Howdy all. I was diagnosed with Diffuse Intervertebral Spondylo Hyper-Ostosis back in 2000ish - long before getting health care from the VA. I served in SEA flying intel missions into Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam(s), and other guest appearances to the north - 72,3,4. One of the Army's more stellar fixed wing pilots managed to splash us on the runway to the extent that my butt busted through the webbed seat and turned me into a pretzel. No problem, just a back ache. I was young and in seriously good shape. Fast forward to the late 70s, I'm in machine shop accident, and am ultimately diagnosed with spondylolesthesis L5, S1 and elsewhere, all of it pre-existing condition! Had to be that West Pointer who never learned the art of "flare out"..
Now, all that stuff is fused. I assumed my idiopathic DISH was moving up my spine. I got into a pissing contest with the VA radiologists who kept referring to back xrays as Ankylosing Spondylitis. I do not have the HLAB27 marker. I guess now you don't need it, or, Pig Pharma managed to get AS diagnosis tweaked in order to give them another million potential patients to whom they can sell $4500/month. Yes - I'm a cynic.
There's no way I can prove the aviation incident. I know it was my first major back event in my life. But - the wings stayed on and we all went back to work. No claim. Even if I did, I am baffled that people are able to make claims for AS. How is it that something congenital or idiopathic can become service connected?