By The Old Sarge
Battles for members of the military come in different forms—and veterans of the U.S. Air Force just won one of theirs.
For years, military personnel who flew aircraft during the Vietnam War argued that they should receive healthcare and VA disability compensation related to Agent Orange exposure on those missions.
A big part of this push came from veterans themselves. Maybe you’ve seen some of these veterans telling their stories and sharing the health impact of those missions.
The U.S. Department of Veterans estimates up to 2,100 former service members may qualify for healthcare and disability payments.
The new federal rule took effect Friday, June 19, and it covers personnel who flew or worked on Fairchild C-123 aircraft in the U.S. from 1969 to 1986. The VA provides more details on its website.
Risks And Rewards Of Service
Military service brings with it a lot of risks and rewards. Hundreds of these individuals took the risks, and it is the right thing to do to recognize the cost to them and their families.
Hundreds of former service members have been dealt a severe impact to their health and activities of daily living through exposure to Agent Orange. Diseases including diabetes, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, lung and respiratory cancer are among those connected to Agent Orange exposure.
My own time in service was with the Air Force, and I probably know some of the guys who will benefit from the VA’s rule change. It’s also good to know that Allsup can help many of these Air Force veterans through this process, now that their sacrifice has been acknowledged.
This is a remarkable achievement for all those advocating for the rule change—another hard fought battle won.
Click here for more about the Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service®, or call (888) 372-1190 if you are filing a VA disability appeal.
By Tai of Allsup
I don’t know if kids still say it, but when I was a young adult, the word “dis” was slang for disrespect, as in “Don’t dis your elders.”
When it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the “D” stands for disorder. But some people say “reaction” should be used instead. The reason: They consider the term disorder a “dis” to those who have endured trauma.
In other words, the word “disorder” implies that there is something abnormal about post-traumatic stress. But would changing the terminology from post-traumatic stress disorder to post-traumatic stress reaction make a difference in how the condition is viewed?
Terminology, Trauma And Stigma
Terminology can make a big difference in public perception, as well as personal acceptance. Knowing that you need help dealing with normal reactions is much different from thinking that something is “out of order” with you.
According to the National Center for PTSD, following trauma, most people experience stress reactions, including difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered. When these symptoms do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, that’s when it may be considered PTSD.
Stigma is a huge barrier to care when it comes to mental health.
In the U.S. military, where the prevalence of PTSD is well-documented, there is reluctance to seek mental health treatment because of stigma and concerns about how documented treatment will affect a military career.
PTSD Awareness In June
June is PTSD Awareness Month. The National Center for PTSD estimates 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women twice as likely as men to have PTSD.
Many of the symptoms of PTSD, such as memory problems and difficulty concentrating, panic attacks, disorganization and increased irritability, make it difficult or impossible for individuals to remain employed.
For those who cannot continue working, Social Security Disability Insurance is an important resource.
Others may be able to work with job accommodations, such as written instructions and lists, reduced distractions, and longer and more frequent work breaks. Whether they are working or not, individuals with post-traumatic stress should have access to treatment and not feel stigmatized for seeking help.
Instead of labeling them as having a disorder, reminding trauma survivors that their reactions are normal, and that they may simply need help dealing with them over time, could encourage more to seek support and treatment.
It could also help employers view post-traumatic stress in a new light, dispelling fears and increasing understanding about post-traumatic stress reactions, their triggers, and ways to accommodate employees with PTSD.
Changing the terminology from “disorder” to “reaction” won’t change the impact post-traumatic stress can have on individuals and their families, but it could make us more mindful of how we perceive individuals who have endured traumatic experiences.
Click here for a free evaluation or information about applying for Social Security disability benefits with PTSD.
Armed Forces Day is right around the corner on May 16.
But don’t get that confused with Memorial Day on May 25.
Or Veterans Day observed Nov. 11.
Thoroughly confused? Well, I’ll try to clear it up with a brief history about these three federal holidays that honor our troops.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of May and is a way we pay tribute to all military members for their service. Each branch of the military had their own day set aside (Army Day, Navy Day, etc.) until President Harry Truman brought all the holidays together on May 20, 1950.
First observed in 1882, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was a day to honor all—both Union and Confederate—soldiers killed in the Civil War. By the early 20th Century, the meaning of Memorial Day was extended to include all American service members who died in the defense of their country. Typically ushering in the unofficial summer season, Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May.
Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day marks the end of World War I, when the fighting stopped at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Celebrated annually on Nov. 11th, Veterans Day honors all Americans who served their country. Some say it is to honor those who served and survived.
(A note to grammarians: Although an apostrophe in Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day may be grammatically correct, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says, “Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an ‘s’ at the end of ‘veterans.’ It is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”)
To see how Allsup helps military veterans receive the veterans benefits they served for, click here.
In April 2015, a Harris International survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that among brain, heart or lung damage, 66 percent feared brain damage the most.
Stroke is a brain attack. Damage to the brain as a result of stroke can be devastating.
Even though stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term adult disability, few take the necessary steps to prevent stroke.
How your story ends is largely in your control. Eighty percent of strokes can be prevented by controlling modifiable risk factors.
In honor of National Stroke Awareness Month this May, National Stroke Association issues you a challenge!
Take the Step it Up for Stroke Pledge and commit to taking small steps to reduce your risk of a life-altering stroke.
While not all risk factors for stroke are in your control, many of them are. Healthy eating habits, physical activity, and controlling medical risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, are a few of those small steps that can go a long way.
Visit the Make Your Choice website today to learn more about how you can reduce your chances of having a stroke.
While you’re there, remember to take the Step it Up for Stroke Pledge, watch Robin’s story, and then take advantage of some of our Risk Prevention Resources to help you get started.