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A little back story: I was a proud member of the U.S. Army, Airborne Division. I got out in 1991. While I was in I broke my left arm in two places within a year of ending my enlistment. I was still having pain/problems with that arm after returning home. Decided to go to a VA┬ánear my home. While I was there they x-rayed my arm and performed a few mobility and flexibility tests. Nothing conclusive was determined. Doctor attributed it to ‘phantom pain’. OK, I can live with that. But after that was done I was asked about any other problems I might want checked out. Here comes the part that is my ‘horror story’. I mentioned that I was having a lot of pain in my knees. To which they replied “You were Airborne, correct?” “Yes,” I replied. They then stated that since I chose to be a paratrooper that they were not going to do anything for me. Disgusted I never went back. Fast forward a few years and I was still having issues with my knees. Family doctor prescribed biking and various strength training exercises, which did help for a while. Fast forward even further to 2014 and I underwent my first knee surgery to smooth out the bones in my right knee, because my doctor found that I had no cartilage in my knee and hadn’t for many years. Long story short, if the VA hadn’t refused to examine me I probably would have been diagnosed and treated many, many years earlier.

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