Grave injustice that’s needs to be righted

Infsoldier

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I sit here right now, not just as a veteran myself but the wife of an infantry soldier that has been done so wrong, i physically shake as i type this.

Husband is on active duty 4 years, infantry soldier, Korea, Iraq for 15 months. Demobs from Iraq and he clearly has seen some very bad things. As he adjusts to life back home, he starts to get sick. Very sick. Can’t breathe, lots of sinus and nose issues. Actually ends up getting surgery on his nose while still on active duty. And he is the type of guy that never whines, complains, or even gets sick. Healthy as a horse before Iraq.

His active duty time is coming to a close and we are both ready to move on to civilian life l. We both served our country proudly and I’m thankful for that.

He’s okay for the first 9 months or so. But then he start to get extremely sick. Something i have never seen before. He can barely move. It takes home literally 45 mins to get out of bed. His Lower body and joints hurt so bad it brought him to tears and that was when i knew this must be bad. He also starts having scaly flakes cover almost 60% of his lower legs and they turn into huge red patches. His head arm legs. I felt terrible for him.

We get him into our civilian dr, and he diagnosis him with psoriasis with psoriatic athritis 10 months after leaving the service. We are dumbfounded because nobody has ever had this in his family. How did he get it? Is it genetic?

He starts on the usually batch of psoriasis meds, methotrexate, kenlog, etc. and within 6 months he is on biologic. Enbrel. Absolute life saver. First time I have seen him comfortable and somewhat pain free since it all started. The more he took it the better he felt. And before you ask, no was not seen at the VA for this. In fact he still hasn’t till this day. We were of the thought that once your out, your out and any problems you incur are your own....oh, to be young and dumb again.

2007 comes and mid year I come home to a big white DOD packet on my doorstep. You guessed it. He was being recalled back to the IRR with orders to Iraq for the next 400 days. I said don’t go, he said it’s part of what i signed up for. And he went.

He got to ***** and out of 1000 soldiers 130 showed up. Now, at this time he was still taking the enbrel. He has about a month me supply left and he figured if anything they would prescribe him more.

He went through srp, telling them all of his issues, Meds, and diseases diagnosed. Over and over and over again. He is stopped and flagged for medical, about 3 days in. He calls me and tells me i need to fax over all medical documents pertaining to his diagnosis and meds. Send them right over.. He is cleared 2 or 3 days later and stamped as DEPLOYABLE. Onward movement. Orders from ***** to his next base ***** (* are bases for anonymity).

He gets to ***** to train before deployment, and once again goes through srp. Again, told them diagnosis, meds, only this time, by then he had stopped taking the enbrel. Now anybody that is familiar with biologics and then stops taking them, you’ll know that you will feel fine at first. He did not know this. He had never been off embrel so he he thought it was okay. And clearly if his psoriasis or use of embrel, were an issue he would be sent home right?

He’s now about a month and a half in and the pain is slowly creeping back in. He’s trying to tough it out as best he can. He goes to sick hall, tells them what is going on they prescribe him creams. Oh and Flonase.

2 months and 20 days in, he goes to sick hall again. Desperate. Doc writes RTD.

12 days later, he goes again, I at this point am furious. The pain in his voice is palpable, and anyone that has ever experienced severe psoriatic arthritis can tell you it makes you feel like your 100 years old. He tells them i have to be back on that medication. His psoriatic arthritis is much worse. Everything hurts. Later that day he is yanked immediately from formation and told him, Sgt. ****,lets go your outprocessing. He has now been mobilized for 3 months and 13 days. Dec 11th. Remember tha date.
He outprocesses almost in a daze because of the pain, and he later said you could tell they wanted him out like NOW. Like yesterday gone. Mind you he is an irr soldier. He knows no one, he spoke to his captain about one or two times. This wasn’t his unit. He literally outprocess in three days. They tell him to report immediately to his rear detachment to leave his medical jacket with MTF and go on his transition leave. Follow up with home rhuematologist, and is told that he had a pre existing condition He is being separated due to non-deployability. And his service has come to an end. He will be released with an honorable discharge. He is never offered anything more than this. He is given his dd-214 and his orders. He has left active duty service with 3 months and 23 days served.


He comes home and I’m just happy we can’t get him well again. Turns out that once you stop taking embrel, it rarely ever works again. For the next TEN YEARS, we deal with this going from one medication to the other, flare ups that debilitate him. All the while, myself included, thinking that going to the va was never an option because it was not a service connected issue. And do you know, to this day, he, a combat veteran with a CIB has never once been to the VA clinic/ hospital.

Until recently. I finally convinced him to make an appointment with a VA VSO. I said what can it hurt, maybe they can help us with saving money on your medication. We are going broke paying for his psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis medication, otezla. $300 for the monthly Otezla prescription, with all of his creams, sprays, etc for his psoriasis, $375/month.

We get to our appointment,and sit down with VSO. That medical jacket they told him to leave? He made copies of and kept originals of some and kept every damn slip of paper he acquired in his almost 4 months there. The VSO Starts reading through all documents, frowning furiously. He looks up and tells us, sir, you need to seek legal counsel immediately.

And so here i sit, heartbroken for my husband. The one true thing he really loved in life, the army, could do him so wrong

Does he have any recourse?
 

Armypilot

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So sorry to be hear about your husband’s Psoriatic Arthritis (I am assuming that is the diagnosis), I suffer from the same thing, but luckily I was diagnosed in the service and ended up with it being rated during my IDES. This is a terrible disease (I have suffered over 20yrs with it, sucked it up for first 10 before getting on Enbrel, now much better).
I feel that you were wronged, and there may be a way to correct it. I am no expert (just a Retired CW4 that served 39+ yrs, and finally went thru IDES) but my suggestion is to reach out to a VSO from the DAV, and see if they can help with filing a claim with the VA (initial approach), because with all of the records your husband kept, it should be fairly easy to establish Psoriatic Arthritis as Service Connected. With PsA, and on biologics, it is a 60 percent VA rating. And the VA can start supplying you all the Meds, saving you the 375 a month.
Once you have the PsA linked to the service, then get with a lawyer from the Free Veteran Legal Service (I think they are called NVLA or something like that), and file for a correction of your husband’s service record with the Mil Records Board. The fact that it will have been rated 60 percent already by the VA will be very helpful. All of this takes time, but in the meantime, you will be getting VA compensation as well as free meds and Rheumatologist appointments and follow up, which is worth thousands. I get my Enbrel from m the VA and it is saving me hundreds of dollars.
Once the Mil Records Board reviews your case (it takes about 2 years), and if it does the right thing (not a guarantee, but easier with a lawyer writing the filed case), your husband should be Retired Medically from the Army, retroactively to when he was recalled by the IRR and then Released from Service. That will give you all some peace of mind, as well as Tricare and some financial support (hey, it will never quite compensate for the pain of Psoriatic Arthritis, but it helps), because it is a disease that unfortunately never goes away.
I hope this helps in a small way. You have to gather your wits and plan to fight, no different than making an insertion into a hot landing zone, but just remember that it is for you and your husband. Get ready for a long fight, and stay the course. If you have resolve and patience, you will win.
God Bless, and Thank You both for your service to this great Nation!
 

oddpedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
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You will need to find a doctor to SC that condition to the Army the VA will not automatically grant it and since you didn't file within one year of leaving service, the burden is higher but not impossible. Changing the discharge is even higher you clearly stated he didn't get the diagnosis until after service and there will be no record of it until he was called back from IRR but MEPS had it all documented as pre-existing. The best option is filing a VA claim but finding a doctor to write a nexus connecting it to service the VA might send you to their doctor to form a medical opinion as well.
 

Infsoldier

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
You will need to find a doctor to SC that condition to the Army the VA will not automatically grant it and since you didn't file within one year of leaving service, the burden is higher but not impossible. Changing the discharge is even higher you clearly stated he didn't get the diagnosis until after service and there will be no record of it until he was called back from IRR but MEPS had it all documented as pre-existing. The best option is filing a VA claim but finding a doctor to write a nexus connecting it to service the VA might send you to their doctor to form a medical opinion as well.

Yes but thats the thing. I looked at his enlistment physical. Not one thing wrong with him. And it wasn't until after he got out (which was right after Iraq) that he started getting sick. They also never spoke with him, whoever made this decision did it based off of what was told when he went to sick hall that last time, because I have the paper work to prove it. If it made him non deployable, WHY did they keep him so long?! That isn't his mistake, thats the army's mistake! I also read every document he brought home with him. He always told them each time what he was taking/diagnosed with. So he was very honest with them. And they kept sending him through. Don't know, just feel so upset that maybe something could have been done for him. We did go the VA, thats how we found out that maybe something was handled incorrectly? But yes a claim has been started.
 

Infsoldier

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
So sorry to be hear about your husband’s Psoriatic Arthritis (I am assuming that is the diagnosis), I suffer from the same thing, but luckily I was diagnosed in the service and ended up with it being rated during my IDES. This is a terrible disease (I have suffered over 20yrs with it, sucked it up for first 10 before getting on Enbrel, now much better).
I feel that you were wronged, and there may be a way to correct it. I am no expert (just a Retired CW4 that served 39+ yrs, and finally went thru IDES) but my suggestion is to reach out to a VSO from the DAV, and see if they can help with filing a claim with the VA (initial approach), because with all of the records your husband kept, it should be fairly easy to establish Psoriatic Arthritis as Service Connected. With PsA, and on biologics, it is a 60 percent VA rating. And the VA can start supplying you all the Meds, saving you the 375 a month.
Once you have the PsA linked to the service, then get with a lawyer from the Free Veteran Legal Service (I think they are called NVLA or something like that), and file for a correction of your husband’s service record with the Mil Records Board. The fact that it will have been rated 60 percent already by the VA will be very helpful. All of this takes time, but in the meantime, you will be getting VA compensation as well as free meds and Rheumatologist appointments and follow up, which is worth thousands. I get my Enbrel from m the VA and it is saving me hundreds of dollars.
Once the Mil Records Board reviews your case (it takes about 2 years), and if it does the right thing (not a guarantee, but easier with a lawyer writing the filed case), your husband should be Retired Medically from the Army, retroactively to when he was recalled by the IRR and then Released from Service. That will give you all some peace of mind, as well as Tricare and some financial support (hey, it will never quite compensate for the pain of Psoriatic Arthritis, but it helps), because it is a disease that unfortunately never goes away.
I hope this helps in a small way. You have to gather your wits and plan to fight, no different than making an insertion into a hot landing zone, but just remember that it is for you and your husband. Get ready for a long fight, and stay the course. If you have resolve and patience, you will win.
God Bless, and Thank You both for your service to this great Nation!
So sorry to be hear about your husband’s Psoriatic Arthritis (I am assuming that is the diagnosis), I suffer from the same thing, but luckily I was diagnosed in the service and ended up with it being rated during my IDES. This is a terrible disease (I have suffered over 20yrs with it, sucked it up for first 10 before getting on Enbrel, now much better).
I feel that you were wronged, and there may be a way to correct it. I am no expert (just a Retired CW4 that served 39+ yrs, and finally went thru IDES) but my suggestion is to reach out to a VSO from the DAV, and see if they can help with filing a claim with the VA (initial approach), because with all of the records your husband kept, it should be fairly easy to establish Psoriatic Arthritis as Service Connected. With PsA, and on biologics, it is a 60 percent VA rating. And the VA can start supplying you all the Meds, saving you the 375 a month.
Once you have the PsA linked to the service, then get with a lawyer from the Free Veteran Legal Service (I think they are called NVLA or something like that), and file for a correction of your husband’s service record with the Mil Records Board. The fact that it will have been rated 60 percent already by the VA will be very helpful. All of this takes time, but in the meantime, you will be getting VA compensation as well as free meds and Rheumatologist appointments and follow up, which is worth thousands. I get my Enbrel from m the VA and it is saving me hundreds of dollars.
Once the Mil Records Board reviews your case (it takes about 2 years), and if it does the right thing (not a guarantee, but easier with a lawyer writing the filed case), your husband should be Retired Medically from the Army, retroactively to when he was recalled by the IRR and then Released from Service. That will give you all some peace of mind, as well as Tricare and some financial support (hey, it will never quite compensate for the pain of Psoriatic Arthritis, but it helps), because it is a disease that unfortunately never goes away.
I hope this helps in a small way. You have to gather your wits and plan to fight, no different than making an insertion into a hot landing zone, but just remember that it is for you and your husband. Get ready for a long fight, and stay the course. If you have resolve and patience, you will win.
God Bless, and Thank You both for your service to this great Nation!



Yes it is a terrible disease. I have watched him go from healthy as horse we hiked every weekend, snowboarding, etc. to barely being able to stand at times. And the enbrel was a god send. I didn't completely clear up his skin, but he didn't care. The joint pain is what he sought relief from. Hindsight being 20/20, now that I think about it, he had been saying his body was stiff and sore (especially his ankles). right after he got back from Iraq, but I think we both just attributed that to the physical demands of our jobs. (He was infantry, I was airborne). We were also very young and a disease of this nature never even crossed my mind, nor his im sure.


What im baffled at is if they knew the medication made him non deployable why did they let him stay in so long? Not only that, how much worse he became. Especially when we have it documented on all this paperwork that he told the army from the get go that he had it. And how can someone who has never seen him ever say "refrad immediately due to pre existing condition". If psoriatic arthritis bars you from enlistment, he wouldn't have even been in the service? You know what I mean?

Thank you for the kind words, and dont you worry. No matter what im going to try to make this right for him if I can.
 

Armypilot

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Sometimes the Big Army can be somewhat funny about things. I was on Enbrel, diagnosed with PsA for about 10 years, and had continued flying and deploying thanks to Army Doctor’s approving waivers to allow me to fly and deploy, until one day, it was decided the waivers were not going to be re-approved or continued. Who knows why (maybe one was getting to be too senior and too expensive...nah, couldn’t be that, lol), but at that point, Big Army put me thru the IDES and within a year had retired me. I would have continued to fly, even in pain, until the cows came home, but all of a sudden, what was ok in the sandbox one year, was not the next. No major worries now, though, because I can let the Rheumatologist add more meds to the treatment in order to try to control the constant joint pain, without having to worry about “will this treatment knock me out of Army flying “. I wish you the best, and hope you all find a treatment that can control most of the pain (sorry to say, it never goes completely away).
 

tony292

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
FYI, when it comes to Otezla there are several foundations that can help with the payment. My stepmother is on otezla and the otezla foundation oys for it so it’s free for her. It does take a lot of operators and time but it’s worth it!!!
 

Armypilot

Well-Known Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
It looks like the 25 Day Rule should apply to your husband. Definitely worth a consultation with an IDES qualified lawyer, to get a good reading. But it looks like Big Army might have really messed up on this one...Good luck!
 

chaplaincharlie

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Perhaps a consult with a MEB/PEB attorney would help you organize your current supporting documents and gather additional supporting documentation for your case with the BCMR.
 

Infsoldier

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Yes, sir. Exactly what i plan to do. In fact, i most definitely need to consult an attorney. Their are some glaring obvious errors that were made regarding his situation.
 
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