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Last Call For Help - Desperate

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Wife of vet here, claim at DRO desk awaiting SOC they say when we call VSO office at regional VAMC. . Went online seeking help a couple years ago:

March 27, 2003

Dear Sir:

Many vets are STILL battling for compensation (even just pension for

survival as disabilities remove work/income capability), as I have come to

learn over the years. I am one of them.


>Gary Bourne II

>345 Copper Creek Road

>Crab Orchard, KY 40419

>Home Phone:

>Work Phone:


>E-Mail: artie114@hotmail.com



>Date of Incident: 3/10/1991 or w/in the week of

>Location of Incident: w/in 5 kilometer of Khamisiyah


>DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT: I am Gulf War vet. I was in the HHC 197th Inf Bde

>(mech) (sep) MP platoon.

>I was also attached to the 299th eng bn, we provided security for the crew

>marking the combat route, a part of Operation Flasher.

. We had chemical alarms go off,

>but saw no one writhing or convulsing. The alarms were dismissed as

>defective and all

>was called clear. After a couple of 'false' alarms', they were shut off

>(attributed to diesel smoke=false alarm).

They may have been working fine??

>*Although 2 of the units I was associated with, are listed by DoD as

>potentially exposed to toxic chemicals (within a 5 kilometer radius of

>chemical demolition), I was mailed a letter from Bernard Rostker that

>assured of NO exposure even a low level unlikely. Was also informed thru

>VA, DoD, studies and the media, that the vaccines we took, anthrax and PB,

>as well as depleted uranium and oil well fires, not to mention, pesticides

>and diesel fumes, could be toxic hazards.


>INJURY DESCRIPTION: Have 10 years or so, medical records from VA, with

>Gulf War specialist as my primary physician. But results of many tests with

>many different examiners on record. Diagnosed with basal ganglia and

>thalamus damage due to toxic exposure during my service. As well as chronic

>pain, fatigue, IBS, GERD, sleep disorder, memory problems, etc.I think it

>could be Gulf War Illness, as my symptoms are matching so closely. I have

>an appeal and a 2nd claim (or 3rd-need to ask VFW rep), it seems the

>decision makers are ignoring and dismissing facts. I need help. I am no

>lawyer and don't know the 'magic words'. I have cognitive degeneration-I

>lost 24 IQ points we know of so far, my memory , I take drugs for (when I

>remember too, lol). A real concern for LONG drawn out decision making and



>INJURY TREATMENT: I am 31 years old. I have been diagnosed with or treated

>for: arithrialgias, IBS, GERD, fatigue (no eitiology says C&P Final exam

>board)(stemming from anxiety says the rating board), weight loss, rash,

>respiratory (cold like symptoms), memory (now taking an Alzheimer‘s

>treatment for it), muscle/joint pain, lost ALL teeth, sleep disorder, 10%

>VA rating for high arched feet. , since my first complaint of fatigue in

>1991. I was declared 100% disabled by primary doctor in Dec. 2002.

I feel like a mouse in a maze, when I read the letters from VA "you have not

submitted new and material evidence", I thought a new dignosis of a disorder

and the test results proving it was pretty new and material, but where I am

not trained in law, I may be misunderstanding this.

Am I reading correctly, when I am reading that even though no specific cause

for the illness is proven, the VA will presume the association of illness

and toxic exposures, when vet served during specified time, in specified

area, and had certain (listed/named) signs and/or symptoms, for reason of

service connected compensation? I was there, an MP, in units listed as

potentially exposed to sarin or other toxins, I have suffered the listed

symptoms over the past 10 years or so (chronically and medically recorded).

I am disabled and seeking compensation relating to service connection due to

Gulf War Illness.

Every time I read the laws passed for Gulf War vets, I see clearly how one

would surmise I was afflicted with the mysterious illness. I have test after

test and x-rays and all medical proof of the illnesses, symptoms, disorders,

and signs my doctors have observed and noted. How can I illustrate this fact

to the rating board? That I AM one of the vets these laws were passed for.

Thank you,

Gary Bourne II (by wife)


THEN I heard from THIS SITE!! :P Praise God!! And Bless Jim!!:


Thank you so much for reply (both of them). B)

I am in rural KY. The VFW Service Officer is kind, but seems overworked and not as knowledgeable as I would like to see. We have not been notified that we will have to pay him anything.

Generally, the VA SO's are paid by the organization that supports them. VFW people are just as good as any, as a whole. You can switch service officers at any time you feel it would benefit your cause. DAV, VFW, STATE VETERANS, AMERICAN LEGION and lots more have people that can help you if you feel like you need more attention.

I have been diagnosed with 12 symptoms of Gulf War Illness, I am presently taking Alzheimer's medication due to the brain damage.

right here, you should be examined for C&P. If they haven't scheduled an exam then you DO need to find a Service officer that is more than nice. One that 'dogs' that until you get what you need.

I have applied for social security, and heard positive comments from the examiner of the claim's potential for acceptance.

If you can't work and have the degenerative disorders you do, you should get SSDI and you should get it soon.

I saw the law where I can also qualify for non-service connected pension once ss finds me eligible (a law my SO was not familiar with-he just knew that 'usually' if ss paid, then the military pension would.) I have sought atty, but no luck yet. I have no money, so I am not sure if representation is even available for me.

You should have the S/O check and make sure that you have applied for both Comp and Pension. Comp is for compensation of a service connected ailment while Pension gets you help from non service connected. You should be able to get your Pen benefits hurried along if you are destitute by, again, your Service officer. If he doesn't know how, shoot him (just kidding, just beat him).

REPRESENTATION IS YOUR RIGHT, you deserve that and more. If nobody has thanked you for your service, let me be the first. You deserve everything that you will get from your tour. Just don't give up and quit, because then, they win. The enemy is .GOV. All of it.

Yes, I lost all of my teeth before age 30. All close family have healthy smiles into retirement age. I had noticed the tooth deterioration on ngwrc website. They just turned to powder over a 5 yr period.

No matter what anyone says, this is NOT normal. It is all connected.

I was examined for ptsd, I sought treatment while in service, it was close to my separation date and they referred me to VA when I got home. Was found with no disorder initially, then, anxiety, personality, fatigue, etc. But no ptsd.

with one question: did you receive a combat ribbon (Combat infantryman or anything such as combat medic?) if you say yes, I would say go immediately to the next paragraph and even if you didn't you should consider that next one.

From this point, I will ask you to do me a favor. Call the Vet Center in your city. They will be in the white pages either as Vet Center or Veterans Center. Call them and schedule a meeting with one of their trained therapists. They can do what I can't do and that is to diagnose. I'm a former medic and I think I know more than I probably do know, but from where I am sitting, you have raging PTSD. I would guess that all this Iraqi Freedom bullshi* has you 'pinned down'. Do you isolate a lot just to stay away from people, always aware of the perimeter, are you mad as hell and screaming at everyone?

Your other choice is the VA Hospital and I think that there is an in house ptsd program in a facility somewhere close to you. They are great. The VA understands PTSD and their program is great.

lol I saw no war horror. Was never under fire. I was MP, well armed, felt rather safe. There were explosions within my line of sight, as tanks and trucks were bombed. I saw a bit of aftermath close-up, exploded equpment, enemy corpses, etc. Our M8's went off here and > there

I personally don't think you needed see much that would shock you. I suspect that what you saw was probably enough to give you some raging nightmares and intrusive thoughts while you are struggling to get through your day.

One passing note. HADIT.COM.

I won't be going anywhere so you can always get ahold of me.

Hope it is helpful. Thats one of my new 'missions' in life.


Jim ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hubby DID have C&P exam at one time - can we get another? How?

Should I get him tested (If possible) for mycolpasma infection? He has many symptoms. As well as PSTD (he has DR appt next month).

I don't know if his Doc ever used the words 'In my medical opinion...' yet (am checking now).

If I didn't fill out a form for TDIU, or not mentioned the words exactly - will they ignore that truth - that is IS completely disabled? (SS awarded full compensation w/i 2 mos of his application for total disability w/VA medical records.

Same VSO as back then- still no word - says he 'does his thing' when he goes in front of board. So far, only argues w/us about presumption, etc. He DID make note where I (the wife) hollered and fussed at him over the phone though for not helping hubby. He sent us part of the paperwork for non service connected pension, we filled out what they asked plus I put income info in margins, he told us not to file for it because it delays S/C claim and would not help if SS disability paid off. So we quit that claim, only to find a blank page or 2 in the application when we got copy of complete 'official record of file of claim'. I (the wife) WENT off on VSO. I am sorry - I know I shouldn't have - maybe I have PSTD too now??

S/C claim on DRO desk facing SOC the VSO office tells me, we expect to be denied on anything we have tried. If he were to get a VSO that DOES something - do we start over? It has been 15 years since his service, he let claim lapse over the 1 year limit until we married 8 yrs ago and I went and filed again for him. I dunno how long we can hold on. Please pray for us. Thank you to anyone who reads this. -Sonya

Edited by belle
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Hi Belle. Do you Know Randy Fisher? HE is the American Legion VET Rep and he will be at Lexington VA Leestown this Friday. His office is next door to the VARO in Louisville. You and your Husband may want to pay him a Visit. You can also ask the VA to expedite the claim because of severe financial hardship. You can write up a Statement of case and hand it to Randy ( Make a COPY) and he can turn it in directly to who has the claim on Monday AM. Is your Husband treated at VAMC Lexington. It can be difficult to wait for Louisville VARO because they specialize in tap dancing around claims. They also change Ro managers way too often.

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Nope we don't know him, but we will certainly try to know him soon. I do not know how to write a statement of case. Yes, my husband goes to Lexington for DR appts and testing, treatments and meds. Oh thank you for reply! Definite plans to visit VA Fri tho! Thank you thank you!

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I have attached the form for the Statement in support of claim. Print it and fill it out. You can call Randy at 859-233-4511 Friday morning. I suggest you get there early at Leestown. Before 9am. He is also a retired RN from the VA.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Dear Belle,

Welcome to the Hadit Family! Sounds like your husband has several Issues on Appeal - good on him for fighting the good fight!

How long have you been waiting for the VA to issue the SOC?!

Your husband seems to be in a world of hurt, and I'm sorry that he and his family are suffering along with his illnesses. God Bless you for hanging in there with him, I'm sure it has not been a walk in the park! Is the VA providing your family with any Counseling or supportive services?

At first glance, it does appears he has covered all possible bases with 10 years of diagnosis and treatment from the VA - as well as being "declared 100% disabled by primary doctor in Dec. 2002".

What was the primary reason for the VA to deny his "Gulf War Syndrome" in the first instance?

I am not a GW Vet, but I am certain others will contribute as they are able.


P.S. It might be a good idea to search the BVA and veteran's Court for winning cases - always good to pump yourself up and stay hopeful - - never give up!!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Search PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed

Brain abnormalities in Gulf War syndrome: evaluation with 1H MR spectroscopy.

Haley RW, Marshall WW, McDonald GG, Daugherty MA, Petty F, Fleckenstein JL.

Dept. of Internal Medicine, Section of Epidemiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 75390-8874, USA.

PURPOSE: To test for neuronal brain damage in the basal ganglia and brainstem in Gulf War veterans by using magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-two Gulf War veterans with one of three factor analysis-derived syndromes (case patients); 18 well veterans matched for age, sex, and education level (control subjects); and six Gulf War veterans with syndrome 2 from a different population (replication sample) underwent long echo time (272 msec) proton (hydrogen 1) MR spectroscopy on a 4 x 2 x 2-cm voxel in the basal ganglia bilaterally and a 2 x 2 x 2-cm voxel in the pons. Syndromes 1-3 are described as "impaired cognition," "confusion-ataxia," and "central pain," respectively.

RESULTS: The N-acetylaspartate-to-creatine (NAA/Cr) ratio, which reflects functional neuronal mass, was significantly lower in the basal ganglia and brainstem of Gulf War veterans with the three syndromes than in those structures of the control subjects (P =.007). The finding was corroborated in the replication sample (P =.002). Veterans with syndrome 2 (the most severe clinically) had evidence of decreased NAA/Cr in both the basal ganglia and the brainstem; those with syndrome 1, in the basal ganglia only; and those with syndrome 3, in the brainstem only.

CONCLUSION: Veterans with different Gulf War syndromes have biochemical evidence of neuronal damage in different distributions in the basal ganglia and brainstem.

See Full Text http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/content/full/215/3/807

Related Article

Effect of basal ganglia injury on central dopamine activity in Gulf War syndrome: correlation of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and plasma homovanillic acid levels.

Haley RW, Fleckenstein JL, Marshall WW, McDonald GG, Kramer GL, Petty F.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8874, USA. robert.haley@mednet.swmed.edu

BACKGROUND: Many complaints of Gulf War veterans are compatible with a neurologic illness involving the basal ganglia.

METHODS: In 12 veterans with Haley Gulf War syndrome 2 and in 15 healthy control veterans of similar age, sex, and educational level, we assessed functioning neuronal mass in both basal ganglia by measuring the ratio of N-acetyl-aspartate to creatine with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Central dopamine activity was assessed by measuring the ratio of plasma homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenlyglycol (MHPG).

RESULTS: The logarithm of the age-standardized HVA/MHPG ratio was inversely associated with functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia (R(2) = 0.56; F(1,27) = 33.82; P<.001) but not with that in the right (R(2) = 0. 04; F(1,26) = 1.09; P =.30). Controlling for age, renal clearances of creatinine and weak organic anions, handedness, and smoking did not substantially alter the associations.

CONCLUSIONS: The reduction in functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia of these veterans with Gulf War syndrome seems to have altered central dopamine production in a lateralized pattern. This finding supports the theory that Gulf War syndrome is a neurologic illness, in part related to injury to dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia.


Dr. Robert Haley, Professor, University of Texas in Dallas


Edited by Wings
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