Navy Hazards, Disabilities and Ailments

We're nearing a thousand Navy Veterans on our site and growing rapidly now. As vets, we hear and see a lot on the news about how difficult it can be to get benefits and treatment. I've met and seen a lot of great sailors get injured and put on partial and full disability. What are some other common hazards, disabilities and ailments that you've seen shipmates suffer from? You're going to see some additional content on the site soon on topics such as these so Navy Vets wants to hear from its own members so we can educate and begin providing you with some resources.

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  • To all my fellow veterans,

    My name is Michael McGrath. I am a retired, 60% service-connected disabled U.S. Navy veteran. I spent 21 years on active duty during the Vietnam War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

    Recently, I landed a job as a contractor for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I now work on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, helping soon-to-be-discharging or retiring service-members, AND veterans, learn more about their benefits, how they might be eligible for those benefit and how to access those benefits. It is a GREAT job! Where there was once a considerable amount of confusion about veterans benefits,and a great deal of frustration surrounding the length of time it took to file for benefits and to start receiving those benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs has recently been Congressionallly-mandated to assist ALL veterans with accessing their hard-earned and well-deserved benefits. That is what I love the most about my job.

    If ANY veteran here on needs help in the claims process, feel free to give me a call at 720-847-4VET, and let's discuss your questions and concerns. I might be able to help you circumvent the difficulties and get you the help you need in applying for your veterans benefits.

    I also wanted to add that I appreciate every one of my fellow veterans on this website. I encourage you ALL to apply for your benefits by: 1) heading to your nearest Veterans Service Organization (VSO) (such as the VFW, DAV, American Legion, etc.), 2) sign a power-of-attorney for them to handle your claim, any claim documentation, and to be your legal representation, 3) give them COPIES of your DD-214's and any medical evidence that would support your claim (including military AND civilian medical records and documentation), 4) allow your VSO representative to be the expert that gets you through the claims process.

    Don't wait another week to submit your claim! Do it today! If you are eligible for benefits, you will have EARNED them. Don't throw away money that might be lawfully yours!



    Michael A. McGrath
    VA Representative

  • after 51/2 years I finally got a 10% rating from the v.a..i went thru the DAV and the American legion and I swear to God they thought I was lying.i called them out on this attitude they had for me saying this never happened.spent 10 days in the st.albans naval hospital after my operation I received by stopping a 1000lb bomb from hitting the and the v.a. couldn`t find my records I had to hunt them down.thank God I have crew members who are still alive and I had them write letters saying all this happened aboard uss great sitkin ae 17 in 1966.that is the only reason I got the 10%.when I got out in 1967 I was a complete drunk and when I drank I told everyone that would listen to me in the bar what happened that night they thought I lying or bullshitting have to get written proof from shipmates who were with you on the ship when this accident happened.we were in the Hoboken ship yards for overhaul for 3 months living and eating and sleeping while they removed asbestos and lead paint.another item I have to prove happened.i got so disgusted I finally had to put my case in the hands of a lawyer I was getting so sick with arguing with the v.a.this should take another year or two I am 69 .remember to get letters from your shipmates.this accident of all sorts of ammo breaking loose in the middle of the night was NEVER PUT IN THE SHIPS LOG.

  • the newspapers and t.v. news outlets are finally investigating the horrible way the v.a. is run,and the way it is treating us veterans,they had to be finally embarrassed on t.v. in the length of time ,the way they lose paperwork and the down right breakdown of the whole system.maybe people who are in high places will be forced to resign or fired.the computer and phone system sucks and is always down.or out of commission.the v.a. has had one scandal after another while shinsecki was put in charge in 2009.myself i have been waiting since 2009 for an injury that happened to me in 1966.the accident was never put in the ship`s log to protect some officer.i had to hunt down a few ship mates to write a letter telling the v.a. that the accident did happen.all this time they thought i was lying.always send any info to the v.a. in certified mail with a return receipt.hope to have to get some good news shortly.mickey doyle

  • I am a 1965-66 Navy Destroyer  Vietnam Veteran I suffered 4-5 strokes in 1995 and placed a claim in 1996. I  have had 4-5 claims in for Ischemic Heart Disease. I had a heart attack in 2008. We operated on the "gun line" for so long, we had to go into Subic Bay for 3 new - 5" 38 gun barrels. To fire on shore at the Vietcong, and destroy targets pointed out by air support, we had to be within gun range, which was  10-12 miles. The VA will not pay the Navy even though they were exposed to Agent Orange Spray. The VA is not on our sides. The Navy and Air Force are being screwed by the VA worse than by "charlie". I suffer from 60% short and 40% long terms memory lost. I have had claims in since 1997. I am stilll waiting an appeal. Minneapolis VA Hospital Benefits Doctor said " I am going to service connected you". The VA said screw the doctor, "they are in charge". If they are'nt going to listen to them, why do they send us to them? The VA could care less about how the US Navy is treated. They started screwing us during Pres. Bush Jr. regime and are still doing it. They talk about Pres. Obama giving more money to Veterans. Were is it for the Navy Veterans? I guess we are still expendable. Vietnam Veterans are dieing at a high rate. Out of our VFW we have lost more Vietnam Veterans than WWII Veterans, What is wrong with that picture when they average 40 years more in age.

  • hi you all i need some help her from follow shpmates from the U.S.S. ORION AS-18 i was on board from 77-79 in deck during this time frame we tore apart deck berthing lagging in all finding out that is was full of asbestos corman said it would be put into our records well being a young guy who would thought they wouldnt well guess what they didnt now i have c.o.p.d. not service connected they say cause i have no prof i was told if i can get letters from other shipmates it might help i have it so bad iam on oxygen permintly disabled from the v.a. but cant get any higher then 40% so now living on an E-6 PENSION ive since applyed for s.s.d. but we know how long that takes u serv for your country but when we need help where is it  it f ----- sucks hope there are shipmates out there where we can help each other out iam sure iam not the only one in this boat thanks guys

  • Since the VA does NOT monitor those of us that were exposed to asbestos does anyone have experience with what happens after a Vet is diagnosed with a lung disease associated with asbestos exposure?

    I was in the Navy from October 09, 1972 until September 19, 1980 and prior to my discharge I had a large red ASBESTOS stamped on my medical records jacket and was monitored every six months, however after 9/19/80 according to the VA I was no longer exposed to asbestos. Great feeling NOT to have been exposed until I was asked to give depositions in eight cases for fellow shipmates from the USS Oriskany CV-34 and USS Ranger CV-61. All eight died prior to getting their cases settled by the VA so the VA was able to slip by and FAIL another eight Veterans.
    • i was on the point defiance, lsd-31 asbestos doesn't go away,i have a claim as well with the va they've denied me twice and i've appealed twice,they now say i'm suffering from an illness due to exposure.the docs i had seen would imply but not say what it was,so i decided to see an internist she ordered   a bmp lab work and looked at records from other doctors i was seeing her dianosis was copd stage 3 plus type 2 diabetes,am sure the first will clinch my claim,my claim is in review board just sittin there but with new evidence should get accepted.don't know if my record had asbestos stamped on it but should've been cause the ship was built with it.

      • i was on the point d 1973-1976.

    • I hope you have those suck egg politicians envolved!
  • I too am service-connected disabled, total and permanent. My disabilites are degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, psiatica as well as a host of others. I had surgery at Portsmouth Naval Hospital January, 2000, a procedure that took over 4 hours. From that day, I had 45 days in recovery and my condition only worsened. Almost a year later, I was referred to the Medical Board, reviewed, determined to be at 20% disability, and recommended for medical discharge, which took place 16 JUN 2003. Unable to work and turned down from the Vocational Rehab program due to disabilities and the fact that I would be unable to obtain and sustain suitable employment, I thought I would be ok since I had received severance pay from the DOD and was rated at 70% through the VA. This was not the case. The VA began monthly payments but what I was unaware of until I began receiving my payments is that the VA would recoup that amount of money that I had received from the DOD. The only amount of money that I received was dependent payment, which wasn't enough to help us out. My wife worked but was beginning a new job here at home and was being paid minimum wage. In the mean time, I put in for Unemployability and initially was turned down because I could brush my teeth. They actually told me that because I can take a shower and brush my teeth, all of 15 to 20 minutes, I should be able to hold an 8 hour job. Even with the fact in their hand that the last full year in the Navy I was only working 2 hours when I could on a medical chit/light duty in constant care under my Neurologist at PNH. I resubmitted the claim and this time it came back approved, with backpay. Beyond that, I was reading an article in the Navy Times that was talking about the DOD to review cases of medical discharges dating back to September 2001 rated at 20% or less. I found out what I had to do to get my package submitted with my Medical records from the Navy, VA file and Social Security paperwork (which I had received total and permanent disability from them in 2005). I submitted my package and within 3 to 4 months found out that I was being re-rated with full total and permanent disability fom the DOD. It was a long hard, white knuckled journey, however, I followed through with the help of the DAV and VFW, following every word of advice and diligence and it paid off for me. I give God the praise and glory because without him, it would not have worked out as it did. I would advise everyone seeking disability benefits from the VA/DOD to enlist the help of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Don't give up. The DAV and the VFW offers help with their Service Officers at no charge. I am in pain daily, unable to obtain employment, and taking pain medicine up to 4 times a day. I am a stay-home Dad and currently picking up with my college classes where I left off. I truly miss being in uniform, serving my country. If physically able, I would still be in uniform today in the greatest branch of the Military, the U.S. Navy.
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