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JATO

Third Class Petty Officers
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JATO last won the day on July 22 2018

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About JATO

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Interests
    Retired 2016 Fishing, Camping, Cars, Motorcycles, Guns and Prepping.

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    10%
  • Branch of Service
    USAF & ANG
  • Hobby
    Learning the VA system!

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  1. After speaking to a lawyer at hill and ponton yesterday, she said they could see everything in my c file through vbms. Is there anyway for us normal folk to login to that site? I can't even find any kind of homepage for it.
  2. At the recommendation of other forum members, I recently sent in a sworn declaration to add to my NOD that's at dro review, to the evidence intake center address listed on my appeals option letter. That form was dated July 2015. Yesterday I get a letter regarding something else and it has a different address listed for the evidence center. What gives?!?Whats odd is both addresses are the same except the city and state has changed, but the fax# is the same. Im resubmitting my stuff to the new address also to be safe but I wonder what happens to stuff that vets may be sending to the old address?Also I never got a receipt from the post office saying it was received at the Newnan office!July 2015 letterEvidence intake centerPO Box 4444Newnan GA 30271-0020fax 844-5317818Oct 2016 letterEvidence intake centerPO Box 4444Janesville WI 53547-4444fax 844-5317818Seem shady to me!
  3. I tried to upload supporting documents to my NOD but can't seem to find the option. I only see where you can upload to a open claim or application. Am i missing something or is snail mail the only option?
  4. Copy that. I'm familiar with attigs opinion on the 21-4138 and plan on using sworn affidavits. Thanks again
  5. I'm in the process of finding my buddy now. Tough since he's not on social media. I can get a statement from my wife and parents regarding the MH stuff. My wife will definitely have a few things to add. I hope a statement from a spouse isn't too often disregarded by the VA. Another angle. Im still in regular contact with friends that I've flown on title 10 orders while in the guard. I've got copies of orders with the whole crews name on it, itinerary, flight crew authoritizion paperwork and mission objectives. I wonder if the VA gives any weight to a buddy letter regarding an incident that occurred during a period of only few weeks of AD? One example I feel comfortable putting on a forum. While on a 2 week mission (title 10) enroute to -------- Africa, we had to stop in a country on the Persian gulf to refuel and swap some cargo. On approach to ------ we had a left wing fire indication and blew all of our fire bottles with no effect. Our Aircraft commander freaked out and we landed so hard we blew out our nose landing gear shock strut. We had to leave our plane on the airport ramp for 5 days awaiting parts and equipment so I could fix the gear. Our plane MOG'd out (shut down) all air traffic for that time because we were to big to stay on the ramp, causing a traffic jam. We essentially shutdown their international airport. Days later a bus was sent to where we were staying to take us back to our jet. Our non English speaking driver was acting noticeably nervous. After about 4 of us boarded, he vanished. A few minutes later we heard a faint alarm clock sound somewhere in the bus. We evac'd and took cover. Nothing happened. We called for a military transport to get us out of there asap. Right before we were about to leave the mystery driver had been by found some hotel staff and brought out to us. He now spoke English and received the appropriate counseling from us. Then the hotel staff took him somewhere down the street. Considering this his incident happened to guardsman, but who were also in title 10 status, would a buddy letter referencing an incident like this mean anything to the VA? Or would we still be screwed because we're just weekend warriors on 2 weeks of orders? I guess what I'm asking is, can I make reference to things that happened on title 10 orders during my 10+ years in the guard? Or do I just have to forget about all that and stick with stuff that happened 11 years ago while I was still in the real military?
  6. I filed a DRO Review. No letters to family saying anything that I remember. I do know where a a buddy I was deployed with back on AD lives, maybe I can track him down. In your opinion, does my shrinks statement on my DBQ saying my "problems are at least as likely related to my military experience" prove any kind of nexus?
  7. Well the NOD was received by the VA on 1 July 2016. After waiting 11 months on my c-file to arrive I had to go for a hail mary with 2 weeks left before my deadline. I did the best I could with what I knew how to do. I didn't want to let the deadline be the end of my claim. I guess to clarify things and to not waste your time I should start with the chronological order of how all of this happened. Having been Active duty Air Force, USAP AGR, and a full time guard technician my military career has been all over the place. I was normal AD USAF 2000-2003. I then became a USAP (US Antarctic Program) AGR, which is title 10, with the NY air guard 2003-2005. Then in 2005 I joined the TN Air guard as Full time technician and guardsman at the same time. No break in service. January 2013 I was injured while in civilian status (leg injury). After 1 year of physical therapy with no improvement, i was told I was going to be medically disqualified and retired from the military. This also meant I would lose my federal job because it was contingent on military membership. With nothing to lose i decided to finally see some doctors for all the ailments I'd been hiding all these years to keep my security clearance and flight status. After an incident where I was supposed to go to walmart but ended up being gone for 3 hours, waking up at my physical therapists office and not being able to find my way home and calling my wife for help, my wife and best friend said I need help. The day I went to the shrink I felt defeated and embarrassed. I was so close to cashing in my SGLI for my wife and daughter. I saw the shrink for over a year before my retirement date. Back to your comment about SMR's. The only thing in my mil records (clinic or personnel office) that say anything about SA or mental condition, is the actual checklist my base sent to headquarters when they DQ'd me medically for my leg injury. I never spoke to anyone in our clinic about my issues. They (personnel office) just threw the SA and mental on top of the leg injury paperwork i guess to make the disqualification really stick. Regarding your comment, "active Duty DX (back in 14) of your Mood Disorder and any in service Treatment notes, were not available to the Rater. I trust you have copies of your supporting SMR's to supply as N & M Evidence, if not, that's a huge problem". Militarily i was just a traditional guardsman aka weekend warrior and there was nothing in my SMR's at the time. Only a checklist from our personnel office sent to headquarters saying i had a leg injury, mental problem and sleep apnea. Sounds like huge problem is where Im at. Regardless, thank you so much for your time and willingness to help, but Im pretty sure i botched this up to bad to fix.
  8. For your statement? Excuse the rookie question but I've never heard of someone submitting a statement for themselves. I would have guessed that a statement from the claimant would be disregarded since the VA would assume we're more likely to be biased or lie for our own benefit. I wouldn't even know how or what to write for myself.
  9. Attached is my denial letter and the DBQ filled out by my civilian psychiatrist. I never received a C&P from the VA. My understanding is the guardsmen 12 month presumptive period starts at the completion of 90+ consecutive days on AD orders. So that means in my case it would start on my last day of AD air force in 2005 since i didn't pull any Title 10 orders over 90 days while in the guard. That was really was my question when starting this thread. My mood disorder DX was approx March 2014. I retired from full time guard in May 2015. Everything I have sent a claim for was DX'd before my retirement date, and the claim was also submitted before i retired. I initially thought the mental DBQ plus 12+ months of records and notes on my 36+ counseling sessions were good enough but I was wrong. Mental DBQ redacted.pdf VA Decision letter redacted.pdf
  10. In the process of getting some buddy letters together and in the process, i ran across two conflicting opinions from two well known VA lawyer firms.Chris Attig says he hates the 21-4138 and that he always uses a sworn affidavit with the ending phrase "under penalty of perjury...". He says it carries more weight and stands out more to a rater that may be used to disregarding 21-4138's due to their frequent misuse.However Hill and Ponton say to use a 21-4138 instead of a sworn affidavit.Both these firms have came up quite often during my research so I am inclined to give them both equal merit. I can see Attig's point of view but i know that the VA can be fickle. I pretty much screwed my first attempt at filing a VA claim and NOD so im trying get my facts straight before i submit my new FDC.
  11. Thanks. Still trying to understand what they mean by "Qualifying undiagnosed illnesses". How do you file for anything without a DX to put on your paperwork? And if you do receive a diagnosis, say IBS, does that kill your claim? Maybe my coffee hasn't started working yet but the whole you can claim something thats undiagnosed is not computing.
  12. When does the presumptive period after separation begin for a guardsman? My understanding is it's 12 months for AD troops but I'm not sure if the same rule applies for Title 32 members. I was AD USAF from 2000-2005 then with no break in service I became a full time technician for the air guard until i was medically retired in May 2015. Does the "presumptive" clock start on my retirement date, my last day of active duty air force, or my last day performing active duty days with the guard? I performed the same duties and flew the same missions I did when I was AD USAF.
  13. The clinic on base used SA, mood disorder and a leg injury as the justifications for my early medical retirement. I was ultimately disqualified from service due my leg injury and retired at 15 yrs. Ill have to go through my med records again and see if any of that actually made it in there. I did not include any buddy letters. As far as new evidence, re submitted some evidence they didn't mention in the denial. I'll have to review my NOD when i get home to give you a clearer answer on what evidence i resubmitted. My SA and mood disorder were diagnosed while i was still in uniform. Actually over a year before i retired. I was seeing a psychiatrist every 2-3 weeks for a over a year leading up to my separation. As far as the 12 month presumptive period, I was AD USAF 2000-2005 then a full time technician 2005-2015 (no break in service) in the air guard until May 2015. My SA and mood disorder were diagnosed around Jan 2014. Would the 12 month presumptive period start on my retirement date (may 2015) or from the end of my AD tour in 2005?
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