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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
ANDREW C. WETZEL II, APPELLANT,
ROBERT L. WILKIE,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before TOTH, Judge.
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),
this action may not be cited as precedent.
TOTH, Judge: Andrew C. Wetzel II served in the Marine Corps and deployed to Southwest
Asia. Under special rules, Gulf War veterans such as Mr. Wetzel who have been diagnosed with
chronic fatigue syndrome during or after service are automatically entitled to VA disability
compensation for that condition on a presumptive basis. The Board, however, denied Mr. Wetzel’s
claim without contesting that he served in the Gulf War or had a valid diagnosis of chronic fatigue
On appeal, the veteran argues that his chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis per se entitles
him to compensation under applicable VA regulations. The Secretary suggests that the claim
should be remanded for the Board to cure insufficiencies in the statement of reasons or bases
underlying its decision and to obtain an adequate medical opinion. However, because the
undisputed facts and dispositive law establish the veteran’s entitlement to the benefit sought, the
Court reverses the Board’s denial of service connection for chronic fatigue syndrome and remands
the matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
While a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, Mr. Wetzel was activated in 2004 and again
in 2009 to support Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. R. at 451, 462. His service
took him to Iraq and Kuwait—in VA parlance, Southwest Asia. In 2013, he sought service
connection for Epstein-Barr virus and chronic fatigue syndrome. A VA
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Single Judge Application; "Generally speaking, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War may be entitled to VA benefits on a presumptive basis if she exhibits a 'qualifying chronic disability' that manifests to a certain degree before December 31, 2021, and that cannot be attributed to any known clinical diagnosis." Atencio v. O'Rourke, 30 Vet.App. 74, 80 (2018); A qualifying chronic disability includes a "medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness"-or MUCMI-"that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms." 38 U.S.C. § 1117(a)(2)(B); Additionally, a MUCMI must lack "conclusive pathophysiology or etiology." 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(2)(ii);
Designated for electronic publication onlyUNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMSNo. 19-3994ANDREW C. WETZEL II, APPELLANT,V.ROBERT L. WILKIE,SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.Before TOTH, Judge.MEMORANDUM DECISIONNote: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),this action may not be cited as precedent.TOTH, Judge: Andrew C. Wetzel II served in the Marine Corps and deployed to SouthwestAsia.