FROM THE MAPLE SYRUP
RO IN VERMONT
Imagine filing shortly after service for Hep because you came down with it a week after you got out. You know the dentist is responsible but VA treats you like a dolt and denies. Being young, dumb and underrepresented (by VSO), you are induced not to appeal.
Insert thirty years and then discover it has gotten worse and changed flavors. That’s what our Vet has discovered. To add insult to injury he went through two, count them, two DRO reviews with no luck. Finally the BVA adds it all up and comes to the right conclusion. Gee, the Vet wasn’t lying and there may be some substance to his contentions. VA calls them contentions because that’s how they view them. The theory can also be called “Guilty until proven innocent”.
The Vet has finally prevailed by amassing so much evidence that even reasonable minds could only come to the conclusion it occurred in service. What is disturbing is that the DRO couldn’t do this. After all, they are the best of the best at the RO and the senior raters. The refusal to grant in 2009 just proves the futility of trying to get anything out of these bozos once they throw the gauntlet down. Moving the claim to D.C. is prudent in the long run. Your decision will occur a year sooner and most with any legs will win.
The Veteran wisely collected “buddy letters” from all his friends and relatives to document this. His filing in 1972 although unappealed, was more ammunition in his favor. He presented this well and was lucky the VA’s “nexus” was in his favor. It’s risky business to allow them to do this, but here it paid off.
Note the tail number starts with an “O”. That’s not a zero. The O designation (Obsolete) was the AF and the government’s way of taking the aircraft “off the books and transferring it to places it wasn’t supposed to be or to organizations who were not governmental. Even the military has rules. This one still has it’s AF insignia on it before transfer to the RLAF in 1968. These brand new Cessna 170Es (O-1 E) were declared obsolete as soon as they were “born” and accepted by the AF.