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Va Denied Roommate's Claim


kent76

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I thought that the claim was pretty much iron-clad; however, the rater seemed to use the opinion of the c&p examiners who seemed bias in my opinion to pretty much deny the claim. One note to this matter is, my roommate is transgendered which seems to make all the difference in the world as to how this claim was decided.

My roommate had 3 medical conditions for which compensation was filed, first, acne vulgaris which was rated at 0% and is probably acceptable given the reasons state. Second, my roommate has an extensive treatment record for depression and was granted SSDI for having depression along with a personality disorder. And finally, stomach problems which has been occuring since 2001. We have a psychotherapist who gave my roommate a gaf score of 45 along with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. My roommate has been treated at the VA hospital in Hampton, Va. for depression and stomach problems as well. Can someone please explain to me why the VA denied this claim as I will type what the letter states.

Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

Your service medical records show you were diagnosed with or treated for signs and symptoms of depression and personality disorder while on active duty. A disability which began in service or was caused by some event in service must be considered "chronic" before service connection can be granted. Social Security Adminstration records show that you have personality disorder with depression. At the Department of Veteran Affairs examination on June 4, 2007 (Just a 10 min examination) you revealed you continue to have depressive moods. The examiner noted that you are in transition from male to female. After extensive interview the examiner determined that your depression is related to your gender confusion that pre-existed your active duty service. Service connection for depression is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by the service.

My roommate was hospitalized while on active duty for depression because of problems with a girlfriend and had suicidal ideation noted in the medical notes from his visit. I think that the VA is overlooking the depression and wants to pin it all on something that S(he) decided to pursue after the military. I have know my roommate for 6 years now and the gender issue is clouding the depressive issue which should warrant in my opinion a rating of 70% according to my research. We are filing a NOD of course.

Also, for the stomach problems they wrote.

Service connection may be granted to a disability which began in the military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Service connectiion for stomach problems is denied because the medical evidence of record fails to show that this disability has been clinically diagnosed. (We have a diagnosis from the VA as IBS in March, 2007, also GERD from roommates military treatment records.) Your service medical records show you were diagnosed with and treated for stomach problems that did not result in chronic residuals ( what! almost 6 years) A disability which began in service or was caused by some event in service (minocycline related) must be considered "chronic" before service connection can be granted. At the Department of Veterans examination of June 4, 2007 you revealed you continue to have epigastric pain.

The examiner did not find any evidence of stomach problems and did not render a diagnosis. (This was a joke, i watched the examiner just rub my roommates stomach and asked how it felt) Medical evidence of record fails to show that you have a current diagnosis of stomach problems that has been clinically related to your active duty. Service connection for stomach problems is denied.

I am about to file my own claim for my back but this is really disturbing to me! I am the payee representative for my roommate because SSA determined that she can't make financial decisions based on her disability.

It is a shame that they treat veterans this way and even the treatment at the VA hospital has been quite rude for my roommate. I met my roommate in 2001 while in the reserves. At the time, he had a girlfriend and only after he got out of the Navy did he reveal his desire to become a female; nonetheless, the depression issues were already there and he attempted suicide while on active duty(which is documented also). My roommate recently changed her name to a female name so I will not disrespect her anymore by using his/him/he, but my point is, depression is not being treated seriously enough by the VA!

Can someone please tell me what they think and the best way to approach this denial letter. Thank you! ken

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The VA should not at all let the transexual situation cloud this veteran's issues.

However- was the veteran discharged with Personality disorder noted in their SMRs or in any other medical info such as from the SSA?

Personality Disorder is as you know- not service connectable in any way at all and much of the time it is NOT the true diagnosis-

Could she possibly afford to get a psychiatric opinion- or has she already that could overcome the personality disorder part of the claim?

I believe that transgender people have to go through a lot of psychiatric testing to make sure they DONT have a personality disorder-in order to make sure they have a solid way of dealing with the transgender transition.

But I am concerned that-would the loss of the girl friend in service that prompted the hospitalization be enough of a 'stressor' or 'depressor' to warrant SC on that basis?

I am thinking now -after re-reading all ths that maybe a good independent medical opinion should be for the stomach issues- there seems to be the documentation in service that she needs- but does she have medical records to prove this is chronic and at a ratable level?

By all means file for your back problems too- but remember the 3 key points in all direct service connection

claims:

1. current documented disability

2. service event,accident, GSW that caused the current disability

3. established proven nexus (link) between # 1 and #2.

Do you know this other vet's exact medical diagnosis that awarded her SSA?

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PS "We have a psychotherapist who gave my roommate a gaf score of 45 along with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder."

Is this a real doctor? oppps I mean a non-VA doctor?

I see the SSA did award in part due to personality disorder.

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The VA should not at all let the transexual situation cloud this veteran's issues.

However- was the veteran discharged with Personality disorder noted in their SMRs or in any other medical info such as from the SSA?

Personality Disorder is as you know- not service connectable in any way at all and much of the time it is NOT the true diagnosis-

Could she possibly afford to get a psychiatric opinion- or has she already that could overcome the personality disorder part of the claim?

I believe that transgender people have to go through a lot of psychiatric testing to make sure they DONT have a personality disorder-in order to make sure they have a solid way of dealing with the transgender transition.

But I am concerned that-would the loss of the girl friend in service that prompted the hospitalization be enough of a 'stressor' or 'depressor' to warrant SC on that basis?

I am thinking now -after re-reading all ths that maybe a good independent medical opinion should be for the stomach issues- there seems to be the documentation in service that she needs- but does she have medical records to prove this is chronic and at a ratable level?

By all means file for your back problems too- but remember the 3 key points in all direct service connection

claims:

1. current documented disability

2. service event,accident, GSW that caused the current disability

3. established proven nexus (link) between # 1 and #2.

Do you know this other vet's exact medical diagnosis that awarded her SSA?

my roommate was honorably discharged with no diagnosed conditions.

My roommates has been having stomach problems every since i have known her in 2001.

I paid for therapy sessions because I felt that she needed help for depression and thoughts of suicide!

The pychotherapist urged us to apply for SSDI because of her mental status. Again, he diagnosed her as having a major depressive disorder and not a personality disorder which i understand is not ratable.

Again, we have a diagnosis of Irratable Bowel Syndrome from the VA doctor's notes along with a 2001 service record diagnosis of GERD. Do you suppose someone missed this in the doctor's notes?

I summited our psychological evaluation from the therapist along with other documents i had in my position at the time.

Yes, he is a non-VA doctor!

I don't understand at all why they would base a decision on the C&P examiners when there is clearly a "chronic" stomach condition of 6 years with a recent diagnosis of IBS and there is definitely a depressive issue acknowledged by everyone.

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"The pychotherapist urged us to apply for SSDI because of her mental status. Again, he diagnosed her as having a major depressive disorder and not a personality disorder which i understand is not ratable"

Good- did the VA list that as evidence in the denial and then mention it at all in the narrative?

"Again, we have a diagnosis of Irratable Bowel Syndrome from the VA doctor's notes along with a 2001 service record diagnosis of GERD. Do you suppose someone missed this in the doctor's notes"

Of course they did- veteran they do that all the time-

I think the GERD and IBS are the strong claims -the only reason I say this is that the proverbial Dear John is not enough for VA to consider this as a stressor or cause for depression- as far as I know-

because the VA could say this is part of "the normal rigors of service" and not service connect it.

I wonder if there could be more to your friend's inservice problems that caused the hospitalization and depression-

there are 4 transgender claims at the BVA-I only had time to read one-

apparently the veteran- a male- had been assaulted by other Marines-

and at some point became transgendered after service, The BVA considered him as biological male but referred to him as a female in the decision. This vet got 10% for PTSD and the BVA awarded 30% on appeal.

I guess my point is that there might well be more to this as to service connection for depression and the psychotherapist might know enough to help get this vet service connected for depression-

Go to our topic "Getting in Independent Medical Opinion" and consider if the psychotherapist could change their IMO if the inservice events warrant it-

The fact that this vet has HD with NO personality disorder crap documented from the mil certainly shows that there is potential to knock down this PD diagnosis.

Still-if there is more to the inservice situation than just the Dear John letter-there could be potential for SC for the depression.

Does this vet have ALL of her SMRs and ALL medical records?

to include anything that was generated from the hospitalization?

Also has she checked the Schedule of ratings as to the IBS and GERD as to what rating she should fall into?

This is the BVA case I mean :

http://www.va.gov/vetapp06/files5/0634877.txt

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"The pychotherapist urged us to apply for SSDI because of her mental status. Again, he diagnosed her as having a major depressive disorder and not a personality disorder which i understand is not ratable"

Good- did the VA list that as evidence in the denial and then mention it at all in the narrative?

"Again, we have a diagnosis of Irratable Bowel Syndrome from the VA doctor's notes along with a 2001 service record diagnosis of GERD. Do you suppose someone missed this in the doctor's notes"

Of course they did- veteran they do that all the time-

I think the GERD and IBS are the strong claims -the only reason I say this is that the proverbial Dear John is not enough for VA to consider this as a stressor or cause for depression- as far as I know-

because the VA could say this is part of "the normal rigors of service" and not service connect it.

I wonder if there could be more to your friend's inservice problems that caused the hospitalization and depression-

there are 4 transgender claims at the BVA-I only had time to read one-

apparently the veteran- a male- had been assaulted by other Marines-

and at some point became transgendered after service, The BVA considered him as biological male but referred to him as a female in the decision. This vet got 10% for PTSD and the BVA awarded 30% on appeal.

I guess my point is that there might well be more to this as to service connection for depression and the psychotherapist might know enough to help get this vet service connected for depression-

Go to our topic "Getting in Independent Medical Opinion" and consider if the psychotherapist could change their IMO if the inservice events warrant it-

The fact that this vet has HD with NO personality disorder crap documented from the mil certainly shows that there is potential to knock down this PD diagnosis.

Still-if there is more to the inservice situation than just the Dear John letter-there could be potential for SC for the depression.

Does this vet have ALL of her SMRs and ALL medical records?

to include anything that was generated from the hospitalization?

Also has she checked the Schedule of ratings as to the IBS and GERD as to what rating she should fall into?

This is the BVA case I mean :

http://www.va.gov/vetapp06/files5/0634877.txt

I am going to be honest with you about something! My roommate joined the Navy less than a month after cutting her wrists in a suicide attempt in 2000. Her parents are divorced and both have problems, his mother and my roommate is ADD! My roommate was living in Arkansas with her father who is an alcoholic, kicked her out and she moved into an empty house belonging to a woman in her 50's. My roommate told me that she lived in a large house but stayed in one room the whole time there which was a couple of weeks. She told me that the house was miles from anyone and she was alone and afraid thus staying in one room the whole while. She became so depressed that she took a bottle of pills and cut her wrists. She was passed out for 3 days before she woke up. She admitted herself into the Ozark Clinic in Springdale before checking herself out after a couple of days. She then moved back to Missouri with her mother who instead of helping her, insisted that she find a job and help out financially. A couple of weeks later, she joined the Navy with the assistance of a recruiter who she confided her problems with. He basically got her into the Navy by not disclosing the suicide attempt. She basically passed along boot camp and given only minimal jobs because she lacked the concentration to do certain tasks and could not hold a position of authority. My roommate was precribed ritalin as a teen but her father didn't think that she needed them. I honestly think that the depression is a manifestation of a complex array of things but certainly not being transgendered!

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I am going to be honest with you about something! My roommate joined the Navy less than a month after cutting her wrists in a suicide attempt in 2000. Her parents are divorced and both have problems, his mother and my roommate is ADD! My roommate was living in Arkansas with her father who is an alcoholic, kicked her out and she moved into an empty house belonging to a woman in her 50's. My roommate told me that she lived in a large house but stayed in one room the whole time there which was a couple of weeks. She told me that the house was miles from anyone and she was alone and afraid thus staying in one room the whole while. She became so depressed that she took a bottle of pills and cut her wrists. She was passed out for 3 days before she woke up. She admitted herself into the Ozark Clinic in Springdale before checking herself out after a couple of days. She then moved back to Missouri with her mother who instead of helping her, insisted that she find a job and help out financially. A couple of weeks later, she joined the Navy with the assistance of a recruiter who she confided her problems with. He basically got her into the Navy by not disclosing the suicide attempt. She basically passed along boot camp and given only minimal jobs because she lacked the concentration to do certain tasks and could not hold a position of authority. My roommate was precribed ritalin as a teen but her father didn't think that she needed them. I honestly think that the depression is a manifestation of a complex array of things but certainly not being transgendered!

[/q

I certainly don't want to disclose this information to the VA; however, the recruiter is basically the person responsible for her joining the military because she really shouldn't have be permitted to. Since we can't change those facts, the question becomes, is her depression a pre-existing condition or a condition made worst because of the service! I feel that if the military accepts you then they are responsible for you afterwards! The transgender issue and personality disorder just clouds the real issue of depression. I still believe that the Navy failed my roommate by not given her medication after treatment and hospitization for depression for a week. The doctor notes gave her a choice of a admin discharge or continuing in the service. She chose to continue in the service and with my help, she made it! Unfortunately, the depression with not being able to find a job and "chronic" stomach problems makes it impossible for her to obtain employment. I sought out help for her because I saw warning signs. She has not worked since getting out of the military in 2004. The SSA recognized this thus awarding her SSDI, I would have never imagined that the VA would deny her!

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"I honestly think that the depression is a manifestation of a complex array of things but certainly not being transgendered"

I sure agree- my only point was the depression claim seemed to be based on depression resulting in some way from her service and I tried to consider various scenarios in which that could gain service connection.I certainly considered that she might have exhibited signs of transgender behavior that could have caused an inservice assault like the Marine in the BVA decision suffered from and was award direct PTSD SC for it.

She could also -based on what you just posted-potentially have a claim of depression due to aggravation of a pre-existing condition.

I am not familiar with how VA Service connects aggravation of pre-existing conditions.

The regs are in 38 USC 1110,1111,1131, 1113 , 38 CFR 3.306 And Wagner V Principi.

If the inservice depression aggravated a pre -existing condition-that is also a way to attempt to gain direct service connection.

The BVA web site can be searched for claims like this.

Edited by Berta
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"I honestly think that the depression is a manifestation of a complex array of things but certainly not being transgendered"

I sure agree- my only point was the depression claim seemed to be based on depression resulting in some way from her service and I tried to consider various scenarios in which that could gain service connection.I certainly considered that she might have exhibited signs of transgender behavior that could have caused an inservice assault like the Marine in the BVA decision suffered from and was award direct PTSD SC for it.

She could also -based on what you just posted-potentially have a claim of depression due to aggravation of a pre-existing condition.

I am not familiar with how VA Service connects aggravation of pre-existing conditions.

The regs are in 38 USC 1110,1111,1131, 1113 , 38 CFR 3.306 And Wagner V Principi.

If the inservice depression aggravated a pre -existing condition-that is also a way to attempt to gain direct service connection.

The BVA web site can be searched for claims like this.

Thank you so much for your help! I will certainly explore those avenues you've mention! ken

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This case might help you :

http://www.va.gov/vetapp04/files2/0417844.txt

If a veteran can prove a pre-existing condition was "aggravated" by service they can succeed in a claim like this.

There is a lot to doing that though-and there is the fact that the vet did not have the past problems documented at induction or with the recruiter.Maybe this is not the best way to go-

Ken- these are complex issues-I know you are doing your best to help this veteran but I would-if I were you-try to seek a good vet rep to help your friend with these claims.

And by all means stay aboard here too-

the NOD has to be prepared and this is where you can raise argument on their decision.

Also -did the veteran get a legal VCAA letter telling her exactly what she needed to succeed in each claim?

Did the SSA also consider the GERD and IBS as part of her inability to work?

That might be the BEST avenue of approach here-

one more question- if this is a Gulf War veterans please look up the Persian Gulf War regs as to the IBS- etc.

Whether GW vet or not this case shows how VA rates IBS:

http://www.va.gov/vetapp07/files2/0717227.txt

Many vets have had GERD associated to SC ISB for additional SC ratings.

With some documentation in her SMRS- as to this condition and proof that it is current and at a ratable level-these are points you can make in the NOD.(I would send them highlighted copies of the SMRs too as to which ones show inservice stomach problems)and also send copies of anything whatsoever in the SSA findings that would help this claim as to the IBS and GERD.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

and, regardless of whether or not she had problems prior to enlistment, if these problems are NOT noted on her induction physical, then she entered the service under the assumption of physical/mental fitness. In other words, if it wasn't noted on her entrance exam, then she didn't have it. And, if it was noted on her physical, then comes into play the "aggravation" argument i.e. Was her noted condition worsened by or during her enlistment..........?

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the entrance exam may not have noted anything, but that is based on the vet's history alone. if the vet displayed a significant level of disablity within a short enough period of time after entry onto active duty, the presumption of soundness can be rebutted.

that said, service connection by aggravation can still be pursued if it can be shown that the condition objectively worsened WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY. it is not service aggravation if the condition worsened after discharge.

Edited by entropent
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Not to PO anyone regarding this thread, but my question is:

If this vet shows pre-existing conditions -- will that then open the door for VA

to fire back with fradulent enlistment ? ?

jmho,

carlie

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Not to PO anyone regarding this thread, but my question is:

If this vet shows pre-existing conditions -- will that then open the door for VA

to fire back with fradulent enlistment ? ?

jmho,

carlie

In my opinion, your comment is the most important of this entire thread. There was collusion between the former servicemember and the recruiter for a fradulent enlistment. As a retired Sergeamt Major, I strongly believe that they both should be prosecuted, NOT compensated. Dishonesty is dishonesty, regardless of the number of years since it occurred.

I suspect this might be an unpopular comment for some, but I could not keep quiet on this one. If Tbird so wishes, I'll remove my membership.

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In my opinion, your comment is the most important of this entire thread. There was collusion between the former servicemember and the recruiter for a fradulent enlistment. As a retired Sergeamt Major, I strongly believe that they both should be prosecuted, NOT compensated. Dishonesty is dishonesty, regardless of the number of years since it occurred.

I suspect this might be an unpopular comment for some, but I could not keep quiet on this one. If Tbird so wishes, I'll remove my membership.

I think that you are way out of line here! This veteran served 4 years honorably and there is no documented pre-existing depression in her service record thus you have no basic for such a claim of dishonesty! My roommate confided that there were problems; nonethelesss, without any documented or diagnosis of depression anywhere and the fact that she served and received an honorable discharge warrants the the disability! I wish that you would reserve your comments until you know all the facts! I will see to it that my roommate gets compensation because she deserves it. BTW, I am POed about this!

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...I wish that you would reserve your comments until you know all the facts! I will see to it that my roommate gets compensation because she deserves it. BTW, I am POed about this!

I admire your convictions, but you stated, "She became so depressed that she took a bottle of pills and cut her wrists. She was passed out for 3 days before she woke up. She admitted herself into the Ozark Clinic in Springdale before checking herself out after a couple of days. She then moved back to Missouri with her mother who instead of helping her, insisted that she find a job and help out financially. A couple of weeks later, she joined the Navy with the assistance of a recruiter who she confided her problems with. He basically got her into the Navy by not disclosing the suicide attempt."

Your friend had to sign the various enlistment documents certifying they were true and correct--they also state that there are penalties for untruthful statements. Evidently (and as you imply) the enlistment documents made no mention of her suicide attempt or she would not be allowed to enlist.

The fact she served honorably is immaterial since she entered under fraud. I processed a case 20 years ago where a soldier, who had served honorably for 12 years, was found to have entered the Army under an assumed identify since he had been discharged from USMC during boot camp for a transgression. The Court Martial board did not consider the 12 years of "good" service; the belief was that everything after the fraudulent enlistment was tainted.

Sorry to PO you, but your attempt to get her benefits based on a fraudulent enlistment is out of line as you say...

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It sounds like Manitou has the right idea. Since we have not seen the records, the fact YOU THINK it is fraud, is pretty incriminating. Frauds do not deserve VA benefits, they deserve jail time.

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It sounds like Manitou has the right idea. Since we have not seen the records, the fact YOU THINK it is fraud, is pretty incriminating. Frauds do not deserve VA benefits, they deserve jail time.

Please explain to me how it can be fraud if you do not have a clinical diagnosis?

I stated that I do not believe that my roommate should have been admitted; however, that's my personal opinion! Nonetheless, she was admitted and she served 4 years and was discharged honorably! I know personally 2 young men who joined the Marine Corps and Army after being on Ritalin most of their lives. The military is recruiting and admitting thousands of servicemembers who should not be in. Again, this is my personal opinion! BTW, my roommate was admitted and hospitalized while on active duty with depression but the military ALLOWED her to stay so it can be argued that the military was aware of the illness and chose not to discharge her!

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I admire your convictions, but you stated, "She became so depressed that she took a bottle of pills and cut her wrists. She was passed out for 3 days before she woke up. She admitted herself into the Ozark Clinic in Springdale before checking herself out after a couple of days. She then moved back to Missouri with her mother who instead of helping her, insisted that she find a job and help out financially. A couple of weeks later, she joined the Navy with the assistance of a recruiter who she confided her problems with. He basically got her into the Navy by not disclosing the suicide attempt."

Your friend had to sign the various enlistment documents certifying they were true and correct--they also state that there are penalties for untruthful statements. Evidently (and as you imply) the enlistment documents made no mention of her suicide attempt or she would not be allowed to enlist.

The fact she served honorably is immaterial since she entered under fraud. I processed a case 20 years ago where a soldier, who had served honorably for 12 years, was found to have entered the Army under an assumed identify since he had been discharged from USMC during boot camp for a transgression. The Court Martial board did not consider the 12 years of "good" service; the belief was that everything after the fraudulent enlistment was tainted.

Sorry to PO you, but your attempt to get her benefits based on a fraudulent enlistment is out of line as you say...

I have had time to cool off! I still disagree with you for the very fact that the VA denied her for NOT having a diagnosed condition on one of her claims! Please tell me how that's not contradicting in itself! Basically, the VA is saying, if you don't have a diagnosed condition, then there is nothing wrong with you. Almost every Government and private agency find reasons to deny veterans their benefits using bogus reasons such as "personality disorders" just to keep from paying claim.

Again, I defend my roommate's claim for benefits, as a 22 year veteran myself, I believe that the military should be held accountable since they failed to provide medication thus saying it was ok for her to continue serving her country!

You may think it's fraudulent but you need to address the recruiter and not the recruit because an 18 year old can easily be mislead by someone trying to meet a quota!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I just can't wrap myself on fraud if the person severed 4 years and was honorably discharged. I knew several men who went to boot camp who joined to stay out of jail. WHen I was drafted in 1968 I knew men who claimed they were communists, ad prison records, suicide attempts and the only ones not accepted were two guys wearing womans panties. They took one guy who was an ordained minister with a club foot.

I suspect that there are a fair amount of people who join the Military who swear to stuff that is not true. Where do you draw the line? Cause when she served four and was honorably discharged I feel that if she has an injury she deserves VA compensations as much as I do.

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I'm going to stay out of the fray in this one, but I do have a question for Kent76 or anyone else who can enlighten me on the matter of enlistment with prior Ritalin treatment that is suggested in this thread.

Kent76, you stated "I know personally 2 young men who joined the Marine Corps and Army after being on Ritalin most of their lives."

Is there some regulation that says you can't be or have been on Ritalin and join the service? I find that interesting since the last stats I read on Ritalin (and other ADHD drugs for kids) was that 10% of our boys today are on Riatalin or like drugs. I did some research on ADHD drugs when they wanted to put one of our grandchildren on it and thankfully the parents decided against it when the docs said a 6 year old had to get a "base line EKG" before going on Ritalin because it can affect a child's heart.

Just curious how the military is handling the Rialin issue when so many kids and teenagers are on one drug or another.

Thanks,

TS

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