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PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


fking

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Many of you members here know that I suffer from PTSD and have since the Vietnam war I left in 1970 and returned to a hospital in San Francisco for treatments. Well, this morning on CBS news it was discussed that other medical illness can be caused in those suffering with PTSD. It was discussed that many people would suffer a stroke and that got my attention since I suffered one nine years ago and my PTSD sure hasn't gotten any better over the many years since I was diagnosed.

 

In fact before the military knew about PTSD I had it and many other combat soldiers too. It was said we must have been smoking dope and my first wife listen to the news media describing the behavior as that. She divorced me shortly after I was released from the hospital in San Francisco telling me I was not my usual self but how did I know for sure when the Army didn't know either.

 

In 1976 when a bit more was known about it and discussions got broader in range of knowledge in the military I was allowed to submit a claim to get paid as a disability. It took more years before any action was given to my claim or any claim for the disability. When more was learned about it the VA started a class for PTSD survivors in order to qualify to claim it as a disability for pay.

 

After all those years and for me another divorce they gave me the lowest percentage 10%, and I got paid for having the disorder. It took many more studies for the military to finally accept PTSD as a disability. In 2010 I was reevaluated and awarded 100% in PTSD as a disability from combat. All the while it was in my records having been wounded and having a field operation on my back to remove a bullet while we lost two other soldiers on that mission.

 

At first the Army wanted to say I wasn't a 100% when I left Vietnam but they later reversed that saying and awarded me the 100% with back pay I just received a few months ago with the help of an attorney. Many other soldiers are in the same situation with their VA claims still needing to be processed and paid to them.

 

It was a real shock this morning to hear that one of the medical issues for people suffering with PTSD WAS HAVING A STROKE AMONG OTHER MEDICAL ISSUES. This lets you know many soldiers get denied benefits by not knowing what they should do or who they should see for help. The same thing happens to soldiers who were in the Agent Orange areas of Vietnam and now suffer from diabetes and many forms of cancer.

 

They are not aware of pay and benefits they can receive by filing a claim with the (VA) Veterans Administration where they live now. Some soldiers have been denied before and just give up trying to file again. I say keep trying to file your claim for your benefits you deserve for your combat services you gave the military!

 

Should any of you members be affected or have family members and friend you know may benefit please tell them to see the VA and file a claim for what they were denied.

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Fred,

I am a vet also served in the Korean War. I get some benefits from VA but no disability. They say I have too much income. But I do get my hearing aids from them. I worked for IBM for 31 years and have a good retirement... All in all I can’t complain. Best of luck to you.

Glenn

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I am glad to hear that you finally got what you deserved for fighting for our country. I too have PTSD but they learned that it came before the military. The judge who saw to my SS claims couldn't believe the military let me in with all the problems my childhood caused me but like they say "don't ask don't tell". They surely didn't ask and of course I didn't know to tell them.

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STING --- you better be paying attention here!!!! FRED-- i worked with a guy who did 2 tours in vietnam-- became a school teacher , coached and ref'ed every sport mankind knows... very , very focused and physically in shape... but he does suffer from some PTSD - he will not ever play paintball because he really , really fears a flash back... he never smoked dope.. was lost in the jungle for 18 months ( his parents got the dreaded letter) and slept in more trees than anyone (I) know... he can to this day sleep standing up - untill he falls straight backwards.. as happened one nightshift ( his retirement job in corrections) luckily he fell right into a chair behind him.. i happened to see it... any how -- always , cool , calm and collected but --- when he has had it look out - he is done... i worry about him a lot , knowing someday he will most likely hav a stroke given all the stress's and exposures he has had.. ( agent orange) ... i will be here, ready to advocate for him ( although we have a fabulous vet officer here ) -- cause i have a " feeling" it is coming soon.. i see him run his daily 3 -4 miles ( yes he is 60 something) and he has aged 10 years in the last year --- something is gonna give...

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Nancy, I happen to have all the info on my desk, thanks for the reminder! However, the VA seems to move slower than me; I just got a letter asking why I didn't send in some income information they asked back in 2011; probably because that's when I was still working and they were looking for proof of low income. You can't get much of anything if you make more than $20,000 or something like that. I didn't need them then, and wasn't eligible anyway, since I was still working.

 

Ray's been to the local clinic for physicals, just to get him in the system, and the people working there were lots nicer than most government employees I've run into. As a matter of fact, I just remembered that Ray has a liason, that's who I'll call tomorrow. But as far as PTSD, he has something like that from his father dying right after he left for training, since they didn't get along at the time and was the reason he joined the service in the first place. So can't blame the military there! I'm pretty sure his stroke is from the three packs of cigarettes a day he smoked from before he was in the military, up to the day he had the stroke. Although I always thought his smoking was a passive suicidal kind of thing. I guess any kind of stress causes stroke, so with Ray's temperament I shouldn't have been surprised! I figured a heart attack though, like his father.

 

I researched the Agent Orange thing after you mentioned it previously, and they did use it at one training camp in Florida, but not in Texas as far as I know. I wish I had something like that to blame Ray's lifelong issues on, rather than it's just who he is. How do you prove it anyway, I wonder? Bet it's not easy.

 

The thing with Ray is, he was at an Air Force base in Texas for four months and about to be deployed to Cambodia, but his Dad died and he got out on a hardship since he was the oldest son. He was a mechanic anyway and probably wouldn't have been out in the jungle either way. Three months was the amount needed for benefits, but his sergeant at the time lied to him and told him if he left, he wouldn't be eligible for anything. So we never got a VA mortgage or any of that good stuff when we were younger. We only applied for his VA card about 10 years ago, as retirement loomed and friends told us we could get his prescriptions at a great price. I've since found that they have free hospice, which is my ace in the hole in case I get sick, and will also pay you back for private caregivers, but six months later I think. So far I think that's it for us.

 

Well if anyone has any other advice, throw it at me! And I will let you know how the VA thing goes in the near future.

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