Hey Hand! Just found this site and I'm glad to see you on it. I hope all is good with you. I'm still hung over from my last night at MC's. Have you heard from anyone else from K-Troop (Aceman, Gus, Bowanna, Alex)? I haven't really heard from anyone. Toujours Pret!
Didn't mean to come off so gruff, but sometimes you old war vets are hard to get through to.
There is a very common misconception among disabled vets....they think, oh, the other guy needs it more than I do so I don't want to screw up his chances of getting his. It don't work that way. The more vets that file, the stronger the VA gets. You earned your benefits, don't be afraid to use them. It can also mean medical and educational benefits for your wife and kids, too, so it is real important to file that claim. Get the VFW, American Legion, or Disabled American Veterans to help you. They have trained officers who's job it is to help vets with their disability claims. Doesn't cost you a penny and they will act as your representative through the entire process.
Welcome to Dragoon Base and welcome home from the war.
I've read several comments from you and friends of yours who are sick now after serving in the Gulf. You guys need to get together and file VA claims, damnit! You will not only be helping yourselves and each other, you will be helping every disabled veteran.
It's like the census, or those demographic surveys they took back in school. Those are designed to find out who is where, and what they need. The VA is the same....the more vets in need of care, the more money Congress gives them and the more research is done. If vets don't file claims, the government sits on its ass thinking everything is good to go. They aren't going to hunt you down to see if your OK. You have to grab them by the nuts and tell them, "Hey, I'm fucked up and you did it!"
Use each other for witnesses on your claims. The fact that you guys were all over there at the same time and you are all sick now is undeniable evidence. The sooner you file a claim, the better. You will have limited medical benefits while your claim is being processed, and if you do win your claim you will get retroactive compensation all the way back to your filing date. Anything prior to that date is dust in the wind.