Recently Diagnosed, 3 Years After Retirment, Prooving VA Service Connection to Having Served US Army

Robert79t Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Brain Cancer #1
Veteran's Affairs: Proving a Service Connection, VA Claim

My name is Robert. I'm Retired US Army, and recently diagnosed with GBM4, 44 years old. I was diagnosed on 12/16/2009. I've had 2 life altering events in the month of December 2009. On 11/17/2009, my father who I was very closed to passed away in New Jersey. I live in El Paso, TX, and managed to be at his side about 45 minutes before he passed. The following week, I was told about my Tumor (3 cm mass), and operated (Resection) on. I believe it was my left Occipital Globe. I know there's a message here, it's just going to take me time to learn it. In the last 13 years, I've always been a workaholic (Former Army Recruiter). I have a very positive attitude, and have more time to spend with my wife and kids. The message I'm hearing is to except the cards your dealt with, appreciate each day to the fullest, slow down and smell the roses. I had 2 over-seas tours, and not afraid to fight, and learn. One of them was Desert Shield/Storm & Clean Up.
I was not in the Oil Fires, but did live in horrid conditions in Northern Saudi Arabia, and Iraq for just under 1 year. I worked with Patriot Missiles extensively when they first came out. DOD put so much drugs in us, that we were ordered to take, like PB (Poly Bromide, Anti Anthrax). We had to burn our own waste daily with Diesal for as much as 100 to 200 people, with no protection.
This is my story.

I'm trying to find service connection to the Military, with this type of Cancer (GBM4). Veteran's Affairs is telling me they need more prove, than what I have given them. My service time wasn't enough, and my DD214's are not enough, 100% of my medical documents are not enough.

Does anyone have any advice on researching a service connection to get more proof?
I don't see the light at the end of this tunnel. But, it doesn't hurt to try. This type of connection is not easy to prove. In addition, VA, from what I've researched, alway turns these claims down (Even on Appeal). It's a shame that our Goverment doesn't take care of Vets.

Robert F. Lefferts
E: [email protected]


  • peacefulheart
    peacefulheart Member Posts: 34
    GBM4 and the military
    Dear Robert,

    I honesly don't have any advice on how to get more proof to get the military to respond and accept responsibility. My husband was diagnosed wth GMG4 in Sept. 2009. He was in Vietnam and was a gunner on the helicopters. Years after service he started to lose hearing in both ears. The military denied his claim. We asked his oncologist if she had any knowledge that there was a connection between Agent Orange and brain cancer and she said she never heard of such a thing. After what happened with the denial on his hearing loss, my husband doesn't want to invest his energy again with his current diagnosis. Our situation is somewhat different in that my husband is 67 yrs old and our daughters are independent and in their 20's. At least we have that to grateful for. We do have something in common though. Two months before my husband was diagnosed, I was diagnosed with stage 3a breast cancer. It was only 2 weeks after my mastectomy that we saw his oncologist for the first time. Like you, after the great loss of your Dad, we were hit hard with serious life altering situations in a very short amount of time. It was surreal. But we are carrying on with life as we know it now and still feel that we are blessed. We are realistically positive. I hope you do better with the military than my husband did. And keep your great positive attitude! Oh and my husband was from El Paso also.
  • Lifeistooshort
    Lifeistooshort Member Posts: 4
    Dealing with the VA
    Depending on your symptoms you may be able to obtain service connection. My husband was diagnosed with an AA3 in Aug 2002 and had been discharged from his military service in March 2000 for being on the fat boy program, fortunately for us the weight gain was caused by the tumor. The chronic sinus infections that he had been diagnosed with were actually auras. A multitude of symptoms that at the time seemed meaningless. Do your research talk with your oncologist about every little detail of your symptoms even if they don't seem like symptoms. My husbands weight gain, auras, and personality changes is what helped me when fighting for his disability which was granted in 2003. I fought and I fought hard, but remember, if you have been given a prognosis of less than a year this too is ammunition. They have to give your case priority. Good luck and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I did it but it wasn't easy and you can too!

    With many wishes of good luck and health!
  • peacefulheart
    peacefulheart Member Posts: 34
    New Info

    When I first posted in January, I only looked at the different type of cancer boards. I never scrolled down any farther until a few days ago. There are separate discussion boards for retired military diagnosed with cancer. Lots of expierences and info to read about. Look up "Anyone like me" in that thread. I think you might get some good info and if nothing else hook up with more of our military heroes like yourself. Good luck!