My Timeline: The MEB/PEB Experience while still assigned to an Infantry unit

Discussion in 'Outcomes: Fit, Severance, TDRL, PDRL' started by da0867, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. da0867

    da0867 PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Alrighty well, my hardest days are long gone now and I owe a lot of the initial relief to my anxiety to this board. So here's what I've been putting together in the meantime since this all began back in March. If you're in the beginning of the MEB process, this is an idea of what you can expect to deal with if you're an 11B in pursuit of a MEB. Obviously this will differ from chain of command to chain of command, but if you've been in the Army long enough, you know that they're usually all roughly the same these days. I probably should have been assigned to a WTU, but that didn't work out. You'll see why/how... but I digress...

    10/27/2008- return home from a 14 month deployment to Iraq. I came home nursing two major issues, both of which prevented me from doing my job the same way I used to. But I was utilizing the suck it up and bottle it up method, rather than getting anything treated. I knew the Infantry was not for me anymore. I was going to either find my way into a new MOS or find my way out of the Army and start to build up a plan for life as a civilian.

    11/2008- FINALLY get checked out for symptoms relative to mTBI ie- headaches, irritability, light sensitivity, etc. Was referred to the TBI clinic on Fort Campbell.

    11/2008- got seen by a Podiatrist. Confirmed that I have bunions on both feet. Was scheduled for surgery. The surgeon was pregnant and due soon, so I ended up waiting.

    2/2009- After TBI evaluation, I am not deemed eligible for the mTBI recovery program based on my symptoms, etc. I am instead referred to Adult Behavioral Health (ABH) to see a Psychiatrist for my PTSD related symptoms.

    11 Mar 09- received left foot chevron bunionectomy.

    27 Mar- given Chronic PTSD diagnosis from psychiatrist at ABH.

    10 Apr- Diagnosing psychiatrist recommends that I consult my PCM about initiating a MEB.

    16 Apr- BN PA gives me a temporary "S-3" profile and refers me to the MEB.

    17 Apr- a receptionist from the Warrior Care Clinic (WCC) calls me to set up an appointment regarding the MEB

    21 Apr- saw a Dr. at the WCC and listed my other medical conditions and briefly discussed PTSD issues. Was told the name of my PEBLO and to expect a call from her within 2-3 weeks.

    22 Apr- Permanent profile created and signed off on. PUHLES code of 113113.

    12 May- Still no contact yet from PEBLO. Gave the MEB office at the WCC a call. They said they are backed up and it looks like it could take another 1-2 weeks to get to my file. I inquired about the permanent profile. They said I can stop by and pick up a copy if I'd like. I did and gladly gave a copy to my unit.

    13 May- change of responsibility occurs. The new 1SG says he is going to try to get everyone who's not going to Afghanistan out and on their way ASAP.

    19 May- received a call from the WCC asking me to come in today. Made an appointment and was scheduled for a next-day MEB brief and an appointment with someone at Army Community Service (ACS). Received a copy of my medical records and a Commander's Evaluation form to be returned before 26 May or my case is suspended. Scheduled for the Phase I physical on 21 May. Scheduled for Phase II physical on 26 May.

    20 May- attended MEB brief, scheduled ACAP appointments.

    21 May- completed Phase I physical, received back Commander's statement.

    26 May- reported for Phase II physical, was told to make a decision on right foot bunion surgery. Either do it now and then recover over a 3 month period and THEN complete the Phase II after OR complete the Phase II physical on Friday and get the surgery through the VA after discharge. I elected the latter, as the recovery from the surgery on the left foot that I received ON Fort Campbell was not going well. Turned in the Commander's statement to the MEB Office.

    29 May- completed Phase II physical.

    2 June- attended VA benfits brief and DTAP briefing.

    3-5 June- attended ACAP TAP workshops. Brought along spouse. She was of great assistance helping me retain everything.

    5 June- submitted ERB and 9 months worth of counseling statements to MEB office.

    8 June- turned in ACAP completion certificate to MEB office.

    10 June- turned in temporary profiles to Dr. at WCC for addition to already made permanent profile. Receive word at unit of upcoming possible transfer to WTU.

    17 June- met with PEBLO, found out that any updates to my permanent profile have to be adressed during the NARSUM dictation.

    23 June- received call from WCC requesting to schedule MEB dictation. Scheduled it for the next day at 0800.

    24 June- showed up to work in PT's rather than ACU's for morning 0630 formation for the first time in about two weeks. My CO asks me why I'm not doing PT. I tell him I've already completed my Phase physicals. He asks me when I'm supposed to be out. I tell him NLT October or so. He tells me he wants to see my Phase II physical on his desk before the end of the day.

    I arrive at the WCC 30 minutes early for the MEB dictation. I intended on bringing my wife into the dictation with me but the Dr. said it wasn't necessary. I went with it and sat down with him and didn't really discuss my PTSD, but instead he made it clear that my diagnosing psychiatrist will be writing the dictation on my PTSD issues.

    He moved onto my feet. I have bilateral hallux valgus (bunions on both feet). Everything went well and he clearly wasn't a robot when it came to describing my medical history. He verified everything he wrote through me. He checked out my feet and took some measurements on the flexibility of my big toes.

    He then explained that with regard to PTSD, every case he has ever seen has been deemed unfit for service, if it got far enough to reach the MEB process. He also said with regard to the MEB/PEB process that in general, roughly 95 out of 100 cases he sees come back unfit for service.

    He told me that in 4-6 weeks depending on how soon they get the dictation from my psychiatrist, my packet will be ready for reviewing and to sign off on, and then sent off to Ft. Sam-Houston. He said 10 days after it is sent out, there will be word back on whether the decision is fit or unfit. He said no more than 60 days after that, it will have processed through Walter Reed and I will receive a separation message.

    I presented the Dr. with some profiles I used to have before getting the permanent profile. Ones that got into specifics on what I can and can't do. He pretty much condensed it all into one. I asked him if I could get a typed up version of it. He told me I'd probably be out of the Army by the time they'd put that together.

    After the dictation, I met with my PEBLO to discuss my CO requesting my Phase II physical. She said that I do not have to show him that, since it is my medical records. It would be a HPAA violation. She gave me her business card and told me to give it to him and she can call him for verification that I have completed my Phase physicals.

    I returned to my unit and gave the CO my PEBLO's card. He told me that the card doesn't cut it and that I need to go get him the physical as proof that I completed it. My CO still demanded my physical. I straight up said to him, "Sir, with all due respect, do you not believe me when I say that I've completed my Phase physicals?" He said, "No! I don't!" I told him how I'm not obligated to show him my medical records. I proceeded to explain that my PEBLO is like a case manager and her job is to facilitate my MEB and that she told me if anyone has any questions regarding the status of my MEB, they can call her and she'll confirm or deny what's going on.

    He finally drew down and agreed to call her. He then asked me about my whereabouts during the day and what appointments I've been going to. I told him of my medical appointments and about the Soldier Family Assistance Center (SFAC). (It's like an ACAP building for people in WTU or under a MEB, here on Ft. Campbell). He continued to haggle me about appointment slips and I told him that most of the things I do at the SFAC are on a walk-in basis.

    I asked him about getting sent to WTU. He said he'd put together a packet for me and forward it to the BN PA. I got moved to HQ platoon in the meantime.

    26 Jun- company went on block leave until 14 Jul.

    16 Jul- my company is not very in touch with the procedures involved in sending a soldier to WTU. The training room NCO recommended that I just go to WTU and talk to someone about what to do. I went to their S-1 and talked to a CPT who told me I need to inform my PA that the WTU process has to be initiated at the Division Surgeon level.

    22 Jul- met with the Ombudsman (a solider and family advocate) at the hospital. He explained the process to me of how to get transferred to WTU and what paperwork needs to be done.

    23 Jul- met with BN PA to fill out WTU screening matrix. Started having severe headaches and blurred vision more often that week. Received a consult to see a Neurologist (finally). Dropped off the WTU packet it's now in the hands of the training room, for the CO to complete the rest of it.

    27 Jul- learned that my unit wants to take me to the field as a driver on their upcoming platoon live fire exercises

    28 Jul- met with a Neurologist. He asked me a bunch of psych eval type questions and briefly tested my balance and coordination. He told me it doesn't appear to him that I sustained a TBI from the blast I was involved in. That doesn't really seem to answer why I am so sensitive to light and sound, get frequent headaches, and have blurred vision. I'm thinking I'll seek a second opinion from a VA doctor after getting out.

    31 Jul- explained to my section leader that I do not want to wear a helmet because of the headaches that go along with it. Told him I was going to take my profile up to the WCC to try to get it changed to include not wearing a helmet. He told me I should speak to the platoon sergeant about it. He was in the XO's office when I met him. I told him when the MEB physician wrote up the specifics of my permanent profile, I forgot to mention my issues with wearing a helmet. The XO stormed out of his office and murmured the word malingerer under his breath. My PSG was very annoyed with me that I was getting this addressed now, 4 days before this field exercise. He told me, "whatever, go do what you want to do. And this is not a threat, but you know how after you're done with your appointments I just let you go home? Well since you can't do this favor for me, then let's just say I'm not gonna be so lenient with you and your whereabouts."

    I met with the Ombudsman at the WCC and explained my situation and asked for his advice. He thinks that since I brought this up so late that I should consider doing whatever he wants me to do and getting my profile updated later. I also learned that my current WTU matrix score is not going to get me into WTU. He said he will get in contact with my PA and hammer out the issue with him. He believes my matrix score should be hire, give the diagnosis of Chronic PTSD. He doesn't understand why I have been in the MEB process this long and wants me to go to a meeting that he is going to have with the director of the WCC on Monday.

    3 Aug- meeting w/ WCC director gets postponed to next day.

    4 Aug- had an appointment with my PCM. I asked about another neurology consult. He claimed it is not possible to receive a second opinion while in the militarey. He filled out a new WTU matrix with a score that went into the 1000's. Failure to attach SMs with scores about 1000 are likely to detriment medfical treatment plans. Appointment with WCC director again gets postponed to next day.

    5 Aug- met with WCC director. Told her how today marked 6 weeks after my MEB dictation. She said it looks like it'll be another 1-2 weeks until my packet is ready to go to Texas. Explained the situation with my PCM and the second opinion. She said that makes no sense and that she'd look into it. I tell her about how my training room has taken a lot of time typing up my WTU packet and she says I can put it together myself if I'd like. I plan on doing that.

    6 Aug- got a letterhead template and typed up my own WTU packet.

    7 Aug- handed over my WTU packet to the PSG. I explained all of what it consist of and what I need from him. All I needed were signatures from my CO and Battalion Commander, an award recommendation, and an APFT scorecard. He penciled in a scorecard for me and put it in the packet.

    10 Aug- met with old PL and gave him a brief rundown of my history at the unit. He put together a 638 for an AAM and put in the packet.

    18 Aug- had a follow-up appointment with the Neurologist I saw. I told him how the Naproxen and Midrin he gave me haven't really been helping. He prescribed my Amitryptelene and scheduled me for a CT scan on my head and put in a consult for Neuro-Psychological testing. CT scan is scheduled for 8/31.

    19 Aug- 2 weeks have rolled around since my MEB packet supposedly should've been ready to go to Texas. I called my PEBLO and left her a message telling her I was looking to touch base.

    27 Aug- WTU packet has finally completed it's journey through both BN and BDE S-1 shops. Supposedly brought up to the Division Surgeon for approval of transfer to WTU.

    1 Sep- was contacted by PEBLO to let me know that my MEB packet is complete and I can come in to pick it up that day.

    2 Sep- brought the MEB packet to the MEB Outreach Counsel at JAG. Briefly went over my packet with the paralegal and signed a waiver to allow the attorney to view my medical records. Was scheduled for an appointment on 8 Sep with the attorney.

    8 Sep- saw the neurologist to discuss the findings of the CT scan on my head. He told me I could possibly have a birth related condition where my brain is slightly sunken into the area where my brain stem meets my spinal cord. He said some people can go their whole life while having this condition and not even know it. He said based on my symptoms, it's not a major issue, but he still wanted to scheduled an MRI to be sure.

    Met with the MEB Outreach attorney. We went over a bunch of things she felt should be in my MEB packet, regardless of whether or not it is deemed unacceptable for military service. She told me she'd have an appeal ready for me to give to my PEBLO at 1430 the next day.

    9 Sep- picked up the appeal from the attorney. I was extremely impressed with the professionalism and structure of the appeal. I proceeded to drop it off with my PEBLO. She told me the MEB physician who checked me out will look over the appeal and that she will contact a doctor at the TBI clinic with regard to my non-diagnosis and lack of treatment, and my MEB. So what I learned from all this is that DA 3947 should include not only conditions deemed unfit for service, but also any other health conditions.

    Also, found out that my WTU packet was not sent to the Division Surgeon, but was instead locked in my PSG's supply cage. They just left for JRTC last week. I managed to overcome those odds though as someone shimmied into the cage to grab the packet for me. Apparently it was missing my recommendation for an award. While I don't really care for an award at this point, it's necessary to have a 638 in the packet... or a letter of intent for submission. So, that night I reorganized the packet and prepared the letter of intent for my Rear-D commander to sign.

    16 Sep- received a call from my PEBLO. She says the MEB physician has completed reviewing his part of the rebuttal and they are waiting on the TBI clinic to put their addendum in.

    17 Sep- inquired about the status of my WTU packet. I got declined. That's fine. I didn't want to go anymore anyway. That would've been a whole new chain of command and a whole new set of rules I'd have to acclimate to. But not anymore. I am sure they declined me because of how far along in the MEB process I am.

    24 Sep- called my PEBLO and inquired about the status again. She said they're still waiting on the TBI addendum and they should get it back from them either tomorrow or Monday.

    6 Oct- received a call from my PEBLO. The TBI addendum is finally complete, signed, and the entire appeal is ready to be sent to their LTC to review and then refer onto the PEB. She had me come in to sign the appeal and said the LTC would be done with it hopefully by Thursday or Friday and be ready to mail out to Ft. Sam-Houston.

    13 Oct- called my PEBLO and asked if the packet was sent out yet. She said it just got sent today and it will get there tomorrow. She said I'll probably hear a response by Monday if not Tuesday.

    19 Oct- received a call from my PEBLO around 3 PM letting me know that they got the fax back from Ft. Sam-Houston recommending separation and placement onto TDRL with 60% disability. That's exactly what I expected. Good. Dropped by and picked up the 199 to review and come back the next day.

    20 Oct- went to MEB office and signed stating that I concur with the 199. Was told I would receive a response in 1-2 weeks from Walter Reed regarding the separation message.

    28 Oct- received separation message and picked it up at the MEB office. Took the separation message to the retirement office at the IN/OUT processing building. Had to gather up my LES, DD93, SGLV, original enlistment contract & re-enlistment contract.

    29 Oct- brought all those documents to the retirement office as soon as they opened up. They gave me a paper to work up how my transition leave will be set up. My absolute last day to be in the Army is 25 Jan 2010. So far, my understanding is that I will get the 20 days permissive TDY available to "facilitate my medical retirement". It has to be signed off on by my BN commander. We'll see. The man at the retirement office told me to come back after 1230 and he'd have my orders ready for me. I came back and had a rough draft leave form ready for him to check out. He said it looked good. In the remarks section of the DA 31, it detailed the PTDY. If my PTDY gets approved, I will final out 13 Nov and signed out onto PTDY 14 Nov.

    -------------------------

    And it was all downhill from there. Fast forward to now. I am on transition leave and loving it. It was a bumpy road but I'm finally here. The light at the end of the tunnel is real and it is oh so glorious. Obviously that rose also has it's thorns as PTSD and bunions on both feet are real as well. But I'll be okay.

    Hope this helps out some people. If there's any questions, feel free to ask.
  2. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    da0867,

    Congratulations on getting to the end of the process and getting retired! I also want to thank you for your effort in time in laying out your experiences. It may well help someone else in the same boots see a road map of the way ahead. Hope all goes well in retirement.
  3. pukaskid

    pukaskid New Member

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    Hey I got a question. I'm stationed in Fort Drum, NY and i'm going through the same process as you were in. As of right now I'm waiting for my ratings to come back from the VA in DC. Now my situation is the same as yours. I'm an 11b infantrymen and everyone in my company hates me because I'm getting out. I really could care less. :( The same with my douche bag PEBLO officer. I know he doesn't like me either. (he's prior service 11b) He acts like a dick. Anyways. So I got a call from him in Dec telling me that my initial 199 came in stating I was unfit for duty. Figured that much, I can't WALK! I though I'd have to go in and sign, but he said I don't have to and I'm just waiting for the ratings to come back from DC. That was early December. I still haven't heard anything. So going on with my life, two days ago my PSG calls me whilst i'm on CQ telling me to come to the Cp NOW. So i go. When I get there he tells me to go see my PEBLO because the paperwork came in. Really? You couldn't just tell me that over the phone? Nope. The douche bag that he is has to throw in that he wants me out because i'm taking up his oxygen, blah, blah, blah...whatever. I get this news at 1215. The dudes at lunch. Call him back, finally got ahold of him about 14:00. I ask him about it and he told me he hasn't heard anything and he doesn't know what i'm talking about. So I call back my PSG tell him the news, so he calls him. I dunno what went on during the conversaion but a buddy told me my PSG sounded very happy. He's never happy when the topic is about me. What I think is maybe they're trying to **** me some way. By keeping me here as long as they can. I dunno. I can't prove it. But that's how I feel the situation is going from experience with my PSG. He's two-faced. I mean wasn't I suppose to sign the initial 199? Why is it taking the VA this long to send the ratings? He didn't even tell me to come review anything. He's always been brief and rude to me.
  4. pukaskid

    pukaskid New Member

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    I just want to make it clear for everyone that reads this. I'm not a shit bag if that's what everyone is thinking. I read my post and it makes me sound like one. I'm not. I did my time. Just waiting to get out. My PSG and everyone feels I'm abandoning them because they're getting ready to go to Afghanistan. That's why they don't like me anymore. I did my time. What I can't understand is why they treat people getting out, like this? I dunno how it is for any other MOS's out there, but the infantry hates you if you decide to up and leave. At least here in Fort Drum....
  5. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    pukaskid,

    Welcome! No worries, I can't speak for others, but I did not get a bad opinion of you from your post. Many members here can tell you they have gone through similar things.

    I understand the tension between having military members "suck it up" and allowing them to take care of their issues. Unfortunately, many unit leaders believe that illness or injury is a character defect. That is not the case. I think that the problem is when being sick is equated to falling out in a unit run. The two are not the same.
  6. gunny995

    gunny995 PEB Forum Veteran

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    My heart goes to to you my friend. I have served in the Army Guard and Reserve, Air Force and AF Reserve/Guard and two seperate 8 year tours with the Navy. 17 1/2 years towards retirement and 25 years total service. I am broken. Hurt my left knee in September 2006. Two High Tibial Osteotomies and a Gallbladder removal (3 and a half years and over 18 months on LIMDU), I am waiting on a PEB. My Command Master Chief has done an IA tour to IRAQ and now thinks he is a combat expert. He says to me, " I a sailor is broke and can't deploy on an IA, then he shouldn't be in MY NAVY". I just looked at him and said It's my Navy too. I get that alot. I am 45 but most think that I am in my mid to late 30's. They don't know that I have "been there and done that", and just kind of treat me like a dirt bag. I don't even try explaining any more. My current Command is a stopping of point for Fleet Retirees and they just don't get it.

    Anyway, my point is you did serve your time as I did. You charged hard and faught like a bulldog. Now you need to consentrate on taking care of yourself.
  7. dava11

    dava11 New Member

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    I am in the same situation as you were . Im at ft hood, i was told that my packet for wtu was sent up 3 months ago, and come to find out it was stashed in my psg's desk, so i re did it all and sent it up today. My question is that if my matrix score was a 3250, how long should i expect to be transfered to wtu

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