3/3 RVN Ass’n  Vol  1  Issue 8    01/01/2007
Page 6-7
Provided,  That, if there is only one such disability, this disability shall be ratable at 60 percent or more, and that, if there are two or more disabilities, there shall be at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more, and sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating to 70 percent or more. For the above purpose of one 60 percent disability, or one 40 percent disability in combination, the following will be considered as one disability:
(1)Disabilities of one or both upper extremities, or of one or both lower extremities,  including the bilateral factor, if applicable,
(2) Disabilities resulting from common etiology or a single accident,
(3) Disabilities affecting a single body system, e.g. orthopedic, digestive,  respiratory, cardiovascular-renal, neuropsychiatric,
(4) Multiple injuries incurred in action, or
(5) Multiple disabilities incurred as a prisoner of war.
It is provided further that the existence or degree of nonservice-connected disabilities or previous unemployability status will be disregarded where the percentages referred to in this paragraph for the service-connected disability or disabilities are met and in the judgment of the rating agency such service-connected disabilities render the veteran unemployable. Marginal employment shall not be considered substantially gainful employment. For purposes of this section, marginal employment generally shall be deemed to exist when a veteran’s earned annual income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as the poverty threshold for one person. Marginal employment may also be held to exist, on a facts found basis (includes but is not limited to employment in a protected environment such as a family business or sheltered workshop), when earned annual income exceeds the poverty threshold. Consideration shall be given in all claims to the nature of the employment and the reason for termination.  (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a))
(b) It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards should submit to the Director, Compensation and Pension Service, for extra-schedular consider-ation all cases of veterans who are unemployable by reason of service-connected dis-abilities, but who fail to meet the percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran’s service-connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue.

A Simple, Concise Statement

"Veterans receive disability compensation because their ability to perform everyday tasks has been diminished by wounds, injuries, or other physical or psychological afflictions sustained while on active-duty. The compensation paid by the VA is meant to make up for income lost due to the disabilities."



Last Friday my family and I had the pleasure of attending the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks, 8th & I as guests of the Commanding Officer, Colonel Terry Lockard. You may remember Col Lockard as our Operations Officer in 1/5 during Desert Storm.

As you would imagine, the evening was perfect from the minute we arrived at the Barracks. There were numerous Marines assisting with every aspect of the Parade, from parking, giving directions, checking names, and helping people cross the street. These Marines, whether LCpl or MGySgt, displayed obvious pride in being there and represented the best of our Corps. The Marines were striking in their ceremonial uniforms complete with medals. I saw numerous Silver Stars, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts on some young men barely old enough to buy a beer.
As guests of the Commanding Officer, we were afforded the opportunity to mingle with other VIPs in the Center House on the grounds of the Barracks.  The bar was tended by a Major, a Captain, and a Warrant Officer who happily served drinks to the guests. At the appropriate time we were escorted to our seats. We sat field level second row back at the 40 yard line. (The Commandant's guests get the 50.)

You have all seen the Silent Drill Team perform, but this was the first time my family was at our Oldest Post. I knew what to expect. It was going to be an amazing evening.
Just as everyone was settling in, I saw a small commotion out of the corner of my eye to the left. Several wounded Marines were being escorted in by their fellow Marines. Each was in a wheelchair some attended by their wives. Blankets covered most of their wounds, but Icould see some seriously damaged bodies. They received a standing ovation from the spectators as they passed by. The wheelchairs made their way toward us and stopped about 2 arms interval from me.  The Marine next to me sat upright in his wheelchair with his scarred legs immobile straight out in front. He was carrying his daughter on his lap.

She was maybe a year old. His wife sat behind him in the bleachers. I was amazed at his mood as he played with his daughter and moved her arms in rhythm to the music played by the President's Own.  I could see he was uncomfortable at times as he tried to reposition his blanket or cushion. To move his legs, he had to grasp his shoe laces which were tied with extra long loops. He then had to lift and attempt to maneuver his legs. I watched him do this several times and had to fight the urge to assist him. After all, his wife was just a few feet away and certainly she knew when to help and when not to.

The Parade progressed as all parades do. At the command, "Pass in review," the Marines faced to the right and began the march off the Parade Grounds. After some quick drum beats to get everyone going, the combined President's Own and Commandant's Own began playing the Marine Hymn.

To my amazement, the Marine next to me started lifting his legs off the rests on his wheelchair and planted his feet on the grass. He held on to the arms of the chair, and strained to push himself up.

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