I was medically discharged in 2006 with a 10% service connected disability. I did my original application with the Veteran’s Association (VA) and went to my medical visit where I was rated at 0%. Even with that rating they still recognized my service related issues and treated me for those. I never really bothered to pursue any type of treatment with the VA and preferred to just see my private doctor. Fast forward 7 years and physically I’m in new levels of pain and discomfort. Thanks to the nudging of my father I went ahead and decided to apply at the VA to get a new evaluation and was pleasantly surprised to get rated 30%!
Once my rating came I had to make my initial appointment and get my Veteran’s ID but once that was done I was amazed at the quality of care I have been receiving. Not only has the VA treated me for my service connected issues but they function as my primary care physician. My medical appointments have been quick to be scheduled and thorough. The facilities for treatment have been amazing in their design and conveniences. My care team is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week via secured messaging at MyHeatheVet. I can also track all my appointments and test results via the site.
The point I want to get across is if you are a veteran and you are not receiving any type of treatment at the VA; what are you waiting for? For the longest time there has been a stigma about care with the VA. Veteran’s have complained about the time it takes to get seen being excessive or the treatment consisting of an abundance of pills. Over the last couple of years the Veteran’s Association has pushed to change that image and I feel like they have gone done the right path. I actually look forward to my trips to the VA hospital now. Even the parking situation has been made better at most facilities.
My father-in-law is a disabled Vietnam veteran with two tours and two purple hearts. Despite his service and decoration he has never received any form of compensation or treatment as a result. That is not a fault of the VA but his own for never pursuing it. He still has that stigma that no one cared about Vietnam vets and that the VA would just waste his time. I have my work cut out for me to convince him otherwise but hopefully I won’t have to try to hard to convince you readers. Take the time and do yourself a favor by applying for your benefits. I know the application may take up some of your valuable time and then you have a couple months of wait until a decision is made but I promise you it is worth it.
We give so much to our country in the line of duty. We sacrifice our time and bodies to defend freedom without pause. It is great when our country pays us back for the blood and tears so give the VA a chance to enrich your life.