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About Hooah1002

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. I don't know how squared away I am, I feel like I'm floundering lol I'm filing directly at our VA claims office here, will turn in the packet this week. I've been trying to dig up whatever records I can find to turn in with the packet. Which leads to another question, is there any way to pull basic training medical records? I was injured in basic, still managed to get through it, but wondering if they documented it so I can prove it's service related. I have a copy of the original profile I was on (can't believe I still have that after 18 years), not sure if that will be enough to show that's where it started. This whole process is maddening.
  2. The VA did an MRI in January of neck and lower back, found out I have a bulging disk in my neck, impinging on foramina (?) space, have some radiating pain into left shoulder because of that. So for VA, I will claim: - Tinnitus with mild hearing loss (can pass standard hearing test, but great difficulty hearing when there is background noise, haven't had SPRINT test) - Cervical degeneration - Degenerative disk disease (mid and lower back) - Sacroiliac joint disorder - Patellofemoral disorder, secondary to grade 3 arthritis in knees - PTSD - Chronic pain/fibromyalgia - Degenerative scoliosis (mild curvature in upper and lower back, can probably prove that didn't exist prior to service, but may still not be considered service connected) Arthritis will probably be service aggravated vs. service connected, even though I'm only 45. I didn't even know I had arthritis until I fell first part of last year and tore the meniscus in my right knee (not service connected on that, happened at home)....but knee pain has been constant since surgery. Fortunately, outside of the knee surgery, I've had most everything handled at the VA, so hopefully will make the process smoother. It's the military that's making everything difficult, that's why I decided to go ahead and file with the VA to get a head start.
  3. At the FFD board, they told me they would only consider those conditions affecting my ability to serve (neck, upper/lower back, and knees). And since I didn't have LODs for anything (my bad for never going to sick call), then they referred me to the PEB vs. MEB. When I talked to the VA, he made a comment about conditions being linked to Active Duty, but he may have also been referring to the PEB/MEB (he was a bit confusing). Nothing was preexisting to my entering the service, but don't know how I can prove that. I will pull all of my military and civilian records, will at least fight them on the neck/back/knees...for the VA, can include hearing loss/tinnitus, PTSD, and a list of other things. It's just been frustrating because I feel like I'm in the dark (moreso on the military side than the VA side).....I'm glad for this forum and others, getting advice and insight from others who have been through this process. Thanks for the advice!
  4. I went through a Fit For Duty evaluation in the National Guard last month, referred to PEB, still waiting on unit to submit packet. Decided to start VA claim for percentage since the PEB ...process will be drawn out. Talked to the local VA claims office today, they are telling me anything I claim has to be linked to active duty service....I'm thinking that not exactly true. If the illness/injury is related to military service, regardless of status, it should be compensable (we can receive LODs on drill status). I have 4-5 years of active duty, including deployment. Can someone give me the straight story?
  5. I would like to at least get my 20 years, but the issue is being complicated by my units deployment this year. I was slotted to go until I had the fall last year and it aggravated the issues with my back. Hasn't helped that the knee surgery last year didn't completely fix me. I've deployed before to Iraq, this deployment is a support mission and non-combat, so wasn't an issue til my body served me a big 'ol cup of "nope" last year. I've been to the VA and numerous docs trying to get things resolved, only to find that some of my issues are not truly fixable (i didn't realize my back and neck were so bad until the x-rays and mri). Unit is hell-bent on me going, but I don't know how they think I can make it through MOB training when I can't even stand for 10-15 minutes without a load, much less body armor and gear, which the VA doc gave me a NO-GO on. So I'm expecting the board to go one of two ways - either they'll try to "clear" me to MOB, or they'll put me out because they're pissed that I can't. My frustration level is super-high right now waiting to see what will happen. This is not exactly the way I foresaw my career ending, broken and being given the side-eye like I'm trying to get out of something. But I also know that I can't go in my current condition, because I will end up being a burden to my fellow Soldiers and I hurt too much to "tough it out" anymore. If I could find a magic pill that would cure me and make me fit, I would strap on my boots and go.
  6. Hey everyone, thanks for the advice and conversation, it definitely helps. I'll probably go by the VA Friday and talk to the VA reps there (Berta, they may have a PEBLO there....we've got a pretty good claims office here). I will have 18 years in June, and will probably be at least 30% (if the Army doesn't try to lowball), so talking to the VA now will be a good move. I wanted to do at least 20 years, maybe a few more, but at this point I'm about done. I met with a VA specialist today, their going to do injections in my SI joint in a couple of weeks, then move on to the neck....reevaluation on the knee next week, whoopee. Thanks again for the advice, and thank you all for your service.
  7. Hi everyone - new to the board, have been searching for a place to share info and advice with other vets. I recently submitted a Fitness for Duty packet in the National Guard, per the request of MEDCOM since I've been on a profile going on a year. I'd been diagnosed with DDD (Degenerative Disk Disorder) in my mid-back, degeneration in my neck and slightly bulging disk (with nerve impingement), as well as lower back L5-S1, and Sacroiliac Joint Disorder. I injured my knee last year and had one surgery, may be facing another. I have chronic pain, some days better than others. The VA doc has updated my forms and said no APFT other than 2 1/2 mile walk, permanent, and marked no on most of the Soldier tasks on the PR form. They are also looking at doing cortisone injections in my neck and SI joint; may have to have another knee surgery as well. Oh yeah, and just found out my thyroid is failing, like I need anything else. Question is, even though I'll be going through a med board soon, should I go ahead and start initiating my claim with the VA? I've been hearing horror stories from vets about how they underrate you on med boards, claiming that things were pre-existing (which they weren't). I've been told that they've tried to align the military and VA systems to mitigate that, but I don't have a lot of faith in that lol
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