While in Minnesota, I worked as a Courtesy Clerk at Doug's Supermarket for a while, then was asked to take over the Research and Development Department at Heatmor. Once I had completed getting the department up and certified their stove design with CSA, I left and went back to Doug's as one of the 2 Closing Store Managers.
During this time, I decided to try my fight with the VA again. This time I filed at the Fargo VA Office. Once again, the decision came back denied. I asked for a hearing and I was shocked by the hearing officer. One of the first things he told me, was if he had been the entrance Doctor back in '75 or again in '80, he would not have allowed me to join the Army. When I asked him why, he stated that because of the nature of the history of SCFE's, it would have lead to my current condition. (NOTE: The point the Hearing Officer is missing, is he wasn't there . . . the Army doctors who were there, found no medical reason to bar me from joining the Military. These hearings are to be based on documented fact, not the opinion of the Rater or Hearing Officer.)
Okay . . . this is interesting! It seems that the natural progression of corrected SCFE's is DJD. But, according to medical journals, that usually takes several decades to happen. In my case, while serving as an Arctic Infantryman, it took less than 2 years. (NOTE: at the Active Duty entrance medical in '82, my hips were rated better than normal. Two years later, I'm in the advanced stages of DJD.)
I then talked to the IG of the Army, LTG Hale. He was kind of puzzeled at their reasoning . . . but there wasn't much he could do.
With my wife and kids not getting along with my mother, it's time to move again.
On to Oregon.
If this story makes you mad about the VA . . .
If this story makes you mad about the VA . . . contact your Representatives in Congress and the Senate, or the Veteran's Administration and let them know how you feel about the way the VA treats our vets. You can reference my blog or or the stories of many other vet's and their treatment by the VA available on the web.