Somebody contact the DAV in New York, New York pronto. This combat Vet got screwed and he has about a month or more to saddle up for the NOA at the CAVC . In this day and age, one would think VSOs have accumulated some knowledge on what is located in 38 CFR and 38 USC. Sadly, that isn’t the case here.
Everyone in the legal arena is acquainted with the legal concept that anything that falls from your lips regarding your combat experiences is golden truth-untarnished by your financial desire for backsheesh. Our 11 Bravo Vet cum Medic in a pinch is denied all of this- notwithstanding a GSW in the thigh. What does it take to get traction at the VA? Granted, he may have sampled Peru’s finest, but the investigation cannot stop there. It doesn’t eviscerate his combat enhancement under 38 USC § 1154(b). It merely adds another risk factor to the equation.
Having been in combat, I’m fairly familiar with the concept of blood everywhere-some mine and often some of others. To deny this Son of War his due on only one facet and ignore the truly salient risk requires ignoring his valor and that Purple Nurple hanging somewhere in his house.
Regarding the Veteran’s assertions that he was exposed to others’ blood while working as a medic, the examiner noted that there is no evidence that the Veteran reported open wounds while treating other veterans, nor is there evidence that the Veteran presented with any symptoms of Hepatitis C (specifically jaundice) prior to his discharge in 1969. The examiner also noted that the Veteran reported abusing cocaine and that hepatitis C can be transmitted through the nose of cocaine users. The Board finds the November 2011 examination to be highly probative as it reflects consideration of all relevant facts.
I guess a GSW in the leg isn’t categorically an “open wound” as VA views it. We have Acting Veterans Law Judge S. Heneks for his probative analysis and consideration of all the facts in the case. Welcome to VA justice folks.