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Part 3: Hurry Up & Wait: A Decade of Insight into the Horrible Treatment of One of Our Own Veterans

Updated on February 19, 2013

A New Life (Dealing with the Veterans Affairs)

September 16th, 2005 I was finally discharged from the military after 3 and a half years of blood, sweat, and tears. The only pat on the back support I received was medical insurance for six months, a moving truck, and $14,500 to help with living expenses. My wife at the time Ann and I along with our child Jimi moved into Gettysburg, PA on main street.

The horrible thing was, I was offered a $55,000/year job with a 5 year contract working for the NSA Police, but since my back was a wreck, I couldn't take the job. What makes it even worse, they offered it again and again twice more. Talk about a slap around. So im unemployed, not even collecting VA Pay yet until January, and I have a broke back, and PTSD symptoms.

Luckily though after doing some hard looking and resumes, I was hired on to Adams County working in the courthouse as a armed security officer making $11.75 an hour. Welcome to the back country! Also it was part time, so I was working 30 hours a week. Ann got a job working at PNC part time to help with the bills and such.

First VA Award Letter

January 6, 2006 I got the letter that the VA gave me the following from my exams.

Excerpt from Award Letter 1/6/06
Excerpt from Award Letter 1/6/06

More Needed to Be Done!

After I received my first pay of $450 for the month (it was supposed to by $700 a month but they took $250 a month to pay back my stupid severance pay.)

I decided that 20% was not enough for what I had and I set up an increase evaluation for increasing my percentage of my back ailments. They sent me of all places to Martinsburg, WV to get the exam. I drove two hours to have the exam for my back. When I got there the doctor was great, she even remarked while on the computer, "you know we only have you in here as having lower back spasms, not Degenerative Disk Disease?" So the VA and DOD put the ailment lower back spasm in the system as that instead of DDD, but put that ailment on my award letter. So after that the doctor looks at me and says I'll help you in any way I can get this changed. So we did the physical, and then she sent in the report to the VA Regional Headquarters in Philadelphia for my reevaluation of my records.

Within the last few months the following has happened:

- February 26, 2006 – Upper GI, Gettysburg Hospital.

o Esophageal Irritation Detected.

- March 1, 2006 - MRI Results.

o Pronounced Disk Bulge, Disk Herniation, Mild Bilateral Facet Hypertrophy L4/L5.

o Grade I borderline Grade II Spondylolisthesis and Lordosis L5/S1.

o Spondylolysis Left L5.

o Questionable Spondylolysis Right L5.

o Pronounced Disk Bulge L5/S1.

o Nerve Root Compression L5/S1.

So in March I sent in for an increase, with these records as evidence.

Award Letter Arrived

On September 13th, 2006 I received word from this exam from April. The following excerpts: (NOTE: The Effective Date was April 2006)

Excerpt from September Award Letter
Excerpt from September Award Letter

The Next Phase

2007 came around and we were settled into Gettysburg, Ann and I were looking at houses, and found one just outside of town, life was great. Until my PTSD symptoms got the best of me. It was time to submit to the VA, a change of the Dysthemia and Anxious Moods to PTSD. And so the 1st Battle Began.

Next: Part 4: VA (Veterans Affairs) Battle I

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