For nine years I proudly served my country. In 1959 I was diagnosed as having PTSD at Fort Ord, Ca. Unfortunately, there was a fire – the Fire of 1973 at the VA Records Center in St. Louis, Mo. All my records were destroyed. I did not know that I should have kept documents myself proving this.
After my years of military service I saw civilian doctors and psychiatrists for many, many years until the 1980s.
In the 1980s I filed a claim with the VA for my PTSD. I have not received any benefits because they do not have my records. I have been fighting this for over 30 years.
The VA finally re-recognized my PTSD in 1996 but still I have received no monthly benefits, but they did give me medical benefits.
In 1996 I had hip replacement surgery on my right hip at Ft. Miley in San Francisco. That surgery worked well. In 1997 I had a hip replacement surgery on my left hip also at Ft. Miley. Since that surgery I have had constant pain and my hip kept dislocating. And I have had nine surgeries to correct the mistake that was made in the original surgery.
Now I have chronic pain for life and cannot walk unassisted. The pain is so bad I have to use a wheelchair.
In 2004 when my hip dislocated for the last time, I had to have emergency surgery to remove the hip hardware and have it replaced because the doctors discovered that the wrong size hardware was used in the original surgery. It was an error of judgment.
After this emergency surgery I filed another claim with the VA. I had four doctors’ write reports of my hip to the VA stating what they observed. These are well established and trusted doctors, Dr. Axtel, Dr. Schideman, Dr. Vernetta Johnson and Dr. Fred Johnson. The VA is not recognizing these doctors’ reports. I have been fighting this all the way to the VA Court in Washington DC, to no avail.
I will not stop with my pleas until they pay me for my PTSD and for all the extra surgeries I had to go through for a mistake made on my hip.
I am disabled for life. I went through a horrible trauma during my military time. I am unable to purge the images from my mind. To this day I have horrible dreams every night. I cannot sleep. I am so depressed. No one understands except for the VA doctors in Ukiah and San Francisco but even their reports won’t budge the Veteran’s Affairs. I do not understand this. I am only asking for service connected 100 percent disability monthly benefits.
This case has to end. I need the VA to help me.
John Alotta lives in Upper Lake, Calif.