VA Disability and SD

This is a discussion on VA Disability and SD within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, I'm a 70% disabled American Veteran and I have a question... I am only 31 (well, 32 in a week... ) and I appear ...

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Thread: VA Disability and SD

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Question VA Disability and SD

    So, I'm a 70% disabled American Veteran and I have a question...

    I am only 31 (well, 32 in a week...) and I appear to be in good shape. At least until you watch me move, get up, stand, sleep, crawl, sit down, lay back, shift in my seat, (all of which could label me as a victim) etc...

    I am also 6'4", 235 pounds (if you watch closely, that weight number gets progressively larger in every post!) and my wife insists that I am imposing and intimidating. I guess she's right as I frequently find myself wondering why everyone usually backs off, stares, and/or runs screaming into the wilderness and so on. I know that I have one of those "mean faces", but I'm usually just lost in thought or concentrating on whatever I'm doing. This can give my visage quite the intense look of...well...Evil.

    Yes, that is my picture over yonder...

    My problem is that I cannot possibly withstand any prolonged and protracted fight, and I feel that I could easily make a case for the legitimate "Fear of Death or Grievous Bodily Harm" that my State of KY requires. I am basically made of papier-mache these days, and I don't want to lose anymore operational ability than I already have!

    See, we were told (CCDW Class) that in KY, the AG Opinion is that if you have received a Credible Threat (of the above) either verbally or physically from someone, you have the right to defend yourself. Even if they attack you with only their fists, the State recognizes that if you are rendered unconscious, the BG can take your weapon and either kill you or perform some other unspeakable act.

    Hence, our very strong Right to Defend in KY.

    Now, I am NOT looking for the reassurance that I carry a "Double-O License to Kill" in my wallet. I never fired a single round in anger in two combat infantry tours in Iraq, and I have no intention of starting anytime...EVER.

    But...

    I have read some of the posts on this forum about knife defense (yes, I carry one for these and other reasons), kubotans, pocket pitbulls, and other such japery, but I couldn't do anything that lasts longer than about 3 seconds without my hips going out. In other words, my firearm is my primary line of defense.

    I have bad hips (forced marches), constant headaches (IED's), hearing loss (IED's), and PTSD (which is on VA record as non-violent and non-medicated. Basically, I just break down in tears at the slightest hint of "Taps".)

    I have my VA "Service Related" card on me at all times, and the VA has my records in addition to the copy I made of my Medical Records just prior to my Honorable Discharge.

    What do you think? If I'm attacked and I am forced to defend with Deadly Force, will the 70% Disability make a more convincing case for my actions? How about if I feel threatened and have to draw? Will the responding LEO's (or the local DA) care that I'm about as tough as a gingerbread house infested with ants? I realize that the PTSD can be "played" by the Prosecution, but I wasn't lying about my non-violent and non-medicated status with this.

    Thoughts?
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Don’t mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    I hope you never have to use him, but I would get a lawyer on board. One that has knowledge of all your issues. LEO's are going to look at you as what you are, a aledged perp. Your problem is going to be when you start dealing with the people up the food chain. Prosecutors don't know your limitations till your lawyer shows them.

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    Senior Member Array KiltedTexan's Avatar
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    Agreed on a lawyer who has knowledge of your issues, which makes me wonder if the VA would be of help, legally. If not, perhaps the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network would be an option. Then again, your best bet may simply be locally. Thanks for your service to our country.
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    Senior Member Array gwhall57's Avatar
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    I'm 80% SC myself, missing my left leg below the knee( from diabetes, not due to aa wound). I am also a big guy (6'1", 285 pounds), and have not-too-great vision and hearing. I also carry. I think the advice of securing a good lawyer is right on the money.
    While I'd like to think I'm still "the baddest SOB in the valley", it wouldn't take much to take me out, especially if I'm blind-sided. My firearm is also my first (and best) line of defense, and I would hope that if I am ever caused to use deadly force to stop an attack on my life, the fact that I am physically challenged would play a huge part in my defense.
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    Being VA disabled would definitely be to your adavantage, but with screwy courts and jurists, who knows these days?

    In FL, a verbal threat isn't sufficient to use deadly force; there must be some sort of credible "action" that puts you on fear of life or serious harm. To each state its own laws.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Sir...please please please talk with your doctor, at the VA, concerning your PTSD, your feelings of being inadequate in protecting yourself based on your 70% disability. You still have 30% ability, your young life, and the ability to live with a beautiful wife and family. Watch your health, to include your weight, and do what is necessary to maintain your health. With that being said....

    I think, based on everything you presented, that you have a VERY serious MINDSET problem. If you carry a weapon to defend YOUR life and the lives of your family, then you MUST HAVE THE PROPER MINDSET to do what is necessary. You must prepare for "before the fight", "during the fight", and "after the fight". You must have the willingness to injure or kill to preserve your life and the lives of your family. You can not wait as the advantage is the surprise of instant and direct offense. Most criminals expect their victims to be in fear and comply. Do the opposite and resist quickly and forcefully. Stay focused and single-minded on your goal of survival. Be persistent and continue to respond if first response is not effective. Commit to your goal of survival and let nothing in your way. Whatever you do, have the mindset of brutality, aggressiveness and directness whenever you have to "defend" yourself! Avoid a fight, if possible. Run away, if possible. But, if there really is no alternative other than violence, make sure that you're more violent than the guy attacking you.

    TRAIN! Train your mind, train your skills.

    Continue with any treatments you are receiving for PTSD. I cannot over emphasize this. I am not a doctor and therefore would never try to offer advice in that area, however I do believe it is directly related to the problem of your MINDSET. In a life or death situation, where you are required to use your weapon in self defense, you should have already resolved in your own mind what to expect after the fact and DO NOT worry about what will happen after the fact, take care of business at the time and the "after the fact business" will sort itself out.

    Thank you for your service Sir! Welcome home!
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    To the venerable First Sgt:

    Thank you for your concern, and I do really mean that.

    Please don't misunderstand my above post. I have no issues with defending myself, my family, or even a perfect stranger. When I was in the "Sandbox", I had an opportunity to shoot (I was even ordered to do so), but I didn't pull the trigger. It wasn't from any sense of over-developed altruism, it was because I was the only one looking through a scope. I could see that the vehicle bearing down on my friend was being driven by a little old man with no glasses (a common occurance in Iraq) and his screaming family was trying desperately to get him to stop.

    I guess I don't blame him, we were wearing desert camoflauge in the desert after all...

    My point is that I made the right decision (he stopped in plenty of time) under pressure and it is events such as this that give me great confidence that I'll do the right thing in a bad situation.

    In short, the only reason I never fired a round in anger was I never had a shot. Fire discipline, plain and simple.

    In regards to my PTSD, it really is (thankfully) limited to the realm of the Ocular Over-Hydration. It never lasts for more than 5 minutes or so, and the frequency is becoming less and less often (once every few months). I have never once felt like injuring myself (I matter far to much to me...) and I have never once felt a sudden and unexplained urge to hurt those around me either. My therapy consists of my Loving Domestic General (that's the Wife to you Civie types), my extraordinary family, and my undying resolve to continue putting one foot in front of the other. I value life more than I ever thought I did before my Service. The whole "Weepy Face" thing is a small price to pay for the knowledge that you are, at your center, a very good person.

    That said, make no mistake:

    Any attempt to commit a felonious act of violence in my vicinity will earn that wretch an outstanding view of a .45 caliber barrel. What happens next is up to them. I've made the choice to Carry, they have to make the choice to continue drawing breath...
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Don’t mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus

  9. #8
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    I am interested to see where this is going. I am 60 years old, and can still fit in my Dress Blues I wore in 1970. However with a back that looks like Rambo's I am going to have to end a fight real quick. I do have a handicapped parking sticker but I hate to use it. People give me the "you look as healthy as a horse" look.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilMonk View Post
    To the venerable First Sgt:

    Thank you for your concern, and I do really mean that.

    Please don't misunderstand my above post. I have no issues with defending myself, my family, or even a perfect stranger. When I was in the "Sandbox", I had an opportunity to shoot (I was even ordered to do so), but I didn't pull the trigger. It wasn't from any sense of over-developed altruism, it was because I was the only one looking through a scope. I could see that the vehicle bearing down on my friend was being driven by a little old man with no glasses (a common occurance in Iraq) and his screaming family was trying desperately to get him to stop.

    I guess I don't blame him, we were wearing desert camoflauge in the desert after all...

    My point is that I made the right decision (he stopped in plenty of time) under pressure and it is events such as this that give me great confidence that I'll do the right thing in a bad situation.

    In short, the only reason I never fired a round in anger was I never had a shot. Fire discipline, plain and simple. I appreciate and understand completely the explanation you've given. I appreciate the clarification of your OP..

    In regards to my PTSD, it really is (thankfully) limited to the realm of the Ocular Over-Hydration. It never lasts for more than 5 minutes or so, and the frequency is becoming less and less often (once every few months). I have never once felt like injuring myself (I matter far to much to me...) and I have never once felt a sudden and unexplained urge to hurt those around me either. My therapy consists of my Loving Domestic General (that's the Wife to you Civie types), my extraordinary family, and my undying resolve to continue putting one foot in front of the other. I value life more than I ever thought I did before my Service. The whole "Weepy Face" thing is a small price to pay for the knowledge that you are, at your center, a very good person. I guess I may have brought more baggage home with me from Nam than I realized. I too have had the "weepy face" syndrome for many years. Thankfully most other bad memories have subsided and I do get a good night's sleep now. I truly understand your statement about "valueing life".

    That said, make no mistake:

    Any attempt to commit a felonious act of violence in my vicinity will earn that wretch an outstanding view of a .45 caliber barrel. I will say one more time...MINDSET...Always work on it. If the act has caused you to draw your weapon in defense of yourself and family, then in my humble opinion the BG has already determined what WILL happen next and there will be NO second guessing. MINDSET... What happens next is up to them. You MUST control what happens next, not the BG. NEVER relinquish YOUR control in a bad situation. I've made the choice to Carry, they have to make the choice to continue drawing breath...
    EvilMonk...thanks for your clarification. Take care of yourself, stay safe, and train.......TRAIN...If you ever need to talk, feel free to give a yell.

    Pat in SC
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    "Take care of yourself, stay safe, and train..."

    Aye, Firs' Sar'ent!

    You too.

    "I do have a handicapped parking sticker but I hate to use it. People give me the "you look as healthy as a horse" look." ~ 1 old 0311

    Yeah, I have the paperwork for a permanent mirror tag (handicapped) here in KY, but I have never used it either. I guess after seeing older folks in wheelchairs, other vets with lost limbs, and a wide assortment of the generally-worse-off-than-me using those parking spots, I just can't bring myself to do it.

    Maybe in another few years or so...?

    But I think you understand mt point about how perception ain't always reality (something the military never understood unless it was in an explicitly tactical situation...). Someone like us walks into the courtroom and says, "But your Honor, I'm disabled, here's the federal documentation that proves it!" and we'd be lucky to not have anyone laugh or worse.

    It's a Catch-22. I am 70% disabled, therefore prior to any altercation, I am conceivably viewed by the law as requiring special consideration for my defense. However, post my involuntary involvement with any violent activity, my PTSD would become a liability: "He was just a bomb waiting to go off!"

    I don't want to jump the gun or put words in mouths, but our over-litigious society doesn't give me a lot of confidence in the "Post Game Analysis" of some rambunctious DA.

    The lawyer's looking like a real good idea...
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Don’t mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus

  12. #11
    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    From an old Vietnam vet, thank you for your service.

    From a retired cop, if you are ever involved in a self-defense situation your only statement to responding officers should be something like this: "I was in fear for my life and I was forced to defend myself. I need to speak to an attorney now".

    Shut up, lawyer up, and let the nice pit-bull in a good suit do all of your talking for you. Don't try to explain yourself, your disability, or anything else.

    Best regards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboleather View Post
    From an old Vietnam vet, thank you for your service.

    From a retired cop, if you are ever involved in a self-defense situation your only statement to responding officers should be something like this: "I was in fear for my life and I was forced to defend myself. I need to speak to an attorney now".

    Shut up, lawyer up, and let the nice pit-bull in a good suit do all of your talking for you. Don't try to explain yourself, your disability, or anything else.

    Best regards.
    BINGO! We have a winner here. Simple advice that will work in your favor every time.
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    I’m in a similar situation although I certainly don’t worry too much about it. If I have to use the gun, then so be it. In my view, you’re going to be persecuted no matter what. You could have saved the life of a female LEO and the prosecutor will still file charges against any of us. Again, this is simply my opinion.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
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    Thank you for your service. I agree with lobo and Retsupt. You are rightly confident and honest in your abilities and limitations. IANAL, but, since besides your hips and documented PTSD under treatment, you surpass the vast majority of us in experience and even stature, I would think disparity of force would not apply. But that is a bridge you should never come to as you follow lobo's advice and, most importantly, your own clear judgement.
    Thank you, also, for the poignant post.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saber View Post
    I’m in a similar situation although I certainly don't worry too much about it. If I have to use the gun, then so be it. In my view, you’re going to be persecuted no matter what. You could have saved the life of a female LEO and the prosecutor will still file charges against any of us. Again, this is simply my opinion.
    Maybe a healthy concern, Saber, but our own Pax, Kathy Jackson, in her new book, Lessons from Armed America, writes
    Some folks may be frightened of the legal system following a self-defense shooting. This is entirely appropriate, but must not be blown out of proportion. Although an otherwise upstanding citizen may occasionally be convicted for using deadly force in self-defense, it is an extremely unlikely outcome. Minor tangles with the legal system after a shooting are fairly common, but devastating outcomes are truly rare.
    Again, your training should keep you out of the hottest water. And remember what we say about being judged by 12 as a better alternative.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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