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Crosis

Writing a Letter for a buddy

Question

Greetings!

I am a USMC Veteran, I have PTSD (working on getting mine service connected, but thats another issues). I was asked by a close friend of mine who served in the US Army to write a Buddy Letter for his pending PTSD claim. I'm gong to share what I have written so far, I would appreciate some feedback on any changes I need to make.
 

My name is (withheld), and I've known the Veteran (withheld) listed above since the Summer of 1998. To say I just know him would be an insult to our bond, (withheld) is my brother, not by blood but by choice. We were forged in the same fires of hell. We met the Summer before High School and from that point on we went everywhere together, weekends and summers were spent together at each others parents home (along with our 2 other brothers - also Veterans).

While we were in High School before we joined the Military (Him Army, me USMC) (withheld) was super outgoing. We would go to Tournaments for the various games we played that would range from small groups of 20 to large groups over over 200 in attendance, we would go to Movies, the Mall, the Beach, he never had issues with being in Crowded places. He always had the uncanny ability to just make every situation better and fun. He was always smiling, always enjoying himself, he never had trouble sleeping, he was an all American guy that everyone was proud to call their friend.

After we enlisted and we both deployed out of country I noticed some major changes in his personality. He doesn't do well with crowded places, always has to sit with his back to a wall watching the entrances and exits, his ability to relax and just enjoy life has been stripped away from him. He doesn't sleep like he used to - nightmares, sleep disturbances, snoring, etc. He has control over his anger, but you can see it boiling inside of him. When we go places (withheld) has a happy face on, but you can see him always calculating the situation, sizing up the people around him for potential threats, and always being on guard - especially around new unknown people. Getting him to go out and do things isn't like it used to be, before it was "Hey lets go see a movie" we would get up and immediately leave to go see said movie, now its "hey lets go see a movie", and sometimes its a month before he has the energy to leave and be around people enough to see the movie

His experiences overseas have altered his personality, his demeanor, and his life to a point that he is completely different person that is being forced to learn how to adjust in society without the help and support he truly needs.

I hope this statement helps in you making the right decision to help (withheld) with his claim.

Thank you,

(Withheld)

Any changes needed? is this sufficient?

Edited by Crosis

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This sounds ok to me  also if he is married his wife can make a lay statment to his before military and after. Especially if you guys served together in a combat zone he may need another buddy statment like yours   you migh go into better detail of the time and locations you guys were in the hell hole

He needs to be diagnose by the VA Only  they will not use a private diagnoses for MH (PTSD)

Remember  his DD 214 Should reflect his combat zone

Remember too the VA  don't require stressor's since 2010 for combat veterans

It would help if he was in VA Therapy taking treatment and discuss what you mention about his behavior to the therapist, he/she will document it in his medical records  and he can make copies and use as part of his evidence.

Remember the 3 Caluza Triangle broncovet always mentions to file a claim  

1.  Current diagnosis.  Your doctor must have diagnosed you.  No diagnosis, no benefits. (FOR PTSD VA NEEDS TO MAKE THE DIAGNOSE)

2.  In service event or aggravation.  You could have had a broken leg, been exposed to excessive noise, or a bomb could have blown up and you lost your legs.   Or, you may have had something before service that got worse (aggravation).  

3.  Nexus.  This is the famous statement, by your doctor, that your (current diagnosis #1 is at least as likely as not related to your in service event, number 2).  

Buddy statements are ok if he can't find his STR's But I really don't see a problem here getting service connected.....>as for as his rating remember they rate according to his symptoms.

Which is why he needs to be in treatment and being treated . if he is then this is good   make copies off myhealthvet  high lite the favorable evidence  so the rater and examiner can or will read it.

I really don't see a problem for you guys to get service connected and a rating. 

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It is a nice letter but it does not hit the mark on buddy statements:

I have an article here on buddy statements that will help you-cant find it yet-and  it was basically geared to Vietnam , GW vets, and OIF/OEF veterans-for PTSD claims.

A valid buddy statement needs these components, as it must be an eyewitness account:

 

The buddy needs to tell VA he/she served same unit, same time and place , and witnessed the stressor.

Hopefully they give many details and can get the date time frame narrowed down, as close as they can.

(In case JSRRC has to verify the stressor)

They need to give the VA their full contact info as well and also put an oath at the bottom off the statement.

Their bank can notarize their signature probably for free.

I suggest using the 21-4138 form , available here as that already has an oath at the bottom that they should sign, date, make copy of and then give it to the buddy to send to VA to support their claim

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
added more

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The worse part of that letter is that you are USMC and he was Army-

After he gets a PTSD diagnosis from a VA MH professional, that statement at some point might help his claim as to how PTSD affects him, but the diagnosis of PTSD is half of the hurdle-he will need to prove the stressor (s) and should ask someone who served in his Unit, same time , same place, for a buddy statement.

All units these days have web sites and there are other ways to find a buddy.

Can he join us here?

My advice would be the same to you-if you have already been denied for PTSD and need to prove your stressor.

 

Edited by Berta

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12 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

This sounds ok to me  also if he is married his wife can make a lay statment to his before military and after. Especially if you guys served together in a combat zone he may need another buddy statment like yours   you migh go into better detail of the time and locations you guys were in the hell hole

He needs to be diagnose by the VA Only  they will not use a private diagnoses for MH (PTSD)

Remember  his DD 214 Should reflect his combat zone

Remember too the VA  don't require stressor's since 2010 for combat veterans

It would help if he was in VA Therapy taking treatment and discuss what you mention about his behavior to the therapist, he/she will document it in his medical records  and he can make copies and use as part of his evidence.

Remember the 3 Caluza Triangle broncovet always mentions to file a claim  

1.  Current diagnosis.  Your doctor must have diagnosed you.  No diagnosis, no benefits. (FOR PTSD VA NEEDS TO MAKE THE DIAGNOSE)

2.  In service event or aggravation.  You could have had a broken leg, been exposed to excessive noise, or a bomb could have blown up and you lost your legs.   Or, you may have had something before service that got worse (aggravation).  

3.  Nexus.  This is the famous statement, by your doctor, that your (current diagnosis #1 is at least as likely as not related to your in service event, number 2).  

Buddy statements are ok if he can't find his STR's But I really don't see a problem here getting service connected.....>as for as his rating remember they rate according to his symptoms.

Which is why he needs to be in treatment and being treated . if he is then this is good   make copies off myhealthvet  high lite the favorable evidence  so the rater and examiner can or will read it.

I really don't see a problem for you guys to get service connected and a rating. 

He was married, they have since divorced. I am not aware of his current treatment, we live in separate states so I only see him when I go to visit him or he comes to visit me (we try to meet up at least twice a year)

 

9 minutes ago, Berta said:

It is a nice letter but it does not hit the mark on buddy statements:

I have an article here on buddy statements that will help you-cant find it yet-and  it was basically geared to Vietnam , GW vets, and OIF/OEF veterans-for PTSD claims.

A valid buddy statement needs these components, as t must be an eyewitness account:

 

The buddy needs to tell VA he/she served same init, same time and place , and witnessed the stressor.

Hopefully they give many details and can get the date time frame narrowed down, as close as they can.

(In case JSRRC has to verify the stressor)

They need to give the VA their full contact info as well and also put an oath at the bottom off the statement.

Their bank can notarize their signature probably for free.

I suggest using the 21-41348 for here as that already has an oath at the bottom that they should sign, date, make copu of and then give it to the buddy to send to VA to support their claim

 

I did not serve with him overseas, I'm a Marine, he is U.S. Army. He was in Afghanistan, I served multiple tours in Iraq.So I did not witness his stressors, I just observed his changes in behavior from before and after his service and deployments. The form I am using is the VBA-21-4138 form, I just copied the text from the form to here so none of his personal information was included on the Web.

Edited by Crosis

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Ms berta

Remember combat veterans don't need to prove their stressors    his DD 214 Should reflect his combat locations and dates.

If he has most of his STR's & Duty records and MOS these will have His combat locations on them.

I don't see any problems if he has all these records to submit for evidence.

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