I am currently in a bind as well. I served my 4 years in active duty Air Force. I got out in May of 2009. But 2 years into my service I was having severe hip pain. They sent me to physical therapy and the doctor there told me I had a "butt sprain". That was their diagnosis for me for about a year and half. Then when it started getting really bad, they finally gave me a MRI. Which of course showed massive inflamation. I was refered off base, and a rhumotologist (my spelling is horrible) gave me 2 different medication, which failed, and then did the tests and diagnosed me with AS. After that I was prescribed Humira (which works amazing). This was all 3 months before my seperation date. So it was service connected. When i applied for VA disability, they told me that I didn't have enough info to get AS approved. So that was denied. And now I went to a doctor for my civilian job and they are telling me it's a pre-existing condition.
I have already had a informal appeals hearing and they are reconsidering my decision. I brought all the paperwork from the physical therapy and the actual diagnosis from the civilian doctor. They said those were new to them, even though it was sent with the package. But after reading this thread, i fear that it will only get me a 10%, if that.
So as they sit there and figure it out, I guess I will just sit here in a whole lot of pain and hope they come to a decision soon. Hats off to all others that have to deal with this.