Not Really A Windfall

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RSteve

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On Sunday it was quasi-veteran's day at the Twins baseball game. My friend, who is Army retired, Command Sergeant Major, was given four tickets and asked me to go with him. One of the four was about my age, a VietVet with an airborne tattoo on his forearm. We passed the V.A. Hospital on the train to the ballpark and the two old VietVets talked a bit about V.A. care and disability compensation. I had never heard of anyone having what happened to this guy. Both his DD214 and military health records were redacted. He'd fought for years to be awarded V.A. compensation. Finally, his lawyers were able to access his unredacted records and he was awarded 100% V.A. compensation backdated to 1994. I asked him why the backdate and retroactive compensation was to 1994. He said the award was in 2019 and the government agreed to 25 years retroactive compensation. I asked why he thought his records had been sealed and redacted. He said that it pertained to his "clearances."
Later, as we chatted casually during the ballgame, it appeared (clearly) to me that he had some severe psychological issues.

As I've noted previously, I spent about 20 years as a volunteer on the Agent Orange task force. Now, I wonder how many vets I spoke to, who were living on the streets, had their records buried.
 
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ftrplt

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My V.A. experience is in no way as "mangled" as the above vet's. But to give another example, I fought for years to get into the VA "system" to address Agent orange, cancer, hearing loss, and tinnitus. On three different occasions, I've been vetted, checked, and photographed for a VA I.D. card. Still don't have one almost 20 years later!! Last time I asked about it, the guy at the desk just said "Don't worry about it! You have a retired I.D. card and you're in the VA system/computer banks!! have no idea where those three cards went; neither does the VA!!!!!!! FTRPLT
 

RSteve

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My entire V.A. health record from 1969 to 1981 has mysteriously disappeared.
 

ftrplt

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Now that's scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FTRPLT
 

RSteve

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My entire V.A. health record from 1969 to 1981 has mysteriously disappeared.
Now that's scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FTRPLT
It wasn't a surprise, not at all. Some disability claims had a statute of limitations. You had to file in a limited timeframe for V.A. compensation. You may have been seen and treated at the V. A. but there's no record. The most common was cystular chloracne, which became very common among Agent Orange VietVets. The sebaceous oil glands of the scalp and face were plugged by the exposure to A.O. but the often didn't manifest for a year or two. You were only given 12 months from deros Vietnam to file a claim. With some legislative push, you may have been able to file later, but your V.A. records had to show evidence that you were treated. So....records mysteriously disappeared.
Innumerable VietVets suffer/suffered from benign prostate hyperplasia with onset shortly after deros and were treated at V.A. facilities, later when it migrated to prostate cancer, often terminal, the V.A. claimed that there was no record of treatment for BPH. No, there are no surprises.
 

ftrplt

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Your last three sentences apply/ied to my situation. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 12 years ago, this subject came up. VA says no record of this/no claim!! My reply being that I kept being denied treatment (for anything!). Of course, there's no record from back then...How convienient!! FTRPLT
 

Ranger107

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Shit happens. Early in my enlistment I, perhaps stupidly, volunteered for a CIA directed highly classified, and I now suspect unauthorized, black ops mission. My two tours were never documented on my DD214. I tried for several years to question DOD about the records. I was only told "we have no record of any such operation". I suspect the records were destroyed so they would not have to admit where we were or what our mission truly was which was high value acquisition and supply chain interdiction well beyond the borders of Laos and Cambodia. After 15 years of seeking info I just gave up. After nearly 50 years doesn't really matter anymore
 

RSteve

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After 15 years of seeking info I just gave up. After nearly 50 years doesn't really matter anymore
It matters if during those ops you contracted an illness or were subjected to chemicals that have impacted your health and were denied benefits. The V.A. in cahoots with virtually all the branches of the armed services has operated in a manner to deny benefits to deserving combat veterans.
 

ftrplt

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Had several USAF buddies "transfer" to the CIA/Air America. Three of them got pretty beat up/wounded/shot down during their time there. When it came time to "transfer" back to the USAF...Nothing doing!!! USAF claims to not know who they are, know nothing about their prior service (hard to hide basic training/OTS/flight school/survival school x 3/, etc.) No DD-214, no nothing!! They fought for years for their VA benes!! Finally in the 1990's, their combined Congressional representatives got them reinstated. FTRPLT
 

Ranger107

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When I volunteered for the mission I asked what would happen if I did not make it home. They said, no problem, we will alter the records to show you KIA as part of a MACvSOG group. I said, you can do that? The "controller" said, son we are the CIA we can do anything. Fortunately, I did make it home and did not suffer permanent injuries.
 

RSteve

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They fought for years for their VA benes!! Finally in the 1990's, their combined Congressional representatives got them reinstated. FTRPLT
Yup, it takes direct congressional action or a legal team with access to a senator or house member.
 

Timbo

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That is simply disgusting that men who fought for their country have to go through this, but then again, we see a similar pattern here in Australia.
 
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