It’s one thing to denigrate a Vet and say you don’t trust his word. It’s another thing entirely to say you don’t give credence to a combat Vet as evidenced by his CIB and the George Washington coupon. Or worse. Simply don’t give any opinion at all and deny him until he dies. In this case, the evidence is pretty dispositive for at least several risk factors- the very least being the punji stick.
38 USC 1154(b) accords us the presumption that, having been in combat, we can actually be trusted to tell the truth. How that works is beyond me. Seems if you joined up in the first place, your commitment to your country was pretty much assumed. Nevertheless, if you were in combat, your word is golden. Unless, of course, you were one of those drug addicts from the Vietnam debacle. Anything they say is suspect from the get go.
Johnny Vet’s wife has picked up the flag and continues to charge across the field, oblivious to the carnage around her. I commend her for her fortitude. This decision exemplifies the propensity of the 58 ROs to deny any HCV claims unless your evidence is airtight. 5 alibis, three nexus opinions and several buddy letters are the bare minimum when your spouse finds herself fighting the BVA. Having no input on the Georgia Dept. Of Vet affairs win/loss record, I hesitate to say whether she is adequately represented.
Face it. Erectile dysfunction and PTSD didn’t kill her husband. Winning the HCV claim is going to be the lynchpin in her DIC claim because that is what this is about ultimately. Shoot. She almost deserves a Bronze Star for putting up with this crap.