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14 Year Veteran In Need Of Help

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To Whom This May Concern,

I currently have a pending compensation claim at the VA. I submitted my claim back in November 2012 and the only correspondence I have received is a letter every three months stating the VA is still working to try and resolve my claim. I am writing today because I am in a need of help. I served my country Honorable for almost fourteen years. I have completed three combat tours of duty in Iraq, earning the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Navy Commendation during those deployment periods. During my last enlistment in 2008 after coming back from deployment I was involved in a terrible accident which resulted in me being given an Other Than Honorable Discharge.

I have come to a point in my life where my anxiety has left me with many sleepless nights. I go days without sleeping, I randomly burst into tears for no apparent reason. I find myself not changing clothes, brushing my teeth or showering for days at a time. As I sit in a quiet room with the shades closed my heart starts to beat faster and faster. I find myself pushing everyone around me farther and farther away. My phone rings over and over without the thought of answering. I have defended my country when called upon, and now that I have asked for help I feel as if Im left stranded on the battlefield. The same battlefield where many of my brothers gave their last breath, the same battlefield I fought side by side with my fellow Marines.

I feel as if Ive been treading water for many years now. During my active service time its hard to ask for help due to the fact that youre taught not to show weakness. After my first combat deployment where I earned my Combat Action Ribbon I returned back stateside only to find my world had changed. Ive did many things in my life that I dont ever repeat, but during a combat period you feel as if certain things are necessary to complete the mission. You dont realize the true nature of your actions until you leave the combat environment. Once back in the states you find yourself all alone thinking about the things youve done for your country in the name of freedom. You question yourself with all the what ifs. I found myself picking up a bottle to ease the pain I was feeling inside. I recall a time when I was stateside and my mother called due to the fact she was concerned with my well being. My mother stated I needed to stop drowning my pain with drinking. I responded by telling my mother that if she had the nightmares I had she would drink to.

I ultimately tried to commit suicide. The first episode I had taken a half a bottle of sleeping pills. I just wanted to die in a peaceful manner. Being unsuccessful I tried a second time, this time I took the whole bottle. I cant recall how it happened but when I woke up I found myself in the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton. After staying in the hospital for a few days I was transferred to a mental ward in San Diego for approximately two weeks. After discharge I had to see a doctor each month and was prescribed medication. I think all this was happening between 2004-2005 time frame. I have a hard time recalling exact dates of many events in my life. Ultimately I was redeployed two additional times to Iraq. On my last deployment in 2008 I reenlisted while deployed. I was given an Honorable Discharge during my reenlistment ceremony. Now the Marine Corps stated all of my service was not Honorable due to the accident I was involved in during 2009.

Today as I sit down and write this letter Im asking for help. I currently live in Texas and as stated before I submitted a claim back in Nov 2012. I have no medical insurance and cant afford to see a doctor. Since I was given and Other Than Honorable Discharge I lost many of the VA rights I am in need of. I am treading water daily. I can envision myself loosing the strength to keep fighting for a better life. Please I am begging for help.

I called the VA last week and stated that I needed help and I needed to talk with someone about my anxiety and feel of hopelessness, but the lady I spoke with said my claim was still being worked and she couldnt provide any additional information at that time. Im not asking for a hand out, Im asking for help with the things I have going on in my head.

Respectfully Submitted

We train for war and fight to win....

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I don't know what you did to deserve an Other Than Honorable discharge, but there is a process to have your discharge upgraded to honorable:


You might want to pursue that if you'd gain access to VA healthcare. It's not always the greatest but it sure beats the nothing you've got now.

Otherwise, in terms of a rating decision from the VA, you're in the same boat as many of us. Many vets wait for a year or more for their initial claims to be completed, which is just the start of what's too often a long journey of trying to gain service connection or an increased rating. Mine took a year.

Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of recognizing that you're human, and humans don't have all the answers all in themselves. You hang in there.


One TiredCoastie

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“ I submitted a claim back in Nov 2012. “

The VA will need (in most cases) to make a “character of Discharge” determination.*

The link TiredCoastie gave you is an excellent one. It wasnt that long ago you left the Mil so now is the time to seek some 'witnesses' . It is amazing how many 'buddys' or witnesses' have been found on the internet by vets needing their eye witness account for all sorts of claims issues.

This is one of many hadit discussions on OTH:

This concerns me:

. “On my last deployment in 2008 I reenlisted while deployed. I was given an Honorable Discharge during my reenlistment ceremony. Now the Marine Corps stated all of my service was not Honorable due to the accident I was involved in during 2009. “

*Please take note of what our member Vike said in the above hadit link :

Now, if your friend has any prior service periods that were completed and terminated with a "Honorable" discharge or "Under Honorable Conditions" discharge, AND his claimed disabilities manifested themselves within that period of Honorable or under Honorable Conditions period, then his OTH discharge is moot and VA will not have to due a character of discharge determination. A Honorable discharge is binding on VA for benefits purposes.” Vike

You stated however:

“I served my country Honorable for almost fourteen years. “ I assume there were possibly other HDs for separate periods of service?

But maybe not.

Still you need to fight this OTH.

You mentioned anxiety . If you claimed PTSD as the disability you want to be service co0nnected for , the PTSD regulations changed 2 years ago and are in the PTSD forum.

They require a PTSD diagnosis from a VA MH professional.

As an OEF veteran, you certainly might be eligible for help from a Vet Center.


And do not hesitate to call 1-800-273-8255

or chat on line at


to get help if you feel the need to talk to someone who understands the despair of anxiety ,because you, as a veteran, are not alone with these thoughts.

How did you word your claim as to describing your disability?

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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