Citation Nr: 18132280
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 11-18 467A
DATE:	September 6, 2018
ORDER
Service connection for bilateral plantar fasciitis is granted.  
Service connection for tinnitus is granted.  
Service connection for migraine headaches is granted.  
REMANDED
The issue of service connection for a recurrent right upper extremity disorder is remanded.  
The issue of service connection for a recurrent gastrointestinal disorder to include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is remanded.  
The issue of service connection for a recurrent skin disorder is remanded.  
The issue of service connection for an acquired bilateral eye disorder is remanded.  
The issue of service connection for bilateral hearing loss is remanded.  
The issue of service connection for a recurrent disability manifested by memory loss is remanded.  
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Bilateral plantar fasciitis was initially manifested during active service.  
2. Tinnitus was initially manifested during active service.  
3. Recurrent migraine headaches were initially manifested during active service.  
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The criteria for service connection for bilateral plantar fasciitis are met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1131, 5107(b); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303.  
2. The criteria for service connection for tinnitus have been met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1131, 5107(b); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303.  
3. The criteria for service connection for migraine headaches have been met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1131, 5107(b); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303.  
REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
The Veteran had active service from February 1988 to August 1988 and from May 2006 to April 2007.  She served in Southwest Asia and the Persian Gulf.  The Veteran had additional duty with the Navy Reserve.  
Service Connection
Service connection may be granted for disability resulting from disease or injury incurred in or aggravated during active service.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1131.  Service connection may be granted for any disease diagnosed after discharge, when all the evidence, including that pertinent to service, establishes that the disease was incurred in service.  38 C.F.R. § 3.303(d).  
Bilateral Plantar Fasciitis
The Veteran asserts that service connection for bilateral plantar fasciitis is warranted as the disability was initially manifested during active service and has continued until the present time.  
A June 2008 naval line of duty determination and the report of a September 2009 naval physical evaluation board convey that bilateral plantar fasciitis was initially manifested during active service.  VA clinical documentation of record establishes that the Veteran was diagnosed with bilateral plantar fasciitis.  
Bilateral plantar fasciitis was initially manifested during active service and has been diagnosed following service separation.  Therefore, the Board finds that service connection for bilateral plantar fasciitis is warranted.  
Tinnitus
The Veteran contends that service connection for tinnitus is warranted as the disability was initially manifested during active service and persists until the present.  
The June 2008 naval line of duty determination and the report of the September 2009 naval physical evaluation board convey that bilateral tinnitus was initially manifested during active service.  VA clinical documentation of record establishes that the Veteran was diagnosed with tinnitus.  
Tinnitus was initially manifested during active service and has been diagnosed following service separation.  Therefore, the Board finds that service connection for tinnitus is warranted.  
Headaches
The Veteran contends that service connection for a recurrent headache disorder is warranted as the disability was initially manifested during active service and persists until the present.  
The June 2008 naval line of duty determination and the report of the September 2009 naval physical evaluation board convey that headaches were initially manifested during active service.  VA clinical documentation of record establishes that the Veteran was diagnosed with migraine headaches.  
A recurrent headache disorder was initially manifested during active service and migraine headaches have been diagnosed following service separation.  Therefore, the Board finds that service connection for migraine headaches is warranted.  
REASONS FOR REMAND
1. The issue of service connection for a recurrent right upper extremity disorder is remanded.  
The Veteran’s periods of active duty, active duty for training, and inactive duty for training with the Navy Reserve have not been verified and all service treatment records associated with any such duty has not been requested for association with the record.  
The service treatment documentation of record reflects that the Veteran was seen for right wrist neuropathy.  
The record reflects that the Veteran failed to appear for a scheduled March 2015 VA examination.  In her September 2015 substantive appeal, the Veteran indicated that she would appear for a rescheduled examination.  
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) duty to assist includes, in appropriate cases, the duty to conduct a thorough and contemporaneous medical examination which is accurate and fully descriptive.  McLendon v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 79 (2006); Green v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 121, 124 (1991).  The Veteran should be rescheduled for a VA right upper extremity examination.  
Clinical documentation dated after August 2009 is not of record.  VA should obtain all relevant VA and private treatment records which could potentially be helpful in resolving the Veteran’s claims.  Murphy v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 78 (1990); Bell v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 611 (1992).   
2. The issues of service connection for a recurrent gastrointestinal disorder, a recurrent skin disorder, an acquired bilateral eye disorder, bilateral hearing loss, and a recurrent disability manifested by memory loss are remanded.  
The Veteran contends that service connection for recurrent gastrointestinal, skin, eye, hearing, and memory disabilities is warranted as the claimed disorders were manifested as the result of her active service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
The service documentation of record states that the Veteran reported having been exposed to smoke from oil fires, burning trash for feces, vehicle fumes, solvents, paints, industrial pollution, and sand/dust when she was deployed to Southwest Asia and the Persian Gulf.  An August 2007 post-deployment assessment conveys the Veteran reported experiencing dimming of vision.  
The record reflects that the Veteran failed to appear for a scheduled March 2015 VA examination.  In her September 2015 substantive appeal, the Veteran indicated that she would appear for a rescheduled examination.  The Veteran should be scheduled for VA gastrointestinal, skin, eye, audiological, and Gulf War examinations.  
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Ask the Veteran to complete a VA Form 21-4142 for each private healthcare provider who has treated her for the right upper extremity, gastrointestinal, skin, eye, hearing loss, and memory disabilities.  Make two requests for the authorized records from all identified healthcare providers unless it is clear after the first request that a second request would be futile.  
2. Contact the National Personnel Records Center or the appropriate service entity and request verification of the Veteran’s complete periods of active duty, active duty for training, and inactive duty for training with the Navy Reserve and forward all available service medical and personnel records associated with the Veteran’s service for incorporation into the record.  
3. Obtain the Veteran’s VA treatment records dated after August 2009.  
4. Schedule the Veteran for a VA examination to assist in determining the current nature of any identified recurrent right upper extremity disability and its relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a)  Diagnose all recurrent right upper extremity disabilities found.  
(b)  Opine whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent probability or greater) that any identified recurrent right upper extremity disability had its onset during active service or is related to any incident of service, including the Veteran’s service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
5. Schedule the Veteran for a VA gastrointestinal examination to assist in determining the current nature of any identified recurrent gastrointestinal disability and its relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a)  Diagnose all recurrent gastrointestinal disabilities found.  The examiner should specifically state whether IBS is identified.  
(b)  Opine whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent probability or greater) that any identified recurrent gastrointestinal disability had its onset during active service or is related to any incident of service, including the Veteran’s service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
6. Schedule the Veteran for a VA skin examination to assist in determining the current nature of any identified recurrent skin disability and its relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a)  Diagnose all recurrent skin extremity disabilities found.  
(b)  Opine whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent probability or greater) that any identified recurrent skin disability had its onset during active service or is related to any incident of service, including the Veteran’s service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
7. Schedule the Veteran for a VA eye examination to assist in determining the current nature of any identified acquired eye disability and its relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a)  Diagnose all acquired eye disabilities found.  If no acquired eye disability is identified, the examiner should expressly state that fact.  
(b)  Opine whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent probability or greater) that any identified acquired eye disability had its onset during active service or is related to any incident of service, including the Veteran’s service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
8. Schedule the Veteran for a VA audiological examination to assist in determining the current nature of any identified bilateral hearing loss disability and its relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a)  Diagnose all recurrent bilateral hearing loss disabilities found.  
(b)  Opine whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent probability or greater) that any identified bilateral hearing loss disability had its onset during active service or is related to any incident of service, including the Veteran’s service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
9. Schedule the Veteran for a VA psychiatric examination to assist in determining the current nature of any identified recurrent disability manifested by memory loss and its relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a)  Diagnose all recurrent disabilities manifested by memory loss found.  
(b)  Opine whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent probability or greater) that any identified recurrent disability manifested by memory loss had its onset during active service or is related to any incident of service, including the Veteran’s service in the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.  
10. Schedule the Veteran for a VA Gulf War examination to assist in determining the current nature of any recurrent gastrointestinal, skin, eye/vision, and memory loss disabilities and their relationship, if any, to active service.  The examiner must review the record and should note that review in the report.  A rationale for all opinions should be provided.  The examiner should:
(a) Diagnose all recurrent gastrointestinal, skin, eye/vision, and memory loss disabilities found.  
(b) State whether any identified state whether any identified gastrointestinal, skin, eye/vision, and memory loss disability is consistent with a clinically known diagnosis or is due to either an undiagnosed illness or a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms. is consistent with a clinically known diagnosis or is due to either an undiagnosed illness or a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms.  

 
J. T. HUTCHESON
Acting Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	E. Ko, Associate Counsel 

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