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Burt

Am I On The Right Track Here?

Question

my knee was injured in 1988 basic training i was torn from the top of the cargo net by another trainee who panicked when he went to flip over the top... he held onto me and we both toppled over and fell strait to the ground and hit on 1 leg.. my left 1... the knee buckled and something inside snapped and my left foot was broken across the arch. because i was 18 and not a quitter i managed to get through basic training on bottles of motrin and a will to not fail. over the 5 years and 2 duty stations i ended up having surgery on the knee twice. it never got better, i also injured my back and my hearing while on active duty. i was givin a permanant profile no running, jumping, squatting, kneeling etc. i really wanted to stay in and fought like hell to do so an eventually i was found fit for duty at a medical review board and thought i had it made... then 8 months later i was barred from reenlisting due to the permanant profile. i got out and have struggled since, its hard to find a job when your body is a mess and you cant hear over the ringing in your ears lol. i ended up living in a mobil home on my mothers property and doing odd jobs and things to get by since 1994... she passed away a year ago and i still have not been able to come up with the money to pay the estate taxes so i can keep my home. then about 4 months ago the brace they gave me for my knee in 91 finally failed to the point i couldnt weld it, tape it or pin it back together and 2 weeks without it i ended up in the emergancy room because i couldnt walk and the knee was the size of a pumpkin. the emergancy room made me fill out paperwork for obamacare and it came back saying i would be able to get health care for 120 dollars a month... and it made me a little angry here i am picking through trash to find things i can fix and resell on ebay, digging around for scrap metal to recycle, fixing peoples computers and cell phones for a few bucks here and there and doing other things i really dont want to talk about to keep the heat and electric on and my govt. is going to charge my broke ass 120 a month for help? i never applied for benefits through the va because honestly i didnt feel my little problems were anything compared to guys coming back WITHOUT legs... but after that i got mad and went and applied. i got health care but it was marked non service connnected... i have had 3 appointments since then 2 at the hospital and 1 at my local clinic. i have a complete copy of my medical records and i took them to the ortho appointment along with my 26 year old knee brace... after looking me over and looking at my records he spun around in his chair and said how exactly is this NOT service connnected? you need to go down and get measured for a new brace then go to the american legion in the basement because you have a case here and should be getting disability compensation. he scheduled me for an mri and sent me on my way. the nice girl at the legion went trhough my stuff and asked a bunch of questions and said i should let them apply for help on my behalf... turns out the hip problems that im having are related to the knee from limping on it for 26 years (i didnt even tell the doctors aboutthat just figured it was cause im getting old you know and that sure isnt anyones fault!) so thye are putting my in for my hearing loss, tininitus the constant ringing in my ears (my records from the army show i had a hearing loss issue while i was still in), my hips, my knee and my back. I have to get a certified copy of my 214 to the girl at the american legion... and then all this fasst track stuff starts... im not sure if i should do this or not... i feel like im biting the hand that fed me!! im so greatful just for the free health care! you have no idea how greatful i am! i get really bad sinus infections and sometimes they last months cause i could never afford to go to a doctor or to pay for meds... last winter i was buying horse and dog antibiotics off of the internet to help get better and now i can just see a doctor and they will give me medicine to help... for FREE!! and the knee brace... the one the army gave back in the 90s cost the army 3 grand it was custom made to fit my leg it even has my name engraved on it... over the years it has broken, bent, the straps have torn, i have sewed it, welded it, used duct tape to keep it on... and i took it hoping it could be refurbished but they just laughed and said no we will give you a brand new one JUST LIKE THAT! and then they told me i could go to a travel office and they would give me money for my 160 mile trip to the hospital... and they paid me enough i had money left over to stop at burger king on the way home (and not just get a 79 cent burger either!! i got a double whopper and large fries and drink!) and now im starting to think that i made a mistake and shouldnt have went to the leigon for more help... these guys have already dont more for me than i would have even thought possiable and i feel like a shit head for turning this in to get more from people that have already done so much...

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Hi Burt,

Welcome to Hadit!

You got good advice from that doctor and it sounds like you got a decent American Legion rep. The way I see it, you did not ask to have your foot broken or surgery on your knee. Had that not happen you probably would have stayed in a lot longer and had a much better quality of life. I gotta admit that I am impressed because I have never heard of anyone so determined that they welded their knee brace back together. That's pretty awesome.

The compensation you potentially get from the VA in the form of monthly payments is intended to offset the loss of income caused by your disabilities. You found out that the "Affordable Care Act" is not so affordable, and that doesn't even factor in copays or deductibles. The VA is there to help Veterans. You are a Veteran. You volunteered to serve your country and the VA is there to help take care of you.

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You're not competing with other vets for a finite bowl of soup; there is enough to take care of all veterans if we continue to fight for it. (Right now Frontline is on showing stacks of cash handed out to locals in Iraq). http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/losing-iraq/

It makes others happy to assist you so please accept their help and don't suffer in silence.

Thank you for your service! :smile:

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Burt,

Listen to Vync and Notorious Kelley. You would not be in your current situation had it not been for your injuries in the military. Let the VA do their job and provide you with the medical care you need, medical equipment you need, compensation you deserve and any other benefits you qualify for due to your medical conditions.

Also get all the assistance you can from the American Legion to get the maximum disability compensation you are entitled to and have them seek assistance on your behalf regarding your housing situation.

Good luck to you.

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point taken... i will get the 214 out to the american legion in the am

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Yes you are finally you need to file we all wrote that blank check up to including our life you deserve it I receive close to 700 a month for less severe injurys it has been a god send for me and my family it may take a while but it is well worth it

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