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I filed a claim for my injures that occurred while I was in service.  I completed service in the US Army from 1967 through 1979.  I served 13 months in Korea and while there I had several accidents. I fell off my 5 ton truck on my back and neck and injured them badly, but I did not report them because I was told by my First Sergeant that reporting my injuries or going to the hospital shows a sign of weakness.  So, I did what I was told concerning this policy while in boot camp and throughout my twelve years in the Army.  Now I am being punished for following the rules back then. I need help. I’ve been turn down two times for my service-connected injuries because I have no record they happened while I was in uniform.  What can I do to prove my case?  Can someone please help me?    

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A1:  Sorry to hear about all of your injuries, but this is what I would do: Are you still in contact with ANY of the soldiers that were with you in Korea when all of this occurred? If so, have them write letters explaining what happened to you. They can write down if it was cold (Winter),hot (Summer) or Spring. Doing it this way you can more or less pinpoint the months of the year. I'm sure you have the year or they might. One other thing: Did you write any letters to anyone back home explaining that you had gotten hurt? If you or one of those people you wrote has that or those letters, Get them! That is proof enough. The letter will have the date, what happened to you and what you were going thru. Those are two good sources of personal evidence that VA will consider if you have no professional medical evidence to submit.  Good Luck, My Brother..Be Patient AND Persistent!  (RA)  1/10/19

A2:  Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Your situation is common. Many guys received injuries back in the day and were told to 'man-up' and not report it or they were treated onsite by a medic (Vietnam), patched up and told to move on - no documentation.

Here's something you can try, if you haven't yet. Try to locate guys or gals that service with you when you had your injury and know something about it that they can attest to and write (an affiliate) or (Statement of Support) for you. Also, were you not treated or looked by a military doctor once you left Korea at your next assignment? If so, maybe those records might still be available. How far have you taken your case - to the Appeal process? Also, the VA will accept information from your 'private' doctors in the form of a Nexux Letter. This is a vehicle (statement) that he/she can submit saying that your injuries occurrence was '50% more likely than not' caused by an a fall from a truck. Your DAV Service Office has such forms.

My claim went into an appeal process and sat there for over 3-years even after I had submitted all the evidence needed. However, after not hearing from the VA for over 3-years, I contacted my Congressman via a written letter, informing him of my situation and after approximately 45 days, I received C&Ps appts., for my three claims. And, one month or so after the C&Ps, I was awarded 80% for my illnesses. Therefor, continue to take action.

Never Give Up! As a Service Officer for the DAV, I assist veterans with their claims every week and I'll say "for the most part, when a veteran presents the necessary evidence (in black & white) association with their illness/injury, the VA will award them their benefits." Talk with a good DAV SO in your local area.

Good luck. Remember, if you feel stronger about your case, Never Give Up!  (JL)  1/10/19

A3:  I do not want to blast out my reply in the open air like the town cryer from the 1600's and 1700's. I had the very same issues as you and a 1st Sgt who gave us heck if we went to the Troop Medical Clinic. I served 1969 thru 1971 (dec), again 1980 Jan thru nov 1997, and again 2007 thru 2010 Nov. I was a Senior Warrant Officer and helicopter Pilot ( Huey's at first then Blackhawks. Example: I just arrived at my 1st unit in November 1969, my unit was deployed so we had a skeleton crew. A Duce in a half (2 1/2 ton truck pulled up to the arms room with a rack of M60 machine guns. There were 4 of us and we were told to unload and put rack in the arms room. No one said anything about how heave this rack would weigh. Each M60 must have weighed 30 pounds x 10 plus the rack. When we went to lift it , it was impossible to hold and it came crashing out of the vsck of the truck., impossible to hold it. We were extremely lucky ithat it did not fall directly on anyone, could have crushed someone. The wooden rack was destroyed and several M60?s were damaged. Of course the 1st gave us the riot act. Really jacked up my back and neck. He told us to suck it up and get back to work ( he was a Korean Vet and old school hard core Sargent .

II Retired in 1997 ( Senior Warrant Officer/ Blackhawk Pilot. In 2007 I walked yo volunteer to return back on active duty x 3 years & deploy to Iraq which I did. In this deployment we were flying all day inserting Rangers / Special Ops on missions. We required hot gas so we went to FARP to gas up. When I went to get out to stretch all of my 30 pounds of armor plating and flight vest gear got hung up on the Collective and I flew out of a running Blackhawk. I did a summersault and landed in my butt plus knocked the wind out of me. I managed to duck up the pain, got back into the helicopter and went back to pick up the ranger team. The next day I could barely get out of bed. There were no vehicles to take me to the TMC to get checked out do I was forced to walk almost a mile to see the Physcian assistant, all u got was a packet of Motrin and 3 days bed rest, nite the clinic did not have an X-ray machine.

I retired a second time in November 2010 and then flew EMS helicopters. My back kept going out several times for the next 8 + years. I saw a physical therapist who said my hips were out of alignment, he did his thing and it seemed to help. Then in June 2018 the back was too much to deal with, pain on scale of 9/10. I had MRI and what do you know? My L1 & L5 vertebrae were crushed (L1 op+ %, L5 60%, L2, 3, and 4 all have compression fractures.

I am in the process of filing an amended claim and going to attempt 100% IU ( Individual Unemployability). I have 80% now. I have two letters. One from the CoPikit who ehittbessed me fall out of Blackhawk and get this I ran into the PA who saw me st the TMC in Taji, Iraq. He too wrote me a letter.

I Personally need to work, unfortunately flying helicopters is out of the question, sitting at a desk too is out of the question due to pain. If my back was not jacked up and as long as I can pass a Class II Flight Physically I have no age restrictions on flying, not like the pilots in Commercial Aviation. So bottom line, I Pray I am granted the additional 20% so I can receive the IU 100%. Good luck hope you get approved.  (CB)  1/10/19

A4:   I was turned down on a few times. What I did was get a private doctor and he wrote it was more than likely it happened while in the Army. By getting a private doctor to state that have more power than the VA's doctors.

Here's the format your doctor needs to follow. The wording is very important.

To the Doctor,
Please prepare the following statement on your office letterhead. Follow the statement as closely as your professional opinion and conscience permit.

To whom it may Concern:
In the first paragraph, please give a brief statement of your name, title, and a sentence with your qualification (Board certified in the field of ., etc.).

Next, state:
"I have been treating for his condition of for the past year. He has a long history of these conditions. In my professional opinion, it is more likely as not that there is a direct
relationship between the current physical and the condition most definitely originated when the patient served in the military.

Please add anything else you may find relevant to the relationship between the problem incurred in service and his problem today.


We appreciate your attention to this request. Again, we would not ask you to make any statement that your conscience would not permit but if you can complete this statement, it would assist VA greatly in pursuit of a claim for condition.  (RI)  1/10/19

A5:  To prove it you need to get Statement In Support Of Claim from any of your service buddies. Ones that saw the accidents occur approx. dates and times as well as they remember it. May be hard but if you never reported it then proving it is the next thing. I should have made copies of my medical records in my service time. The military had me as being in the hospital in Cebu Philippines. I had severe jaundice and was in for 3 months and the military has it as 1 month. Almost died and I worked in sick bay as a hospital corpsman striker and could have made copies of all mine and did not. Guess what the VA can not locate them at all or so they say. The ships sick bay logs would have a notation in it and other files that were kept. They are somewhere but in archives which are probably on microfilm. Best of Luck for you will be fighting an uphill battle. Any letter you sent to family or friends that mention that accident if they kept them and if not get a statement to support your claim by them as well. I am sure you mentioned it to them even though you did not claim it. Best Of Luck and keep on fighting and hopefully you will win. We serve and when have health problems because of it our wonderful government shafts us.  (JRM)  1/10/19

A6:  Find someone you were stationed with (the first sgt) and have him write a buddy letter stating he knew about the injury while you were on active duty and submit that to the va with your notice of disagreement.  (TB)  1/10/19

A7:  Here's a link I found that should help you.



https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disability-tips/letter-of-support  (RI)  1/10/19

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