After returning from a 15 month deployment to Iraq in April 2008, I began to develop symptoms associated with ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease. On 13 July 2009, I was diagnosed with ALS. At the time, I was active duty and assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. By August, I lost approximately 70 percent of my overall body strength and virtually all the dexterity in my left hand. I was promoted to Colonel on 01 July 2010, and medically retired with 22.5 years in the Army at Fort Gordon on 13 July 2010. Today, I live in Evans, Georgia with my wife, Ann, and our two boys, Connor (12) and David (4). Thanks to the VA I've got the equipment needed to remain mobile - power chairs and a specially equipped van. That said, I rely on assistance to eat, dress, toilet, and take care of my service dog, Joy. While still in the Army, I attended ALS clinics funded by the Army/TRICARE. I've chosen to continue to attend an ALS clinic with MEDICARE since the VA wouldn't fund it, and the care is so much better.