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I have been reading along for several years now. Finally managed to join after weeks of trying to register.
I was AD USAF 1986-1990 then became dependent until present. I have been engaged in a conflict with the Oakland regional office over my military medical records. We hand carried records from station to station until everything was scanned prior to our return from the UK in 2007. Now I only have dependent records from 2004 to present with my local base medical center and the VA archive just sent a CD to my congressman that only has the last 2 years of medical records ! They included all kinds of documentation regarding my enlistment, separation, reserve service forms etc. NO MEDICAL records.
When I called, they assured me my active duty medical files were at the archive and were already scanned. If what they sent is are the only records they have on me, I am totally SCREWED since I can't show service connection for any of the things I'm dealing with.
Is there anything I can do?
I am going to call the archive yet again on Monday as well as my DAV rep and congressman's aid.
How can 29 years of medical care vanish like this?
You stated "'the VA archive"....???
What about the National Archives. http://www.archives.gov/
Click on the Veterans Service Records thing and then follow the instructions to send them a SF 180.
Ask for ALL inservice medical records and ALL inservice Personnel records.
VA is supposed to obtain SMRS prior to deciding any claims that hinges on them.
Sometimes they see USAF and tell the vet their records were burned in the St Louis Fire. ,,,when the fact is , they possibly were not destroyed in the fire at all.
USAF records did have the most destruction.
They told a vet I know that his records were lost in the St fire, but he was born AFTER the fire....He got them himself via NARA at the link above.
I went to the archives first, nothing there. They directed me to the VA archives in St. Louis since all AD records are supposedly sent there.
The last time I had my complete medical file in my hand was when we PCS'd to RAF Lakenheath Dec. 2003.
I called my congressman's office and they were shocked. They are going to contact Lakenheath and start an investigation.
So I reached out to several people I served with that I have managed (thanks Facebook) to keep in contact with. They are filling out VBA-21-4138 forms for me. My DAV rep. said to get all of those together along with the medical records I do have from 04-present plus I also have additional training records, re-enlistment packet, USAF-Res documentation etc.
Hopefully I have enough to at least get to a C&P. Can't get past the record issue.
After upsetting one of the VA Archives people because the Disc they sent me was devoid of AD Medical records and was quite surly with me, He told me to call their Archive front office and the VA General Council. So I promptly did as I was told .
The front office asked for the names of the people I had dealt with, dates, times etc. I told them I wasn't trying to be a pain in the neck, just wanted to locate my missing medical records. The person (Susan) I was working with was very nice and helpful (Veteran). They sent me another Disc that was supposed to contain my AD medical records however it was the same clerical stuff I had already received. Yesterday Susan (Acting Division Chief) directed me to speak with Rose and I also discovered records are housed in CAVES ! Who knew !.
Rose was able to locate my AD medical records and started reading incidents to me to confirm this is what I was looking for. I couldn't believe it, after all this time having the VBA claims office telling me I had no documentation and there was Rose, reading it to me....I about died.
Yesterday morning before my discussion with Rose, I faxed 79 pages of documentation to my DAV rep. who handed it over to the VSR's today with the supporting statements from people I served with and family members along with medical documentation I did have access to from 2003-present. I put everything I have on my laptop and burned a CD that has over 700 pages of medical and clerical documentation as well.
Rose informed me that every time we PCS'd, our medical records were supposed to be archived so she is doing an investigation for the bases/dates of service from 1991-2003 so she can hopefully send me the rest of my medical history which is still unaccounted for at this time. Rose stated the VSR's have had access to my medical records all along which really ticked me off.
So I called my congressman's office this morning to give him an update. Apparently the VBA claims office told him something different than what I was able to find out. He will be following up with them. I told him I have no idea if I am in reconsideration or NOD status. I told him the VSR informed me a NOD could take 3-6 years to complete so hopefully we're doing a reconsideration since they clearly failed to do their job in the first place and made me spend a year chasing down information they had access to right from their desktop.
My claim is not done yet, but now that I know my medical history does exist and soon I will have a copy of it. I am much closer to the end zone now than I was last month. I hope my struggle benefits someone else. Never give up, never Surrender !
Kick butt and take names along the way....it's very helpful
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