Mr. Carlos Larralde served in the U.S. Navy from October 1965 to October 1967. He had been assigned to tug boat duty at the U.S. Long Beach Naval Station in California. He was standing on the rear upper deck of the tug boat when the tug boat driver collided with the pier. Mr Larralde was knocked over the deck railing and fell to the deck below, partially hitting another sailor, and striking his head. He suffered in the aftermath of the injury. When he left the Navy, he recalls going to Long Beach City College, opening up the school library’s catalog, and realizing he could not recognize the letters of the alphabet.
Mr. Larralde began fighting the VA in 2010 for compensation. He did not find his service organization effective; other representatives said they did not think he had a case. A decade went by. At one point he had to turn to food stamps to put meals on the table. The VA had let him down.
Last year Mr. Larralde contacted Brown & Curry. Our office determined that his claims were being denied due to an alleged failure to attend a C&P exam. We convinced the VA to reschedule his exam, and then shepherded his claim throughout its remand at the Los Angeles Regional Office.
This year he received a full 100-percent rating and a decade of back pay.
Mr. Larralde wants veterans to know that the VA system of providing disability benefits is broken, and that the word should be spread of the abuses he and others have suffered.