I was there. I did not have any signs of PTSD and was really just glad to get back to the states as my tour was extended considerably.

When I got back things were actually not that bad. My driving habits had changed a little as I seemed to scrutinize every object or piece of trash on the side of the road. I also jumped really bad with loud noises, but I did not think much of it. About 12 months ago thing got a lot worse. It started with some nightmares of things I had seen, I found my self a little forgetful and preoccupied, and started to snap at my wife a little more.

About 2 weeks ago I lost my job. I held steady employment with promotions and raises since I got back, but starting about 9 months ago my performance really went downhill. I started forgetting simple things at work. Important things. I started to catch myself staring at my computer while having daydreams about Iraq. I soon found that I could not remember anything unless I wrote it down. I never had this problem before. Attention to detail started to plague me. I just could not get things right. Starting in January I met with an EAP counselor who quickly started to ask about my military experience and mentioned ptsd. We set up various organizational and coping mechanisms to try at work with some success, but nothing solid. She referred me to a professional psychiatrist who is apparently renowned for working with ptsd cases. After the second session the psychiatrist diagnosed me with ptsd and I am currently on medication. After about 4 months of being on probation my company fired me. I have never been fired before. I finished a masters degree right before I was deployed and graduated with honors from a state university. I was never late to work and did not do anything that was against company policy. It was simply my performance. Dreams continue and are much worse. Social life is not good.

My psychiatrist referred me to a specific case worker. I was impressed with the knowledge she had about the VA system. She told me that to win a claim I have to play by VA rules and try not to have the "suck it up and move on" mentality. She said that until the claim outcome is determined to play the "wounded soldier." Additionally, I was to go after a claim for everything that is physically or mentally bothering me that I think may be linked to activities while training or in combat.

From what I can see, I believe I will be successful on the ptsd claim. I have the proof of stressor and my psychiatrist will give the diagnosis and connect it to the events in Iraq. Not sure what percentage. My psychiatrist believes that 90% of the reason that I was fired was because of ptsd symptoms. The EAP counselor agrees. Not sure what my GAF score would be. Definitely lower than 50 I think. I'm not sure I could hold a position for long in my field. What do you think my rating for this would be?

Also, I have had stomach problems ever since I got home. Never had them before. I got food poisoning twice while I was in Iraq on fish and bacon. Bad stuff. I am now lactose intolerant and stay away from dairy completely. Even though I do that my stomach has consistent day to day pain. My medical doctor diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome. This seems to recently be exacerbated by stress with my job loss and ptsd. I now have blood in my stool. I did not see a doctor about this while I was in Iraq as I still manned my post sick or not. However, no medical record exists that indicates stomach problems before Iraq.

I am also having problems with my feet, knees, hips, and back. No need to tell some of you about the weight of armor. I'm not a big guy and am not exceptionally strong. I now seem to have flat feet, my knees ach, my hips and lower back (SI joint) give out serious pain if I walk too far or I lift even moderately heavy boxes (40 pounds). You get the picture.

My case worker wants to go after ptsd, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), flat feet, knees, hips and back. She was also asking about TBI which I immediately dismissed. She then asked me if I hit my head at all during the deployment. I did during the IED attack and a couple of other times, but I had my kevlar on and was only a little dizzy afterwards. She said to go after that too. Heck, she said to go after athletes foot. What am I getting myself into here? My main concern is the ptsd and my work.

Should I go for all this? Advice?

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I advise you to jot down the dates of the IED attacks and other stressors and contact the JSRRC to verify that they have them listed and send you a report.

this is your biggest hurdle and the VA often says they try to verify stressors but I know of a couple of cases the Veteran had to do it themselves.

Department of the Army

U.S. Army & Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC)

7701 Telegraph Road

Kingman Building, Suite 2C08

Alexandria, Virginia 22315-3802

Telephone number: 703-428-6801

J

Edited by jbasser

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Welcome to Hadit. I think from what you wrote that you should win a claim. Ask questions and read the Home Page lots of info you need to see.

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What was your MOS in Iraq? Did you get an combat awards or purple hearts. This would be proof of stressors.

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I had a non-combat arms mos. 96b. I already have solid proof of one stressor. Others I would need to get the evidence. When I got there, the colonel in charge of our brigade did not "believe in" CABs. So most of the guys in my unit did not get them unless they got a purple heart on top of it. So how do I go about getting proof of the other stressors from the JSRRC? Should I go after all of these claims like my advocate has advised?

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