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Soldier sues Army secretary on retirement...

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  • Soldier sues Army secretary on retirement...

    Soldier sues Army secretary over retirement




    By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
    Posted : Wednesday Nov 19, 2008 14:55:44 EST

    A soldier filed a lawsuit against the secretary of the Army on Oct. 31 stating his military retirement case was handled illegally.
    Military Times first wrote about Capt. James Wollman’s case in June 2006, after the military found his ankylosing spondylitis was a pre-existing condition, even though it was not diagnosed until after he joined the military and served a combat tour in Iraq, and there was no proof — or reason to believe — the disease had surfaced before he joined.
    In fact, a surgeon with the 1st Armored Division wrote a letter to the Physical Evaluation Board stating that she believed several mistakes had been made and that his disease was not a pre-existing condition.
    Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease of the immune system that causes severe back problems.
    Wollman filed the lawsuit after several years of enduring a labyrinthine review process studded with roadblocks.
    The military initially ruled his condition to be pre-existing when he went through the disability retirement process in 2005. The U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency agreed with the findings.
    Wollman then took his case to the Army Disability Review Board because he said his disability is service-connected and was also aggravated by his time in the military.
    The review board agreed with the original findings of the Physical Evaluation Board. So, Wollman took his case to the Army Review Boards Agency to see if the Army Discharge Review Board would look at it, arguing that the law states that any discharge that doesn’t come from punitive action falls under its jurisdiction.
    A legal adviser for the board said that historically, its mission does not include changing nonmedical retirement discharges to medical retirement discharges, but then said by e-mail that Wollman could, in fact, appeal to the board.
    He did, and soon received a letter from the director of the Discharge Review Board saying his request was disapproved because the board does not grant medical discharges. It informed him he should go to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records. The lawsuit states he should be able to go before the Discharge Review Board.
    As Wollman worked his way through the system, Congress enacted a law requiring military boards to state in an “orderly and itemized fashion with specific attention to each issue” why they made decisions about each medical issue in a person’s Physical Evaluation Board.
    That was ordered to begin Feb. 14, 2007, and the Physical Disability Agency therefore said it did not have to give details of their findings in Wollman’s case because it happened before that date.
    However, the law had already existed in the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities, the lawsuit argues, and therefore Wollman should have an explanation of why his case was denied. This is important for service members because, when they appeal their cases, they need to know the details of why it was turned down in the first place.
    The law also states that the secretary of each service will ensure service members receive copies of all correspondence, including summaries of verbal conversations, that have to do with their medical retirement cases with the Army Review Boards Agency.
    But when Wollman requested the Discharge Review Board look at his case, he did not receive copies of any other correspondence about his case when he asked for it.
    Wollman’s lawyers are seeking review of his case by the Discharge Review Board, the reasoning behind his physical evaluation board findings, correspondence about his case, and legal fees and monetary relief.
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    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

  • #2
    Dang....I hope he gets his money..the board isn't trying to help him out at all.
    sigpic
    R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...





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    • #3
      So any kind of defects even birth defect could fall in this catagory!!!
      Hell they are going to have to start doing Genetic testing to make sure you dont have preexsiting conditions

      Reminds me of my Father's case
      He contends that he contracted Tubeculosis while in the Marine Corp but they disallowed it because he was diagnosed after he was discharged...
      Even though several others also contracted TB that were in his company and several around his!!!! They would never tie the cases together because they were still in the Marine Corp when they were diagnosed!
      Fought the battle with them for 40 years never won...
      I hope this fellows outcome is better.
      ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
      Till I Die!

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