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Found 4 results

  1. Hello fellow veterans. I had an experience over years- each Spring, feel a lot better after the much worse Winter. A chronic, physical, neurological, pain condition means the normal forces of life get multiplied or muted. This year, worst Winter, but Spring brought a good day- so I went out, Motrin augmented, and used tractor to fix dirt road that was like a moonscape of potholes. People came out along the stretch. Some angered, some wondering, some wanting to talk, and one person offered 600 for gravel in front of their place. While placing the gravel (showing where to dump it) someone else wanted gravel next door on the road- I saw to it. Soon, 10,000 dollars of gravel spread over a mile- and all I had to do was show people the gravel was appropriate for their investment, the results were obvious. So, eventually, over a month passed, 60 truckloads (30 trips) and the road was done. Some complained, others angry, others reassuring, others with critical useful information (how to make the road). I went home when someone took a tractor and dug up the gravel in a sort of angry move. When I went home, wondered how I worked for a month plus past the much worse pain, pain from Motrin harming kidneys, yet when I got home, was unwilling to do laundry, clean house, vacuum, Spring cleaning... I thought hard. The answer? The Placebo Effect. No, I took no sugar pills- but when one goes to be tested with a sugar pill it is always a PERSON saying the pill helped. A PERSON that one meets up with to see the results.. It is the PERSON not the PILL that makes a significant percentage feel their symptoms improve temporarily. So, I realized, this year the Spring improvement was augmented by leaving the home- Nature always guides with discomfort if doing the wrong thing, pleasure if doing the right thing- moving back towards being near others- mean, angry, helpful, reassuring, no matter- just be near the (if you will) herd. Disability isolates, insulates, makes one away from others, more so with time. I avoid getting help from family- over decades it just hurts em to see it. I avoid the VA because they very, very, often do more harm than good if not extremely vigilant. Disability alters sleep-wake time. It makes people get introverted. It makes ordinary pleasures- eating at a restaurant- unpleasant. Makes having a mate problematic (in a few senses). But aside from all this, merely being NEAR OTHERS in a physical, not just online way (I am pretty much a spider on the web, dispensing solutions wherever inspired, since the days of Compuserve, Netscape, and Prodigy). I can explain how this probably works. In each persons gut (mouth to tail) there are microbes, bacteria like, much or most of your body weight is not you. This means much of what makes a human operate or inoperable is the microbes NOT suffering from your disability- but from isolation from OTHER HUMANS and their microbiome. Just being near a person (not necessarily that close!) means your microbiome matches up with other peoples- and a silent equalizing happens. This explains why pain is so depressing, why depression is so isolating, and why isolating is so pandemic to the disabled. This explains how the Placebo Effect works. This explains why young people join terrorist groups- and how to fix it- get a non terror group for them to join. This explains in part why people laugh more, louder, at jokes if in a room of people This explains how people suspend disbelief much more in a theater than alone watching a show Altogether, a solution offered for those in misery and won't even let that word (and others) pop to the surface of their awareness is to just get near other people. Try this... Go to a grocery store or similar venue. Walk slow, be fairly dressed, not unkempt. Shop. When you see someone with another person, just walk up real discreet and comment on their purchase. See how they light up? Do it again. And again. Maybe crack a joke. Now, go to the checkstand. Pay for what you bought. When the checker (forced) says ...would you like to donate your money or change to ... you say ...Nah, I am trying to quit... or tell them another joke (Do these GMO free eggs come with free HBO?) When you leave, look how you feel- do you feel better mentally despite the possible pain from ambulating about? Seems plain we vets should try to meet up with other, very near, vets for a bite to eat, a pizza party, a regularly recurring thing. Something like a 12 step group without the ...stuff that has creeped into that movement over decades... Maybe call it a Half Step movement? At Ease? Ah. Not good at naming things. Let me know if this resonates with you. Try to please Nature by getting near others even if you usually wait to feel better to get out- instead, feel better by meeting up, even hold a meet at your place if practical. Hot dogs and a loaf of bread and ketchup probably is enough. Consider the reward from being selfless. If you want a smile, see this video and if you identify with its meme about pain and being trapped. Notice the hero is not alone. Spidey
  2. I am wondering what the proper procedure is for revoking my vso's poa and representing my claim myself. I contacted my regional VA office in reference to the matter and they informed me that I needed to fill out a form 21-22 and fax it in to the office. I noticed that form 21-22 is the power of attorney form for adding a vso which I do not want to do. I looked at the form 21-22a (for adding an individual) but think it would be silly to fill out a form to give poa to myself. I really don't want the VSO that I am currently involved with to have access to my records. I understand from doing a few searches on this subject that it may be a difficult procedure, but I did not see anywhere that actually stated a procedure to accomplish this. Thanks for any help in the matter.
  3. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING GET A COPY OF BOTH YOUR C-FILE AND YOUR SMR. THEN, ASK YOURSELF A QUESTION, ANY PROOF IT HAPPEND IN SERVICE? ANY PROOF IT HAPPEND AFTER SERVICE BECAUSE OF SOMTHING? THATS IT FOLKS.. FROM THERE IF YOU GET A DENIAL THEN IMMEDIATE APPLEAL FORM 9. DO NOT GO FOR A DRO DO NOT GO FOR ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE AS LONG AS THE FILE IS IN APPEAL WITH THE FORM 9 THEN YOU HAVE A DOCKET #..... ITS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.... THOUGH I WILL WARN YOU DEVELOP THE APPEAL IN THE RIGHT MANNER AS YOU GO. IF ITS WRONG THAN WITHDRAW BUT IF CORRECT THAN BRING IT BECAUSE IT CREATES MORE PRECEDENCE FOR OTHER APPEALS AND YOURS.. DO NOT !!!!! ASK A VSO TO DO ANY THING... ALL THEY WILL TELL YOU TO DO IS PROLONG THEY STATE AND CONFUSE YOU. ITS FINE TO GET A VSO AFTER YOU FILED THE FORM 9 BUT IMTELLING YOU TO FILE AS SOON AS YOU GET A DENIAL. FILE A FORM 9 OUT OF THE GATE SO THAT YOU ARE ON TRACK. THOSE THAT TELL YOU THAT YOU NEED TO WAIT FOR A SOC OR A SSOC ARE VERY WRONG. YOU CAN FILE TO GET A DOCKET NUMBER THAN KEEP TRACK OF YOUR APPEAL THROUGH THE 1800 NUMBER OR KEEP SENDING IN MAIL TO THE BVA THAT ASKS FOR AN APPEAL.. THIS IS FINE BY LAW AND A LOT OF OLDER VETERANS DONT WANT THIS TO BE TRUE. JUST PLEASE STOP USING THE VSO'S ALL THEY DO IS CREATE CHAOS WITH THE TIME FRAME OF APPEALS. IF YOU DONT BELEIVE ME GO FOR IT. YOUR THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL LOSE. IM HERE TO HELP. MESSAGE ME ANY TIME.
  4. Here to Give and Get support. NOT HERE TO JUDGE. Blessings to all and, thanks for your service... be it Honorable, General, OTH like mine, or punitive. I am not God. There are people I've seen receive Honorables that could've been punitive, just as there are those that have been punitive which could have been Honorable. So, who am I to judge my brothers and sisters? I learned not to judge others because under different circumstances, had I been in there shoes, I'd have probably been the same way they are. :::THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ALLOWING ME TO VENT::: The instant we choose to see the good in one another, we can't help but feel the good that lives inside everyone of us. Not everyone is out to sabotage you but if that is the way you live because of PTSD, you could create that life and make it a reality. Without even realizing I had PTSD, I allowed this thing to break me into tiny little angry pieces. I'm taking my life back one day at a time. Some days are better than others. Don't be afraid to seek help. You're not a bad person. Even if you think you are because you've been labeled for so long, you're so much better than the world will ever realize. Life has it's way of molding us into the people we needed to become. A weakness becomes a strength once it's recognized. Furthermore none of us really need to worry about the labels and the tags associated with how people opt to view us. We ARE Vets. Like it or not, and we could've saved the life of the person that got out honorably just like that person could've diend saving our lives - so who are WE to judge or prejudge one another without knowing or accepting the hidden truths? We are who we are. We were good enough to go out with the best and we are no different because of the things that have crippled the way we once were when we were whole. I know from experience, It helps to admit you do have a problem. A closed mouth can starve and physical signs are usually an indicator that its been going on for a while. Admitting it isn't accepting that you are dysfunctional. Admitting it is - allowing yourself to embrace your strength that is needed to let go of your fight to make it out on your own, and receive the help that you may or may not realize has been there for you to receive the entire time you've been battling your scars, war wounds, and mental anguish. I tried it and I'm doing a little better day by day. I have something to live for and he's my greatest inspiration. I can not continue failing now that he's here. It's time to step up and speak out. What's right is right. Long gone are the days that anyone has to simply accept a scar that was placed on you. Most scars only show the accident. What we don't focus is the incident that lead up to the accident. PTSD is real. I know it. It took me 13 years to accept that I was...just not as free as everyone else around me. Always knew that I was a walking time bomb. Just felt like I did an AWESOME job of hiding it,. The reserved feeling that pulls you in a maze of emotions and everything that comes with it. The way I escaped it is I learned how to cope through writing. Writing became a past time of mine and it helped me to take my mind away from my hardships in life while I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had a lot of pent up anger and things that I suffered from internally. I was at the height of my career, getting kicked out of the Army while at the pinnacle, as I was just about to make it on the list to head out to PLDC! Along with that, I was suffering from something I couldn't discuss as a man and for the safety of my own freedom. People made fun of me when I broke out in Herpes and that triggered me like a lion protecting her cubs. It also hurt like hell to think back on why I was breaking out in Herpes. Once I was done, I had something to look back at and as the days went by, I began to see progress. There's a huge gap in this story that includes me sitting in a maximum security detention center for 3 years...THEN being released - WITHOUT A FREAKING CONVICTION. I was released for one year, and able to start rebuilding my life as a civilian under one condition: I had to plead guilty and they'd release me and guarantee that as long as I was going to forget about going to trial, they'd forget about the minimum mandatory sentence of 45 YEARAS - which seems pretty serious...until you read the evidence that was reveled about their little operation against soldiers in uniform in this document that was conveniently released 4 years after I was already separated from the ARMY with an OTH discharge. It is what is. In life, you just have to keep your faith and thank God for those that don't have to carry the burden you bare because the horse was built for the burden. That's my way of coping. I motivate myself. I fall short when I'm triggered and the symptoms and reminders set me off. But, hey, what can I do besides keep on pressing on? Once you accept that you are responsible - no matter how much foul play involved - you have to start healing and living. No, I'm not the perfect picture of health. But you know what? Yes it was a tragedy, but for some people, that became something positive. For me, it's just a scar that I take pride in. This is my life story. How else can I get over it other than owning it and confronting it? What I began doing is writing. Since we came up in an era where music was a heavy influence, I tapped into my inner writer. What I revealed was a way to see myself, hear myself, feel myself, reach myself, teach myself, embrace myself and continuously develop myself. One of the most challenging things for me was having to reinvent myself. I took some hard hits during the time I served in the Army. I served proudly then and would do it again today knowing what I didn't know back then. Memory Lane walk Disclaimer: I was the front runner in the unit. I was the GUY the first sergeant joked around with because he knew he could, and the younger soldiers would look at that and attempt to match and exceed my dedication to soldiering. In a Garrison unit, an Infantry First Sergeant is your biggest nightmare -IF you aren't who you say you are. They can smell it and they can feel it. That's what I loved about the combat MOS's. Those guys saw life for what it was and made it simple. The more simple, the faster the day went. First Sergeant and I were always good because he was an infantry guy, with a cocked eye who people couldn't tell if he was either looking at them or others. So, when you were in formation and he pointed at you, but looked at someone else, both people stepped forward. My MOS was 75B, the Garrison S1 or Personnel Admin Specialist. However, I was pretty durable, athletic and mentally tough so I was always competing and representing the unit is some capacity. At first the attention bothered me, but after a while, I began to see the way I was impacting other soldiers arriving to the unit. They wanted to be like me. That's what I felt when I met my initial NCO. The guy was the truth! Moving up the ranks was nothing for me. All I did was study soldiering, come home to my now ex-wife and play around with our dogs and work on my 1971 Chevrolet. We'd go out of town on the weekends to Tucson and Phoenix from time to time. It was great being young and away from home - with my 5th grade sweetheart by my side at the age of 19, The Company Commander was awesome as well. She was kind of weird at first, but, once she learned that I was competent, she started to crack jokes on me just like First Sergeant. It was a blessing. My NCO, I would say his name, the guy was one of the greatest blessings I've ever had in my life. I'll say his name anyways: SGT Brandon Broadbent. He made his goal my goal by leading by example. As long as he saw himself through his soldiers, he never let us down. I trusted him and he learned he could trust me. Some of the greatest education, bonds, and levels of appreciation came about from my initial NCO. In fact, our NCOIC was a real 5 letter word when she wanted to be. Eventually she and I somehow became "relaxed" to a degree if you will - after she left for ANCOC. Being a young kid in the Army isn't a challenge, it's a dream come true when you have the right leadership. The nightmare comes from the people that aim to destroy others by use and abuse of their authority. I believe they do it to others because at some point in their lives, it was done to them. So, since that demon is still riding them, they ride others. My NCO who replaced my initial NCO brought a lot of ill will and lasting scars when she came to my replace SGT Broadbent. One bad NCO could make a world of difference. One good NCO got me to where I was able to excel rapidly - promotions, winning soldier of the month and quarter competitions, volunteering for extra tasks like QRF - which are only voluntary until others refused to volunteer. I was picked once, then I volunteered every time afterwards. You'd be surprised. I had a group of soldiers that were right there re-upping for QRF just because we had grown accustom to doing it. It was just a part of the Job. Staying in shape and motivating others to stay in shape helped me to realize that people do respect you by the way you appear to them. I learned a lot as a young man in uniform. I've also been under a lot of unimaginable grief due to a verbally and physically abusive NCO. My story is one that I'm seeing more and more people speak about. It's not something that you want to talk about, right? On the other hand, you get to a point in life where you look around you and you begin to wander quietly: "what the heck is wrong with everyone else? Why cant they see that life is too serious and there are just some things that are inexcusable? What makes this person feel that they have more authority over me than they even have over themselves? What is this person doing trying to get close to me? What's their game? What kind of a setup is this? What is this persons motive and how can I avoid being trapped?" How I became this way I got like this after avoiding my issues for over a decade after being administratively separated from active duty. You have no clue how it feels to fall until you've fallen from a climb that you didn't realize was so high to others around you who would rather see you in their shadows and in fear of them due to their rank and position. Envy, Jealousy, Hatred these are all real words attached to real people and they can cause a lot of pain when acted out on. As A Civilian: Sweeping things under the rug. Living under the radar. Accepting less. Feeling inferior. Being afraid to let people know who I was in the Army and how much love and appreciation I received. Why? Because of an OTH discharge. And why did I get an OTH? Because I acted out of rage, anger, disgust and wide range of things I was feeling at the time I was collapsing and having a meltdown while at the top of my short career. What led me to misconduct? The issues of being sexually assaulted as a man - by a female - and not knowing how to regroup. Am I homosexual? No, and I don't have anything against homosexuals or any other people. From what I've been through, I cant even see where it's relevant to hate or prejudge anyone based on anything besides their contributions to society and their personal credibility. MST is real. It's not something that I felt would choke me up and cause me these hiccups in life the way it does. It's a real precursor to PTSD as well. Together, they become a really negative trip that can take you out of your element for quite a very long time. When you think you've got it under control after finishing a workout, or writing your emotions down and making plans to seize and conquer the day, before you know it, BAMM!... Blindsided by flashbacks, blindsided by panic, blindsided by anger issues, anxiety attacks - you name it, it happens and when it happens, From my experience, Only God and Love can bring you to a place of peace because the evil that has to be overcome first has to be understood. Once it's understood, then it's possible to over stand - and that's not pretty word play, it's the truth to anyone who knows it. THANK GOD FOR HADIT and the community that shares the road to recovery - not only with the VA, but also with yourself. THE MIAMI PCT clinic for PTSD is about to accept me. I've had conversation with some of the vets in the program and they all tell me its a major relief. One day you have a head full of steam...you're tracking and doing everything you need to keep your feet above the clouds. Then, you come face to face with someone, something, some place that triggers you and all of a sudden_____________________________________ you flat line. Drugs, Depression, Arguing with coworkers, Getting fired because of your temper or outrage, walking off the job because you break out with Herpes Cold Sores and Genital Warts, or you feel the break out coming on so you have to request a few days off to go deal with your issues, Alcohol dependency and the binges you turn to in order to offset and emancipate yourself from the mental slavery of Anger, Lack of motivation, Isolation, Suicidal tendencies / ideation, Avoidance, Lacking the will to do the things you really enjoy doing... they all creep in like a breeze on a hot day, then freeze you dead in your tracks, like a deer stuck in the headlights of an 18 wheeler 2 feet from its face, moving at 250 miles an hour. IT JUST SMACKS THE LIVING CRAP OUTTA YA with no remorse - and the outcome can become worse every time, IF you don't realize that you have a problem and seek treatment. The VA will see you even with an OTH for mental health. Don't worry about the rest, just stay on HADIT and you'll find out how to present the evidence you need to have your case heard. If you're like me, You'll want to send in your evidence and document every piece of evidence on your DD Form 293 and even a copy to the BCMR on DD from 149. I'm still homeless at the time due to the issues I battle with so, sending proof that you either are living in a homeless shelter and or are experiencing - what the VA calls - Financial Hardship, should assist you in getting an Expedited claim. Again, ask questions on hadit forums because that's the only way to know what you're doing. The VSO's don't really look at OTH vets the same as they do our brothers and sisters. In fact, not all, but some are just as prejudice as they come - and will tell you that they have sent in your docs - but in actuality, they'll judge you and attempt to play the role of the Review Boards. The entire time you're sitting around wanting for mail or checking ebenefits, your claim or upgrade forms may have never even made it to a fax machine before getting intercepted at the shredder. Sounds ridiculous but, brothers and sisters, you're looking into the life of a highly motivated veteran who has reinvented himself countless times occupationally. Here's some insight on how much of a threat national security and to society I really am: I've been a Customer Service Rep at AAA from 2006 to 2007 I've been a Certified Personal Fitness Instructor / Trainer starting at LA Fitness and moving up into high-end Private gyms from 2007 to 2008 I've been a Relationship Manager for a Merchant Services provider which was a job from a client I trained who was also an Army veteran. This was from 2008 to 2009. I've been a Customer Service Rep at a call Center in Miami when my fellow veteran who got me the Relationship Manager job from 2008 to 2009 screwed me, by not being honest with his investors about the capital that he was responsible for bringing to the table - but that's another story. Not the greatest outcome, but one hell of a distraction called work, which helped me escape my own pains while gaining valuable experience that a "convicted felon" that the United States Attorney label a "threat to national security", but later smiled in my face and thanked me for "changing my life" and for "accepting the worst possible plea bargain for a crime you could've won at trial" if I had been examined for a mental illness a long time ago...God bless her. She's was only being her job title when she labeled me - not a person who cares about the reality of the defendants truth until the facts come out and the defendant has helped her conviction rate by accepting a plea bargain and saving the government money from spending at trial, because trial is very costly...especially when they don't have a real case and the evidence that they have is only in the indictment. The facts were released in the Presentence memorandum and that is where I was able to find the other 50% of the facts for my case for my discharge upgrade - which I am still working on for a third time. The difference this time is, I have exactly what the VA was asking me to prove to them in the letter that they sent while I was still being held in pretrial detention for 3 years! While working at the call center, I also worked as a call center agent. I've been a Help Desk technician with a fortune 500 company from 2009 for a few months. I've even been employed in the Information Technology field as an Electric Data Interchange Administrator for a well-known carrier that brokers airtime and sells phones products out of popular stores in the county and has tons of contracts with government subsidy programs like Safelink, Net 10, PagePlus, etc from 2009 until 2014 where I worked the graveyard shift to avoid working with people that triggered my PTSD. Didn't even realize that I was being triggered until I started to pay attention to the way it was only certain things that threw me off, certain people that I couldn't come to grips with - no matter how much prayer and meditation I tired. Ultimately I just walked off the job one day. I was overwhelmed, people kept on with the triggers and before I know it, I just walked out and never came back. In 2011 I was completely off of federal probation so I planned to get my real estate license. With no college education due to the bar from GI BIll benefits, you have to keep moving in life just as if you were a Harvard grad that came from a Blue collar family. You have to be your military self again, your true mission-first self. If not, you will fall victim to your PTSD and when that happens, its only a matter of time before you crash and burn. Find your strength. Get support somehow. It helped me to function as a civilian and remain above the mental slavery that PTSD loves to hold over you. I sold a few houses but nothing to make a TV show about. It's good therapy because it helps me interact with people who are trusting me to take care of them, and in doing so, I avoid my own issues and focus on other peoples issues because as a professional, they come to me for solutions and answers. I'm currently licensed and the issues that I stumble with is coping with issues from the past when they creep back in. And as you can clearly see from my work history and possibly from your own lives, they ALWAYS seem to find away back in. Triggers. Ultimately, I find a way to force them right back out. Takes time, but if I can get in the gym, if I can get back out of the bed, if I can think about the body of work that I put in while in uniform in that short amount of time, there is where I can find myself writing down a list of things to do and then giving myself the slot of times in hours (as time management) I'm usually able to keep myself so busty that I'm locked in to accomplishing my goals for that day on time and in time. That's a great thing I do for me that helps me cope because it tends to keep me busy and productive, thinking about the future and not the past or the negative parts of my incredible and flawless military career - it was my career, I own it and I lived it as best as I could in the capacity that I served. Only problem is, that issue is still killing me because the way I learned to cope with PTSD from MST on my own for over 13 years was to avoid it, and keep it inside. Avoidance Does Not Work All The Time Well, people can tell. They have a way of letting you know that you're just a little...too militant. My psychiatrist actually wrote down that she described my demeanor as "guarded". So, you see, you honestly cant hide it. The more you suppress it, the more it oppresses you. What You CAN do is fool yourself and power through it. But that only hurts more and more down the line too. Fooling yourself isn't really a good proactive though. It only gets worse over time. Flashbacks get stronger because you live a life of trying to numb yourself to the fact that you suffer from anxiety, and all kinds of other issues, in my case, I have random herpes outbreaks that cant be cured that can end a decent streak of PTSD free weeks. Count Your Blessings I'm blessed to be alive and able to write and talk about it like this. I'm just in a blessed position to still be alive. Homelessness isn't what hurts me. Yeah, it sucks beyond belief. But if you can sleep outside for 40 days in the field, then you know how to adjust to being homeless. Yes, With the right people in your corner, the right understanding, the ability to forgive those that have attacked you or the things that have hindered you from being the best that you could've been in and out of uniform and have learned to build on a new canvas (accepting that this canvas is going to have to learn to make the paint (scars and coping with the scars) dry quicker than the regular canvases. You can do it. I'm doing it and its no lollipop tooth fairy ride. It's a roller coaster that you can control. It's all possible - no matter how hopeless you feel you are AT THOSE TEMPORARY moments of chaos. Healing happens. It's real. Focus on your faith and be positive as possible. Find 4 things that went good for you before you go to sleep or attempt to... That will force your mind into a different wave of thought. My Discharge Upgrade attempts and the Denials: There have been 3 attempts to get my discharge upgraded. I've been denied 3 times tried to get my discharge upgraded and got denied. Thought all I had to do was ask them for the upgrade and they'd upgrade it like I was told they'd do after 6 months...it worked for some, just not for me. FAILED THE FIRST TIME: The first denial came about because in all truths, I was still on a pretrial release and the Army Review Boards responded to me via post mail, a year or so later, 3 months after I had been placed back into pretrial detention and held in detention for 3 years - and released without being convicted of committing a single thing. That was not and is not and never will be normal protocol when criminal justice is involved. It's just not. The entire thing was poorly executed, poorly managed and to protect their acts on soldiers, as it is documented in my legal briefings that were released 4 years after my discharge was rendered and frowned upon. But whatever. The psychiatrist and therapist say that this was a byproduct of my PTSD. I believe it. I also believe that if they had never created wicked schemes to attack troubled soldiers or others in certain circumstances, these things would not have happened...period. But, you have to accept responsibility for your actions and I do. The truth speaks for the innocent. I thank GOD for being able to find my evidence...every single piece of it. It's the kind of acceptance that still leaves a bitter taste in your mouth knowing you were targeted while you were suffering from what is now looked at as a mental illness due to the fact that I'm constantly going through it and it can seem like it's nonstop - because it is nonstop., It's just about how we handle our adversities. Crazy... But God makes no mistakes and there was a purpose behind everything I went through and have been conquering through the will of the center of my faith. I learned to separate the sin from the sinner and I still go in and out as you can see as I write. Nonetheless, I can do all things through the higher power that strengthens me. I call the higher power GOD, some say Jesus, some say Allah, some say Buddha, etc. I am just grateful to know the higher power that has brought me through this far. FAILED THE SECOND TIME: I Submitted a request to the VA in 2006 and the VA denied me based on what they said was based off of the documents in my 201 file. I also got denied by the review board. I pulled up the case proceeding and found out what it was they denied me for at the Review Boards. They needed to see evidence. They don't care so much about the accomplishments I've made since I've been discharged, released from confinement, completed the mandatory probation period required by the plea agreement I signed after sitting and waiting for the prosecution to PROVE their case against me to a SANE and INTELLIGENT jury of my peers. There was no way they would have won in trial and I wanted to go to trial. Thinking about the future, after you've sat in a maximum security detention center for 3 years and the minimum sentence is a mandatory 45 years - and you're not even 21 at the time the indictment was written - you tend to think about the WHAT IFS (what if I don't get a jury that will see me for who I am, what if the prosecution can make my public defender look like a toddler, what if this and what if that). It's not that I didn't want to fight. I did. But more importantly, I wanted to walk out of that place with all of my teeth and all of my health - and I did just that without doing anything less than honorable to my family, myself, and my peers. Well, clearly that is understandable If I were them, I'd probably have denied me as well. Especially since I was not able to respond for the three years while I sat in confinement and couldn't address ANYTHING related to my military service. Do I wish I would have fought? YES. Everyday. But I've learned that digging up old scars tends to bleed new blood from the same old spot. Enough is enough, I'm working on the Third TIME: This time I have all of the evidence and I have all of the statements, even have all of the forms for a disability claim that the VSO told me to file with my upgrade in order to get Service-Connected. This was new. Service -Connected? What in the world is that?? Well, after I learned, I felt stupid for not being able to follow up until now and, I also understand why they kept on denying me. HADIT showed me how to compile the packet ad submit the forms, evidence, lab work, statements, PTSD treatment records from the private psychiatrist the DBQ needed for the claim signed by my psychiatrist, and the medical Nexus written by the mental health doctor I've been seen by since the end of last year after my biggest mental breakdown, behind the day I walked away from my last job in August of 2014. The VSO has proof of my homelessness and they tell me this should expedite my claim. That's all good news, but I want my discharge upgraded because without that, I have no eligibility aside from the treatment I'm receiving for PTSD at the VA as of today. It's so weird. Back in 2002, they turned me away and spit in my face, so to speak. Now, in November of 2014 when my veteran uncle encouraged me to go and get the help that the VA is offering, the entire demeanor is completely different. Now, they treatment like what I haven't been being treated like since the day my misconduct came to the light - a Veteran of the US Army. They took my blood and did all kinds of test to confirm that I was infected. It was so different. Had they been this way back in 2002, chances are I'd have been in a lot better shape. Needless to say, you don't question why now? You say thanks to the almighty and give praise for the truth prevailing after years of suffering in a painful silence. What I told myself I HAVE TO DO TO COPE WITH REAITY You have to learn. You have to get into a routine. You have to learn to cope. You have to learn yourself all over again. You have to accept that you are not what has happened to you. You have to recall your greatness, reunite with it, and stand in it - even if you only have yourself to look to for inspiration! You have to accept that you are much more than a discharge, much more than what has happened to you, and far much more than what people said you were before the truth came out - even if no one ever knows your truth, you still have to live your life as a whole and free person with no restrictions aside from the mental road blocks that cloud your ability to remain sane, calm and coherent. In my case, I had the blessings of people that came looking for me for all of the years that I was missing - in confinement. They found me on social media and we all have been keeping in touch, keeping one another focused and encouraged. That was a major blessing because two of the vets who picked me up the night my second NCO assaulted me were not only able to write a character and witness statement, they had no issues with giving me a copy of their DD214's to submit with their statements. YOUR CREDIBILITY CAN NEVER BE DESTROYED BY THE PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES WERE ENRICHED BY YOUR SERVICE. I was and still am honored that these brothers trusted me with their documents after all of this time. It made me understand that hey, YOU ARE A VETERAN. YOUR SERVIVE IS NOT INVAIN. YOU HAVE A STORY THAT HAS BEEN HIDDEN FROM THE WORLD TO PROTECT OTHERS AND IT"S TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT IS DESTROYING YOUR ABILITY TO FUNCTION IN LIFE. You have to keep your measure of success gauged by how long will the actions you take today, keep your feet above the clouds for the rest of your foreseeable future. You have to reverse the poison in your mind buy retraining your mind. I used self help books and still have issues. BUT...I'll take the issues that I have now, due to the ability to better control and manage my episodes and triggers. Do I always win? NO. But do I give up...Impossible. I can recall creating a daily program for myself to operate by. I added to it and tweaked it once I came back to society from confinement: 0. Prepare my Work and Gym Clothes for the week on Sunday 1. Wake up an hour earlier than the doors are opened or before I have to go to work 2. Before getting out of bed meditating for at least 30 minutes. 3. Eat 1/2 breakfast. 4. Workout 5. Eat other half of breakfast. 6. Take a Warm the Really Cold Shower, Shave, Get Dressed for work. 7. Drive to work, Eat Light & Study during lunch 8. Clock in, Work, then clock out for the day. 9. Meet up with homebuyers and sellers immediately after work until the latest possible time. 10. Go back to the gym to work on Strength and detox from any little issues that got to me during the day - it really helps to get the negativity off and out of you. 11. Go Home, Shower, Eat light. 12. Make notes on things to follow up on. 12. Pray, Read the Bible, Meditate and then fall asleep. That was then...while I was plummeting through everything. My last stressor / trigger set me back for a good long time. I mean, I haven't been myself in over a year. Longer than that to be honest. I say a year because of the time I've been unemployed and homeless. Even while I was employed I lived with a relative and paid most of the bills. Since that was family, I figured it was all about love. That wasn't quite the case. They saw that I had an issue that crippled me before I did. What was really happening was, I was being used as a support cushion while my relative chose to lay back and watch me bust my butt and run away from my personal issues for over 8 years. I know this to be true because as soon as I got fired and the real estate sales slacked, oh...I had to leave so that someone else could be moved in. It's fine. That's life. I was under the impression that because we were family, we were helping one another out. You know, I have a felony and so I'm not able to rent. Even when I had the money I chose to stay because I was with family and if it's not broken, why fix it? Well, when you're having outbreaks, crashing emotionally, staying away from the house until time to wake and coming back in when it's time to sleep you really and honestly cant see the way people are really looking at you. You cant hide it. If you deny and power through it like I did, you may get used and spit out...just like I did. Nothing nice. But, it's all a lesson in life. You have to stand and never get comfortable when you are able to retain your focus. Don't allow distractions to cover up your pain. You'll only get lost in a mirage. When you wake up the ground that you stood on with your PTSD pulling at you will turn to water and your PTSD will drown you faster than the water will. GET Real Help - proven and evidence based help from the VA or some place that has a record of success is my personal advice & preference. When I went to the VA in Miami back in 2002 to get help for these issues they looked at my DD 214 and basically said, I might as well had not joined the army at all because they cant do anything with "your kind"... OK. Well, thank God for Chuck Hagel!!!! As for the schedule, it's been a while since I was able to get back into the habit. I'm going to get back in the groove The more I release here online, the more I feel better about tomorrow. Just knowing that I'm not the only one that is crashing lets me know that there is hope and I'm thankful on my depressed days and I'm still grateful when I am not in such a positive state of mind. What I know and can see about myself now: As I look back now, I realize I had been going and going and going like the energizer bunny to AVOID thoughts of things that took place in my military career. When and if anyone dwelled on things that were associated to my issues, I'd get highly irritated and would be talking to myself in my head, asking them to "please kill the GD conversation, you're ticking me off and I'm feeling like I'm about to blow". Anything that reminded me of the person that set me up to fail and diseased me. It was ANXIETY! I was escaping my misery by running out of my own discomfort and interacting with people, serving them in their Real Estate needs. This is what helped me to cope with my own problems. I was able to focus forward. As long as I was focusing forward, I was good. It took a while to build this routine, but I started building coping strategies while sitting in pretrial confinement. And no, this was not a "prison program". It was leadership and organization from my previous NCO and a few slef help book and most importantly, my faith in God. I was confined for violating the terms of pretrial release. I ended up on pretrial release for getting involved in an operation that I had to learn how to accept responsibility. There's so much more to it than what was revealed and I've finally been able to present ALL OF THE EVIDENCE OF EVERYTHNIG that took place, from the MST to the covered up details behind the misconduct in which my unit placed me and others under a gag order that strictly prohibited talking about my legal issues and my personal issues. I was discharged without any conviction, but there was an act of willful misconduct on my own that I accept responsibility for. That is what I accepted responsibility for. Again, there is so much to the story. The bottom line is, I was not in the right state of mind and really needed to take a break to regroup. AWOL was not my thing. I played by the book and celebrated with everyone in my unit. I was not in misery and looking for a way out of the ARMY. I loved my job and my future. I saw the soldiers who got chaptered out, first hand. As the S1 clerk, it was one of my jobs to review the chapter packets and ENSURE nothing that they submitted in their military personnel files were lost. I didn't realize how critical of a task that was until another specialist who was new to the office came in and printed fake awards for his own personnel file before getting medically chaptered out for his knees I believe it was. Why'd he do it? My guess is so that he could, I suppose, feel decorated or something? Not everyone, but there where a few overly interesting people in the army. I failed to speak up about this because I wasn't about to be the person speaking on a guy that is already suffering so much a blow to his ego that he'd add his own ARCOMS and AAMs. I believe he may have even tossed in an MSM. I think... Bottom line is, the policy was don't ask, don't tell. I saw it. He even bragged about it as if he knew I wouldn't call him out on it. Those were the days when I was winning SOM boards, taking college classes and studying my craft like my initial NCO trained me up to do. The only trouble I ever got in was for wearing my BDU's with this cuff that became a violation of AR 670-1 for some and not close being an issue for others... Evidence In supporting my Claim -- I've supplied my fitness awards, training certificates and promotion certificates - Which should all be on my DD 214 to support my character of service prior to the misconduct. -- I've supplied evidence to support the facts behind my PTSD due to MST and all of the Markers have been verified by what the VA recognizes as credible sources. -- I've supplied evidence of the STD's that I contracted as a result of the sexual assault - which is basically recognized as Herpes HSV1 and HSV2. -- I've supplied witness statements with DD 214's from the Veterans who picked me up from the office the night the incident occurred. My ex-wife has even spared me and wrote on my behalf, speaking of the things she witnessed in me, and how I did a total 180 degree turn from the person she knew before the changes start to be seen in my day to day routine. -- I've supplied a medical nexus from my mental health doctor who's reviewed the evidence in my 201 file, Service records and treatment records full detail. -- I've supplied the treatment records and the medication that I've been on since having a complete breakdown in November of 2014. -- I've even supplied a copy of legal documentation with sworn statements from my company commander stating that "prior to the single act of misconduct, he was the epitome of what the army sought after in a leader. He was a meritorious solider who never had any disciplinary issues." -- I've even added the newly discovered evidence that was not available for the military to review until 4 years after I have already been discharged. This evidence is called the presentencing memorandum and it explains in great detail, ALL of the FACTS that were FINALLY brought to the LIGHT after the lies that were smeared in the indictment where placed in the newspapers and international media. What I hope is that the VA sees that my service is honorable., What I hope is that the BCMR can see fit to change my discharge and narrative reason for separation. What I hope is that I am finally able to receive help with getting on my feet and standing firm against veterans that are battling issues while also tackling homelessness head on. What I hope is that the truth is so strong that I am able to have my life and my service recognized as the kind of service it was before being destroyed by the leader I was attacked by, the choices I made while in a downward spiral and suffering from being infected with incurable disease, and was forced to sit in jail for 3 years of my life that I have been trying to prove I was not guilty but not able to do so after signing a plea agreement to get on with my life since the prosecution delayed my trial date for 3 years in a row! And to think, it all started with one bad seed who replaced the best NCO I could have ever asked for. Thanks for reading and thanks for HADIT giving my the voice I need and the wisdom I've obtained. Now, I'm confident I can do things the way they are required in order to receive the favorable outcome that my service deserves. The disability is just an added blessing. I'd take an upgraded 214 any day of disability. Only because I've had to fight and pry my way up to this point in life. I can make my own money. It's challenging with the PTSD jumping in an out and throwing everything off track. But I'm a warrior. The more support I receive, the more support I give. Don't Give Up. You Are NOT Your Discharge! Have Faith and speak truth. They may not believe you at first, but time is the best counsellor. "The truth is an offense, but not a sin." - Bob Marley "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds "- Marcus Garvey "We must become the change we wish to see in others" - Mahatma Gandhi This is me, this is who I am. Pleased to meet you and thanks for creating a way out of no way. We should all support and love one another. Why be partial to a person based on the there discharge, when you know good and well the amount of deeds you've done that were done in the dark. Many veterans are victims of wars that happen right in there own work spaces. There is no recognition for us if we act out and are discharged in administrative separation. But there is the same love and appreciation once we get our discharges upgraded. It makes no sense. However, I realize that rules are rules and not all OTH's are equal. Not all OTH's have other root causes that were not taken into consideration. Life is such a journey. I'm fighting day after day and I'm stronger and stronger the more I speak my truth and submit my evidence. One day, I will update HADIT with the good news. Until then, I look forward to encouraging and inspiring any and everyone who can relate to what I've been through and am committed to overcoming.
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