Vietnam vet developed severe heart murmur


Hello Jim, served 2 and 1/2 tours in the navy in Vietnam, 65-68, I developed a aortic valve disease in 1974 with some other health issues, I completed a strenuous medical exam prior going into the navy and also the same exam when entering the Philadelphia police dept. Never was told I had any type of murmur or disease until 1974.  I developed palpitations.  I was told by a cardiologist that I had a severe heart murmur. It was continually checked till 2012 when I had to have the valve replaced, Dr. said it was one of the worst calcified valve he has ever dealt with. I'm sure there are so many other veterans that's had this same problem, what can done?.

Jim's Reply:

You are one of many thousands of people who develop aortic valve disease every year in America. (Mick Jagger just had his aortic valve replaced.)The majority of those people didn't serve in the armed forces (pretty sure the Stones weren't in uniform) so unless we have some empirical scientific evidence that shows our condition was likely caused by our service, we can't blame it on service. This is true of many conditions that may be but aren't likely to be caused by active service. If you have some evidence that shows that your disease was caused by service, you should file a claim. Otherwise, you're one of those fortunate enough to be getting good medical care but you won't see any disability benefits.