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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else having breathing problems? Shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma-like symptoms, nosebleeds? I went to the VA to get this looked at and wasn't given much info other than "this is something new we are seeing with vets from GWOT" and got an asthma inhaler prescribed to me.
 

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I've had some breathing problems lately when I run. After about a quarter mile at a nine minute mile pace or faster, I start wheezing. Haven't gone to the VA yet. As long as I can pass my APFT, I'm not going to risk a medical discharge over an asthma diagnosis.
 
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I have heard about these symptoms from a lot of vets who served in those theaters. In the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico there is a virus that causes the same types of symptoms. People who live there call it "Valley Fever." Some people have it and never get really that sick and after a week or so the symptoms go away. Others have a really difficult time with it and it lasts a very long time. I wonder if it may be the same type of virus?
 

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I had some issues for a while after my two tours in Iraq. A large part of the problem was determined to be the massive trash fires that all of the military bases in Iraq had. The fire at Al-Asad was absolutely massive and I flew through the damn smoke nearly every day. The problem is not the burning of simple trash, but stuff that had chemicals on it such as fuel and oil barrels, various materials that emit toxic odors when burned, and even animal carcasses. Because every base burned just about everything, we see these symptoms from troops stationed all over the country.

Here is a link to one of many articles on the situation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080506807.html
 

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Yeah, I get a bit of that actually. Notice it more and more. I used to run in the low 1300's for my two mile. Not so much anymore. APFT is no biggie but still. There is something to be said for all this. Sometimes I feel quit lethargic too, for no reason. Im a healthy, in shape guy too.

What about living with them, eating their food and sleeping in their beds on sniper missions? prolly wasent a good idea...
 

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I had some issues for a while after my two tours in Iraq. A large part of the problem was determined to be the massive trash fires that all of the military bases in Iraq had. The fire at Al-Asad was absolutely massive and I flew through the damn smoke nearly every day. The problem is not the burning of simple trash, but stuff that had chemicals on it such as fuel and oil barrels, various materials that emit toxic odors when burned, and even animal carcasses. Because every base burned just about everything, we see these symptoms from troops stationed all over the country.

Here is a link to one of many articles on the situation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080506807.html
A close friend of mine developed brain cancer after spending a tour in Iraq living downwind from a burn pit. It eventually killed him, but the VA did declare him 100% service-connected disabled because of this. If you were exposed to the smoke from a burn pit, GET IT DOCUMENTED and seek treatment!!
 
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I have heard about these symptoms from a lot of vets who served in those theaters. In the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico there is a virus that causes the same types of symptoms. People who live there call it "Valley Fever." Some people have it and never get really that sick and after a week or so the symptoms go away. Others have a really difficult time with it and it lasts a very long time. I wonder if it may be the same type of virus?
That is brought on typically by digging into the dirt and releasing spores from a plant.
Nasty crap to say the least.
I will check with my bro today. He was over there and is now back in the west.

Go get checked!!!! Please. At least get checked as you out process.
 

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I noticed symptoms come up about 2 months after I got back. It's not severe enough, at this point, to interfere with my ability to do my job competently. Like it was said earlier, I don't want to report it because I don't want a medical discharge over the occasional wheeze. Just add it to the list of crap that will suddenly be brought to the attention of doc when I get out. If every service member reported injuries and sicknesses that the military deems discharge worthy we'd be cut by a 1/3 at least.
 

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For chronic health issues, Vets should NEVER go to the VA for a diagnosis!

My God, do you think a Govt. agency is going to give an honest evaluation of health problems their counterpart may be the cause of?


HOW LONG WAS AGENT ORANGE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG?!?!
 

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For chronic health issues, Vets should NEVER go to the VA for a diagnosis!
If they want a chance at disability claims they will. Do you say that from personal experience or is that just something you read somewhere? I personally don't like the VA but I know plenty of people who have had good experiences or couldn't afford to go anywhere else.
 

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If they want a chance at disability claims they will. Do you say that from personal experience or is that just something you read somewhere? I personally don't like the VA but I know plenty of people who have had good experiences or couldn't afford to go anywhere else.
If a person can afford to see a civilian doctor they should certainly get a second opinion on matters such as this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you did the burn pit duty you are at higher risk than other joes. I have some issues with what you decribed but attribute mine to hyperventalating
That too. Once a week I had to go to the landfill to check for classified items carelessly dumped. The Camp Leatherneck burn pit was right there and I'd get nice fresh lung full of the smoke.
 

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I remember when we got back from Destert Storm, some of the ailments were unexplainable. My one buddy got his wife pregnant when we got back, the little girl was born with severe birth defects. She eventually succumbed too, them, 2 years later, they had another child that was healthy. Chronic headaches, dizziness, other issues, what does the govt due? Register you on a data base for " Saudi Syndrome", but no one could explain what it was. The little white pill we had to take daily, they dont know the effects of it. Hope you guys are good to go.
 

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Exposure is an issue, but unfortunatly not ratable. Exposure should be documented. Many service medical records have "reports" on burn pits, but there still isn't enough documenting by medical departments before you exit the military. I review medical records for separating military and so far the best documentation is by the Army. Army and Airforce tell you what you are exposed to, where Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have a form in their SMRs where the service member can document their own exposure.

Down the road, you would need what's called a "nexus" letter from a physician to connect the old with the new. Use a specialist. The VA will trot out theirs so you might as well start out at the top of the medical food chain. You will need to also show there were burn pits where you were. Also, how long were you there? Although not as valuable as medical evidence, lay statements or first person accounts of the atmosphere, pits or whatever from other vets who were there may be a bit helpful. On their own, they are usually of little value. Don't rely solely on them. You may want to try Freedom of Information Act requests for more information about burn pits in the areas you were stationed. All may still be for naught...it must fall under presumptive service connection. Gulf War Illness may not fly if you have a diagnosis. GWI is for undiagnosed conditions. The major problem I've been seeing in the SMRs is chronic cough. Obviously, I don't see all the records so I'm sure there are more out there with conditions I haven't seen. I also usually deal with military preparing for separation, not the veteran's community.

See your service organization representative at the VARO near you. Many reps can also be emailed so go to their web sites for more information. The key is documentation. Many veterans want to file claims and expect the VA to develop their claim. Bad idea. Develop your own claim with as much documentation and you can get. It's your claim, not theirs so do as much leg work up front as possible. If this involves adding new conditions to your already existing claim, always talk with your service officer first. You don't want to end up with other conditions being re-evaluated where your rating might be lowered.

Bruce
 
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