VA Reverses – Vietnam Vet Finally Gets His Due

June 18, 2011 | Benjamin Krause

Charles Cooley, a Vietnam Veteran, is smiling today. For the past 2 years, he had his benefits cut despite suffering from diabetes, heart disease, arterial disease, neuropathy and asbestosis. The VA rating board ignored federal policy and was caught by reporters.

His story was picked up by The Post-Star, which in turn published numerous stories about Cooley’s claim. The family was payments away from losing their home when VA officials reversed their decision because of the outcry. Not only did they reverse their decision, but they increased his disability level to 100 percent and awarded 5 years of back pay, back to 2005.

For years, Cooley received a 40 percent rating from the VA for his conditions. Around two years ago, he filed for an increase based on his worsening health. When the board met to review his claim, he requested a reschedule of the hearing due to illness. They refused and revoked his entire disability rating with no hearing at all.

The Department of Veterans Affairs stated the rating board should have allowed Cooley to reschedule. In addition, they should not have revisited the question of his service-connection. For that reason, VA officials did a full review of his claim and awarded a sizeable check to the Cooleys that will help the family live more comfortably.

“That’s what we’re here for, to help as much as we can,” said Frank Lagalbo of the New York Regional Office. “We have an office of folks here who are compassionate and interested in helping veterans.”

But the advocacy group Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association was more realistic. “If they get caught doing something and we can point it out by regulation, they do their turnabout,” stated its director John Rossie. “But unless you’ve got something like that to lean on, it’s and arm-wrestling contest.”

Veterans wishing to get their stories heard should email them to screwed@disabledveterans.org. Keep ‘em short and to the point. The most relevant will be posted on www.disabledveterans.org. Hopefully you’ll get justice like Mr. Cooley.

Comments

  1. SGM Pompili says:

    Would also be apprropriate to relook at the "efficiencies" computations used to award disabilities…what a farce !!!

    • Sergeant Carter says:

      Legitimate claims absolutely NEED to be reviewed and awarded, efficiently and supportively. But…every swingin' Richard who is "out there" is not entitled to compensation. So you spent 13 months in Nam, or did a tour in the service, and since then you've smoked for 30 years and have COPD or emphysema, or you've been morbidly overweight and now have diabetes. Whose effing problem is that? Stop with the entitlement mentality. If you were truly hurt during your time, it was YOUR responsibility to seek VA care RFN. By seeking some carte blanche compensation, you're ripping off the system for Veterans who truly earned it.

      • Sergeant Carter says:

        Another thing, TRUE agent orange, or agent purple, white, etc. (depending upon which barrel and where the defoliant was used), have serious dioxin and other poison related complications. Chloracne, specific lymphomas, etc., and other known medical "results from exposure" should have gotten onto the registry. Now we have many people who come forward with latent diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses, who magically happened to be around these agents. Those who were actually in the "way of the spray" need help, and support. Those of you you who hung around China Beach know that many of us know you're full of crap.

        And I'm tired of all these "buddy letters" which are supposed to validate your exposure to an event. Talk about a convenient conspiracy that's easy to acquire, especially if the benefits to be acquired are reciprocal. No wonder the U.S. is going down the crapper with all these parasitic programs.

        UNDERSTAND THIS: LEGITIMATE CLAIMS ARE JUST THAT.

        • SGM Pompili says:

          Sgt Carter a lot of what you say may be true in some cases….you sound like a rater with little understanding or true compassion for those who have true and honest claims…get off your high horse and look around…legitimaye claims are legitimate and should be treated as such…a fact, not fiction, tired of buddy letters etc ? You are truly out of touch !!!

  2. Joseph Diggs says:

    it appears that the people who are reveiwing claims apparently have never ever been in the Military or had disabilities themselves?

    • D. Toney says:

      I agree,some of the doctors at the hospital here in northern Maryland appear to work here because no one else wants them and treat you like they are doing you a favor.

    • MK1Skipper says:

      Well we ran into at least on in Northern California. Several of us had to write letters of support for a buddy who served with us on PBRs in the Mekong Delta. When he went in for a claim, he was told "the Navy had no significant role IN Viet Nam"!
      So I guess, to that government idiot, the loss of 262 men of TF-116 ALONE, not to mention our brothers in the Riverine Force and Swift Boats were "insignifcant" losses.
      What IDIOTS!

    • My private attorney was on the review board for the VA. After 19 years, he left because of the grossly blatant denial of valid claims. Now he works for Veterans.

      • Carl D. Gilmore says:

        Hi Patrick:
        I'm a Viet Nam vet and if your willing to give it to me, I'd like the contact info for your private attorney that was on the revue board for the VA. I might need his advice for a disability claim that I am considering.
        Regards / Carl D. Gilmore

      • CArl Palmer says:

        I would like to also have his contact information, If possible. I also have an appeal at this time, went to a "predisposed" C/P hearing in front of a "Nurse Practioner" who decided that my disabilities were NOT compensable, and contradicted ( naturally) what several Podiatrists and surgeons and Radiologists have reported, including one with 30 years of surgical experience . THAT evidence (from the surgeon ) was completely ignored in the AMC denial in which I have 30 days to respond before it goes to the board! A report on this site quoted an audit that 23% (esp. agent orange and blue water) of disability claims are processed incorrectly at regional offfices. The Washington Post reported in 1999 (it's gotten worse!) VARO is known for letting paperwork lay around (inc. mine), pilke up and get lost! A May, 2004 report states : " That the inept leadership of Keith Wilson the VA/VBA/AMC is conyinuing a long tradition of waiting for veterans to die off, before they act, denying claims that are proven, and violating court ruling! In 1999, the AMC was backlogged (and parework ignored for months) with more than 10, 000 cases pending! (IN 1999!) in JUST the Wasdhington DC region!!!! Carl Palmer

    • not true. a lot are former military. Go to any regional office and just stand around and talk to them. The problem is they are not always well trained. That's why there are service organizations on their premises to help. Always file a claim with a service organization. This way you have someone there to follow up and keep track of your claim.

    • in my dealings with the different govt agency's i.e. DOL OWCP alot of them are vets and or disabled. All hire with vets preference.

    • PBerry, TSgt, USAF (Ret) says:

      I know many of the VA Customer Service Reps. who initially sort and order up your documents to substantiate your case, and many Raters who approve and forward to the BOARD for award, are military veterans, and have a great deal of compassion.

      I see that they do cry over some of the cases! BUT, the VA is almost ONE MILLION CASES backlogged!!!

      Then, most of the MIDDLE MANAGERS have not yet been trained! They seem to be pressed to increase output, without any specific directions to the workers, on exactly what they are supposed to do next!

      Some folks who are quality oriented are told to forget quality, work for quantity, but, when that happens, the cases have HUGE error rates and need to be entirely redone, which actually contributes to the backlog!!!

      The VAOIG report on 16 Regional Offices is extremely dismal, quotes the 23% error of awards to unqualified recipients, but is quiet about the 83% passed over, and no solutions are offered!

      What is offered, are whitewash solutions, like “We will enforce training that we ordered years ago…” after the failure of previous VAOIG inspections! Scroogle the VA OIG REPORT, and read the bad news!!!

      The VA “system” is broken, backlogged, and typically bureaucratic! That ANY cases ever get resolved is the exception to the normal course of business!

      Status update on my AO claims, since 1998! LOST???

  3. Im just glad to have someone to represent those vets that have sacrafice so much for their country and family,I went through alot trying to get some benefits and then my family got ahold of the right people.God Bless America.and the familys that helped stand for it.

  4. R. Casey says:

    A judge in chicago was awarded a large sum of money for Agent Orange caused cancer.Of course he was a friend of General Shinseki head of the VA. Clout helps.Most Vietnam Vets turned down for Agent Orange problems.

    • Right on, I know someone with cancer that used to mix agent orange, Denied!

    • Donna Little says:

      Don't put the vet down because he is a judge in fact I think he should be praised for his job and working hard to get where he is. In fact having been thru Nam and living to tell it all vets should be proud and happy. This Judge did not get paid because he new the right person he got paid for serving and keeping us all safe. God Bless all who serve and pray that the stall tatics on all who have claims in stops. Shame on whoever sips on coffee and pushes a pencil around instead of working had to get our vets what is due them. The day could come when you might need help to pick that pencil up and then what will you think when they tell you you have been denied. General Shinseki did not give this Judge the cancer his service did lets not pick on our own we need to continue to fight for each other all for one and one for all ! Thanks to all who served God Bless America !

    • David Davis says:

      It seems as if those who are "connected" get preferential treatment. I will not pass judgment on them for being vets with disabilities. However, I have waited for 45 years and they know that my records were falsified by the US Army in 1966 and lost by the VA and rediscovered in 2010. So my feelings are that the line forms at the end. Just as in the military. I believe that every claim should have an assigned number that is meaningful when it comes to priorities. If I am no. 1 then I will be serviced first and until that claim is adjudicated #2 will have to wait.

  5. R.Casey says:

    I filed a claim,waited one and a half years and told my skin and lymph gland cancer not caused by Agent Orange.My family board certified doctor said it was.I sent the documentation and a picture of me with an orange and white Agent orange drum.I now must appeal.More paper work. Most appeals turned down but got to try.

    • maria R carr says:

      File proof, your orders, contact the DAV and appeal appeal appeal. I hope your health is better. The wife of a Viet Nam Combat vet.

  6. c.henson says:

    itould benie to recieve my ral seto records. but i guess still dont ext.

  7. Is it not surprizeing how offten when a veteran files a claim the VA replys it never happened, ( no record) or your records don't show that you were there, in my case when I applied i was told that I was a VN era veteran and had served only from 67 to 80, I had 24 years in when I retire, The VA only showed that I had 12, glad that I had a few copies of orders and flight records, and even when I show them buddy letters it was still hard to make the clerks understand the way paper's do get lost,and things don't always get posted or reported the way they happened,

    • I was pulled into a briefing and told I had worked on a radioactive aircraft that was not decontaminated,,, and my medical records disappeared. With the help of my congressman, and after going to the dept of defense, the AF Safety office doctor called me and read off some of my missing records,,, Still haven't seen them yet though,, Also, I requested a new claim last month, and they have scheduled me this month for an exam,, Is that fast or what?? Because my congressman is involved????

  8. Stillwaiting says:

    Vietnam era vets didn't have the thorough military physicals while on active duty then. Health documentation by military health care professionals were inadequate and often superficial. VA treats them like they were treated in the past.

    • CJeffreyS says:

      I worked in a dispensary in Vietnam and in a military hospital on return to the States. The U.S. Army certainly DID perform physicals on every soldier getting out of the Army (remember the "ETS" physicals?). They were comprehensive and gave each G.I. the opportunity to state any problems they had had when in the service. If a service connected illness or injury was mentioned, a record of that went to the Veterans Administration for their perusal, and even a reply to the individual was given.

  9. Too many veterans have more of a battle with the VA and our present government than they did with the enemy in foreign countries. That is a shame and disgrace!

  10. joe morris says:

    the same thing just happened to me–filled for increase in dis—with state ( nj) vet affaris–said i need a paper form dr. stating my condition has worsened–got and did this–they scheduled me for a hearing–i only had 2 paper from the dr at the time-i called and-cancled till they got full med record–wrote them a letter saying do not schedule me for c/p hearing till you have all med info .they rulled without a hearing–said they got info from my dr.—drs. office said they never sent them a release of med records–dis remains the same—they said i missed my hearing—but i canceled it—this is like a soap on tv–dealing with these people-i suffer from depression–this just made it worse—

    • Go through the DAV they have helped my husband, not overnight. Our lovely Federal Goverment could care less about you guys am ashame to say

  11. i served during the buildup from 1965 to 1966 im still waiting for my heart condition to be recognized as from agent orange my c&p check up my doctor at VA said it was,so why am i waiting,they are giving south vietnam 19 trillion dollars to clean up the areas i was stationed at because of agent orange.

    • Our government is given away that amount of money for the damage to what was our enemy at that time. Do the VN gov. giving anything to the family of the US soldiers they kill??? The vietnamese that moved to the US after the war are receiving better pensions than our vets. I was there during the TET of 68-69, my bladder and prostate were removed for cancer, the VA have denied twice my claim for prostate cancer…claiming that my prost. cancer came from the bladder !!!!!! Still fighting it !!

  12. Richard Lucio says:

    I certainly understand the frustration of many US veterans. I served in Viet nan in 1968 and 1969. I was exposed to agent orange on several occasions. I retired from the US Air Force in Dec.1979. I was from the old school that believed my government would take care of me. Unfortunately, I did not get copies of my Air Force medical records. I developed hypertension during my active duty years and in early 2000 developed neuropathy in my feet and hands. Now the sad part of the story. My entire Air Force medical records could not be found anywhere. The personell record center said they loaned my medical files to the VA and the VA said they never received them. I even had our local congress member try to help to no avail. I have been approved for disability for things I can prove developed after my retirement, but service connected , but not for some things that only my medical files would prove. I have been denied twice for two major medical problems. I do meet an hearing officer the end of July. My fingers are crossed, but not hopeful. The moral of this story, tell anyone you know currently on active duty to be sure and get copies of their personel and medical records, even if they are only in for a short time.

    • I just asked my husband in regards to this; he suggested you go to the DAV, Disabled American Veterans they will request your records from the archives. I hope this helps. My husband has been through the gambit of it all, as such he has picked up a lot of knowege along the road! Good luck. Maria

    • All of your X-rays are still in St Louis, Mo even if they lost your medical records. You can also use medical records from civilian doctors and or tri-care for the first year after you got out of service to support your claim for hypertension. Most claims for agent orange are presumptive conditions so you only have to prove you were in country to develope your claim, you do not need all your old medical records for them. Ask the VA to check if there is another veteran with the same name as yours, that may be where your records are…

    • My husband has a 10% connection at this time we have other claims and appeals in. Please never leave an appointment without going to records and getting a copy after each visit that you have. We have caught them with records being changed and addendums added they did not know that we were getting the records each day. You are not allowed to reieve them from the clinic so we dirve to the hospital 1 1/2 hrs just for the records. We have filed a form1151 look into that because I know this has paid off for us Thank You for your Service! God Bless !

    • Same thing happened to me. Enlisted in the USMC in 1965. Spent 15months in Nam from 1/67-3/68. Recently requested my health records in 2011 and there was nothing regarding my Nam tour, only from 6/65 when I enlisted to 1/67 and then from 3/68 to 3/69. What happened to my records???

  13. not enough enlisted people in the va system,we already seen what happened at walter reed and the disgrace at the national cemetary in d.c.

    • It is shameful, how can a civilian actually relate to anyone thats been in the service. I am the wife of a Viet Nam combat vet, I had an argument with a nurse regarding my husbands medication or lack of them. Could not get through this woman. I finally just said look I know the paperwork says it was sent – but I am telling you they are not received I need a script. He has to go to the ER. THE MAN HAS PTDS FOOL he can't go to the ER do you know what PTSD is for vet? Moral of the story. He did without his meds for a week

      • just an FYI, the vast majority of employees at the VA and regional offices have served in the military. the VA is the biggest employer of veterans, including nurses.

  14. I have a service-connected disability – Agent Orange – now it has generated into Neuropothy and I have suffered with PTSD for years but was told there was nothing they could do for me for PTSD many years ago, so my counselor never filed for it. Now, I understand there allowing it so I also, was seen for that. Went through many atrocities over there and they come back with mild condition, there not the ones going through it for the last 50 years. Lost a good paying job and all my security because I can't deal with the pain in my arms and legs and when you drive you need them. I also, have hypertension – which they are having a hard ttime regulating for me. These test have been going on for close to one year and not done yet. Than I have to go before a board don't no how long that will be – than wait for an answer – don't know how long that will be – do you think they keep stalling us off hopen we drop dead in the mean time. Vietnam Veterans never got respect – has much changed? You tell me? We have to gather and do something more than just complaining to each other because the right people aren't reading this.

    • W. Morgan says:

      You are RIGHT !! I put 21 years with USAF…Vietnam 67 – 68. Agent orange was made at the base I was stationed at, and often requested to be sprayed around the base by the ROKS. Retired 1975….later started having TIAs…Heart attack in 88….more TIAs and a massive Stroke that put me in the hospital for a solid month and was told by the ER doctors I should be dead. My neurologist who treated GIs for years at Ft Campbell KY, told me I should file a claim because it could definately all have been caused by Agent Orange exposure years before. I have not even tried because I KNOW how it would be handled and I don't want to go through all that and then realize it was for NOTHING !! Our President, VP, and all those politicians should appreciate the active duty personnel and the VETERANS….They don't with few exceptions….Thinking of what I see happening to this country makes me want to cry…….As for gathering and doing something—I'm all for it, just tell me what to do…..

    • Don Fulton says:

      Guest- I know what you are dealing with. I have PTSD and was given a small disability. I waited 40+ years ('68-69 in Nam) and then filed. The shrink asked me why i took so long and I told him that I'm not a complainer, and that I was always taught to "Man Up" so I kept the mental problems to myself. After 4 yrs I began having some real nightmares and was diagnosed with Clinical Depression, PTSD and Suicidal Tendaces. I was admitted to the nut ward for Homicidal tendacies and have been on so many drugs for the past year that if I give blood the recipient would have to have a prescription to receive it. I was with the 101st and have seen and done alot. As many of the writers above have mentioned, we are a forgotten breed, we were willing and we went, no questions. Good luck with your case.

    • I COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER – THE LONGER IT TAKES TO SETTLE THE LESS CHANCE WILL STILL BE AROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • "We have to gather and do something more than just complaining to each other" "never got respect" "has much changed" TRUE..TRUE..TRUE…I agree !…it will take more time..First join together as one. Second…DROP the "ERA" from the Vietnam Veteran….Stationed at a San Diego Supply Depot during world war two, and never seeing Guam, Okinawa..the beaches of Normandy ETC…you WERE a World War Two Veteran…same applies to Korea…Iraq, Pakistan and all the others…this practice of Vietnam "Era" Veteran only serves to divide the Vietnam Veterans..weakening us.. "Divide and Conquer" and its very effective…loose it !! finally, I guess….Vote out these Politicians…elect more Veterans into office, as well as the Supreme Court Justices….we need more Veterans in elected positions of government. If a politician wants to lead this country, then He/She need to have the courage to ware the uniform, for a min. of 4 years active duty, Honorable Discharge…, Otherwise Do NOT Apply !!!

    • rbb rbb15 says:

      hey it took me 30 yrs plus to get my increase up to 100 per cent ,i was diagnosed in 99 with ptsd and i was turend dow several times ,but i did not go away that is what they want you to so they will not have to pay you ,but i finaly got ,but was in small increments .

    • agent orange is a defoliant not a service connected condition. I assume you have diabetes because you say you are rated for neuropathy. The diabetes can cause the pain in your arms and legs, also the high blood pressure and the inability to get an erection. You can file a claim for all of these conditions secondary to the diabetes. You need another counselor if you are not getting rated for the PTSD, try VFW or American Legion, DAV… all are good if you have the right person.

  15. a. white says:

    My nehmer clAim filed over A yeAr no decision made. Told in that phase for 8 months

  16. D Lorenze says:

    I agree completely being a Veit Nam Vet myself . Even though I was in the silent service ( a submairner) not seeing much action but was hospitalized during militaey servive and still being treated for the same condition as an out patient and still I am told not service connected???????????? What is wrong with this picture????

  17. james king says:

    i was in vetnam in 1968 and im now on dialysis because my kidnys r gone and i was just denied my kidny transplant because i weigh too much and i have copd which they say my lungs r to bad so i have accepted the fack that i have to be on dyalsis the rest of my life but im 100% covered so thank god for that and im glade that i was able to serve my country and i think everyone now that was in vetnam and i thank all our troops in confliks. thank u jim

  18. Same thing happened to me I was stationed 50 miles south of Saigon, got hurt. All the records are gone they never put it in permant records. So though crap for me.!

    • Anyone from your old unit that can attest that you were there?

    • Check with the VFW or American Legion service officer to look for reunions for your unit from Viet Nam. If you were X-rayed, those records are seperate from your medical records and will still be in St. Louis. Also do a SF-180, asking for a copy of your 201 file. It may show that you were hospitalized. Again send it to St. Louis. You can also get buddy letters from guys who were in service with you. Check your old orders, they have names and SS numbers and will make it easier to contact them.

  19. John Moore says:

    Amen to all of you. They knew all the places that Agent Orange was sprayed and are now just admitting to it at Takli AFB in Thailand. My husband applied a third time and his review has been put on hold since March. Others have been waiting since Jan. At age 79 I doubt he will every see it. I have watched him suffer for years. We have so many friends that are milking the gov ailments and they have sent one enlistment and no big medical problem Life isn't fair but sometimes it is very hard to accept.

    • that junk was sprayed all along the bas4es close to loas and cambodia I know it was sprayed up to 74 when I left from Korat to the ocean

  20. Mad Yank says:

    Once again, the Vietnam Veteran gets the dirty end. This country has continually gone out of it's way to run roughshod over those of us who went to SE Asia, whether we were drafted or volunteered.
    Meanwhile, the snowbirds who "Studied" their way through deferments, and resisters who came home to "Amnesty", have BS'ed their way to the top in both Business AND Government, and the guys and gals who laid it on the line for a war that nobody supported once again get the shaft.

  21. The problems vets have when fillng a claim is the same as it was when Viet nam vets claimig all their disabilities. There is one organization which fights for all disabled vets and it is the Disabled American Veterans. You don't have to be a member for them to help you.

    • Les Centers says:

      Kudos to the D.A.V. They were solely responsible for me receiving my disability. Upon my discharge, after serving 4 years active duty in the U.S.M.C. I was not told that I was eligible for any disability compensation. After being out of active duty for one year, the D.A.V. contacted me and told me I was Eligible. They took care of the paper work, and I am now drawing my compensation, with other disabilities pending. I am now a Life Member of the D.A.V. and will always be thankful for them looking out for my best interests.

  22. willie Davis says:

    my ship service about 9 campain in vietnam yet it was not on the list for the blue water's USS CHIPOLA AO63

    • Willie: I was on USS Caliente AO-53. While you and cruised off the coast of Nam doing replenishments and could even sometimes see the coast we were never on inland waters nor did we go ashore. After I left Caliente I actually went on shore duty in Danang from 67-68. That DID make me eligible for compensation. However, though I suffered a cardiac arrest in 1982 caused by an unidentified virus which had formed on my heart lining I was told it was not Agent Orange connected. I am appealling. Hey maybe it didn't stand for Auxilliary Oiler?

  23. springchickenot says:

    Bless your heart.

  24. I think that is great as a fellow Vet very proud for you and your family.

  25. My husband a Viet Nam Vet exposed to AO, has been denied on every claim 6-8 that he has filed. He has all the illinesses and takes meds but only receives a 10% disability for diabetes. VA states these were not reported while he in was in the service so they are not connected. Oh by the way we have a child affected with Spina Bifida, that was not connected until he was 21. How can you claim on things not known to the Gov 50 yrs ago let alone not knowing yourself. We have been addressing these claims for over 10yrs. The staff are trained to reject reject reject..Who will help these vets???

    • Contact the DAV, Disabled American Vets right away! God Bless

    • Johnny J says:

      Your husbands conditions are (automatically presumptive) and are recognized as service connected and compensable. Be advised to seek a Veterans Service Officer from the Disabled American Veterans office in your area. A direct connection has been established between SPINA BIFADA and AGENT ORANGE.

    • Ask a service organization to assist your husband, like the DAV, VFW or the American Legion.

  26. Ret Vet says:

    We have "so many friends" that are milking the gov ailments and they have sent one enlistment and no big medical problem. Good Grief!!!! The truth will set you free.

  27. One of the secret ones! Get copy of your campaing orders.

  28. Streve Kennedy says:

    I was on the USS Ranger in 1974 we were still handling AO on board.
    the government doe not what to deal with the ordeal become the now that are wrong a bought AO what it would do to people.the know that it hurt people don't want to spent the money to fix the problem and wait in till the all die.then they wont have to pay for it. I have a brother that was in thick of every thing in 68 now he is having problems now.

    • Don't just wait, contact the DAV, VFW or American Legion to assist you and your brother with claims through the VA.

  29. I'm a "Brown Water" Viet Nam era veteran, served in Nam 1967-68 during TET, I was asked if I evr saw any "Agent Orange" being sprayed, I told them while we were out on the Boats we were drenched in the stuff! I have PTSD, put in at least 10 times, finally was awarded 30%, fought them fr another 10 years and got 50%, since then, I have put in for an increase because of PTSD, and have had 4 heart attacks! I call weekly, told it is in approval stage on someones desk!? They stated they owe me for my heart condition from 1993 when I first complained about chest pains, even through they nevr did anything for me about the pains, in 1999 I had the 4 heart attacks rimmed out and 3 stents!

    • If you had 3 stents, you can apply for a rating for ischemic heart disease due to Agent Orange. Connecting heart problems to PTSD is more difficult to do then the new approval for ischemic heart disease. With the 3 stents, it should go through easy.

  30. Note: The DAV is of no help, believe me!

  31. I have been through the entire process and I sypathize with you. I have diabetes, nerve damge in both arms, legs, hands and feet, hearing loss, retinopathy in both eyes, peripheral artery disease and PTSD. It took five years of tests, meetings, classes and hearings before I was deemed 100%. My advice to you is don't go it alone. Find a good service officer associated with one of the major service organizations; American Legion, DAV, VFW. They have the clout to help you. Every letter, form and scrap of correspondence sent to you will also be sent to them. They know what form to send, when to send it and what sort of information is required. The main thing is don't give up.

  32. while does it take va to decsion on an appel.it has been a year,for my appeal.still no answer.i asked do i have to send more proof,on my appeal.va said know.are take just tell the service member,so they can just give up.it you tell a service member no extra proof is needed,then when that service member think he has everything he need to support his claim,then va drop the bomb on you and tell you that your appeal is denied.bedause that need more proof that this is service connected..what va need to do is stop sending our calls.tocall center,because half of the people that you talk to do not know what thay are talking about.come on lets be for real va.get it together

  33. The MF'ers can find plenty of time to screw a guy but can't seem to find enough time to EXPIDITE frsh veterans claims for PTSD……

    My son-in-law being one of them. been 2 1/2 years now and his first claim went in BEFORE HE ETSed. Imagina that and it was suppose to take no more than 90 days.

  34. hawkman says:

    If u have problems with ur fillings there r someone out there that knows how to get around the same problems u r going to.

  35. JOHN J. says:

    I would like to know why a vietnam era vet gets no reconishon I served from 1962-1966 We get no ribbon top show we served during the Vietnam I was stationed in greenland at the time no ribbon for serving in the artic and no ribbon for an over seas tour but mostly no ibbon for Vietnam era service I was in the united states AIR FORCE and proud of the fact i inlisted when others dodged the draft and go on to be comander and chief ????????

  36. I have not sleept thru a whole nite in over 45 yeers. But, no one cares about it so I keep it to mysevle. Soon I will die and can be happy.

    • Go to the VFW and see a service officer, apply for a service connected rating for PTSD (shell shock, battle fatique) it is all the same. You are hurting your family as well as your self. No one can help you if you don't go for help.

  37. the problem with getting help/$ to the veterans who deserve the help/$ are the FOOLS who milk the system and lie about where they served and what actually happened to them during their tour.
    eliminate the B.S. and the proper care can be given….

    :from a vet who also works at the VA and see's this BS everyday, but can't say anything cause that is what keeps the system rolling…Karma will catch up to you eventually!

    • I'm sure that milking the system is very true. That is really to bad, because it takes away from "real claims". Thank you for what you do!

  38. Jersey Joe says:

    welcome home all nam vets i applied in 2007 for heart disease caused by AO and was denied Applied again in 2009 for diabetes and was rated 70 %. In Dec 2010 was sent notification that my claims were included in the Nehmer lawsuit I have had a quad bypass caradic surgery neuropathy and 3 colon surgeries have been re-tested at VA and told diseases are increasing and i take 8 VA supplied meds have been VA examined for depression and PTSD ,and yet when i inquire about my claims I am told that they are in review and that all Nehmer claims are given top priorities. I have learned to be patient and hope to stay alive to see the just and fair resolution of my cases.Hang in there my brothers and sisters.

  39. July 26, 2011 will be 5 years on appeal for me. My cas was readjudicated and remanded back to the regional office in March 2011-not a peep since.

    • Most remands take about a year. I hope you have a service organization assisting you. VFW or American Legion.

  40. I'm a Vietnam Vet I've been trying to get an increase in my service connected disability, only 10% now, and have been fighting them for years. Could use help from anyone that has info for me that could be helpful. I was discharged w furunculosis, I have PTSD, and was exposed to Agent Orange, but the list can go on and on.

    • Go to a vet center for assistance with a PTSD claim. With agent orange diabetes, cancers, ischemic heart disease and Parkinsons go through fairly easily.

    • My Dr at the VA told me to apply for disability due to chronic furunculosis. She said she sees so much of it in Viet Vets that it should be something that is AO connected. The AmVet I went to see blew me off. When you were discharged with the furunculosis was it service connected, do they admit the connection to AO? I also have diabetes and Anxiety Disorder and have gotten some disability for that. I guess I'm wondering if it is even worth applying for or is it just another battle of Red Tape. Anyone with any experience here please advise.

    • veteranslegalhelp says:

      http://www.vetadvocates.com/

      Is the official group for lawyers and certified advocates who specialize in veteran's disability claims and fighting the VA. They have a list of members across the country. If you have received a rating decision within the past year they can continue with that claim stream. If not, there are a few other options, but worth checking out.

  41. Roy King says:

    If you are not now a member, go to "togetherweserved.com", It is a site dedicated to Army, Navy, Marines AF, and Coast Guard.

  42. Put in for tinnitis as a seperate condition from the hearing loss. Check for traumatic brain injury and PTSD also, plus all the conditions from agent orange ie diabetes, ischemic heart disease, …

  43. Roy King says:

    When you get ready to seperate/retire, DO NOT GET YOUR PHYSICAL from an Army Dr., go to the VA for your physical. When I got ready to retire, Army Dr gave me 10% for "facial scars.(have seven scars, loss of bone in right shoulder etc) a friend of mine had one scar(bullet went thru the meat of his leg, got 35% from VA

  44. I agree with every vet that served in vietnam.we were treated like crap
    when we got out of the vietnam war .the exit physical was a joke.

    no benifits were offered,and if they were we did not know about them.

  45. Harold Dooley says:

    The VA will delay all Vet claims as long as they can due to all of the political hogwash involved and hopes the Vet will die. I filed a FASTTRACK claim for Parkinsons Disease in February. The FASTTRACK was indicated to be a quick way to process claims for any Agent Orange condition from being exposed to Agent Orange,but I am still waiting for my claim to be rated over four months later. So much for being a FASTTRACK to process presumptive related claims. Try calling the 1-800-827-1000 number to inquire on staTUS OF YOUR CLAIM AND YOU WAIT 15 TO 20 MINUTES TO GET a live person only to hear the same thing you always hear and that is nothing. I am so happy for Mr Cooley. Wish he had got ten time as much as he did. Now is the time to start awarding VETs what they deserve and quit stalling. We didnot stall when we were in NAM so why should the VA. Get Busy and quit screwing us vets

  46. My husband was in viet nam, from 66 to 67. he started getting payed 100% , 5 years ago because of ptsd, which he had when he came home. he didn't just get it 5 years ago. but because it hasn't been 10 years they don't want to pay me, anything unless I have a income of 7,000 dollars a year, which is under poverty level. When I first filed they had no record of him are me. showed them his dd214 and marriage licences.

  47. homeless man on the internet, classic!! no need to be homeless. 50% is $770.00 a month tax free. damn sure enough to get a place to live.
    ever checked into a VA with a Domiciliary? plenty of programs that the VA has to help you get back on your feet. starts with you!

  48. Disappointed says:

    My husband was refused Disability for Diabetes because his records in St. Lewis were burned and they said he had to prove he went on Vietnam soil. Makes us sick because it isn't our fault his records burned.

  49. All of you need to get in touch with the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) or the American Legion, or Veterans of Foreign Wars and let their service officer help you. They know the ropes and the way wording is used in the claim is in alot of cases the answer to getting what you deserve. Never give up.

  50. I'm an atomic veteran, having partricipated in Operation Dominic in '62, and a Viet Nam Veteran. I have a 30% disability due to cateracts and have reapplied for more due to Heart disease, PVD, and other ailments that I have proven to be caused by atomic radiation. Guess what? I've been denied as my health problems are not in the presumptine catagory. VA sucks no matter what they tell the public. Love my country. Hate my government.

  51. Ken Wade says:

    I`m in Reno,Nv and went through more than a year of tests.I have everything on their list except diebetas and got a rating of one.I was an MP and in the the letter it is so isulting that it sounds like all I did was drive around.I was in at least four fire fights,Had at least four kill`s and watched my buddy`s get blown up by mines.I could go on and on with the problems I have had,Cancer removed,heart attack and so on.I have talked to other GI`s and I have more than they have but they are 100%.Ken Wade 9th MP Co 1967. I was drenched by A/O one day on a check point.

  52. I waited 33 years for compensation and only received back pay for 6 mos. I never received the 33 years back pay or 5 as the vietnam vet did why. what is wrong with the Reno nv and Decatur, ga Regional office people that decide these claims……? They are not compensating for the years lost and the physical mental years lost yet I signed a blank check if necessary I would die for my country and fellow citizens of U. S

    • HA SOILDER / SAILOR; WELCOME "BACK TO THE WORLD" RIGHT-ON …NO MORE WAKE-UPS …YOU ARE' BACK TO THE WORLD'…YOU ARE NOT FROM THE PRIVILEGE CLASS …SO ,WHAT YOU GOIN TO DO I FILED CLAIMS AND NEVER GOT A THING EXCEPT A ( PDO }DIAGNOSIS …TAKE A HIT OFF OF THIS{MJ} LOCK AND LOAD YOU WAKKING POINT YOU GOT YOUR LAST STEAM AND CREAM YOU PROBABLY HAD A JOB WHEN YOU GOT BACK YOU HAD A NICE PLACE TO LAY YOUR HEAD YOU HAD A CAR AND YOU NEVER HAD TO NOT BE A SECOND CLASS CITZENS ANY WAY DAP TO YOU LITE UP A MARLBORO AND SIP A BUD ..I LIKE COOLS AND MILLER"S BEEN THERE DONE THAT WAS MISTREATED

  53. MY DAD IS NOW 78 AND SUFFERING FROM MUTIPLE MYELOMA WHICH WAS NOT CAUGHT ALTHOUGH HE KEPT GOING TO HIS PRIMARY DR AT VA IN GA., AND ALL THE DR WOULD DO WAS SAY HE HAD BACK PAIN AND KEPT PRESCRIBING PAIN MEDICINE AND INCREASING DOSAGE ALSO SLEEPING PILLS AT HIS AGE AT 5 MG AND THE DISEASE IS A STAGE II NOW AND HE HAS SUFFERED WITH THIS CONDITION FOR OVER A YEAR AND IN 2005 WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PROSTATE CANCER AT VA AND HAD 42 TREATMENTS OF RADIATION AND YET HIS DOCTOR AT VA DID NOT CATCH THE MYELOMA AND MY DAD SERVED IN 55 TO 56 IN MECHANICS AND INJURED HIS THIGH AND IS SERVICE CONNECTED BUT THE REGIONAL OFC IN DECATUR GA DENIED HIS CLAIM IN 2002 AND 2006 STATING NO EVIDENCE AND THEY LOST HIS MILITARY RECORDS OF HIS DOCTOR VISITS AT MILITARY BASE IN 1956 IN MARYLAND WHERE HE WAS STATIONED AND THE RECORDS LOST IN A FIRE IN ST LOUIS I HAVE FILED ANOTHER CLIAM AND TRYING DESPERATELY TO HELP MY DAD AND THEY SAID CLAIM DENIED FINAL BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE HE WAS IN HIS SEVENTIES WHEN HE FIRST FILED AND KNEW HE COULD HE HAD NO REP AND NO HELP AND I DID NOT KNOW AND NOW HE IS 78 WITH A TERMINAL ILLNESS THAT THE VA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT CATCHING BEFORE IT WAS A STAGE II

  54. Hollis Brown says:

    hello to all, I am a Viet Nam veteran as most on here. I am having a problem with my hearing and tinnitus and have been denied and have asked they reopen my claim, and they did. I have had 3 hearing tests. I had one from Bletone at myt cost and 2 from the VA Clinic in Tustegee Al.. I was told that I failed all three. The Beltone tech wrote a letter that I gave to the VA, in it he stated my hearing was more likely caused by my military MOS, 11B. Still waiting on the rater to rate it. I know it only10%, but the hearing aids would be a big help for me. I also have a Physical for PSTD July 29, 2011 in Columbus Ga. VA clinic. Can anyone provide any help on what I can expect from the PSTD physical. Email me at hollis57@bellsouth.net. I also live in Columbus and retired from Ft Benning from Civil Service, served in VN 68-69. many thanks. I am hopefull the VA will do what is right for all of us VN vet.

  55. Shirley Rouse says:

    love the "benefits" provided by our gov. I have lost my disability, prescription meds (must be generic) Dr. refuses to work with TriCare, and I love the term "I am with the government, and am here to help you" Help have a mental breakdown that is. I must have made an enemy in Jacksonville, Fla. he has managed to take all my benefits. My doctor said give it up, or have a heart attack..Love the 31 years I gave to the AF as a "dependant"….

  56. Just before I retired from the U.S. Army. I had a beer with a retired person who told me to take my medical records and make a copy of each page before retiring. He told me that if it wasn't for doing that. He may never had gotten a VA rating. They lost some of his records at St. Louis, MO.

    Before getting out of the service even not retiring. Make copy of your medical records.

  57. Edward Baltimore says:

    I,Edward Baltimore is appalled @ VA,and all it's I.G's to have never submitted a breach of contract to no congress and since 1979;when I was first Awarded service-connection benefits to my feet and back;and then be given the run arounds since then not finding no type of evidence after the VA destroyed I supporting records that the Kansas City Ratings Board gave I a favorable decision,is all criminal,on VA';s part to who's been destroying fellow soliers records or is it racial discrimination within the rank and files to destroy black man's records from ever getting one's already favorable decision and is their anyone living that was on the Ratings Board in 1979 in Kansas City to have decided that favorable decision,so VA will still have to pay I as I've been stating for the pass 31 plus yrs. knowing I've done the right thing in filing to transport I own records when given workd I'd won the Service-connection wait that took 180 days to 31yrs now after the original decision,to where I'm going to subpeano,all I.G's since 1979;who's in serious violations of What is [H.R.7152]?and how it applies to every public position

  58. Does anybody know anything about furunculosis? The past few years I have been getting cysts all over my body. The VA Dr said I should look into filing a claim for it because a lot of Viet Vets she is working with have the same condition. Do you know anything about the condition and if there have been any claims filed for it? I currently have diabetes from AO and other conditions but I don't know too much about the furunculosis. Thanks for serving.

  59. James Johnson says:

    What I hate is I'm shown as having 140% disability and recive only 90%. It's a great trick to say your award is x percednt but then when we look in ooour book you'll only get 10% less for each award. What a pile of dung.

  60. USAF retired says:

    Many VA Disability Claims are a disgrace. I know one worthless individual who recently got full disability and back pay because he stepped foot in Vietnam back in the 60's. This guy is 62 years old, drinks like a fish, smokes two packs of cigs a day and is 100 lbs overweight. Then he has a heart attack and the VA says it's from agent orange. What a load of crap! No wonder we're going bankrupt.

    • YOU KNOW WE BROTHERS HAD TO FIGHT YOU AND FIGHT YOU AFTER WE GOT OUT AND CHARLIE TOO AND DR KING WAS KILLED I COULDNT EVEN GET A DECENT JOB AFTER SERVING IN VIETNAM…

    • USAF retired,

      Years ago when I was out searching the Internet, I ran accross several vet sites that instructed you vets on how to answer the Agent Orange and PTSD questions in order to get monies.

  61. My step-father, Brian L. Engle was stationed with Co A, 864th ENG BN (Const), 18th ENG BDE, APO 96312 in Vietnam in March 1966. He now has heart disease, cataracts and prostrate cancer due to AO. His civilian doctor and military doctor have both stated that his health problems are due to AO but the review board has denied his disability claim. The review board stated that he was not stationed in Vietnam yet he was indeed stationed there. He is even on the morning reports proving his time stationed there. We are now trying to located fellow soldiers that he was stationed with. We are trying to locate PVT E2 Frank F. Frusco Jr, Capt Larry F. Morris, PFC Howard J. Cash and PFC Kenneth E. Elodge. These soldiers were also stationed with my step-father and on the morning reports with him. Any help that you could offer us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

  62. I am hoping for help. I am the daughter of a vietnam vet. he is being denied benefits. the local doctor diagnosed him with tinea versicolor. Despite being stationed in quang tri, he is denied agent orange benefits. it has been conceded he was exposed but tinea vericolor is not "related to military service". I think he was misdiagnosed. i believe it is cloracne. any ideas on what i can do? i am hoping to get the v.a. to retest him, other than that i dont know what to do. any ideas?

  63. It is time congress put the Vietnam vets first!!! I belive they just want to deny deny till we all die. Why did they stop reporting cancer caese to the cdc, because of the number of cancer cases that would show a correlation to agent orange. ? how can you get cancer in the lower respiratory system and not the upper respiratory system.The word oput there is they put the Vietnam Vets on the back burner.

  64. THE LARGE SALARY THE SERVICE ORIG CEOs RECEIVE DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR VETERANS TO RECIEVE RETRO PAY FOR CLAIMS DENIED IN 1968 ,69 WHEN PTSD WAS NOT RECONIZES

    • I HEARD YOU ALL YOU DOING IS COMPLAINTING WHAT ACTION THATS EFFECTED WILL AWARD YOU AND OTHER MONETARY COMPENSATION

  65. Manuel Jacques says:

    I served in the US Army Vietnam 1967 thru 1968 A Troop Ist Squadron 10th Cav. 4th Infantry Division Search & Destroy Missions also road clearing of landmines by having our APC hit them. I had malaria hopital in Cam Rayn Bay, hearing loss, cloaracne, heart problems, and PTSD filed in 2008 denied, filed again denied. Filed again sent to Prescott VA hospital meeting with mental health doctor after the session my blood pressure was taken and I was transported to the emergency room and started on med's. After the VA received the doctors session I was awarded 30% with 2 months back pay. My POA at the Vet office wrote a letter stating I should have received back pay to 2008 they said I wasn't a combat vet. the system really angrys me. I filed a notice of disagreement on my rating and now the wait starts it's been already 6 months waiting. I will fight all the way I even wrote Senator Mc Cain a letter about the VA system I received a response but no help. I feel the system is failing those that were in combat.

  66. charles sweet says:

    I served on the mc cormick with charles cooley he was a good guy ,i also have ao claim that has not been settled, i belive that i'll die before i will see it settled.i would like to hear from other mc cormick guy's

  67. James M. Sherwin says:

    My husband served active duty in Vietnam in 1968=1969. A psychologist at the VA office diagnosed him with severe post traumatic stress syndrome. He is still fighting his battles in his dreams and acts them out on me. I have turned into the enemy at night. (He has also been diagnosed with REM Behavior Disorder, which many vets with Post Traumatic Stress have,) The VA now wants exact events and dates of "trauma" during his stay in Vietnam, as well as everywhere he was stationed and who his commanding officers were. 44 years later?? seriously? There is very limited information on the Internet and of course we cannot find a way to find his military records. So, he has been denied compensation. I am so disgusted with how Vietnam vets are the forgotten soldiers, I can't see straight. Any advice?

    • James M. Sherwin,

      It's funny 44 years later they want all this information! It really is a shame you can't just walk into the VA Office, tell them your story, get a CHECK and then drive home.

  68. ALL YOU GUYS ARE WORTHY,HOWEVER YOU GUYS DID US WRONG ALL THE BROTHERS WERE JUST GIVEN THE RACIAL RUN AROUND IN THIS SOCIETY AND ITS A DISGRACE HOW YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT THE PRESIDENT A BROTHER HE HAS HELP THE VETERANS GREATLY DR KING WAS ASSANIATED OH BOY THERE IS NO END TO THE UNJUSTICE THAT TAKS PLACE W/THE AFRO AMERICAN VIETNAM VETS…

  69. YOU KNOW WE BELIEVE IN THE WAY MAKER OH YEA,I WAS ON PATROL IN NAM ONE DAY AND I MET THE MASTER FACE TO FACE…WE DONT WORRY ABOUT HOW YOU TREATED US WE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE TO MEET THE MASTER ONE DAY FACE TO FACE FOR ALL YOUR BITTER INJUSTICE OH YEA HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE YEA WE BLACKS FOUGHT YOU AND CHARLIE TOO AND HAD TO FIGHT YOU AFTER WE GOT OUT LOOK AT TRAYVON MARTIN AND VOTER SUPPESSION… THE DISCRIMATION ON JOBS IN PROMOTION IN HIRING ETC

  70. Romeo Nicolas says:

    I, Romeo Nicolas, started a claim for Agent Orange year 2004. It was Dec, of 2003 when diagnosed with PSA. As a Vietnam Veteran, I served with USS Kearsarge and USS Coral Sea from 1966 until 1972 and our ships located and operated at TONKIN GULF. It was May 14, 1972 when I received my military transfer order to go FASOTRAGRUPAC San Diego, CA. So, I checked out that day, flew by COD from the flight deck of CV 43 to Dan Nang Airbase, arrived at same day. I was stuck in Dan Nang waiting a flight to Cubi Point, Philippines. My attention was caught by military personnel that keep running to take shower and the often sound of siren. Definitely I couldn't sleep until P3 Orion came and gave me a ride to Cubi Point. I understand that even today Bluewaters Navy was not even recognize to qualify for Agent Orange. But for myself who fully qualify on "foot set on the ground", keep denying my claim faster than digging evidence to prove I was there. Now, I'm still under maintenance pills after radiation treatment from Chesapeake General Hospital. Aside from PSA, I become Diabetic II with hypertension, high blood and high cholesterol. The only claim that the VA approved was my sinus and arthritis that had been bothering me during my active duty. Agent Orange claim that had been denied many times still another war. I really could not understand why a sailor who claim for Agent Orange that has the same situation as mine was approved. The only different, the sailor die 1972 and the wife pursued the case. I submitted this case to VA with docket number and no answer received. I am 75 years old now and still alive fighting for my claim. I told my wife, if I die, continue my claim.

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