Remanded Veterans Claim

8 January 2018

Department of Veterans Affairs
℅ David Shulkin Secretary
Board of Veterans Appeals
PO Box 27063
Washington DC 20038

Dear Secretary Shulkin;

In regard to shoulder injuries sustained while serving overseas I have enclosed additional evidence and testimony.

As the Eternal God is my witness these statements are true to the best of my knowledge and belief under and within any and all legal jurisdictions pertaining to this matter.

May I first mention that my Squad Leader (Carlos Loya) confirmed the testimony of Thomas Walker of the assault at the gate while I was a Unit Police Officer. I was 17 years of age during this event and the recognition I received for my actions was being poisoned by medics and stabbed with a bayonet from a fellow soldier, not to mention that my police duties may of been a reason some of my medical records disappeared.

Thomas Walker stated to me that records seemed to be missing from other members of the 1/32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, because of confusion with the immediate disbanding of the unit on 28 May 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.

Carlos Loya also told me to mention the fact that while on a mission as the Assist Machine Gunner I carried along my weapon and full combat gear a full case (not just a box) of M-60 ammo on my back non-stop for 3+ hours. It was during this event I became the lead Machine Gunner, and this event maybe a cause for some of my shoulder, neck and back issues, … at the very least contributed to the injuries.

Due to the fact I opened this claim in 2006 with my neck and back injuries I have included relevant MRI documentation regarding such from MD Imaging, which combined with shoulder injuries causes chronic pain, whereby I have been continuously on opiate pain medications since August of 2003, as records with the VBA and VHA will confirm.

You will also find in MD Imaging notes that there is stenosis on my spine. It is unfortunate that five years ago I could easily walk five miles, and now due to the minor procedure on my back at the Dallas VA I can barely walk 50 yards.

In regard to my shoulders I have included information on the medical procedure performed at Shasta Ortho Spine Institute in December where you will find I was treated with injections for impingement and osteoarthritis. I was told I will need to have these injections at least twice a year to maintain movement of my arms. I was also informed it is highly unlikely the pain will ever disappear. My question is; "Why didn't the VHA perform this standard medical procedure?"

I have also included a document on the chronological order of my Military Service overseas with testimonies received by the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VBA). I feel it should be easier to understand my duties if the information was placed in an easy to read sequential format.
  • My first Primary Care Provider (PCP) did not give me any x-rays
  • A blind doc said I must be delusional because he couldn't see my records and he thinks that he has some special gift on diagnosing injuries because he is blind
  • Then another VA employee (within Dallas Texas Poly-trauma) wrote I must be delusional because I said I served in Korea
All three of these employees with the VHA were wrong and caused me to take with a grain of salt anything VA employees say or do. In fact, on three separate occasions I have needed to go to the emergency room because VA employees messed up my medications and caused me unnecessary pain, stress and anxiety, … and the VA didn’t even pay the medical bills !

Perhaps if my experience with the VHA and the VBA had been better this claim would of been complete many years ago.

Besides the Waco VBA losing my x-rays from Dr. Hunter, the Portland VBA lost a document I submitted for TDIU on five separate occasions and closed my claim.

I am not a doctor, but I know I injured my neck, back and shoulders while involved in police duties, besides injuries associated with duty as an infantry soldier. I have spoken the truth, I have not lied, my conscience bearing witness, I have great sorrow and continued grief in my heart in regard to this matter. Perhaps it is PTSD or perhaps it is due to the care I received from the VA ! I do not know. I just know I have pain on a daily basis.

There is one last thing I would like to mention in regard to my health. It has been confirmed to VA employees I was a paid full-time firefighter at 14 years of age, ran a jackhammer at 15, and was in excellent shape when I joined the U.S. Army in December 1976. This can be confirmed by anyone I served with overseas and/or during basic and/or advanced training, In fact, while at Fort Benning Georgia I was the first soldier to cross the finish line in a grueling test of endurance whereby more than 80% of the teams could not finish the competition !

While in Korea I qualified in all aspects (mental and physical) for Special Forces Training under the leadership of SMA #9 Richard Kidd (then 1st Sgt). However, by June of 1981 I failed the physical in Caldwell Idaho for fighting fires with the forest service. This should of been enough for the VA to know that I was injured since I filed my first claim on my neck and shoulders in 1990.

As this claim is almost 12 years old I hope there can be a quicker adjudication of this matter now that my case has been remanded by Judge Allen with the United States District Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Thanks for your time,

I affirm the statements of this document under the rule of sacred honor and belief.

David Apperson, DMZ Veteran
Phone 541.213.6594

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