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Starting On The Long Road



Hi Everyone,

I've been stalking on this site for awhile but thought I should share with you how the VA has turned into my new friend!

First, a bit of personal history...I spent 7 years in the Army as a medic and 13 years in the Navy in Cryptology. While in the Army, my first tour out of training was Viet Nam with an Infantry unit. Spent 7 months in the field, caught malaria and by the time I got over that it was time to go home. I was there in 1969 and left a year later in 1970. I was awarded the CMB within 3 weeks of being in-country...saw a lot of crap no 20 year old should have to see.

This past May I had a heart attack and a stent was placed in a single artery. While recovering, I did a ton of research trying to figure out why it happened to me and found the AO thing so went to the VA and filed. I have my C & P on Monday, the 15th of September. Have no idea what I might get. I guess it depends on the tests they'll be doing (METS?). I am on drugs for the rest of my life so I think that's good for at least 10%.

Anyway, more research led me to think PTSD may have caused the heart problems. I know I have it but just played superman for all of these years. So, I signed up as a patient in the medical system and just got referrals to ENT to check on tinnitis (something else I've had for years but ignored) and also referred to the PTSD Clinic at the medical center. I'm hoping once I get diagnosed with PTSD I can use VA doctors for help with it and also file for disability. At 65 years old I think it might be time for me to get normal again (or at least heading in that general direction).

If I don't bore you to death I'd like to post up-dates as the PTSD claim progresses. I think it might help other older vets that it isn't too late to file for disability. I'm sure there will be a lot of ups and downs but just keeping my eyes on the goal line.

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Welcome and good luck.

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"saw a lot of crap no 20 year old should have to see."

I sure have no doubt about that.

"Anyway, more research led me to think PTSD may have caused the heart problems."

If your heart disease is Ischemic heart disease -IHD (probably is ...with the stent) ,maybe listed as CAD in your med recs, you have a presumptive AO disability and should file the claim on that basis.

If you get a VA MH diagnosis of the PTSD, that claim should be filed as separately.

I had one claim long ago, (as widow of a Vietnam Vet USMC 65-66), using 2 different theories, adding the PTSD as a cause of my husband's heart disease,which caused his death. (This was many years before IHD became AO presumptive.)
I was awarded DIC on a different basis (1151)so that claim was moot....in those days ....
Then after the new AO IHD regs came out, I won under Nehmer a posrthumous IHD award, in 2012, almost 20 years after my husband died.

My point is.... It is far more difficult to file for PTSD as a secondary from a physical disability or as the prime cause of a secondary physical disability.

As you are a medic ,incountry Vietnam , I have no doubt that your stressors would lead to PTSD.

The CMB...is that the Combat Medic Badge?

You know there is some association between malaria and some heart disease and other problems.....

Do you have any residuals at all from the malaria?. Any problems with your spleen?

I suggest you go over the PTSD forum here and the AO forum as well......

You have basis for 2 very valid claims. AO IHD and the PTSD.

Welcome aboard!

My daughter was Cryptologist,Vietnamese linguist, USAF Intell, 7 years, so I know how stressful that training and MOS can be .

You might well be eligible for CRDP or CRSC when the VA resolves the claim.

Those acronyms have lots of info here at hadit, available under a search.

But I am assuming the 7 plus 13 years renders you
military retirement from DFAS but I could be wrong.

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Thanks for the info Berta and others. Yes, the CMB is the Combat Medical Badge and I do receive retirement. The CRDP and CRSC is a bit confusing to me but still have to research that and talk it over with my DAV representative. I don't have any problems with the malaria but kind of think my body didn't like that year in Viet Nam and is just now telling me that was a big mistake. For the heart thing I did file under AO IHD, gave the VA everything I had from the incident and it moved pretty quickly through the system with my C & P coming up on Monday. When I get those results I'll let you all know but should probably put it in another forum and not in the PTSD one. Don't want to clutter things up!

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CRDP is automatic
(meaning VA is supposed to send the rating info to DFAS )

CRSC is explained here at Military.com and they have CRDP CRSC stuff in their discussion forums.


We have CRDPers and CRSCers here as well and some info here in this past thread:

I am glad that claim is moving fast.

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Thanks Berta and others! So much to learn and get through and this site is such a great resource. Just to keep you all updated...I called for appointments yesterday (after getting referrals from my Primary) to ENT for a tennitis diagnosis and the PTSD Clinic to get evaluated. The ENT appointment is for next week (that was fast) but the PTSD Clinic can't see me until the 28th of October. The PTSD appointment, I'm told, will last about three hours.

Just a quick of question...how many appointments do you think it will take to get a diagnosis? The Vet Center here tells me get the diagnosis before using them for therapy.

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