DIC benefits were applied for by this widow in 1982 after the veteran's death, she appealed to the Board with the help of a VSO, which ultimately denied the claim in 1990. She didn't hire Sean Kendall until many years later. An appeal to Court was filed and the case was remanded.
The veteran served on active duty from November 1942 until December 1945. The veteran died in March 1982. The appellant is the widow of the veteran. The veteran's awards and decorations included the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Purple Heart Medal. The record reveals that the veteran was captured by the enemy, but that he escaped and returned to friendly forces two weeks later.
To prove the case, an expert witness was hired. In an October 1999 statement, Dr. Bash noted that he had reviewed the veteran's record and he gave a report of the veteran's medical history. It was Dr. Bash's impression that the veteran's immediate cause of death was due to a myocardial infarction as a consequence of progressive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease which was exacerbated and accelerated both by excessive anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (because the veteran would not take his cardiac medications). Dr. Bash opined that the veteran had cardiovascular disease in service which persisted until his death and was initially manifest by hypertension in service. Dr. Bash noted that he agreed with Dr. Sargent's opinion that the veteran's death was directly due to his heart condition, which was present during his service. Finally, Dr. Bash stated that he disagreed with the August 1996 VA opinion because the physician apparently did not do a thorough review of the medical records.
Based on this opinion, the VA granted DIC benefits to the widow. The case is here.