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I have posted this info here before but it bears repeating.
The VA defines a stressor causing PTSD in distinct terms:
The circumstances of a stressor can be very unusual-
but the VA always holds to this:
"If the evidence establishes that the
veteran engaged in combat with the enemy
and the claimed stressor is related to
that combat, in the absence of clear and
convincing evidence to the contrary, and
provided that the claimed stressor is
consistent with the circumstances,
conditions, or hardships of the veteran's
service, the veteran's lay testimony
alone may establish the occurrence of the
claimed in-service stressor.
In contrast, "[w]here ...VA determines that the veteran did
not engage in combat with the enemy...the veteran's lay
testimony, by itself, will not be enough to establish the
occurrence of the alleged stressor." See Zarycki v. Brown,
6 Vet. App. 91, 98 (1993).
The ordinary meaning of the phrase "engaged in combat with
the enemy," as used in 38 U.S.C.A. § 1154(, requires that a
veteran have participated in events constituting an actual
fight or encounter with a military foe or hostile unit or
instrumentality. VAOPGCPREC 12-99 (Oct. 18, 1999). Where a
determination is made that the veteran did not engage in
combat with the enemy, or the claimed stressor is not related
to combat, the veteran's lay testimony alone will not be
enough to establish the occurrence of the alleged stressor.
See Moreau v. Brown, 9 Vet. App. 389, 395 (1996). In such
cases, the record must contain corroborative evidence that
substantiates or verifies the veteran's testimony or
statements as to the occurrence of the claimed stressor. See
West v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 70, 76 (1994). The requisite
additional evidence may be obtained from the veteran's
service medical records or from other sources. Moreau at
395. Service department evidence that the veteran engaged in
combat or that the veteran was awarded the Purple Heart
Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, or similar combat citation
will be accepted, in the absence of evidence to the contrary,
as conclusive evidence of the claimed in-service stressor.
VAOPGCPREC 12-99 (Oct. 18, 1999)."
A buddy statement or the veteran's ;ay statements can support a stressor if the veteran did not directly engage in combat.
However a buddy statement must contain decription of the actual stressor, and give details as to how the buddy (Unit and MOS) was also present at the stressor as an eye witness.
A buddy should give VA their phone number and email addy as well as their address and the VA often calls buddies for more details.
Whether the veteran has a buddy statement or is depending on their lay statement describing a stressor-
if they did not engage in combat and have the awards on their DD 214 as within the above BVA statement, the veteran must give the VA enough information to prove the where and when of the stressor as well as that fact that they were they.
JS RRC (formerly CUrr) Joint Services Records Research Center depends on detailed accounts in order to support proof of a stressor.
NVLSP makes the point that just about every vet in Vietnam was within range of mortars and often within rocket range.
"A PTSD claim involving mortars and rockets must be put in the context of the personal involvement of the veteran."
For example was their duty section or barracks a direct hit and damaged by mortar?
How frequent were the attacks? Did the veteran's unit suffer casualties from the attacks?
When did these mortar attacks occur?
Good links you've posted.
You know the VA is desparately trying to find some physical test to see if the vets body is responding in some measurable way when discussing events to see if the vet has PTSD. They hate to rely on self-reported symptoms. I heard some retired VA shrink saying that half the vets were faking it and that they need some objective means to decide who really had PTSD. This is where their heads are really at which is to find some way to cut down on numbers of vets with self-reported PTSD regardless of stressors.
I'm just keeping this bumped up because I think it is worth everybody reading.
This is not going to be as easy a "win claim" as it may have once been. There are guys "volunteering" to go to Iraq and doing so not once but even two and three times. I was on the plane with some soldiers returning from a tour and a few were "boasting" about how they were going back. My point is that John's statement: "I heard some retired VA shrink saying that half the vets were faking it and that they need some objective means to decide who really had PTSD. This is where their heads are really at which is to find some way to cut down on numbers of vets with self-reported PTSD regardless of stressors."
I think most of the men and women who served in Viet Nam and such wars did come back with something. But not all came back with PTSD. I know my dad has issues but he had them well before Viet Nam (he's retired and not filing a claim anyway). But that's what the VA is looking at. All the vets who aren't filing claims and it is going to make it tough for those who do file for PTSD and legitimately have it.
My point was that a lot of people in the VA who should know better still believe that vets fake PTSD claims. PTSD and mental disorders are still looked at like those who claim them are frauds and people tying to skate. Perhaps a small number of vets do fake PTSD, but most don't even think about doing that because you are going to be insulted and treated like a dog before you finally get what you deserve.
Most people just want to forget their bad experience and move on and have a life. The ones that cannot file claims eventually after years of suffering.
John, I understand your point. But I have to say as someone with a claim for other issues it is not just vets who are filing PTSD or MH claims that get viewed as you've suggested. And, I happen to believe that there are some vets who are "faking it" whether physically or mentally. That makes me mad because they end up winning their claims and bragging about it afterwards. It almost makes me wonder if it is not about who you know.
I'm not trying to get into an arguement. I just don't happen to believe everyone is on the up and up.
LUVhim-I agree with you-
they are few and far between but there are some vets who are not on the up and up-and they have sure wasted lots of my time in the past-
And wannabee widows-that too is a problem-
I got 3 referrals from a vet org I deal with to help on three widows claims over the past year or so-
Not one of these claims had any basis at all-
and when I say they were wannabees-I mean that they not only tried to mislead the VA ,2 of them tried to intimidate me to get them DIC.
I dont think any of them were even legal widows-even under the Common Law statutes.
VA does recognise common law in some cases.
But these were women out to get from the VA what they did not deserve.
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