Who would have ever thought?

Discussion in 'Army Info' started by diamonddave, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. diamonddave

    diamonddave PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Since I am new, bare me with me as I try to explain.
    TIS: 19-20yrs
    Active Duty, MSG, 11Z
    NO UCMJ, LOR, or other disciplinary actions
    16 mths deployment (Iraq) 05/06 Mosul
    Approved Retirement
    MEB initiated before approval for retirement orders arrived.

    Situation: Retire with honor and take what they give me; or follow PEBLO (and others) to allow the MEB/PEB to run its course?

    Time is money and this day and time, most could care less about some sob story I might describe, thus, the reasoning for me itemizing these details to speed the process. I am so caught here by what to do. There are boys out here in wheelchairs and I have tons of people telling me to follow through with this MEB/PEB.

    My worst concern: The PEB separates me, cuts me a check, and all I hear is "Next."

    Ideally, the easiest thing for me is to just retire and go about my business.

    Thirdly though, I've got the entire MEB telling me to ride the wave - make it past 20yrs and you're good.

    Its obvious how I refrained from including any conditions that are related to my MEB; I did this not to cloud the initial feedback, if this occurs. I guess if anything, something other than what I've been told would be a start.

    Any help would be most appreciated!!
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Benevolent Leader Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    Welcome!

    Has anyone mentioned Presumption of Fitness Rule to you? From what you stated, they initiated MEB before retirement orders arrived. However, I am not sure if that means your LOS retirement was approved before MEB. And I would take a look at what date they initiated MEB (are you looking at a profile date or a notification memo or...?).

    You may want to read over some of the discussion in this thread: http://www.pebforum.com/f111/retire-now-go-through-meb-process-23010/ It touches on many of the concerns you have brought up. Depending on facts of your case, you may or may not do better with a PEB retirement.

    How long until you hit 20 years? Seems likely that you would hit 20 if you are just starting the MEB process.

    About the issue of there being others in wheelchairs or more seriously injured than you may be. My thoughts on that are that Congress laid out the benefits and compensation for military members (including pay, retirement and healthcare). If you are eligible, under the system that Congress set up for a benefit, it does not make sense to me to feel bad about this. If you worked for a civilian company and were injured, you would have workman's compensation, insurance, and whatever else was in your employee benefits. I suspect that in that case, you would not have doubts about applying for a benefit to which you are entitled. Selfless service is a core value. But, taken to its extreme, you can end up not getting benefits you have earned.

    Not sure if any of this was helpful. I hope it was and that you get a good outcome and enjoy your well deserved retirement. Best of luck!
     
  3. diamonddave

    diamonddave PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Jason - thanks for your speedy reply; I am impressed and surprised. The Presumption of Fitness Rule is a mantra I've heard many times, which only exsacerbates how I feel about this. My initial offering into the MEB was this summer (I think around June) and yes, it was not I sat and meet with my PEBLO that I had my retirement orders, which was a few weeks after my sit down with a few MEB doctors.

    Officially, I will reach 20 years next October. With me adding this, what are your thoughts now? (Again, thanks in advance!!).
     
  4. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Benevolent Leader Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    Well, from a practical point of view, seems to me that the reality is that you will be going through the MEB/PEB process. So, given this fact, I think it is certainly in your interest to get to 20 years. So, take your time. Try to schedule your appointments as far out as you can. Take the maximum time to answer everything. If you have taken a lot of leave, I would save some in case you need to push your self across the October/20 year finish line. I would be surprised, given where you are in the process, if you can't make this stretch to October.

    I don't know whether it will make a difference in your compensation if you are rated by the PEB or are found fit and retired for LOS. You are senior enough that you may well do better with a high PEB rating (but that assumes you would get such a rating....I suspect that with your years of service, the PEB will likely view you as Presumed Fit, whether you formally fit the definition or not....I don't know if your conditions are likely to exceed your LOS calculation or not). You will have to look at all of these issues and perhaps make assumptions in figuring out what is the best way ahead.
     
  5. diamonddave

    diamonddave PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Jason - here is a little more about my situation, mainly, my conditions. By providing this to you, my hope is that this will allow you to glean a little more about my conditions and future advice you might offer.
    The MEB explained to me that these conditions are what they find as "unfit":
    1. Lower Back - Degenerative Disc Disease (L1-S5);
    2. SLAP TEAR Type II (R) Shoulder w/surgery (2yrs ago) - weakened performance, consistent clicks, with chronic pain that varies, dependent on activity;
    3. Positive Bone Marrow Edema (L) Hip from MRI;
    4. PULHES - "S"= 4
    This last one is the real kicker! When I first started my MEB process, it wasn't the back, shoulder, or hip that concerned the head of the MEB; he claims my history of PTSD is what raised some many red flags. This is why he wanted to put me in for a PTSD consult (???) Ok, so this drugstore psychiatrist and me spend a total of maybe 45 mins max and lo and behold - I am now unfit, and he gives me a "4" under "S" in PULHES.
    Now I always knew a "3" meant one was pretty bad off, but having a "4" seems barely alive. It gets better...so there is no doubting the unfit part here I assume?--but this wizard labels this something besides PTSD. Here is a few details from his synopsis:
    DIAGNOSIS: AXIS I: 300.0 Anxiety disorder, not otherwise specified, manifested by exposure to traumatic combat stressors which cause strong feelings of fear followed by avoidance of reminders of them, feelings of estrangement, an exaggerated startled response, hyper-vigilance, irritability, and depressed mood. (Not sure where he got this last part?)
    Stress: SEVERE.
    PREDISPOSITIONL None.
    IMPAIRMENT FOR MILITARY DUTY: Marked.
    IMPAIRMENT FOR SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY: None.
    LOD: Yes. (What is this??)
    PROFILE: S4, no deployment, near medical facility.
    PROGNOSIS: Fair.
    AXIS I: 314.00 Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, primarily inattentive type, EPTS. (I was never diagnosed with this "ever.")
    AXIS II: V71.09
    AXIS III: See MEB Physical Examination.
    OCCUPATIONAL FUNCTIONING: The service member's manifestations and symptoms are controlled with continuous medication such that they do not interfere with occupational functioning as evidenced by the service member's current level of functioning.
    What baffles me the most, is that when I first started this circus - it was my signs of PTSD that worried the Chief, but after a meeting with Dr. Lector, I am not only UNFIT with a S4, but its not PTSD - its an anxiety disorder?

    Is this an attempt label me otherwise, one that removes the stigma of PTSD, thereby rendering the Army free from futher disability to another service member? Or do I just need to read up more on my daily DSM-IV Digest?
     
  6. Jason Perry

    Jason Perry Benevolent Leader Site Founder Staff Member PEB Forum Veteran

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    Do you agree with the assessment? Are your duties impacted by PTSD? The S4 is curious, because it denotes a severe disability. Yet, the narrative suggests that your PTSD does not interfere with your functioning.

    I have no idea how they did not find PTSD. Sounds like you meet the criteria from DSM-IV. In the end, it should not make too much of a difference, as they are clearly attributed to combat stressors (and the rating criteria for mental disorders would apply the same to PTSD and Anxiety...the minimum rating of 50% applies to any condition caused by "stress," severe enough to cause separation/retirement, so this should not matter). The other Axis I notation, ADHD, is doubtful to me, both on the basis of it never being diagnosed before, but also the EPTS...8 year rule makes this compensable, either way (EPTS or not).

    All of this taken into account, it is still important to get to 20 years of service. Did you request impartial review of your MEB and/or rebut it?
     
  7. diamonddave

    diamonddave PEB Forum Regular Member

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    No - well...that's good question. Besides the MEB, I've only met my PEBLO twice, and the second time was only to drop off my medical records. Legally, I was told after the VA part I could view the end-result and that if I did not like what they offered, then I could seek legal assistance.

    Did someone fail to clue me in on a step thoroughout this process at the MEB????

    Yes, the PTSD (or whatever) affects a lot. As far as if I agree or not - who knows? I am lost on what is right and what is not when it comes to clinical diagnosis. I just want what is fair and what is right.
     
  8. diamonddave

    diamonddave PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Jason - no, I do not agree with this diagnosis. For starters, look again at the symptoms this doctor says I manifest:

    "[...] DIAGNOSIS: AXIS I: 300.0 Anxiety disorder, not otherwise specified, manifested by exposure to traumatic combat stressors which cause strong feelings of fear followed by avoidance of reminders of them, feelings of estrangement, an exaggerated startled response, hyper-vigilance, irritability, and depressed mood".

    A diagnosis with Anxiety Disorder (NOS) is not congruent with these symptoms; if any thing, its PTSD all day long. Adding to this, a S4 for an Anxiety Disorder is a long shot in the dark...maybe, just maybe Anxiety Disorder would constitute a S3, probably more so a S2 - but a S4?

    Does it affect my work...off time...relationship - yep. I enter hallways and look for sectors to pie-off; at restaurants - my back is to the wall; when I leave post, I go to RED (concealed carry); always irritable; everybody is different; and the future is challenging in many ways; oh, and my boss tolerates my forgetfulness in light of our past.

    I skimmed the surface....
     
  9. murphy

    murphy PEB Forum Veteran

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    Diamondave,

    First of all. Thank you for your service. I might not have anything to add to your situation, but I noticed you were deployed to mosul the same time I was. Were you also part of the extension in bag?

    Anyways, Jason among others know quite a bit about your situation. Don't go crazy with it... listen, digest and make sure you are taking care of you. Imo, the army isn't very good at it, so you must do it yourself.

    Good luck!
     
  10. diamonddave

    diamonddave PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Murphy,
    Yes, I was fortunate enough to obtain an APO in Baghdad for four months, excluding the 12 other months we spent in Mosul (emphasis added).
    With regard to what Jason posits - I do - that is assimilating all of his comments. In addition, I take this forum for it is – a forum. Nevertheless, I try to include as many details as possible IOT obtain the best suggestions for that which I face. If anything, this forum provides others and me a means of collaboration where we can share insight that many are not privy to during these phases.
    Bottom Line: There will always be someone (somewhere) that knows just slightly more than most of us, and this forum is a prime example where this condition occurs.
    Best!!
    DD
     
  11. murphy

    murphy PEB Forum Veteran

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    You must have been with the 172ND out of AK? Anyways, welcome and I hope you get everything worked out.
     

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