I have counseled Vets to use a double-edged sword to prove service connection when filing- i.e. genotype and biopsy. Forty years ago, genotypes had a distinct geographical distribution. A good biopsy-preferably based on the Metavir scale -shows the approximate age of the disease and it’s linear progression.
Using these two tools and a nexus from a gastroenterologist who succinctly connects the dots for the VA, it’s a virtually bulletproof combination to prove service connection. Using the genotype is very useful as the geographic distribution forty or fifty years ago was a unique, signature footprint.
Here, the Vet is pointing to genotype 2b as being proof of contraction during his service in Germany. Unfortunately, he would most likely have had 1B were it indeed from die Stricherin. On the other hand, if he had service in Japan, Korea or Okinawa he would indeed have been infected with 2b (or 2a) had he contracted the local, homegrown version.
He does have some self-confessed ‘Imperial Entanglements’ of snorting the white lady and post-service tattoos. These could easily be overcome by a preponderance of the risk factors and evidence (genotype and disease progression) pointing to service connection as the greatest risk. Having that nexus and a clear, concise rationale that precludes speculation are how these are won.
Johhny Reb was on the right track but went off the reservation with the 2b theory. As I have taught here, it is viable and persuasive evidence when correctly used. I won based on mine being 3a- indigenous almost exclusively at the time to the Indochinese Peninsula and also, of all places, Australia. Since we know it didn’t swim there, I suspect R&R played a great role in its migration.
Since he didn’t play the hole card with the biopsy results, and VA noticeably did not volunteer any input in that regard, Johnboy lost. This is a game of inches and Johnny missed by a large margin. I suspect the American Legion was not there to hold his coat during the dual or perform the gentlemanly function of being his second.
Winning VA HCV claims absent any defining “aha” moment like a diagnosis of Hepatitis during service isn’t impossible. Success depends exclusively on risk and exposure to same. Having the correct geographical genotype and a Stage four biopsy simply cements the theory of it’s origin and age. As usual, the third leg of the stool is the nexus but that becomes academic after your evidence proves that the genotype theory and relative age are sound.