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What Is A Stressor

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I just realised today that my other posts on this had links that no longer work.

It all bears repeating. I found this in my docs from years ago and added the new PTSD reg part.

The new PTSD regs have made it easier for OIF OEF veterans to have their stressors conceded by the VA.

However for vets not falling under these new regs, either they need a CAR,CIB, or PH on their DD 214s for VA to concede stressor or they must give the VA enough details to have JSRRC verify the stressor.

JSRRC ( Joint Services Records Research Center)

A veteran can write to JSRRC themselves for verification of their stressor. In some cases that is a good idea because VA has denied claims saying JSRRC could not verify the stressor when,in fact, the VA never asked them to.(COntact info for JSRRC below)

This following info applies to all PTSD claims that do not fall under the new PTSD criteria which is in this forum:

Definition of a Stressor:

The VA defines a stressor based on the DMS –IV (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) thus:

“the person experienced,witnessed,or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threathened death or serious injury,or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others, and the person’s response involved intense fear,helplessness, or horror.”

A stressor also involves having persistent traumatic re- occurences of the event- such as flashbacks, external reminders of the stressor, distressing dreams of the stressor etc.

Many avoidance efforts as to avoidance of thoughts, people, places that remind of the stressor , and often a feeling of detachment.

The full gamut of PTSD symptoms is found within the DSM IV Manual and VA uses this manual as a guideline to diagnose PTSD.

When I worked with the PTSD group at a Vet Center, the vets always would say ‘before,during, and after’-to define how tremendously they changed due to the Vietnam War.(as well as the whole country-these vets came back to a much different America then they left.)

The changes in their behavior and reactions, sleep patterns and interactions with family and friends were symptomatic of PTSD.

Also the VA considers some events as part of the nature of warfare and not stressors.I have seen statements like that in BVA decisions.

If a combat vet states ‘I saw dead people during the war ’, this does not raise to stressor level as it is part of the nature of warfare.

If the vet however says ‘my buddy blew up in a land mine explosion’, that is a stressor and the VA can verify , with the Unit reports and deceased veteran’s name, that the veteran has a confirmed stressor.

“We took incoming’ – a usual nature of warfare-not a stressor

“Our unit lost 3 men during incoming at Danang in 1966 and one man was Sgt ---- who I knew ----.and I had to help them put these men into body bags. " That is a stressor which can be confirmed.

‘Hanoi Hannah said we would be overcome by the weekend.’ Not a stressor.She lied all the time.

'The enemy overtook our camp by the weekend and I had my first kill. A stressor'- which unit reports could prove.

‘There was a horrific accident on the runway and they say 20 men were lost ‘. not a stressor

“I participated in recovery ops after there had been a terrible plane accident at the airport in Danang.20 men had died and no one survived.” A stressor that could be proven by the veteran’s MOS and unit reports.

Sometimes a veteran will not give the VA enough details as to the stressor and how it affected them.

This is just a pretty generic description of stressors but the VA holds to the DSM as to how they describe them.

Although the most difficult thing a PTSD veteran can do is to recall in detail stressful events-whether stateside or in combat- as there are MANY reasons a veteran can have stressors and PTSD that have nothing to do with combat-

it is often the details that VA needs in order to confirm what the veteran described was consistent with the circumstances .

An example of what I mean is Swann V. Brown. The veteran was working at a USAF refueling air base in Vietnam and the air base was attacked by mortars.

He claimed this as a combat stressor.

The CAVC found that this did not constitute " engaging in combat" as the veteran could not prove he was close to the mortars attacks and there had been no casualties.

Buddy statements have to be detailed too.One buddy statement I read that a vet I know got told the VA the exact detailed circumstances of the stressor, and how the buddy could verify that the claimant veteran was at this same stressor with him and the buddy even gave VA his C file number and told the VA they could check his C file if needed because he received PTSD comp for this same stressor event. The vet I knew had 6 buddys to contact- mainly to tell them they had received awards from the Vietnamese that they didnt know they got (long story -my daughter translated an Official Vietnamese document and they all got awards, one got the DFC) and ironically one buddy was able to confirm this stressor for one of them (actually the Vietnamese document citations would sure have awarded PTSD too to them all.)

Of 6 buddys =one had died and I think maybe they couldnt find one of them- it took this vet many months but he did reach 4 or 5 of them. This can be done.Buddys can be found.Simply googling their name as well as checking reunion rosters and going to unit web sites has made finding a buddy much easier than it used to be prior to the internet.

A Wall tracing too can be used to verify you lost a buddy in Vietnam. You have to search the Wall via buddy's hometown, unit , approx date of death and name.

Even at the moving Wall -with this information-they can find the exact panel where the Buddy's name is and you can provide a tracing of it as evidence for VA claims.


Also One of our faithful listerers (SVR Old shows)me reminded me to tell you that ALL General Court Martial Records ,if needed to prove PTSD due a personal assault, can be requested and obtained from the Clerk of Court JAG of the specific branch of service in Washington DC.

Also many personal assaults and MST (military Sexual Trauma claims) can be supported by medical records in the SMRs ,of course as well as by eye witness buddy statements as to an “outcry”-a report by the victim to them immediately after this type of event occurred.

Even Personnel records showing transfer to a different unit soon after claimed stressor can also help support PTSD and personal trauma claims.

To get back to PTSD claims when the veteran was in combat but does not have the PH, CIB or CAR on his/her DD 214.

The vet should apply for a DD 215 as a correction if they feel these awards should be on the DD 214. (DOD Form 149)

Also they can write to the JSRRC themselves. I advise this even when VA says to them that JSRRC could not verify their stressor-

All Branches except for Marine Corps-

US Army and Joint Services Records Research Center

7701 Telegraph Rd,Kingman Building Room 2CO8

Alexandria VA. 22315-3802



Go to the Marine Corps University Archive Site http://www.mcu.usmc.mil/MCRCweb/Archive/

Or contact to the Commandant of the Marine Corps

Headquarters USMC Quantico toll free 1-800-268-3710

Fax 11-703-784-5792

Edited by Berta

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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Very interesting and very helpfull,Berta I just switched Reps from my loser in the Bath office to the young man in the buffalo DAV office,I hope it is a good move. He is filing for PTSD for me and says he can get me that.and get me to the 70% . I don't know if I am able to claim Bomb scares and a real nasty fight I was in,with a Sargent,whom was one of the brothers and we went at it for an hour,fighting I eventually got the better of him and he and his crew threatend to burn me alive in My Rack..wasn't good.I still wake up some nights and have dreamed about that, I slept all over the company area for a couple weeks. I was pretty screwed up the company 1st sargent sent me for RR on the boat I got like five days out of the dirt,came back and the 1st sargent asked if I wanted to talk about it ,I said no and told him I did not think that would be good and it would cause more problems . do you think the company records would have this info and does this mean I had a stresser? I am just starting to learn on this.... and that still bothers me, "the fight and my life being threatend". I have bad concentration anger problems hate crowds ,have a very limited number of freinds,mean as a rattle-snake when aggatated..can't study for school but in complete silence? if there's noise some one or some things getting my attitude and I lose things while looking for other things, I have lost.. is this an indacation I am a PTSD vet?

I am starting the second half of my battle this year-2012- with the VA, I have not worked since 2007 ,I can't--- all my shoulder stuff is on appeal and waiting for the traveling board.can't do nothing there. I am so poor I don't have a house phone . I got to do something and can not do what I did for years even with the bad shoulders I could work before, can't now, the VARO won't get me a CnP exam ,I have had two surgeries and have been asking fora CnP for 18 months with no reply ...maybe the loser in bath ,was doing nothing.. I need to get IU, I have no choice anymore. Hate fighting the VA makes me bitter,depressed and Poor.

Your stuff is Great Berta, will be on Hadit now weekly and will research and learn


Edited by macool

"We should not have to fight the system, We fought to protect"

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Rick-long time no see-

I am still dealing with an error one of the former "Bath" losers -who repped me-got me into in 1998!

Now I wish I had sued him for negligence.

This POA did have a shuffle after I filed complaint on 4 of them but still-sounds like things didn't improve over there at Bath at all.

Did you formally file the 21-8940 for TDIU and have you filed for SSDI benefits?

"do you think the company records would have this info and does this mean I had a stresser?"

Do you have your complete SMRs and also yur Personnel records from the Military?

The Bomb scares might be the strongest stressor. Still that depends on many factors.

That info could be in your Unit's Morning Reports as to proximity etc.

The new PTSD regulations are in this topic and have helped ,many OEF OIF vets but they require a PTSD diagnosis from a VA MH provider and dont allow for an independent diagnosis of PTSD.So a VA MH diagtnosis is critical to PTSD claims that fall under the new regs.

That part of these new regs has hurt many PTSD vets and has been challenged in court.

Your unit also might have it's own web site and even a roster -if you need a buddy statement.

And maybe a history as well to pin point the bomb scares.

I wont be too involved in claims after New Year Rick but someone here will help if I cant.

You have dealt with a lot already.

Hell -even dealing with the Buffalo VARO could give anyone PTSD.

My AO IHD SMC claim got so messed up I had to raise a ruckus and VA Central called me last week to tell me where my C file was.

NOT where they said it was for months.

I cannot determine if Phila RO (Nehmer claims) or Buffalo AGAIN messed up my stuff.

The IG is looking into whether they have jurisdiction over my complaint to them.

With years and years of medical evidence on my husband's IHD, they want a new VA medical opinion because of the misdiagnosis of IHD but I had sent them all FTCA stuff and med recs many times and have VA Central opinions and a Peer Review and 3 IMOs in the file from 1997 acknowledging he had IHD, VA misdiagnosed it, and they settled with me because it caused his death.

I told VACO another VA medical review will reveal he is still dead.No sustainted improvement and if he had gotten a medical review like this in 1988 and he would still be alive.

If the rep I had in 1998 had given me the correct advise, I am sure most of my recent problems could have been avoided.

He was demoted and doesnt handle claims anymore so that is good.

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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Here is the "new" PTSD criteria that mobie posted again:

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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