Thanks Eye in the Sky & George. I'm out now, but that's good info to know as I still have plenty of still serving friends. However, Eye in the Sky brought another question to mind that got me thinking. If alcoholism is considered a medical issue, it makes me wonder if a diagnosed alcoholic would be able to apply to VAC for a pension for alcoholism. Before you blow me off or laugh at me, consider this;
Many people join the Military as 18 or 19 year old kids. They do a full physical upon entry and SHOULD have a clean bill of health. Now, perhaps my argument here isn't as relevant for today's still serving members as the Army has changed greatly over the years, BUT, lets use the older soldiers and Veterans as my examples. Right up until the early 2000's, drinking alcohol in the Army was, for the most part, expected of soldiers. Especially as one climbed the ranks. The Snr NCO's & Officers Mess regularly has Mess functions and such that soldiers are/were expected to attend (and, drink); Beer calls after work, the Officer's are required to show up to the Mess Friday after work; Smokers after/during FTX.... these are just a few examples of how the Army (I'm using the Army here as that is were my familiarity is) took alcohol and it was etched into the Army culture.
Now, turn around and couple the Army drinking culture with the horrors soldiers endure on operations; I've seen the booze flow freely overseas despite the two beer per soldier rule, the underground railroad inevitably gets on track shortly after each rotation changes hands and the troops find ways to get their booze. Soldiers come home and many turn to alcohol to blot out the images seared into their minds. As years progress, some drink more and more and next thing you know, you have a full blown alcoholic on your hands.
Now, don't get me wrong, no one is holding a gun to soldiers heads saying "drink!". We all choose to drink or not drink, but there was considerable pressure on soldiers TO drink in the years past and get into the old boys club. Chats about subordinates, courses, postings and such have all echoed off the walls of the Snr. NCO's and Officer's Messes as the liquor flowed freely.
I'm just throwing this out there as food for thought. By no way would I expect a soldier/Veteran to receive a 5/5th pension from VAC for alcoholism, but 2/5 or 3/5, by my opinion, shouldn't be out of the question. (I'm no VAC adjudicator, I just used those percentages as hypothetical) An approved pension needs 1) A confirmed diagnosis - which alcoholism is by medical definition, and 2) A link to Military service, which, I think anyway, that I have illustrated that a Veteran COULD argue a valid case against VRAB if he had a diagnosis of alcoholism. I especially think this would be important if a Veteran had no other pensions from VAC, or, if he did, he was only an A client and therefore, only entitled to VAC coverage for his pensioned condition. If he had even a 2/5 pension, he would still have ENTITLEMENT on his file for the pensioned condition of alcoholism, and thus, guaranteed coverage after he left the service if he happened to fall off the wagon and wanted to seek rehabilitation services.
I apologize now, as I didn't mean to hijack PPCLI WO's original post. Eye in the Sky just got my mind going.