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Sort of Long I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in July of 1986, and received an honorable discharge in July of 1994. For approximately 45 days in early October of 1986 until late November of 1986, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC with the Warehouse Unit (3051) for training (ACDUTRA). Several years after my separation from service in approximately 1993, I really began to experience the effects of consuming the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. My mood changed drastically and I began to have major panic attacks. At one point in 1995 I was even taken by ambulance to the hospital for shortness of breath and the fear that I was having a massive heart attack. During this same year, I was formally diagnosed with suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression. The strange thing about it is that I have never suffered from any psychological issues prior to my service at Camp Lejeune and do not have a family history of any psychiatric disorders. Over the next nineteen years, I took medication and occasional psychotherapy for my psychiatric condition. In spite of this my condition never really improved to the point that I felt normal. Since approximately 1992, I have had literally dozens of jobs. This is true, because my psychiatric condition makes it nearly impossible to hold down a job for any considerable amount of time. I have real trouble concentrating and focusing on things for long periods of time. Due to my educational background, I have been afforded some really good and high paying jobs like the Social Security Administration and school teaching. However, because of my lack of ability to focus, I am unable to sustain meaningful employment for more than a few months at a time. The stress of the workload and my inability to handle authority make it very difficult to remain on any job for very long; as a result, I ultimately quit. I reason that I can do better working alone and for myself and that I’ll earn a lot more working for myself, but that never seems to manifest either. I would say that most of my family members and close friends believe that there is seriously something wrong with me. I have been out of work for a year and a half and drive for Uber from time to time to earn money for gas and auto insurance. I prefer to spend most of my time alone and have pretty much cut off all contact with friends. I no longer have good health insurance like I did when I was married. Since it is difficult for me to maintain employment, I don’t have regular insurance coverage. As a result, I have not the taken much needed psychiatric medication for approximately four years. Consequently, my alcohol consumption has increased greatly and I weigh more than I ever have in my life. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that my condition is the direct result of my exposure to the contaminated water that I consumed while at Camp Lejeune, NC. According to the EPA, the levels of PCE, TCE and other chemicals at Camp Lejeune were at least 1000 times higher than normal. Apparently the Marine Corps was aware of this situation and did nothing to correct it. Hundreds of thousands of Marines and their families have been victimized by this situation. In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-154), which guarantees those veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 for a minimum of 30 days and suffer from any of fifteen identified conditions, free treatment through the VA. I content that I suffer from Neurobehavioral Effects, which is one of the identified conditions. Depression falls within the realm of Neurobehavioral Effects. Perhaps there is a “light at the end of this long tunnel,” because, a Veterans Law Judge, in his appeal letter stated that my service record confirms that I was stationed at Camp Lejeune for training, which falls within the range of subjects identified as potentially exposed to VOCs during my service and that my VA treatment record shows that I have a history of depression and that I have received treatment from the VA for such. Aside from this I also show a history of being treated for years by outside psychiatrist. As a result, I will be afforded the elusive P&C examination as part of my case; I am finally going to receive the due process that I deserve. I keep getting denied! What would you do?
Hello! I am a grey hair. 50 now, and have not heard reville in over 25 years. Though I ambulate with forearm brace crutches, I will forever hold my head even with the horizon. I am in my heart a Marine, and I love my country. I cant bear the brunt if battle now, but I do share the pain of my companions in the suicide prevention groups, and PTSD groups that I attend. Contrary to cultural myth, Marines do cry. And they need to be embraced fresh back from war. They need to know that hopelessness can fade. I need to know that too. But I do not use hope as an excuse to avoid the duty I swore to do - uphold and defend the Constitution against enemies, both foreign and domestic. This vow I hold above all else, except my God. But to be honest, I had strayed from my beliefs, in my grief, guilt and shame that define the disease of PTSD for this Marine. My life changed in the suicide prevention groups at VHA. I am growing, and it began when a very young seargent, discharged, held me tight in his arms, crying, and told me he came to those meetings to see me. I do not know why. I rarely say much, but I listen close. I have been ravaged by this disease. I have gained then dropped 200 pounds, I am recovering from a two fifths of liquor per day alcoholism (4 years and counting, one day at a time), I live alone because inevitably every single friendship breaks down at some point. I have PTSD, I am a man, and I was brutally beaten and raped so many years ago by calendar, but nearly nightly memories of brutal treatment. I was raised fo believe that a gay man was a sick man. I believed for decades that I was a sick man as a result. After that first attack, a Major grilled me about who did it to me. "Sir! This Marine cannot remember, Sir!" Shouting with veins popping out, he screamed, "Bullshit!!! You WILL tell me befire you keave my sight!!!" "SIR,!! THIS MARINE CANNOT REMEMBER, SIR!!!" I stood tall. I believed in my heart that it was my fault. I had a disease, I was told, and i was not ever going to rat out another Marine. I have come to believe that this is not the truth. My heart beats fierce in my chest, and the warrior can still summon the battle cry. I have gone Marathons on crutches. I have achieved Flight Instructor status, I am generous with the dual,oensions I get (SSDI and VBA), and my goal is to die penniless, in favor of charity. I give all that I can and am proud that my bank accounts go to zero each month from charity. This too is how I serve my country. I pay forward the the gift if being able to say, "I am a United States Marine, and I am a good and strong man." My country is very generous to me. My new battle cry is simple; No fear, No shame. This works for me. Lastly, I have a big time beef with VHA, who branded me a Violent Patient after their clinic manager was served with a Restraining Order to stop further abuse, naming me as the protected person. 4 days later, all medications, therapy groups, and care providers were terminated. The PRF letter I got stated flatly the reason for it was the RO that had been served. I went to the press. The ensuing bizarre and completely documented series of abuses that resulted from that Circuit Court RO, was said by the reporter team to be the most convoluted and extensive abuse of authority they had ever encounter. 2 years later, 19 interviews with me, 17 FOIA requests, 5 letters from VHA to my congressman, Peter Defazio from VHA, six seperate and bizzarre letters of PRF (commonly known as getting "red flagged") from 4 different Chiefs of Staff, and seven recorded conversation with VHA officials calling me at home....has all gone down. (Oregon Law on recording your own calls is very clear and is clearly legal. Do not do this without checking a local attorney) It is all documented and the story will break soon. I have audio, and multiple dicuments. I am ready to share them all. Online. I am not afraid of these people any more. We got em by the short and curlies, and there is no bunker that they can hide in deep enough to avoid this thing. The Oregon State Police said I had documented and reported a crime of a magnitude they had not encountered before. They told me to be very patient as these investigations can take years to complete. They urged me not to make this public until they were ready to spring this on the perps, hoping not to alert them. But IT IS TIME. I can post, and if acceptable to this site. I can post not only documentation and audio that will leave your jaw agape, but tell you precisely how this Marine honored his oath in a law abiding and correct, though painful fashion. I defend the Constitution, and my tools begin with that sacred document. I honor my brothers, and the personal price I have paid for standing up is complete discontinuation of all my meds and doctors. Nonetheless, i will use the tools secured to us in our Constitution to stand up to the tyranny that is VHA. I will show you how, if you want. It isnt easy. It wont be simple. You are facung a phalanx of attornies and corrrupt official. Nope. It is not simple. It is not easy. But this Marine will not crutch away from the fight, nor my oath. My pension is likely their next target. I accept that consequence, as I knew I would lose my medical care, and the enormous pain just keeps the fire lit. I am a United States Marine. I decided to take the shotgun from my temple, and made a choice to "do" and not "die". Anyone can make that choice. I did. No shame. No fear. By the way...Howdy and Semper Fi!