Classmate Stories
Things Medical

Send your input to Class Scribe - LTC Richard (Rick) D. Bunn(Retired) at
AED Heart Machines
Submitted by: Robert Hill
5 June 2013
Hope we never have to use this but it is useful information.

Take a moment to watch this one. Now at least I know what's inside those machines and something about how to use one if necessary.

This only takes a minute to view... I honestly didn't know what to expect if I had opened the box!

We have all walked by the Red Cross sign in airports indicating where a heart machine is located. Do you know what is in them and how to use it? I did not. Try this video and see what you think.

If you pick the wrong choice---- the man dies---- choose wisely You may save a life. I Just watched this video and was impressed, so I'm sending it to those on my mailing list with the hope that it'll save lives (maybe mine, yours or someone you love!).

Submission of Claim to VA
Submitted by: Lloyd Brown
1 June 2013
First I must say that since 1991, I have gotten my primary health care from the VA Medical Center in Boise Idaho and I am a DAV volunteer driver at that Center every Friday (I tell all my old military friends that "I am still working for Ric.") (For any of you that have any spare time, that this is a very rewarding and fun thing to do. Yesterday for example, I helped a wonderful old retired 1st Sergeant who made all 4 combat jumps with the 82d in WWII, a truly Great American.) At the BVAMC, given the resources provided (not nearly enough) they do a great job of taking care of us VETS, and without exception the staff is wonderful.

As many of you know, on May 9th, I had my prostate (diagnosed with Prostate Cancer on 01/14/2013) removed (Robotic-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy). Fortunately the pathology report on the other parts that were sampled came out NEG so we are optimistic that the tumor had not metastasized. That will be verified by PSA (which should go to 0) tests that will be taken every 3 months for the next year.

Yesterday I completed a "Veteran's Supplemental Claim for Compensation" (supplemental, because in 1992, I was awarded a 10% service connected disability as a result of my initial claim. I was able to do this without much difficulty because, fortunately, the surgeon (A wonderful person, Dr. Stephen Brassell) who performed the operation, when he was serving as the Associate Director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research at Walter Reed ( He was an Army Dr. at the time) developed a packet of materials for VETS like us that contained all the information and forms that you need to submit a claim or supplement, and he provided me a packet.

Ric, I believe that that the VA should have a packet like this and provide it to every Vietnam VET that develops prostate cancer or any VET that requests it.

Now some specifics, that you may not know. Based on the Agent Orange Act of 1991, all of us that served in Vietnam are presumed have been exposed to Agent Orange and if you develop Prostate Cancer (no matter how long after exposure) it is considered to be a service-related disability for which you should be compensated. In order to be compensated, you must submit a claim to the VA using VA FORM 21-526, or a Supplemental Claim using VA FORM 21-526b (Just like the Army) (Forms available @ VA website). Do this as soon as you are diagnosed and do not wait like I did until after your surgery. I did not realize this until I read Dr. Brassell's materials.

In my case, for a supplemental claim I wound up submitting (You submit your claim at the Regional VA Offices) the following: VA FORM 21-526b, a copy of The Surgical Pathological Consultation report (includes the medical diagnoses), a copy of the 1992 VA disability compensation letter, a copy of my DD FORM 214 Discharge Certificate, and a copy of my final Officer Record Brief. (The last two establish my military service in Vietnam.)

Still to be submitted: in 6 months I need to submit a report to the VA establishing the residual effects of the cancer treatment and as soon as I complete a request to DOD for Combat-Related Special Compensation (DD FORM 2860) If approved (my research indicates that it should be) this will result in not continuing to pay for my own disability with reductions from my retired military pay. I will let you guys know how this turns out.

Also you should all sign up with the VA for the Agent Orange Registry and be examined at the VA. Note this is separate from the compensation program and if you do get prostate cancer you still have to apply for compensation.

If you need any more information about this please contact me @ 208-853-7939, 208-954-0933,

For other help I recommend the DAV Service Officer in your area. Get his contact info @ 1-877-426-2838. In the Washington DC area, you may want to contact Ray Walsh @ 703-425-1474 or He is a VN VET with a lot of experience, some of it not good, with this process that provided a lot of good information to the Walter Reed Newsletter in 2007.

Wishing you all the best and as always, "BEAT NAVY,"

Kent Brown