SGT. SHAFT: Veteran’s spouse seeks help regarding husband’s injuries

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Dear Sgt. Shaft:

My husband was in a car wreck approximately two weeks before he was scheduled to retire from the Navy in 1982 (?). In this accident, he crushed both ankles and smashed his head, receiving frontal lobe damage.

The docs “killed” his leg, leaving him with Avascular Necrosis, and NEVER examined his head other than to provide a few stitches over his eye and wipe off the blood draining from his ears. I tell you all this to say that the VA has denied his head injury in his disability rating claiming that the injury did not occur in the same accident.

Every time we request medical and military records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we get a different set of information. Not to mention, the medical records from Scott AFB from the day of entry into the ER to sometime afterward are “missing” and no one can find them.

My husband was in the Navy from 1978 to 1984, and the VA will only send us records dating back to 1994. Here it is, 30 years later, and we are still trying to build a claim with documentation of the injury.

Try to figure this one out …

Thanks!
Dawn O.
Via the Internet

Dear Dawn:

You seem to have done everything I would have suggested. If he was in a serious car wreck two weeks before retirement, he should have been held on alternative duty to heal, and a Physical Disability Board convened for him. There should be records for this somewhere. You might try the Navy Personnel Command at Millington, Tenn., at the Customer Service number.

Contact the Retired Activities staff through the NPC Customer Service Center at: 1-866-U-ASK-NPC; or 1-866-827-5672; or via email at: MILL_RetiredActivities@navy.mil.

In addition, I have contacted those in the know at the Department of Veterans Affairs to ask them to assist you.

Shaft notes

• The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. announced that its partly owned veterans jobs board has secured an exclusive employment initiative with Alberta, Canada, that could see thousands of U.S. veterans heading north to work on their oil pipeline.

“This is a great opportunity for veterans, transitioning military, National Guard and reservists, and their family members,” said Ted Daywalt, founder and CEO of VetJobs (www.vetjobs.com), a recognized industry leader in helping veterans find work.

“Though America’s Keystone Pipeline is delayed, the Canadians are moving forward on their side of the border and have an immediate need for tens of thousands of workers,” said Mr. Daywalt, whose website averages more than 55,000 daily job postings by employers strictly interested in hiring veterans. He said the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation anticipates a shortage of 114,000 workers in the Alberta area, and they want to hire American veterans to fill that shortage.

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