With all the negative news over the last few years about the Veteran’s Administration, I wanted to relate to you my very positive experience, both with my hearing issues and my recent application for a disability due to my exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam in 1969 and my diagnosis with prostate cancer.
I was totally unaware that the VA considers a connection between Agent Orange and prostate cancer until my Battalion Commander and friend, Colonel Forest Rittgers, stopped by Lexington in the Fall of last year for a short visit. During our catching up he told me that a retired Army Sergeant Major had told him of the VA’s position on Agent Orange and prostate cancer.
As a result of that visit and our conversation I applied for a disability on-line with the VA in December, 2016. Yesterday I was informed in the mail they had favorably adjudicated my application. I actually knew a little earlier when a large, lump-sum deposit appeared in my checking account. If they approve your disability claim they will pay you back to the day you applied.
The entire process was conducted on-line except for a brief interview with a physician contracted to the VA. This most recent claim, an earlier claim for hearing loss (also in Vietnam) and my 4 visits to the VA hospital in Salem, Virginia, to be tested and fitted for hearing aids were all positive, efficient and courteous encounters for me.
I hope my experiences may be of value to you or those veterans you may know and I am much obliged to Colonel Rittgers for passing his knowledge along. He was a great Battalion Commander in Vietnam and continues to look after his men in the years since.
My best regards to you all,