“Joint pain. My knees and ankles. My back. The worst hit area seems to be my shoulders. Sometimes driving is difficult for me, just steering the wheel due to pain in my shoulders,” John, a Veteran of the Gulf War, wrote in an email to Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC. “Sleep apnea. Quite severe. I have a C-PAP device through a doctor for my sleep issues. Without the device, I could literally die in my sleep.”
Daily, one or two Veterans call Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys with health concerns they believe are related to their service. Often, they feel they are alone with their problems, until they talk to other Veterans who are also suffering.
“John was stationed in Saudi Arabia in August, 1990 for Operation Desert Shield,” said Jeffrey Freedman, managing attorney. “Prior to being deployed, he received several vaccinations, and was told one of them would prevent damage in the event of nerve agents. In recent years, however, in addition to his joint pain and sleep apnea, he has suffered from depression and restless leg syndrome.”
Since there was no history of depression in his family, John — who served in the Marines from 1987 to 1991, was awarded a combat action ribbon, and later was honorably discharged — believed his depression was linked to his service time. After speaking with several of his fellow servicemen, he found he was not alone. They were having similar problems.
John could not work and was also struggling financially so, like other Veterans in his situation, he looked to the VA to provide the support he had been promised when he joined the military. He found it wasn’t easy to get the disability benefits he felt he deserved.
“It’s not always a straight path from the Veteran’s time in service to the health problems he or she suffers later in life,” Freedman said. “Our job in getting Veterans disability benefits is to connect the dots so that path becomes clear. It takes a certain level of expertise and knowledge to do that, and the attorneys we have who work on these cases are very experienced.”
In addition to chronic joint pain as in John’s case, Veterans who call the Freedman firm often have complaints about hearing and vision loss, asthma, PTSD and depression, sleep apnea, and asbestos poisoning.
“A Veteran who has served our country should never feel alone and abandoned by the VA,” Freedman said. “We can help them get the benefits they deserve.”