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Vets Master Muster & Intros

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    Hi Gomer and others,
    I had to take a break from the website. Physically no issues other than my everyday MS issues, just some psych stuff. I see we vets have own forum now. I am glad, I think I ticked off some of the civilians in the other threads and I know one that ticked me off and I refused to comment on any thread she posted on , yet she seemed to have to post on anything I posted on, so I took the hint and took a break.

    About me: active duty Army 1984-1990, Army Reserve 1990-1993, took a break and then back to the Army Reserve 1996-2009 with a deployment to Kuwait in 2003 along with some sidetrips to Saudi, Iraq, Qatar, and UAE. I did all my time as an MP except for 1990-1993; I had to reclass to engineer because no open MP slots in units at home. On active duty, I did 2 tours in Germany with a year in between them to go to Presidio of Monterey(DLI) for german(graduated with honors). I am retired from the Army Reserve, put my retirement packet in June 2008, diagnosed with MS July 2009, got my retirement orders backdated to Feb 2009 in the Spring of 2010. LOL

    I am also a federal civilian and I will say that the Office of Personnel Management, which handles retirement and disability for all federal agencies, is way worse than social security or the VA. I am not working because I was denied reasonable accommodation by my agency because I do not meet the statutory requirements of the job, so I am fighting for disability retirement.

    I am service-connected disabled because I was diagnosed within 7 years of discharge from active duty. In hindsight, being activated was a blessing. Since I am service-connected, I go to the Nashville and Murfreesboro VA for all my healthcare needs. I have had nothing but good experiences; I prefer Murfreesboro(it's 10 min from home), but for some things, I have to go to Nashville. Murfreesboro is getting an MRI machine, so that will be one less thing to go to Nashville for in the future. I see that Dennis has had different experience with Nashville, I go to Nashville for dermatology, neurology, opthalmology and urology. Except for my dermatologist, it is usually a different doc everytime, but in Murfreesboro, I see the same PCP, physical therapist and psychologist. I have started seeing the same NP at the neuro clinic in Nashville and I really like her. She is going to put me on ampyra I am also on rebif, lyrica, and a host of other drugs for regularity and skin problems.

    I never thought (nor did the docs) it was MS, until I fell and hit my head at work and the ER doc did a CT of my head and saw lesions. He saw that I put on the ER form that I had complained to my non-VA PCP about constipation and weird tight binding feelings in my torso. He also saw that I was seeing an ortho for my feet and had been referred to neuro for possible tarsal-tunnel syndrome in my feet and ankles with the test scheduled within the next week. I honestly thought that everybody experienced periods where certain body parts always fell asleep and wouldn't wake up(tingling). I thought I was just uncoordinated at times and prone to bumping into things and bruising.

    I am a single mom of a wonderful 12yo daughter. She has put up with so much in the years leading up to the the MS diagnosis and since then, but we are both learning and she keeps me going when I want to quit. I can only hope that 2011, bring a closure to my fight for disability retirement and that I can bring a sense of normalcy to my daughter. I would also like to pursue going back to school, but I can't until the battle with OPM is done.

    Feel free to ask or comment on anything, just don't trivialize my comments, ignore them before you comment on their worthlessness




      checkin in. I'm new to the boards a couple of years ago and finally getting more involved. We'll see what happens as it seems I have some free time with winter and all.

      I was a member of the Guards 88-96. Rank Corporal. Mechanized Infantry. Main duties as a carrier driver.

      I was only activated one by our state forsevere flooding issues, but never activated to travel over seas or the be directly involved in any conflict. I dug a lot of sand in Death Valley preparing for the first gulf war, but that was over so fast the sent us home.

      It is good to see so many here on these boards. I will try to stay more involved as time progresses on.

      Question: Does anyone if there are any types of veteran benefits for Guard vets that were not activated during war time. Thought I'd ask to see what's out there if any.


        I'm not sure how the Guard stuff is covered. That being said, you can try contacting the VA directly or you could check the gov't pages of your phone book (the "blue pages") and check out some of the satellite groups such as DAV, PVA, VVA, etc. If it were me, I'd try both.
        Try to set up a sit-down meeting. You're not looking for a payday, just some help. Bring your records along, medical and shot records from the Guard would also be handy.
        Be honest. You're not sure if you're covered but you've also got MS. The worst they can say to you is "Sorry, we can't help you" but you won't know unless you ask. Its possible you're covered under your state, the VA or the Vet's orgs may know quite a bit about this.


          Air Force

          I was in the Air Force for 4 years. I got an honorable discharge. Was stationed at Ft. Hood and Bergstrom AFB. I was in weather.
          Originally posted by gomer View Post
          Vets Master Muster & Intros

          Attention ALL Vets, (& vet family members) Please post an intro here so we can get to know our fellow vets better. Tell us a bit about yourself and include which branch of service etc.

          PLEASE Limit postings in this thread to introductions ONLY. If you have an issue or question etc PLEASE start a new thread.

          I am Gomer, aka Doc GOMER to some. Married to since 1973, we have four kids and 2 grandkids.
          I was made a ward of the state & hospitalized when I was 13 (almost 14) because I had quit my usual activities. I quit playing sports because I could not keep up with other kids my own age. I simply did other things I could do. I was in Civil Air Patrol and flying in a Red 1929 J3, looking down at baseball fields from several thousand feet up.

          I was asked at age 17 (1963) if I wanted to be exempt from the draft, I said NO!, I wanted to be treated as "normal". My caseworker (MSW in todays lingo) said it would be a good idea and I would not have to worry about future medical care (strange IMO at the time)

          I had to get a letter from my teen yrs hospital doc, who stated the circumstances (w/o listing a Dx) and described me as having an ability to persevere and should be given a chance. I became a GOMER even in boot camp (Great Lakes). . I was not even allowed to march in revue at my boot camp graduation, given watch duty instead.

          I made rate even before going to A-school in Jax Fla. Had higher security clearance than most of my fellow airdales, so I pulled a lot of TAD duty. I was picked (labeled a lifer) for a mag interview. I told him I was not going to ship-over (re-enlist) w/#1 reason being poor medical care I had received. I worked mostly in avionics, clean A/C conditions.

          I had MS Sx before and during my enlistment. I developed diplopia at age 18 (before I joined) and had to have my prisms doubled once while on active duty. (one of many items, including possible ON (NAS Pensacola base Hospital, missing from my official med records). I also suffered a documented hearing loss (MS??) while on active duty and was never told. I found out about it just a few years ago. I am service connected for the hearing loss as of 2007, and the VA does provide me with hearing aids and supplies!

          In the late 80s I insisted "something" else was wrong and sent to the shrink dept. They said I was not nuts or depressed, just "adamant" something else was wrong, just not showing up on testing. I gave up seeking an answer for decades. Turned out I was right, and finally formally Dxd in Jan 2010 with long standing RRMS and probably early stage of going progressive.

          I am getting reasonably good VA care now, too bad they did not listen to me long ago, maybe I could have begun treatment BEFORE my mobility declined. I use a power-chair part time and use a scooter for larger stores, malls etc. I get my non-MS care outside the VA. I am on Copaxone which I do get from the VA, $8/month co-pay.



            I was with the US Navy Seabees from 1970 -74 with three tours overseas. DX with MS in October of 2006. According to my first neuro I have had MS for 25 - 30 years. These veterans posts have me thinking that just maybe I can get a little help from the VA. I am not on any medication due to the expense. I do have insurance, but it only covers the first 1,500.00 worth of medicine which would only cover about one month of injections. I have been an auctioneer for the past 26 years and thought I could make it through MS without much difficulty. Fatigue sets in pretty hard, especially after I come home after being on the road for a few days.

            My legs hurt most of the time and the burning sensation in my legs and hand is almost constant, especially in cold weather. Still, I thought every thing would be OK. Now I am having difficulty writing my name at times and just recently, on occasion I have started slurring while speaking. Not a real good thing for a professional auctioneer. I know some people think I have been drinking, but I haven't been. Gone are the days when I could do addition in my head, or listen in on one more than one conversation at the same time and I deal with depression on a daily basis. Some days more than others. I am thankful though that I am doing as well as I am and I'm really thankful that laptops have spell check.

            BTW, the first time I had a pretty serious relapse I was DX as having a stroke. That was in 2002. It still shows on my medical record, so my insurance charges me an additional fee for a missed DX.

            Thanking you all for your service and "Welcome Home".

            Enjoy Each Day,


            **Post broken into paragraphs by Moderator for easier reading. Many people with MS have visual difficulties that prevent them from reading large blocks of print.**



              I was in the Army Reserve and then on Active Duty 1987-1991. I got out of the military after giving birth to my first child.

              I met my husband while on active duty. He is disabled due to a training accident in 1994 (fractured 6 discs).

              We have 3 biological children. The all have autoimmune issues. Our oldest had rheumatic fever and developed sydenhams chorea. Our second daughter has severe asthma and scleradoma. At one time he immune system was so messed up the drs thought she had leukemia. Our third daughter also has severe asthma and food allergies that can be life threatening.

              Others that served with us and participated in unknown immunizations with us also have children with auto immune issues. Coincidence?

              Looking forward to learning from other veterans on this site.


                Greeting fellow Vets.

                I served in the Navy and Honorably discharged in 1995. Did a two year enlistment. Had reelistment papers ready to sing. Wish I had signed them instead I getting upset when I learned I would have to reapply for the advanced school gauranted on reelistment, becuase of a NJP for falling asleep durnig a balls to 4 lower brow watch (which was secured) Did my 30 days restriction/extra duty then learned I lost the guaranted school too. Got mad and didn't sign papers.

                Will post rest of story in a regular thread.


                  I am Erin, and was in the AF from '97-'01. While I wasn't officially dx until Feb '02, I was medically separated as a result of my symptoms before they knew what was going on.

                  My first symptoms in hindsight were visual and discovered by accident after an unrelated injury. But the last year I was in the AF, I lost the ability to use my hands (not good when you are an electronics tech) and had horrible fatigue and pain. I also had trouble walking and would trip without cause. Luckily the use of my hands returned eventually, just not all of the feeling. The other symptoms are still part of my normal day however, along with newer ones.

                  The one good thing about getting med boarded was that while at Lackland trying to fight my discharge, I met up with a rep from the DAV. She got the VA appt. all filled out for me and got me in touch with people out in California, where I was stationed at the time.

                  When I did finally get discharged, the AF said it was pre-existing depression and failed to acknowledge the probable MS (had an MRI with lesions indicating). But luckily my VA claim came through in about 9 months and I received 100% service connected.

                  I was a military spouse as well until this past fall so I am just now having to deal with VA for primary care. So far it has been better than I was worried it would be. I am currently switching back to Copaxone after being on Betaseron for the past year. Before that I was on Copaxone for 6 years and was initially on Avonex when first dx. I also am on Lyrica, Topamax, Ultram, Effexor, Klonopin, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. I do pretty well, and only use a cane on occasion. I have noticed that the more positive I am the better I do, so I definitely try to be Pollyanna like. I am not always great about that though


                    I am a 1st Sgt

                    My name is Kevin and I have been a 1st Sgt in the Air Force for about a year now. I joined the service in Jan 1990. 2 months after I graduated from Tech school, I was shipped over to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield and eventually Desert Storm. I was with the A-10s (23 TFW provisional aka. "The Flying Tigers") I spent 7 months there with all sorts of neat things happening around me. We had SCUDs falling out of the air, Oil well fire smoke, burning trash smoke and burning crap... to breath in and the preverbial anthrax shot and P-tabs. We didn't know what shot we were getting, just "get in a're getting a shot...shut-up, and get in a line". So I shut up and got a shot.

                    I always had issues with fatigue, depression, confusion, CRS, sleep issues, GERD which I always attributed to being in theater for DS/S. You can't get any study done until you have your 214 in hand. I finally got fed up with "the test is absolutely normal, here is some vitamin "M".

                    Being a flightline mechanic instilled what I call maintainers pride. I have cut myself to the bone and just wrapped a paper towel and some black tape around it and continued to work. But it was that mentality that kept me from going to the docs for the symptoms I was having. Some of the symptoms were: chronic fatigue, forgetfullness (CRS), arms/hands falling asleep, impulsive sweating/hot flashes, depression, sleep issues (restless leg), GERD and mood swings. I know, it sounds like I am going through manopause.

                    Now that I have been Dx, I am more aware of the issues I have been dealing with and am not so fast to dismiss. One example is the feelling of pressure in my head/ringing in the ears. It starts at the back of my head and by the end of the day it wraps around the sides all the way to my temple.
                    It almost feels like when you hold your breath underwater for a while and you get into a euphoric state, or maybe it's just me.

                    I am now waiting on the MEB/PEB to begin. I have 21 years so I am not too worried. The only thing I am concerned about is the % of disability I will get with all of the stuff I will be claiming and where I can get a job at to still provide for my family.

                    My only requirement for an area to retire is by the ocean. Both my wife and I grew up close to the beach and that is our happy place. I am hoping to find a job with the civil service at an east coast base/post in VA, NC or SC.


                      MEB lessons learned

                      I am waiting on the first step of my MEB process. I have a little anxiety about the unknown. I did my fair share of research and still find the process and outcomes cloudy.

                      Do any of the vets here have any experiences to share?

                      What was the disability % awarded?

                      How many appealed/had issues with appeals?

                      I have the MS Dx, Maj Depression (pre MS), restless leg syndrone, GERD and a couple of other things. Just the MS (30% Min), and depression (30%) will get me 50% with the VA fuzzy math. What should I be expecting (ballpark)?


                        Former AF Ammo Troop

                        My name is John. I am a former Ammo troop from the USAF. Served at Cannon AFB, NM from Jan 01 to Mar 03. Was discharged from service and moved to Fairchild AFB to be with my wife. Was diagnosed in Feb 04 at age 28 with RR MS 11 months after my discharge and one month after my daughter was born.

                        I'm now divorced and living in Abilene, TX where I am working as a Draftsman for a land survey company.

                        I have had 5 noticable attacks since my diagnosis, 2 within the last month. Just recently got on with the VA after finding out that MS is rated as service connected if diagnosed within 7 years of discharge.

                        Was first put on Copaxone after diagnosis, but that did not slow the lesions, so then switched to Rebif which seemed to work. Have not been on meds for 3 years now because of no insurance to help pay for it. Hopefully the VA will get me back on my meds soon.

                        Anyway, I signed on here to try and get some inside views and help with dealing with the VA and my MS. Any help or suggestions are greatluy appreciated.

                        Dx w/ MS- 02/04



                          Army medic here from 1984 - 1987 and then Army Reserves 1987 - 1990.

                          I just pulled my Active records and have records from being an Army Wife for 23 years.

                          Saw my neuro on Monday to discuss possible SC disability. One of the first notes looks "possible".

                          He is going through things and will get back with me for a meeting.

                          Told him I only wanted what I was due and nothing more.

                          I was quite honestly suprised at some of the notes, I had forgotten how much I had gone to the doc for things that were dismissed that seem so obviously to be MS.

                          I guess being in the medical field, they just threw bandaids and motrin at us and said bye. Grrrrrrr!!!!!

                          I will update once I know where the neuro stands as far as "dating" symptoms (7 year window).

                          Thanks for listening


                            I am a navywife. Been married to my sailor for 5 years now, hes been in the navy for almost 6yrs. About 7months ago I developed some vision problems, didn't think much into it so took my time seeing my pcm, who refered me to opthamology, who refered me to nerology who sent me for an mri and refered me to neur-opthamolgy. Got my mri results back, expected to be normal, i get the news theirs lesions on your brain and we belive you have ms..... i haven't had the def diagnosis yet, which from what ive been reading could take awhile... so we will see.... Just wanted to introduce myself, so hi!


                              New Member

                              My name is mike and I served in the army from Jan 87- Jan 92. I was dx with ms in dec. 2010. I have copies of my medical records military and civ. The records show I had my first big attack in 1996, 4 years after military service.


                                hi all, new here, new to ms limboland. 1st marine division, 7th marine regiment, Task Force Ripper, Gulf War infantry. thats all for now, like Gunny used to say"keep it simple stupid"so i'll end here and continue my deep discussion with brother budweiser and his pal jack daniels.