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While in vietnam (69-70), I was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and tension headaches. Subsquently, I caught hepititus A in Vietnam. Over another five year period while still on active duty, I was diagnosed on 3 other occasions with gastroenteritis and eventually remote depression. Since active duty in 1977, I've had many bouts of nausea and stomach problems. As recent as 2007 by a private gastro dr., I was diagnosed with evidence of corrosive gastroenteritis, GERD and acid reflux Grade II. Further, I was diagnosed last year by a VA psychologist with major depression. My question is do u think these issues can be construed as service connected because of my military records indicating these diagnosis on different occasions?
You should formally claim all of these disabilities.
Have you ever filed for any VA claim before?
If not you will need to file out the entire 21-526 form available a the VA web site and try to secure a good veterans rep to help you-we here can take you step by step whether you have a rep or not-
The VA will want a nexus (link) between each disability and your service. Also they will need to see if the disabilities are continuous since service and still require treatment-
It looks to me that you have the inservice nexus in your SMRs as well as current treatment records.
Do you have residual disability from the Hep A?
If so, in my opinion, each of these disabilities should be formally claimed and you can refer the VA in the initial claim to your SMRs where the medical nexus is found.
The date of any retroactive compensation you receive will depend on the date you formally file the claim.
Any statements that your private doctors could make would be highly probative to the claims- such as if the gastro doctor would state that your GERD and related conditions are more then likely related to your inservice manifestations of these problems.
There is a topic here on Getting an Independent Medical Opinion under search and I posted it again here the other day in claims research.
A private doctor's IMO should contain certain speficis-otherwise the VA will reject the opinion.
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