View Full Version : Pending VA visit vs. future in SOF
I am at a crossroads right now and would appreciate some assistance. Previously I was on a deployment to Afghanistan as an 11b with 9 years in the NG. I had the chance to meet a few interesting guys during my time and finally found a group of people while in country that shared my opinions & philosophies towards warfare and life. I have been a silliyvan for 2 years now and miss the fulfillment of the mission and training. One of the friends Iíd made offered me with an opportunity 1 year ago that Iíd passed on at the time because I wasnít ready for that commitment. Recently Iíve been looking again at a life aimed at SF or even in a CA unit. The problem that Iím facing is that I need to go to the VA before my 2 years of exit time window is up to document any problems for current and future ailments. I know my hearing isnít great (M-2 gunner) and back, knees, ect. My fear is that they will put me on disability and blow any chance of returning to the fight. Will that bar me from gaining an 18x contract or are there waivers or hoops I can jump through in case they get ďdisability happyĒ. I value your help gentlemen.
You are at a tough cross road. While I do not know the criteria for admission when it comes to hearing loss I do know that the end of the "two year window" it is not necessarily the end of your ability to file a claim and get VA support for your hearing loss.
If your hearing loss is such that you need the current and ongoing attention of the VA, would jeopordize team members, or cause a life long problem because you bailed out of treatments etc, then I would suggest not pursuing additional service. If however, you drop the VA filing for now and need it later you can do that. Make sure you consider the following:
1. Contact one of many claim assistance agencies ie the DAV, after the two years.
2. Make very sure you have all medical records (including in theater) and a witness statement (and of course maintain a full copy for yourself).
3. Make sure you are very clear on your dates etc of service.
You may get stuck waiting 6 months or longer for disposition, but your claim will be looked at and determined for disability even though the two years has gone by.
Best of Luck
If you are so broken before even attending training that you fear being placed on disability, what makes you believe that you would be a healthy and viable asset to an operational detachment?
Though your drive and desire to serve is admirable, it has to be more about the team than the individual. As such, if you are worried BEFORE you even begin, imagine what your team is going to have to contend with IF you finish? I can promise you that the training and subsequent life on a team will NOT improve your back and knee problems.
There are NUMEROUS threads on PS.com regarding folks with medical worries "wanting to go (insert training de jour)" but having questions regarding their medical limitations.
Give it some thought...
Thanks for the heads up. Iíve heard that through the process itís all about paperwork, paperwork, and having a personal copy of that paperwork. Cast or tab aside Iíd never want to be a liability to anyone, especially with stakes this high and would have no problem walking away if I was really broken. However Iíve heard of several cases from fellow soldiers that with the influx of new veterans that unwarranted benefits are readily assigned. Speaking with my friend, who has cortisone shots on a regular basis and personally being a former leg with now funky and crooked toes, I can understand how taxing to the body training can be but he seems to think that physically I can hang. It is what it is. Iíve decided that I should just follow through with the VA and let the chips fall where they land. I was just on the lookout for some guidance from someone who has experienced a similar circumstance. Thanks for the help guys and I god bless the U.S.A. Since Iím on here Iíd like to include the quote that helped illuminate my path. I found this in a magazine I was reading during my tour in Afghanistan.
ďItís not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with the sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause and who, at best knows the triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.Ē
Back to lurk mode.