Vallarta Living | Veteran Affairs | April 2008
|The Cost of War on Reserve and Guard Service Members|
David Lord - PVNN
The Military Order of the Purple Heart annual training conference came to end last Friday, but the presentation by a Reserve Major will stay fresh in my mind for many months to come.
|Our Military branches need to address the problems troops face when returning home with Combat Stress. Their families often are dealing with a different person, one changed by war in many ways not anticipated by the family prior to their return.|
She was working to prepare Veteran Advocates in the unique set of circumstances the returning military personnel present when applying for the benefits these Veterans are entitled to. The long term war trauma of this action is unlike any other, there being no rear area or any relief from attack, there is no safe zone or safe haven in Iraq.
Today the Armed Services are made up of many reserve units that have been placed in full combat status for extended periods, just as if they were active duty soldiers. The job that these men and women have performed is outside the traditionally functionality of the National Guard and Reserve mission. They are no longer inside American boundaries as a home guard as the tradition has been.
In every way their families share the burden of their Service expending incredible strength in the periods of their repeated separation. "Now their return home for their family is often more stressful than their departure was," says the Major.
As a mental health provider assigned to units returned from Iraq, she tells of the integration back into the family and society becoming more and more difficult after multiple deployments.
The Army Reserve has taken new actions to care for returned members after studies show one in four troops have depression, anxiety and/or combat stress when returning. Newly released films such as 'Stop Loss' are focused on the heavy burden placed on America's Citizen Soldiers.
Our Military branches need to address the problems combat troops face when returning to home with Combat Stress. Their families often are dealing with a different person, one changed by war in many ways not anticipated by the family prior to their return. Often the reunion turns from joy to tension, to isolation, to despair between both the parents and the children.
A nation looking for leadership is torn between the goal of maintaining our security at home and ending the expenditures of three billion a week to the oil rich nation of Iraq.
We face hard choices, but as hard as they are, the impact to those that have borne the battle on our behalf is great. Less than one per cent of our national population will enter the Military to defend our precious freedom.
You, the citizen, know that our depleted Armed Forces' need every man and women to be healthy both physically and mentally. The disabled of this war will not be replaced easily.
Veterans Administration does not even have appropriations paid in a timely manner, again this year payment due to the V.A. hospitals on October 1, 2007 did not get paid until January 2008. This is the 13th out of the last 14 years that the V.A. has experienced a delay in receiving appropriations.
Hypertension and Al Amyloidosis Recently Linked to Agent Orange
On July 27th 2007 the Institute of Medicine "I.O.M." of the National Academies released Veterans and Agent Orange; update 2006.
The report detailed the result's of the IOM's analysis of recent studies on the relationship between exposures to Agent Orange and different diseases. Based primarily on two recently published studies that Viet Nam veterans that were exposed or handled Agent Orange had higher rates of hypertension than the general population, the same conclusion included AL Amyloidosis.
Pursuant to the Agent Act, the V.A. should have finalized regulations providing for presumptive service connection for hypertension by Feb. 22nd 2008. The V.A. is in clear violation of its own regulations and time line established by the Agent Orange Act.
The Veterans that suffer from this disease and have had service in the country of Viet Nam should prepare to document their medical condition in order to open a claim for this condition. I suggest that you do not wait to pursue the claim even if we have no guidelines from the V.A.
Hypertension, defined as blood pressure exceeding 140/90, affects more than 70 million American adults and is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular ailments.
The other linked disease, AL Amyloidosis, is very rare (about one in a hundred thousand) which is a specialized cell in the bone marrow. The disease results in protein deposits in and around organs. Please contact me for the claims process.
David Lord served in Vietnam as combat Marine for 1st Battalion 26th Marines, during which time he was severely wounded. He received the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation for his actions during the war in Vietnam. In Mexico, David now represents all veterans south of the U.S. border all the way to Panama, before the V.A. and the Board of Veterans Appeals. David Lord provides service to veterans at no fee. Veterans are welcome to drop in and discuss claims/benefits to which they are entitled by law at his office located at Bayside Properties, 160 Francisca Rodriguez, call him on his cell: 044 (322) 205-1323, or email him at david.lord(at)yahoo.com.
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