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Thread: Need some Ideas- Denied to floor at MEPS

  1. #1
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    Default Need some Ideas- Denied to floor at MEPS

    So a little background. In December 2005 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I recieved 3 surgeries; 1 to remove a enlarged lymph node and 2 surgeries to installed and later remove a Catheter port on my chest for IV access. I received Chemotherapy treatments until April 2006. Within 6 months i was back on the football field fully recovered for my senior year for high school. For five years I was constantly monitored with Scans, Blood tests and physicals. Since then no re-accuracy of cancer has been found. I have received 2 small surgeries since then to biopsy "small bumps". Neither were cancerous.

    I am currently in the best shape of my life and have been working as a firefighter for the last 4 years. I have medicals documents on all pertinent treatments, tests, Letters from multiple doctors, and letters of recommendations. I have read new and old DOD medical standards. The older standard mentioned that Hodgekins lymphoma can be waivered. The new standard does not mention hodgekins lymphoma and no standard exists that would disqualify me. Yet i have been Disqualified 3 times each with more paperwork and doctor letters (now waiting on the 4th submit). My recruiters have been very helpful but are dumbfounded and out of ideas regarding my situation.

    So onto the questions

    How can i be Disqualified for something that is not listed in the standards as something that I can be disqualified for? (My recruiter only said with the flood of applicants they can be picky)

    Is there any way to go around meps, I have read a few Navy guys talking about going directly to a navy doctor, Is there a Army equivalent to this?

    Has anyone is recent times been successful with joining the military with a history of cancer?

    Has anyone Ever has luck with or heard of anyone being successful after talking to their congress person?

    Finally does anyone else have any other ideas?

    This is a dream of mine to be able to serve my country, I don't plan on giving up.

    Thank You!
    Last edited by SamP; 07-22-2011 at 08:39 AM.

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    We have a recruiter and medic that will chime in about your situation. I highly doubt that you can go around MEPS to get into the military because that is a main part that needs to be passed in order to join the service and a congressman/senator cannot force the military on having someone enlist.

    Try the other branches just to see.
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    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
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    MEPS is definitely a necessity. I've never heard of anyone being able to omit that step in the enlistment process.

    It's unfortunate for you if it turns out that you'll never be able to join the military but believe me - you're serving right now as a Firefighter. If you want to carry a firearm switch over to the cops but your service to your community is every bit as important as service in the Army.
    I suppose that sometime in the future your health problems won't be a disqualifying factor for enlistment but I sure don't see it happening anytime soon. As I see it you'll need a waiver at best & the Army isn't processing a whole lot of any kind of those these days.

    Like the Chief already said - Congresspeople cannot change Army policy nor can judges or any person holding political office.
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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Glenn View Post
    It's unfortunate for you if it turns out that you'll never be able to join the military but believe me - you're serving right now as a Firefighter. If you want to carry a firearm switch over to the cops but your service to your community is every bit as important as service in the Army.
    Exactly Top as proven in this scene

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    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    Since cancer recurs in a large number of successfully treated cases and it is extremely expensive to treat those, the Army does not accept applicants with a history of cancers (except as noted below). This is specifically addressed in Army Regulation 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness, Paragraph 2-31(b), Tumors and malignant diseases, which states on page 18 -


    b.
    Current or history of malignant tumors (V10) does not meet the standard. Skin cancer (other than malignant melanoma) removed with no residual, is not disqualifying.

    Additionally, the following paragraph, 2-32(I) states on page 32 -

    i.


    Current or history of any condition that in the opinion of the medical officer will significantly interfere with the successful performance of military duty or training does not meet the standard (should use specific ICD code whenever possible, or 796.9).

    Obviously, should your condition relapse it will 'significantly interfere with the successful performance' of your military duties. Once the Army takes on a Soldier they assume responsibility for treating any medical condition he or she may incur - and with your history of cancer that is just too big a risk to take. As a firefighter you can get care quickly and easily if and when needed - that is not so when you are deployed to an austere environment halfway around the world.

    I am sorry, but there is no chance you will be allowed to enlist, and no loopholes you can exploit. If you were to possess some critically neeed specialty - say, if you were a physician with a specialty that is critically understrength - the Army might make an exception, as I have seen this done before. But for every one like you there are a hundred with NO medical history who want to enlist.

    I wish you the best of luck and the best of health, and I am certain you will be successful in your career.

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grunt Medic TXARNG View Post
    Since cancer recurs in a large number of successfully treated cases and it is extremely expensive to treat those, the Army does not accept applicants with a history of cancers (except as noted below). This is specifically addressed in Army Regulation 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness, Paragraph 2-31(b), Tumors and malignant diseases, which states on page 18 -

    Additionally, the following paragraph, 2-32(I) states on page 32 -

    Obviously, should your condition relapse it will 'significantly interfere with the successful performance' of your military duties. Once the Army takes on a Soldier they assume responsibility for treating any medical condition he or she may incur - and with your history of cancer that is just too big a risk to take. As a firefighter you can get care quickly and easily if and when needed - that is not so when you are deployed to an austere environment halfway around the world.
    [/LEFT]
    Thank you Sir for your Reply

    I Misspoke on having a tumor removed, It was an enlarged lymph node. Sorry for causing confusion. I actually went over that exact standard with my doctor and said that it does not apply to me. He said that i never had any malignant tumors/tissue present. While i cant explain the pathology behind Hodgekins lymphoma i never had any malignant tissue present. While some cancers have higher relapse rates Hodgkins lymphoma has almost a 100% cure rate. And relapse is extremely rare.

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    You just have to see it from a federal government/military issue. Daily, I see soldiers getting medical discharged for a variety reasons; mostly of late, PTSD and other non-deployable issues. The military (at this point) needs to take a risk with someone that has a clean bill of health with no prior medical issues. Now, there is a possiblity (like Grunt said) to make an exception in your case; but with the recent cutbacks and strict enlistment requirements; the chances with you are much greater. I hope you can understand that. It is just a real bad time to enlist.
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    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    Just because it may not be listed does not mean they cant disqualify you for having something. No you cannot go around MEPS, dont believe what people "heard", 99% of the time is wrong information, your congressman can only ensure that the recruiters and MEPS did things by the book, they cant just tell us to take someone we cant.

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    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamP View Post
    Thank you Sir for your Reply...
    You're welcome - but I'm a Sergeant, not a 'Sir'. And you still come up hard against the 'medical opinion of the examining officer' clause of the regulation. I honestly do not see you having any chance of getting in, and I encourage you to focus your efforts on being the best firefighter you can be.

    Good luck!
    68W4P, 31B4P, 0341, 0844
    24 years and DONE!!!

    "Even if you know that a certain illustration in an art book is from the Kama Sutra, don't point that out to your art history class. They will think you're a pervert." - seen at learnfrommyfail.com

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    Thank you all for your replies.

    Luckily I got a call from my recruiter this morning with great news. 4th time was the charm and i was approved by the meps doctor to floor. Now to get approved by the army doctor. 1 hurdle down!

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