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De-Mobilizing Reservist From Oif/oef


OEF 21B
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Every service member is required to complete a DD Form 2796 - Post Deployment Health Assessment within 30 days of departing theater. Don't make the same mistake that I did and say that you're "OK" because the de-mob site medical staff tells you that anyone with physical or mental issues will be placed in the medical hold company and may get to go home in 2-3 months... List EVERYTHING that is bothering you, no matter how "trivial" you think it is.

Around 90-180 days after you've returned home, your unit should schedule you to fill out the DD Form 2900 - Post Deployment Health Re-Assessment form. Again, be honest and list any and all symptoms that you have, especially anything related to PTSD. Once you complete this form, a nice person from the PDHA will give you a phone call and discuss any health issues you may have and they will sign the DD Form 2900 and it will be stored in the MEDPROS PDHRA database. The VA pulls these reports and if you didn't list a condition on either one of them, they will use that information against you.

I found out the hard way that the VA will use this document that is maintained by MEDPROS against you for any future claim that you might file. I completed my DD Form 2796 prior to departing Afghanistan, and not wanting to be on permanant trash detail at a medical holding company, didn't list a few of my (at the time) minor PTSD symptoms. Yeah, I know, not smart...

My symptoms started getting worse after I returned home while I was on my 109 day paid "vacation" and they got worse when I started back to work in April 2009. I was never asked to fill out the Post Deployment Health Re-Assessment by my unit since I retired to the retired reserve rolls in May 2009. I filled out the DD Form 2900 anyway and then forgot about it, and I was never contacted by the PDHA team in order to complete my form... so I never had a chance to list my PTSD symptoms after my deployment.

My PTSD C&P examiner stated that even though I had many PTSD symptoms, I didn't list anything on my DD Form 2796 reporting PTSD symptoms. The PDHA doctor never completed my DD Form 2900 so that wasn't in my records and the C&P examiner didn't mention that my DD Form 2900 was missing.

So, if you're returning from OIF/OEF and you are a National Guard memeber or Reservist... be sure to list EVERYTHING that is wrong with you before you leave theater, and try to get a copy of any medical treatment you had while down-range... then around the 90-120 day mark make sure your unit schedules you for a Post Deployment Health Re-Assessment and fill out the DD Form 2900 and be completely honest with the PDHA doc when they call you for your closing interview.

PS - I was able to complete my DD Form 2900 from my 2008 OEF deployment this week and now it will be a permanent part of my records. I'm going to include this in my claim packet now that it has been signed by a doctor.

Semper Fi,

OEF 21B

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I have  a similar problem with the DD-2796. I filled out the PDHA but not the PDHRA after I got back from Afghanistan in 2010. I moved to IRR in 2011 and never went back. I only recently filed for disability last year and I am at 30% now with more to come. The question I have is how much weight does the DD-2796 carry in determining service connection if all we list on that form is symptoms that have no diagnosis at the time? I was like you when I came home and did not want to stay there any longer than I had to. I listed a ton of stuff, but most of it I have no diagnosis for until recently. Can I still use the recent diagnosis of some conditions to service connect conditions that were not diagnosed in service? And how were you able to completer the PDRHA after leaving service? I wonder if that would help my situation if I were able to completer it as well, but I am already at almost six years since I returned from my last deployment. I am new to all of this and I am just trying to understand the whole process. I appreciate any opinion you have on this.

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