how's it going everybody welcome to another episode of the sitrep i am marine corps veteran paul corbett and today we're talking about well we're talking about a lot of stuff but we're primarily focused on meb medical evaluation boards and some other different boards you may be involved with as you're exiting from the military or dealing with as you're trying to interact with the va and today we have an expert subject matter expert joining us who traveled over 150 miles to be here steve plum thank you so much hey paul it's a pleasure man it's always a pleasure oh i really really appreciate you coming in i mean this is a big topic it's the time of year that the bulk of individuals who served are getting out of the military uh so this is a big key topic that i think a lot of people need to know about sure um real quick you you're working with uh veterans who are transitioning from the middle yeah i'm the i'm currently in this position i am the the military to va program manager uh we provide case management services to all post 911 veterans coming off active duty into va healthcare we coordinate all their care help make sure their benefits are intact and get them set up for success post service uh so let's jump into it shall we sure uh what is a medical evaluation board the medical evaluation board is um is a dod's uh equivalent to a workman's compensation uh board so to speak if somebody gets injured in military service or develops an illness in military service that precludes them from doing their job and it becomes an unfitting condition the medical evaluation board is there to measure the amount of functional loss of that organ or that system uh for compensation purposes so it's much like you're a ups driver you fall off the back of the truck you break your leg you know you gotta you gotta go to the hospital you gotta treat and then you gotta be cleared to come back to work and the doc says oh no you got a male union in the break we're gonna need to re-break it and you can't go back to work for another period of time and then finally in the end you know um because you're not able to go back to your job they measure the amount of functional loss and then give you a big payout very similar with the military um the medical evaluation board is set up uh to it's basically a commander's tool to to um uh to conserve his fighting strength uh to take people that that can't do their job uh and place them into a medical hold or medical management center or a soldier recovery unit that will then allow the commander to backfill that position okay so there's there's actually a lot of different boards that exist around this topic right right right and they're not all similar no they're not um so i mean based from this you know what is the difference between a medical review board and a medical evaluation board medical review board is a board that's set up by your respective component that will determine whether or not you meet the the criteria to be referred to the medical evaluation board medical evaluation board is um is a group of people at the peb physical evaluation board that determine whether or not you are truly unfit for your job and whether or not you should be either reclassed into another job or separated from service now if you can be reclassed you know they'll simply re-class you into another job to another mos but nine times out of ten when a person develops an unfitting condition they can't do their common tasks like like everybody in the army is supposed to be able to be an infantry person serve infantry roles like everybody in the marine corps is supposed to be you know rifleman or infantry as well so we all have those common tasks but if we can't do those common tasks then then the the physical evaluation board says no you can't do it and then they push you out okay so and what i mean by push you out they push you through um so there's this is complicated stuff man this is really complicated stuff and i got to kind of backtrack a little bit here so so there's two types of systems that that the military is using right now they use the legacy system which is where the military does all of the evaluations and the ratings themselves and then there's the ides integrated disability evaluation service which started in 2009 around may 5th 2009 um at uh at fort drum which is when i was there and um basically the bottom line was that the there was um there was an issue between the army and the va there was some miscommunication and it resulted in developing this wonderful ides process and this ideas process is integrated so the the army says okay you're unfit they order examinations through the va the person goes out to the va they get all their examinations done and then that results in compiling a packet of evidence that then goes into a narrative summary that then is used to be pushed to the peb for determination once they determine yes you're unfit then they push all of your stuff out to a va regional office somewhere in the country and they do all the ratings when those ratings are done they come back to the peb at walter reed bethesda and they say okay we're going to issue you uh the army it's a 199.
uh it's a certificate that says hey you know you're you know you have to be medically separated um it'll state whether it's combat related non-combat related whether it existed prior to service whether it was incurred in service whether it was aggravated by service so there's a lot of a lot of it's it's very complicated each one of these these uh topics could be a whole could be a whole series yeah um i'm sure that i mean we get tons of stuff i mean most of our audience knows anybody that's new to us you can send us ideas or questions that you'd like for us to cover on the show you can email us at the sitrep va.gov it is on the screen right now below um but as we're moving forward i mean you mentioned va so what is what is the difference between the evaluation process between va and the peb the peb is only looking to determine whether or not a person is actually unfit or can be reclassified reclassed if once a person is unfit they issue they issue a memo saying you know an unfit memo and then they they push everything from the peb out into the va regional office so the va regional office does all the ratings when those ratings are done uh what they're okay so let's back up so once you've been pushed to the meb what happens after you get pushed to an mbb you get set up you get set up with a physical evaluation branch liaison office somewhere in the continental united states things are pretty much handled on a queue some of the people in our region go to west point some go to atterbury some go to um fort drum some may go to fort gordon so on and so forth so once a once a packet gets sent off to the physical evaluation board the physical evaluation board reaches out to or the the pueblo rather reaches out to the military services coordinator who works for the va and that va representative sits down with the with the service member and says okay what what do you have in your medical records that you could file claims for sometimes i get all the stuff in the claims sometimes they don't sometimes people are are unsure of what they can claim and that's that's a problem because you know it means that when they're finally out the door then they've got more stuff or they realize oh wow i should have claimed that and then you know they want to start the process to get that in the packet but it doesn't work that way so once the military services coordinator gets the claim the claim gets uh gets gets forwarded and then the va orders examinations um and so um you know right now with this pandemic they're utilizing um qtc ve s lhi they're using contract companies to do the exams um and before uh you know before the pandemic they were going to the va for comp and pen exams right those comp and pen exams the same kind of comp and pen exam you and i would have is the same kind of comp and pen exam they would have okay so the military when they medically when they when they're when they're doing the medical evaluation board they're only looking for those unfit conditions let's say you know you you you got a gunshot wound or you had a traumatic amputation or you have ptsd or a traumatic brain injury or or let's say you developed you know a major depressive disorder or something on on active service right that's pretty much why they're going to medically board you is because of that unfit condition but people have other things that have gone on that you know like they might have sleep apnea or they might have uh you know an ankle strain or a shoulder strain or a back strain or something that's not gonna potentially be a career ending that's not going to rise to the level to be medically you know evaluated for um so but the va will still do all those all those exams right once all those exams are done those exams then get pushed back to the physical evaluation branch liaison office and there's a doctor there that compiles all the evidence that writes up the narrative summary so on the narrative summary there's going to be above the line and below the line above the line are your unfitting conditions that's all the dod is interested in medically evaluating you for all the stuff below it is stuff that the va is going to going to rate you for anyway so what happens is once that's all done they get sent back to the service member for signature once the service member signs off on it and agrees to it it then goes to the peb at walter reed and they determine whether or not the person is unfit or can be reclassed if the person is unfit then they send everything out to a regional office so the va will then rate everything everything that's on that narrative summary all the unfitting conditions and all the fitting conditions and what they'll do is they'll they'll rate everything and then send the ratings and then of course you know in the va everything is combined right so you don't get like you don't get like uh you know 300 percent you know because everything is combined so 50 and 50 actually equals 75 which rounds to 80.
so va math so um so what happens it comes back to the peb the peb separates out the unfitting conditions from the fitting conditions right and that creates two separate sets of ratings so you've got a va overall combined rating and then you have a combined rating on the dod so let's say you got 250s on the dod side that would still round to 80. so the the va would then say excuse me the dod would then say okay here's your your disability evaluation for 90 or for for uh 80 yeah right and then um then they uh uh you know because well in in the grand scheme of things um if you get a 10 or 20 rating you don't have enough to be medically retired in chapter 61 medical retirement if you get a 30 or better you're going to be medically retired and along with that medical retirement comes a certain pot of money it's like 2.5 times the number of years of service times your base pay and that equals a pot of money out of that pot of money you the most you can get out of that pot of money is 75 the least you can get out of that pot of money is 50 so even if you got a 30 rating from the dod but you had a combined 100 rating from the va um you're only going to get 50 of that pot of 2.5 percent and then that's not gonna be a lot of money you know if you're a private first class or if you're a specialist or if you're a sergeant with less than less than six years or less than five years you're not going to get a lot of money so then what happens is it becomes the higher of the two evaluations are you gonna are you gonna get more money from the dod or are you gonna get more money from the va you're gonna end up getting more money from the va so you get your va benefits you don't get your dod pay but you do get tricare you do get your id card and you get all the rights and privileges of somebody who's got a 20-year retirement so i'm always uh throwing out questions uh out on the net um whether it's on facebook or what have you yeah and one of the questions that i ended up getting from ali rodriguez actually an excellent veteran service officer that she hears all the time from veterans in her community what is the difference between medical separation and medical retirement so medical separation so um you know the the dod could separate you for a number of reasons right um and i mean they could separate you they could they could do and the army uses chapter 5-17 which is another catch-all area to to chapter somebody that doesn't you know that's that's got some other form of medical issue that you know precluding them from doing their job but when you get pushed to an meb if you get a 10 rating or a 20 rating and you don't get enough you don't get that 30 percent then you don't hit the the chapter 61 medical retirement then you get medically separated with that medical separation will come this enhanced disability payment and uh if you're if you're a non-combat person and don't have a combat related injury that's what i wanted to ask you about you got to pay that back you know the va says hey we want that money you know and unfortunately that can be you know these guys can get a bucket load of money it's not unheard of for someone to get you know 30 40 60 90 000 depending on the number of years of service that's insane that's a lot of money but if it's combat related then they don't have to pay it back so let's say let's say you you you have you have let's say you have 17 to 18 years of service you get 100 through this process from the va you get 10 from the dod but that 10 you know is is combat related you're not going to pay that back you don't have to pay that back so that's like free money but if it's not combat related then you know it's going to come out of your monthly benefit amount at the rate of 10 and it's it's like a loan then you know right so for some of these guys you know the idea is you know most of us wanted to hit 20 years of service right and get and get that 20-year retirement that statutory retirement and i talk to people every day i talk to you know people that are getting ready to retire um with their 20 years and i and i'm like dude you need to you need to do a medical board you know why would i want to do a medical board well you know you've got a mandatory five-year period of recall where they can recall you to active duty and if the balloon goes up and and we're living in a precarious world today if that balloon goes up they're going to call you back to duty and if you have you know if you're 100 disabled man and they call you back to duty they're going to send you to a mobe site and they're going to stop you cold in your tracks and then you're going to have all that time and effort spent away from your family just to be returned to your family so you know people that are going through people that are getting ready to retire benefit from the medical review board as well medical evaluation board because then that code they're just their code their dd214 so that they can't be recalled and it's the same thing like like you or i if we just if we were just first-hand first-termers and we just did four years of active duty then we've got four years of inactive ready reserve right and we have to muster and they can they can call us back to active duty at any time as well but if you know if you're getting out and you've got disabilities and the va gives you a disability percentage and then they recall you and you go to a mobe site then what you know you're stuck so you know it behooves people if you're if you're if you're within if you're within you know a year of getting out and you've got a medical problem and you're just trying to hide and just like make it to your ets date don't do that don't do that because you know if you make it if you just are trying to hide and you make it to your ets date or your eas date then you're going to have to start all over you have to start all over with the va you're going to get out you're going to come home you're going to file your claims claims are going pretty quickly for first termers for first-timers you know for the post-911 but you know it's not unheard of for claims to take years so the va gave everybody that served in a combat theater enhanced enrollment eligibility right right prior to group five uh to be able to it's a party group six project five five yeah yeah to be able to give them five years of free health care for for their their presumed service connected conditions that are in their service treatment record and that all that does is it allows you know somebody who doesn't opt to do uh benefits delivery at discharge which is a whole new subject or a quick start claim uh the opportunity to have five years of medical surveillance to develop their claim to be able to file their claims so i want to come back i need to put a note in here to myself yeah i know right to come back to the quick start and other stuff because that's something new to me i i think a lot of this stuff has actually been developed since i've gotten out oh yeah what year did you get out i got out no four so i'm gonna uh backtrack here for a second um and you know if if meb is an option for anybody that is getting out of the military um aes and ets thing they call in the army i guess yeah yeah um how do they how do they jump start that process is there a phone number they call it no no no no no no no there's um you know the only way to jumpstart the progress or a process is to speak to your chain of command if you have a condition that's unfitting speak to your chain of command if you know you're getting out speak to your chain of command because you know they're they're the ones that have the the the the keys to initiate this process you know go to your platoon sergeant go to your squad leader you know get support you know nine times out of ten they um they they just you know you know how it is that um when a person starts getting in trouble sometimes it snowballs for them and then they just get in big trouble and they get booted out right um sometimes you know guys with with uh post-traumatic stress disorder will come home and they'll they'll try to self-medicate right and they'll they'll drink or they'll do something else um to self-medicate and and then they start getting into trouble it's not it's not it's not the condition that that causes the problem so much as it's the behavior that causes a problem and yeah the the the the problem you know could be mitigated a little bit you know with by the understanding that the person has a medical condition or a psychological condition but let's face it if you're drinking and driving and you get caught they're going to make an example of you or if you're drugging they're going to make an example of you um so what what i tell people is look if you're changing if you have support from your chain of command to get into the mbb process then you need to soldier on you need to man up you know or or woman up so to speak and go to go to all your all your all your mutas go to your annual training go to your mutas or continue to go to work and do your thing don't get in trouble because if you get in trouble then they can impose an administrative action on you instead of the meb right and then and then what happens then is the administrative action goes and the meb goes so so you go through the whole mbb process and you get up to that very end where the commanding general says uh no we're making an example and then all of that stops it all stops and that that's that can be a terrible thing for somebody that you know could potentially be 100 permanently and totally raid walking out the door right and they've got to come out the door find somebody like like their program manager or a veteran service officer that can help reinitiate that that that claim process you know you can be dealing with character discharge issues too oh my god oh yeah oh yeah it could be a big can of worms big and then of course how a person comes home you know makes all the difference in the world how you get out of the military and how you come home makes all the difference in the world man it really truly does if you come home with your head held high you know all your benefits intact not having to worry about filing a claim or you know getting this added to your claim and you come home with the idea that you're going to go back to school or you're going to do a trade school or you're going to go back to work you know it just it just helps that much to be able to help you with your readjustment to civilian life so i want to ask because there are a ton of men and women out there that have served in the national guard and reserves who have deployed who have injuries and illnesses and everything else from their time and service thank you all of you by the way um is the meb process any different for them as it is with active duty no not really not really at all no because their case is going to actually be sent to an active duty installation oh well i mean there may be uh a reserve center or national guard center somewhere and i don't know all of the places that are doing this but typically they go to an active duty installation like in our area goes to west point like i i think that the guy that one of the other outreach folks and i know is actually being med boarded through um i believe through west point okay and um so i do want to say i i want to kind of uh jump subject for a second that there are people that are out there that can help you if you have a medical condition and your chain of command is taking advantage of you um and violating your profile and doing things because you got to have a profile right you got to have a permanent profile if you get a temporary profile for an issue i mean that that temporary profile is there to say hey temporarily we're going to take you we're going to we're going to put you on light duty we're going to you know uh make sure that you don't have to do your physical training or maybe we're gonna do alternate physical training um so that that temporary profile you know that's not gonna last but if you have a permanent profile um chances are you're gonna get caught and they're gonna send you to a medical review board and if you go to medical review board and you've got chain of command support then they'll push you to an mmb if you don't have chain of command support you know it's it's it's going to be a very difficult road however there are people out there that can help you um there's there's ombudsmen medical ombudsmen that worked for that worked for medcom out of out of uh out of fort sam houston um there's two of them john fish and john maniscalco they're they both sit in the in the ombudsman's office at fort drum they cover this whole region and then you've got aw2 army wounded warrior program for the marines you've got the wounded warrior regiment for the navy you've got wounded warrior or navy safe harbor for the air force it's wounded warrior and and those are their advocates um that that will help you you know help determine whether or not um you're going to get combat related special compensation because that's another whole uh benefit and mike and i have actually talked about that before yeah yeah yeah yeah um as a vote as opposed to crdp if you're getting ready to retire but um the med the the ombudsman you know they they can go right to the chain of command they can advocate for you with your chain of command also there's meb outreach council and their job is really to help keep the specific department from you know injuring a soldier not injuring up maybe uh you know harming a soldier in some way they they advocate wholeheartedly for the service member and will you know when you when you do your meb if there's a condition that that isn't that doesn't really you know the medical people are saying that it's not really fitting or it's not really unfitting but it really is unfitting because you can't do your job because of it right um you know then um these guys can help you draft an independent medical review to help you go out to a third separate party to get an independent medical review um there's also things and i'm just i'm just kind of rambling here it seems but but this is just such a complicated process man it is very clear there's a thing called diagnostic variance okay diagnostic variance is where the the dod and the va come up with two separate scenarios right so give me an idea um so um take a guy who comes back from afghanistan he's got post-traumatic stress disorder the va says he has post-traumatic stress disorder he might not have ever really treated for ptsd but let's say the v the dod says no no no no he really has bipolar disorder well that creates a diagnostic variance right so you know they say uh ptsd dod says bipolar and then they they send them out for another for another for a third third party evaluation that will you know determine whether it's it's bipolar disorder or ptsd that's crazy it is crazy it's complicated process it's a legal process right it's very much like workman's comp man very much and you know the whole time i was at fort drum i'm like hey look you know um i'm here to get you pushed into va healthcare and you know if you think you have extra claims wait until this process is all over and done with don't try and initiate any claims and i know that that's one of the one of the questions um that you that you submitted you know if i'm in the disability uh meb process should i could i or should i submit a va claim for disability yeah no don't nine times out of ten if you're if you're a reservist or a national guardsman you're going to have claims already out there and those claims hopefully will have been uh either awarded they'd have come to a decision and you've got an award let's say you're already at 40 percent but then you have this unfitting condition that they're going to want to medically board you for and maybe you forgot to add a few things don't do anything don't do anything just let them med board you let let that process work its way out before you start filing any claims because the bottom line is you're going to want to get that money in hand before you do anything else it's always easy to reopen a claim to resubmit new evidence for claim but while you're in the meb process leave it alone leave it alone if you're active duty leave it alone because all you're going to do is slow down the process and trust me the whole entire time that you're in the meb process you're soldiering on and you know you want to get out of there as quickly and as efficiently as possible with your benefits intact you don't want to get in trouble you don't want to do things that are going to slow the process down because if the process gets slowed down and you start to develop some behavioral problems well you know they could administratively separate you and you know and then it's all for nothing right okay that makes sense um so back to you to mention there's a few other options uh quick start being one of them yeah what was the other option so there's a benefits delivery of discharge and the way i understand benefits delivery discharge is if you're if you're six months out and you know that you're you're leaving six months you can you can start filing your claims within six months and ideally claims with the va or claims with the va claims of the va not what's the deal with dod no it's a benefits delivery at discharge and and uh this is some this is a very popular thing for retirees right because you know they're going to retire and they're walking out the door and and there's not a lot of first-termers man that just you know do four years and get out that that are like i think i'm gonna file a bdd claim people don't and you know there's there's a lot of people that come in um that don't get hurt you know that you know are physically sound just as physically sound as the day they came in as a day they get out so you know those people aren't going to want to file claims or not have any claims to file but if there's somebody who who knows you know hey look i had a shoulder dislocation and i have a labral tear as a result of it and you know i had had to have reconstructive surgery on my shoulder and i don't have very much of a range of motion now because of it then hey guess what file a bdd because what will happen is once that bdd claim goes in the va will start working to set you up with exams before you leave active service now right now we're in a pandemic so i can't tell you how this has screwed things up for a lot of people there are people that file bdd claims that don't get their exams until after they leave service so you know hopefully we're going to all get back to normal you know at some point in time and our processes will get back to normal and we'll work just as efficiently as possible but but for those guys you know and gals you know filing a claim within 180 days of separating from service is a good thing you know the idea is you want to come home uh have your benefits intact or have your benefits intact shortly after you get home so that that money starts coming in because you know if you don't have a job lined up or you're you didn't save a lot of money before getting out of service you're going to need an income of sorts you know yeah income need access to things i mean you you walk out and you know you no longer have health care you have uh dental in certain situations for up to 180 days after getting out no yeah if that wasn't provided to you prior to you etsing or easing but i mean if you walk out of dod with any type of rating then boom you now qualify for va healthcare and you now have free healthcare yeah you know so um and then not to you know if you got 10 disability now you can look at education benefits beyond just the basic gi bill right right there's just tons of stuff no there's there's one thing that's not on here that i think should be on here um and this is for just your m day your m day national guard or reservist somebody who just serves one weekend a month two weeks a year doesn't get called to active duty um doesn't have any active duty time except for active duty for training purposes only um those people don't have two years of active and continuous service and are not eligible for va health care right unless they file claim now in order to file a claim you really need an lod a line of duty investigation right so you get a lod for something and the issue is significant enough where you need to have health care you know hopefully there'll be what's called a military medical service office authorization for health care it's a memso authorization that that allows tricare to to actually send an authorization to the va medical center for the va medical center to do the treatment on that person so now um that person who's an md or just the two weeks adt he gets hurt on the adt or he gets hurt on the m day weekend does the line of duty gets treatment in the va and guess what now there's going to be a record in the va and when the guy gets off active duty or comes or decides they want to file a claim they can use that lod then to file a claim and you know the va will grant the claim because you know they've got this line of duty that says it happened while in the line of duty right but for active duty people you don't need that your active duty 365 days a year 24 7.
Right you know yeah it's uh i've run into that issue with a couple of people um where i mean it says it right in the name it's a service-connected claim for disability you have to connect it to service somehow if you're not if you're not able to establish that then yeah it's it's not that vba doesn't want to approve it is you're just making it difficult for them to approve it yeah i think the vba's motto is grant if you can deny if you must so i think they actually uh will work with you to try to grant your benefits yeah but that's been my experience especially with these new young people coming out you know and you know they've been very very responsive uh to a lot of the issues that my folks are having so you know it's you said one year out you can start the meb process no 180 days 180 days six months bdd no that's a bdd quick start is is 60 days yes you can file a quick start claim like is as you know you if if you so it so typically people go to taps you know they have a transitional assistance program right when they're getting out um and it's around that time frame that they fill out 1010 ez that goes off to their respective va medical center and um we'll be talked to about the bdd claims so people uh veteran service officers will come in and and do their thing there'll be people there helping the veterans or the service members uh trying to get jobs and stuff like that right so so it's during that process that um the bdd comes into play um if if uh you know if you don't get a chance to to do a bdd claim within the 180 days before leaving service you can file a quick start and a quick start you know if you fill out the 526 disability evaluation form or your service officer does it they ford it off to your regional office or they forward it off um i think it goes i think they go to salem i may be mistaken but i think they go to the salem regional office or at least they were in the past going to salem um and then people would come home and they'd align they'd they'd reach out to the gaining regional offices get exams set up and so on and so forth so it's it's it's a process to jump start to claim but it's not it's not the benefits delivery at discharge okay and so with with meb that process can be started one year in advance right uh any b can be done at any point in time oh any point at any point in time i knew this kid that was uh that was uh driving off to basic training and um he had a car accident and um it was a significant car accident it put a hole in his forehead and he was leaking cerebral spinal fluid you know water from or the fluid from around his brain through his sinuses out his nose and he had like multiple surgeries to get that fixed and the dod took responsibility for it and they met boarded this kid wow yep he was on his way to basic training that's crazy yep she's under contract yeah so you know and we had this this uh this young service member that um i'll never forget this this guy um he he was medically evaluated um and and um he got a disability percentage and he he left the installation and drove off and had a bad car accident and lost his kidneys and then had had to come back they brought him back on active duty to to stabilize him and put him on peritoneal dialysis because he didn't have kidneys and then he you know once he was stabilized uh he was put back out into the out into the community you know when you're when you're when you're separating service those 73 hours man that's that's key you can't just you know expect that you're gonna okay i'm gonna separate service i'm gonna walk off the installation and i'm gonna be fine you know you get into a car accident you get a dui you break the law they can pull you right back they can pull you right back and do ucmj on you you're not a free person until after three to three days after you separate service so you know what you do makes all the difference in the world interesting um is it really worth it to go through the meb process uh say say if i'm reaching the end of my four years right or 20 years is it really worth going through the meb process as i'm getting out rather than just waiting until i get out and then start with va claims yeah it is worth it i mean because you could be recalled to active duty okay if you're a 20-year retiree you're gonna have a five-year period of mandatory recall where they can recall you back to active duty i mean we saw that happen with uh with um you know post-9 11.
A lot of retirees that got out before afghanistan and iraq were actually called back up um and you know if if you're medically boarded as you're walking out the door um your dd214 is going to be coded they're not going to be able to call you back and i don't know about you but if i sail off into my civilian life and all of a sudden they call me back to active duty and i've got all these disabilities that you know that i've i've been going to the va and fighting with to get you know service connected for and you know they service connect me within three years of coming out and on the fourth year the balloon goes up and we're being called back to active duty we're going to be sent off to a mobilization site where they're going to say don't go past go don't collect 200 and then you know you're going to be kept there for a period of time for them to determine what to do with you and it could disrupt your family life it could disrupt you if you have post-traumatic stress disorder it could you know it could trigger a whole lot of crap you know um so it's best to i think it's best to do that on your way out the door if if you know if you have look i'm not talking about you know the run of the mill you know knee strain or ankle strain or you know shin splint or you know um you know i'm not talking about the the mild injuries i'm talking about the significant stuff you know let's say you have l3l4 spinal compression and you have nerve root damage and you know you've got radiculopathy in your legs or you've got a cervical uh spinal issue and it causes radiculopathy in your arms and you lose the strength in your hands you're not going to be able to carry a weapon you know you're probably going to be able to have a kevlar to hold your head up high right there's a lot of people that get get get spinal fusion you know that's kind of stuff i'm talking about if you know this has happened to you and you can opt for a medical board do it because you know the sooner you get that code on your dd214 the less the less inconvenience is going to be for you or your family you know if you've deployed four or five times and you're finally getting the chance to retire do it because the last thing your family is going to want is for you to be deployed again and have all that time away yeah you know it's got to start you got to start getting into the mindset of taking care of your family taking care of yourself and taking care of your family um and you know that's really what it's all about once you've done your 20.
i mean you've done your 20 um your spouse has done it with you and she supported you or or you've supported her you know move on with life you know some people aren't going to want to move on some people want to go back but some people want to go back that should not go back you know what i'm saying um so you know i think we owe it to our families to to make sure that we're going to we're going to keep things uh smooth and safe for everybody right yeah well uh steve i truly appreciate you coming on the sit rep uh discussing this i am sure there's a bunch of people out there like uh i've got so many questions right now like i said before you can email us at the sitrep va.gov email address is on screen there's a lot of different things that steve covered ombudsman's that you can get in touch with organizations all that kind of stuff yeah i can give them i can give them the phone number but we'll put all that information in the video description below uh to make sure that it's available to all you men and women out there uh but again steve i i appreciate you driving down here and covering all this it's my pleasure you know i like to do outreach with you guys and you know this pandemic has crimped our style man big time yeah so you know it's great it's great to get out and and and do something different well thank you again and to all you men and women out there we're currently serving or have served thank you very much for your service you have questions we have answers the sitrep is your trusted source for veterans benefits information with expert analysis and interviews with leaders from the field to find past shows podcasts and other content search hashtag the sitrep on youtube