Posted on May 31, 2019
1SG John Furr
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The more people I run into with VA ratings at >70%, that are taking up new sports, doing "Tough Mudders", and power lifting, the less faith I have in the system... Are all military jobs really that mentally and physically streneous, that everyone who serves breaks? I'm just trying to understand the thought behind it.
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SGM Erik Marquez
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Edited 1 y ago
1SG John Furr The short answer is Yes it is an entitlement, if the SM is qualified for it, they are entitled to it... But just serving does not entitle you to VA comp.

And Yes way too many former Members of poor moral and ethical character scam the system all to often.

That is not to say a former SM truly deserving 100% Disability (DA) can not go run a tough mudder ..A: folks with no legs have done it, so a a former SM with a myriad of moderate injuries equalling 100% likely can as well.
That 100% DA vet with stage 4 brain cancer due to radiation poisoning, if they can still control muscle and mental faculties why should they not be in the gym power lifting as they did before they got ill.
That 100% DA vet that can barely stand to be in a room with more then 3 people without having suicidal ideations, or homicidal thoughts, yet feels at ease on a flag football field surrounded by current and former service members..Good for him.(her, them, they, whatever)

But I absolutely know what you were going for and yes, I agree, there are many SM that view VA disability as a benefit owed them for just having served. And by hook or crook, they will have that 100% rating
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CWO3 Retired
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8 mo
Well said. Yes, even the impaired eyesight Veterans can do things to be productive. Look I’ve been a very healthy Marine for over 21 years and later 16 years working with Veterans, their families on getting their entitlement benefits through the VA. Though now that I’m diagnosed with multiple disabilities and can no longer be employed I still have to keep my mental and physical well-being in check. With exercises like walking or swimming and even mowing my lawn. It gives me the opportunity to do something other than nothing at all. But, yes I definitely agree with you on this issue.
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SPC Jamie Ryan
SPC Jamie Ryan
7 mo
SSG Keith Duncan - Pardon SSG what you're talking about is not a simple, "Oh I don't want children" thing, that is a life issue, I had to have a hysterotomy while I was in the service, and it was no small decision on anyone's part, I was called while at work and was told I had to get one done time now, I had NO CHOICE, and I was thinking of having another child with my husband, we wanted just 1 more. My service has left me dependent, in more ways than I care to discuss, including spell/grammar check, because of a brain tumor suffered from a TBI given to me from a SSG that wanted to be "cool" during combatives. I am currently fighting that, and the side effects of the "treatments" they have been doing to get rid of it, lets just say, they don't pay my husband enough.... I went from "Fit to fight tonight" to I wont leave my room.
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PFC Barbara Porter
PFC Barbara Porter
7 mo
I understand your pain. My late husband also had a brain tumor from a TBI that he suffered when a Sgt. wanted to speed in a jeep and show how "cool" he was. He rolled the jeep pinning my late husband under it for more than 8 hours. Back then we didn't have cell phones back then so it was a lot harder to contact people when you needed help in the field. He also suffered for many years with his numerous disabilities. I will pray that you come through this the best that you can. They did not give my husband more than 6 months when his tumor was diagnosed but he lived another 34 1/2 years. He passed away in 2018 from complications from pneumonia which were exacerbated by his the things from his brain tumor. Don't ever stop fighting and remember that everything is in God's hands.
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SGT Jim Wiseman
SGT Jim Wiseman
1 mo
1SG John Furr I could not have said it better. In a way, I'd view it as both. There are indeed those who have the "I served, so I deserve mentality." That extends a lot to causing a row at a restaurant, retailer or other venue demanding or complaining about the lack of military discount. Much of my own 70% is from sleep apnea. My boardable condition is for the injury to my foot I sustained in Afghanistan. That makes up about 20% of my compensation. So, not having 100% is fine by me because I know that it skirts the possibility of having a "non-working" 100% which would cut down my benefits if I start earning beyond a certain amount each month.
When I was told by the surgeon who fixed my foot that I could be near 100% normal within a year, I kept at it for another 5 and completed my contract. I had seen articles about Rangers returning to duty on prosthetic legs and doing combat patrols, I figured I could return as an Infantryman and move on. I did. Developed bone spurs. Had them removed. Moved on for another year. By the grace of a directive from Big Army, I got the Med Board instead of waiting to make my claim after my contract ended.
Performing physically demanding jobs and doing intense physical competitions is like doing advanced physical therapy. Of course that's not necessarily the therapy, because you want to train for it leading up to that activity. Overcoming your injuries and "limitations" is just admirable. Continuing to claim the benefits without a reassessment and/or downgrade of same is just a continued "Thank you!" from the government, and frankly, not something any civilian would blame you for.
My SGM showed up within 2 weeks of my injury with an injury that resulted in the amputation of his right foot. He elected to have the amputation after being presented a few options, with that one among them. Any other "fixes" would have caused complications in his and his 1SG wife's active lifestyles. By the original poster's question, one might argue that electing for the amputation in order to continue pursuing an active lifestyle should be a disqualification for benefits. I know that's not the intent of the original post, but settling for a more sedentary lifestyle could cause other conditions which would be a bigger drain on the VA's resources.
The ones I have issue with are the ones who get separated for cause due to drug use, even as minor as (in more recent Army history) Spice. They appeal after separation and get reinstated to a status that allows them to collect benefits. KNOWINGLY getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol (in very extreme cases) which caused a loss of benefits was a mistake you made knowing that you were not supposed to engage in that activity by signing a contract stating you WOULD NOT engage in those activities. You broke the contract.. no "I'm sorry, I messed up." should restore those benefits.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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I know what you are getting at with this.
I have seen it all in my job at VA. Believe me when I say we are pretty good at spotting BS.
The question is not usually does the condition exist. The question is how bad is it and was it connected to service.
I for one am glad for people that have been injured from service getting out there and living their life. I've been to my share of events, and it is inspiring to see amputees at the Start Line for a run or Tough Mudder. Now I know those aren't the ones you are talking about, but at some level, one has to have faith that the hard-working folks at VA don't let fraud go by, and get those who truly need it the benefit that they deserve from their injuries and illnesses.
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SrA John Monette
SrA John Monette
12 mo
Sgt Jackie Julius - why did you have to turn it into a trump rally?
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PO3 Thomas Andrews
PO3 Thomas Andrews
6 mo
So you seen it all. I was hit in the back during shell back crossing. Damaged my back. Has problem every since. Has 6 weeks of hot water treatments on my ship. All treatments were white washed from my medical records. You Seen it all. Was washed into coral be a wave. Damaged by legs, knees and arms. Got treatment, Not in my medical records now. You have not seen it all. No one has. The military have a vested interesting in defrauding service members of benefits. It is actually part of the officer training. So you have seen nothing.
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1SG Claims Assistant
1SG (Join to see)
6 mo
PO3 Thomas Andrews - I am sorry you have had a bad experience. But all is not lost. The challenge will be that you don't have service records tying the incidents you mention to your physical impairments. But that doesn't mean that you're stuck. Depending on your rate and years of service, I could still grant an affirmative rating. The development would ask you for the details of the incidents and likely solicit witness statements.
Now having said that, VA and the military are totally different departments of the government. What the Navy does and what VA does are two different things. Produce a preponderance of evidence, and we can still grant SC disability.
Message me directly and I can tell you what you'd need with the manual reference open.
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PO3 Robert Laity
PO3 Robert Laity
5 mo
SrA John Monette - What do you have against Trump rallies? Trump is one of the MOST, if not THE most pro-military, pro-veteran presidents we have ever had. I worked for the VA. Damn right, injured and sick veterans, who were made sick and were injured from service in the armed forces are entitled to compensation for their pain an sufferring. It is both an entitlement AND a benefit. An entitlement is a government program that provides a benefit to persons meeting certain eligibility criteria.
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CPT Ray Gilmore
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Top,

It is an Insurance policy, that allows our soldiers to push their hardest, that many other militaries do not have.

The items you list are called Recreational Therapy. You can't look at a Facebook page to judge the impacts to a veterans life; as others have noted, there are periodic reviews, some injuries get better, some get worse. Getting vets to find new limits, through sports and activities, helps get them back to a functional state.

The benefits of such programs, far outweigh the alternatives of drugging them, and having them rot on the couch; or chewing on a bullet. So much that Rec Therapy programs are being offered through VA's, and there is a bill, in committee to expand these programs.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2394553/veterans-outdoor-therapy-could-become-law

There are plenty of jobs that result in damage; airborne long enough, your hips, knees and back will show the effects. Spend enough time breathing exhaust fumes, and there will be damage.

Unless we are the doctors, doing the assessments, it is not our place to judge these troops. With any population you will have gamers, but you can't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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A1C Karyn Elliott
A1C Karyn Elliott
11 mo
I was gang raped in SP Tech School, I went to my commander and was told to keep my mouth shut or I would be court marshaled and sent to prison as it was my fault. 2 weeks later I got notice that I was being transferred out of my chosen field tech school and sent to Administration tech school. I stayed in even through consistent sexual harassment. They expunged my records all of them that even showed I was in that school. I walked around my life for 35 years feeling like I was missing an organ, no self worth and no help. 35 years later I hit rock bottom emotionally, mentally and physically and would up on the doorstep of a VA clinic. Diagnosed now and treated but letting it go for all those years made my PTSD severe and chronic. I found just one piece of paper in my files to Wilford hall at Lackland AFB during that time, this was proof I was there. I got 70% after years and TDIU as I cannot work full time due to extreme anxiety issues. I couldn't survive without my benefit/entitlement. I would give it all up if they would have given me the treatment I needed way back then instead of letting 35 years of my life just trying to exist and not take my own life! For me, I am entitled to this help.
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CPT Ray Gilmore
CPT Ray Gilmore
11 mo
A1C Karyn Elliott I am sure, that is a difficult share.

Thank you for your openness, and for what it is worth, I am sorry you experienced such a horror.
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SPC Michael Davenport
SPC Michael Davenport
11 mo
1SG John Furr I'm 100% VA rating with PTSD /TBI and temporary unemployability and believe me I feel like a pile even though I sleep no more than 4 hrs a night been to a couple VA inpatient PTSD treatment for 4 months at a time talking about missions and ect trying to rid the evil.. It sucks seeing men my age have a career but knowing I wouldn't be doing any good at a job on that kind of sleep.. I have young children who are both in school full-time almost one is in 4th grade and the other is in 4k half day believe me I want to get a real job but until I can take sleeping pills I don't now because I am very out of it I'm am so getting kids to school would be a problem but when the are older they will be able to get them self together and hopefully I'll be able to take the meds and sleep better and get a job.. My kids are understanding but I hate staying home.. Also how can they get away with playing the system for me the rating process was rigorous and very thorough.. Just my thoughts and what I know from my experience..
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SPC Michael Davenport
SPC Michael Davenport
11 mo
SPC James Morrell what do you mean by this comment?
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