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Taps Bugler at Arlington National Cemetery
People grieve at a gravesite in Section 60, an area where members of the U.S. military who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, during Veterans Day observances at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 2012.
U.S. Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange over Vietnam
This is how the VA discussing VA compensation starts on the VA Page:
Set foot in Vietnam (This includes brief visits ashore, such as when a ship docked to the shore of Vietnam or when a ship operated in Vietnam’s close coastal waters for extended periods and crew members went ashore, or smaller vessels from the ship went ashore with supplies or personnel. The Veteran further must provide a statement of personally going ashore.)
◾Served on a ship while it operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam
Blue Water Veterans are not presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides unless they set foot in Vietnam or served aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
Step foot on the soaked poison and you need to file a claim.  This is what it is saying.
{You are going to get sick and die and we know it.}  

Here is the link
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/...

I am still a little under the weather but I am still fighting.. Please join the fight because it is beginning to look pretty dismal for returning soldiers and those who are so very sick.   War is a racket and we need to stop creating veterans and I did not even go into the ones commiting suicide or have been sexually traumatized.  

Think about that statement...SET FOOT IN VIETNAM !   The reason I am posting this is , it really jumps out at you but only if this was an absolute.   I have been working with a fellow who was AO exposed and has been turned down and going for appeal.  Same thing for tommyfocus right here.  Both are VN veterans who stepped foot in Vietnam for a long period of time.   That is a heck of a presumptive compensation not to be a true statement because they are still setting up compensation and pension hearings and demanding evidence on appeal.

I have two good friends right now as I type this dying from Brain cancer due to exposure to agent orange.  Both have been 100 percent but both had to jump through hoops. Neither have received compensation for agent orange exposure even though both have in writing..service connection cancer due to agent orange exposure from VA doctors.  Both have claims in for the exposure.  They wil never live to see it.  This brings me to llbear's request that family members should be compensated for that exposure when the veteran dies.  That legislation request by llbear should be a no brainer.

 I wonder how many veterans read this and think, " Finally ".. Well I am here to tell you, it looks good.  It sounds good.   It just isn't the way it is.  

What really gets me is that an advocate, veteran, or family member has to fight like everything to just get put on a wait time.   Testvet's wife and me were talking the other night about how hard caregivers and family members have to struggle with the basic quality of life for the soldier who served.  We talked about the caregiver and how the boomer generation is fighting for caregiver benefits.  A little tool box of Q and A and 200 bucks to give care is not exactly a good tradeoff.. ( some do not even get that ..I know).  One has to do the caregiving as an act of love because the pre 911 vets do not qualify for the caregiver benefits of the post 911.   That legislation does not even make sense but good it exists for some vets and their caregivers.  It just should exist for all vets regardless of theatres or years.  If you got injured serving in uniform, the caregiver benefit should not depend on whether or not two buildings in NY had  yet been destroyed.  

I have a good  idea for what should be happening;

Forget that 2015 deadline.
Scorch earth the claims and sort it out later.   If the evidence is present on doctors statements...Go with the doc says..not some contractor sitting there pushing paper.
Make all the benefits equal and then that eleviates some time of sorting...By that I mean don't have 10 people looking at location of service to determine which caregiver to help.

DIC payments to widows and orphans should not have to sit in a heap of claims where one soldier is claiming tennatis while the partner of another vet  is losing their home.  Have a separate place for Widows Benefits to be compensated.  How hard is it to know the veteran is dead with a death certificate and the loss of payment was cut to the dependent.

The same kind of place should be strictly for college and dependent coverage for school age children.. Yes there is an educational section but the depedent status still gets thrown on a heap of backlog.

Agent orange is a documented fact.... Pay up !  ( From the VA website..no proof necessary except the very presence of being there.   If one has a disability to these AO exposures..Don't  piddle..Pay the claim.

Have a three strikes and you are out policy.  If claims are not met within 90 days 3 times in a row at a particuliar Regional office....change dept. heads.  

Have a special dept at the Headquarters doing nothing but reviewing the backlog status and give help accordingly to each VISN group to remove the Backlog problem.

These are just a few...things...I am sure there are more.  The system is broken and something has to give to make things better.  People like Susan 29 should not be begging congresscritters to help.   She is needing her widows pension.

 My friend in Texas should not be spending time setting up hospice as her husband lies dying but an advocate should be doing this for her.  She is an advocate but there should be End of Life Advocates who actually do these things at EVERY VA hospital to take some of the
stress off the family.  They do have bereavement counselors but they need end of life workers to muddle through the system, not just set up funerals and pass out forms.  Forms to sit and wait for years to decide the vet has died.   Each honorably discharged veteran gets a letter from the president upon his or her passing...A copy of the letter from the president should suffice as evidence he or she has passed.. !!!!

Is there anything working in this country anymore?  Anything?  We know people in general are not working and many who have jobs are not doing their best.  We need to beat a few pots and pans or cut off lights every night by flicking the light switch to show that some of us are tired of the do nothing congress and many democrats just complaining about it.

In the meantime.....

 

Originally posted to Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 04:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos and DKos Military Veterans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is there anything working in this country anymore? (18+ / 0-)

    I don't think so. Not unless you work on Wall Street, then, boy howdy, everything's coming up roses. As for the little people? Screw them.

    Thanks Vetwife.

    •  Thank you... (13+ / 0-)

      I want to share something...Scotty, our friend in Texas was having to have an MRI as he has 5 lesions on his brain and several clots and tumors in his lungs.  As they put him in the MRI in all of his pain and even sedated, he started having flashbacks as the clacking of the metal in the MRI reminded him of gunfire.   Here is a portion of am update and  Just brought tears to my eyes.

      Regarding Scotty's attempted MRI on Saturday.even though completely sedated, when the loud noise of the MRI magnets goes off Scotty seems to be back in 'Nam in a firefight and he reacts strongly.unconsciously, based on his comment "when I hear that, I can't be still."  So many nights in the 60's when each of us was trying to decide who to go out with.where to go.maybe just drive the strip around town with friends and get a soda or listen to the latest hits on KTSA.Scotty would head out each of those same nights to the forward machine-gun nest he was in charge of, often with several young recruits. Sometimes those new ones wouldn't listen to what he told 'em.and some of them didn't make it to morning. That happened so many times.it really bothered Scotty as he had to fight his way through those nights.all night.spent ammo casings piling up.  Still bothers him.doubt he'll ever be still for an MRI.can't blame him.  He's been a fighter for a long time.  Riding with him to dances these last few years, he's shared some amazing life-moments.  It's been a privilege to call him a service "brother" and friend.

      Yesterday, they did a  CAT Scan.  Between the pictures from both imaging tests, they found that the new mass in his brain is bleeding. They had briefly started blood thinner for other reasons and immediately stopped it to so slow the bleeding. There are blood clots in his lungs and congestion as reported Friday.  Candi is with the social worker today signing him up for hospice and determining plans for the near future.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 04:53:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. Your son. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, One Pissed Off Liberal

      He has a BIIIIIIIIIIG mess to clean up.

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

      by llbear on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:45:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  War is good for (9+ / 0-)

    Absolutely Nothing.   45 years ?  Will we ever learn?

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Vetwife}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 05:34:31 PM PDT

  •  Ok. (12+ / 0-)

    I had to get up and walk away from the computer for awhile after reading this, I was that damned angry.

    Still am.

    Want to throw something, grab someone and shake them, until this BS stops.

    Want to roll back time and stop the young man who was my husband from signing up for the Air Force.

    Want to roll back time and stop the young man who has been my partner for twenty years now from joining the Navy and spending two tours running the Perfume River.

    They both left foot prints in Nam, but not nearly as deep as the marks Nam has left on them, body and soul.

    And oh, by all that's holy, just, and right, I want the children of Viet Vets who have been harmed by Agent Orange's deadly legacy to be seen, to be heard, to be valued.

    I want to roll back time and save my baby from all that's he's endured and continues to endure because his father "set foot in Vietnam."

    The heart howls for justice - and there is none.

    If I could rain down fire and brimstone on those who caused so much suffering I would. After all, isn't that what they did to those we love?

    Is Agent Orange anything less than a rain of destruction across generations?

    Doesn't that old phrase speak to the desperate need for justice, your cry for justice, and the endless echoing silence in response?

    But you and I don't do harm, not intentionally, not willfully, because we have to be not like those who do. We will not make ourselves less by lowering to their level.

    So we burn and burn and burn with grief and rage - for our loved ones, their hopes and dreams, our hopes and dreams, all abandoned and discarded.  

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 05:58:16 PM PDT

    •  Beaurifully stated Ono...we live in (7+ / 0-)

      parallel lives.  We fear that our lives are the next to become so torn apart.  We know.  Deep down we know these young men and women with futures gave their lives and their futures for Bell Helicopter and Lockheed and once they were there were just trying to survive.   They came back sick, torn apart and broken and then they never quite could fit in ...and then some were thrown away and others were incarcerated , and others are walking around burning inside from this poison.  We the loved ones watch and live this....
      Ono, I almost put a trigger warning on this post...maybe I should have.  
      Scotty came back and became a firefighter but not for long..and he is a wonderful musician.   It is so sad.  I have lost almost all my family and friends who served to this stuff.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:06:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hadn't thought about being "triggered" but (7+ / 0-)

        I suppose you're right. The reaction was so immediate and strong. How could it not be?

        The eldest has been fighting for his life for so long now and had yet another surgery last month.

        My introduction to Agent Orange was when he was four years old and in the hospital recovering from another operation. I was lying on his bed, my body curved around his head, away from the tubes running out of his small body. A desperate attempt to provide comfort and shelter to my child from forces I did not understand.

        It was evening and quiet on the hospital floor. He was in a drugged sleep and I put the TV on PBS. Suddenly I realized that they were talking about this Agent Orange and the damage it had done in the Pacific North West and in Nam.

        I watched in horror as a terrible intuitive knowledge began to knit together what had happened to my child.

        And now, over thirty years later, those responsible still run from what they've done to my baby, to his father, my partner of twenty years, to your friends and family, to those you fight for, to so many others.  

        Some how, some way, this has to stop.

        "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:23:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ono, you do so much yourself (5+ / 0-)

          and my heart is with you dear.  I feel for your child...I really think of those babies.   My husband's son who committed suicide...I wonder if his mental status was affected by orange.   ( bouts of depression ).  We were not that close or in touch but he was blood of his blood..flesh of his flesh and first born and two years out of Vietnam.

          I get letters like this almost daily from people I have met over the years.. Some have beome very close friends.  
          When I was in DC.. I actually had my hand on the agent orange registry box.  It was an ominous feeling knowing all those names were in that box..the registry box.   It was a big metal box that sat on the desk of the Enviromental Toxins director's desk.   I went into that office for three days straight and taked to the director.   He himself suffered from many disabilities.  I may have a pic of the box in the pic with him........I went into that office and wanted answers.. I wanted information.  I also talked to Maude DeVictor in Chicago.  I know no more today than I did then...We are screwed.  I wanted answers.. I wanted people compensated.. I wanted justice.  I got bureacratic BS.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:35:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm so sorry about your husband's son. :( (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vetwife, WakeUpNeo, DaNang65, llbear

            It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a link between his depression and your husband's service.

            And needless to say, I share your deep and utter frustration.

            Outside of parades, most Americans seem to ignore Vets and their families.

            It's past time to make the linkage, to tie it all in together so people get what is happening.

            We have to weave together how what is affecting us, the mind set that has allowed those we love to suffer so, is the same mind set that is affecting the average American and all that they love.

            The same mind set that allowed the lack of regulations and enforcement of the same, allowed that plant in Texas to blow up and destroy so many lives.

            It allows refineries in Baton Rouge to pollute the air and destroy neighborhoods.

            It allows tar sands oil spills in Arkansas.

            It gave us Citizens United.

            It stops funding for critical agencies that serve the public good, not the corporate bottom line.  

            etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

             

            "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

            by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:58:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And BP to spoil the gulf (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Onomastic, WakeUpNeo, llbear

              and don't forget throwing troops out for having ptsd.

              I hadn't forgotten Mimi's diary.

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 08:50:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'd missed Mimi's diary and can't thank you (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WakeUpNeo, Vetwife, llbear

                enough for mentioning it.

                Been watching the video of Amy Goodman's report.

                It should be required viewing for everyone in this country.

                Being part of the inception of the Gulf Watcher's Diary series here, and it's months long coverage, forgetting the BB oil spill is impossible.

                Gulf Watcher is still doing postings. They've never taken their eyes of the Gulf or the thrice cursed BP.

                "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

                by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 09:48:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Just an update, Vetwife. I did not apply for a (8+ / 0-)

    widow's pension because my assets are too great (own a home, have other income).

    However, the DC office of my Congressman got involved in my case which resulted in a letter from the VA dated 5-31-13 that included the rating decision and my grant of DIC benefits. I should have back pay up to the date of his death in the bank by the end of next week. (Although I have an email copy of the VA letter, the snail mail has not arrived as of today.)

    My Congressman is an Agent Orange vet himself, and has testified at the Congressional and Senate hearings about the backlog and how hard it was for him to qualify for benefits. I could tell that there was a great deal of concern that the survivors' benefit claims are not included in the backlog count.

    •  Did he say they were not...why did it (7+ / 0-)

      take a year?  Susan I would have totally sunk....
      The amount of assets should not hae anything to do with you getting a Dependent Income ...Were you not supposed to have a home or other income because he was disabled?   i am so glad you are getting something but that widow's thing does not sound right.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:15:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Survivors' Pension Benefits are for widows/ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear, Vetwife

        widowers of deceased service members whose annual income does not exceed the limits set by Congress every year. I think last year it was somewhere under $10,000. It varies depending on # of children, A&A status and some other qualifiers.

        I was, however, eligible for DIC (Dependency Indemnity Compensation) which is based strictly on the deceased veteran's disability rating of 100%. The DIC monthly amount (currently around $1,400 a month) is greater than the widow's pension would have been.

        The backlog numbers on the VA website only include claims for veterans benefits. I'm not sure the Congressman's staff was aware of that.

        •  I knew the 100 percent was greater and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Susan from 29

          widows was basically not intened for the totallly disabled.
          The rate still needs to be higher but I was told by VA that income for dependent compensation was handled in Virgina but that it still went through regional offices first.
          if that be the case, it would be like filing for SS and getting awarded but passed on the the Treasury.. I hope that is not the case.  I hope you are right but a year was a long long time especially since your update letters were coming from probably your local regional decision makers.

          thanks Susan and glad it worked out.. I know the dependent on our school child is still sitting in St Pete but Atlanta is working on back pay for two months and reviewing the eleigibility .  

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 08:31:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This may sound lame...but I wondered if... (7+ / 0-)

    anyone has tried to get Kerry involved in this injustice?  He is the only one I can think of that has direct knowledge of VN.......

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:13:13 PM PDT

  •  There are others... (6+ / 0-)

    Well Murther is gone...and we would get nothing from McCain..but Harkin is a VN vet.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:18:10 PM PDT

  •  AO is not the only toxin DOD has (8+ / 0-)

    used to shorten military and dependents lives.  Most military bases have contaminated aquifers and wells they have used and in some cases are still using. In some cases the toxic levels were so high the EPA ordered the water sources capped and required the govt to pipe in water from new sources.  Edgewood Arsenal has 77 different toxic substances in it as were capped in 1978, the Army has been dumping  and spilling chemical waste there since the base opened as the nations chemical warfare center in 1917, yet the VA will not recognize any medical issues related to exposures be claiming you can't prove how much of the toxins you ingested and if it even in the water the years the veteran was stationed there.

    I was there in 1974  I am sure the water was pure and clean  and all the chemicals did not reach the aquifer until 1978 just before the EPA took the samples    rofl   yea right   and DOD is protected by the "Feres Doctrine"  screw the veterans  all the dead ones and the medically ill ones  with cancer and  other issues caused by the toxins.  The EPA list I have a copy of shows the 77 substances and the medical conditions they are related to, everything but veneral disease. But the vets and families are told  go away you can't prove it caused your medical problems.

    •  Ahhh my friend...You nailed the truth right there (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Russgirl, WakeUpNeo, llbear

      and I just talked about you regarding Monsanto the other day.
      So good to see you here .......This is an absolute fact.. Poisoning People right here .....the American way !!!!  But we are screwed because we can't prove it.  We know it...they know it...and we are to shut up and be happy with what crumbs are thrown.
      Salutes sir and hope you and Dorrie are OK.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:40:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  (((((testvet778))))) (6+ / 0-)

      It's so good to see you! How are you doing?

      You're exactly right, as usual. The Supreme Court refusal to hear the case challenging the Feres Doctrine in 2011 was devastating.

      The only hope is getting a Congress that will actually change the law.

      I'm not brimming over with hope on that one.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:40:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep ..that liberal court sure helped didn't they (5+ / 0-)

        http://www.stripes.com/...

        Testvet, I think what happened at Edgewood was beyond the pale..... They figured out how to kill off a whole generation stateside and overseas.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:52:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To compounding the damage that Feres has (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, llbear, WakeUpNeo, DaNang65

          caused is how it's being applied to other laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

          But with Feres, the court expanded the Tort Claims Act to ban servicemembers for suing based on any injuries that “arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service.” The Feres doctrine’s domain has stretched to prevent just about anyone from suing the military, including victims of rape. Servicemembers have been effectively blocked from civil courts, according to The Baltimore Sun.

          "As strained and improbable as this analysis may be, its true danger has rested less in its immediate application to tort cases than in the foundation it has laid for a widely-metastasizing theory of intra-military immunity from any civil claim at all,” writes Rachel Natelson, Legal Director at Service Women’s Action Network, in Time magazine. “Over half a century later, Feres is not only a judicial invention, but, more alarmingly, the seed of an ever-increasing body of flawed doctrinal offspring.”

          Judges have cited Feres to block the use of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects workers from sexual harassment and assault.

          http://www.pbs.org/...

          Tie Feres in with Citizens United and we have a huge problem.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

          by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:37:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, llbear, Onomastic, WakeUpNeo

    The VA headquarters an the director and the office but the
    box was on the desk on the right side but out of camera view...I had him check to see if jack's name was in there.
    It was.  They kept it on a card.   I am sure it is on computer now...but I saw the registry box.  I asked, " For what purpose is a registry"...The answer... To have veterans registered to study locations and keep up with exposure.. That was before non presumtive....

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:04:23 PM PDT

  •  Every morning when I take two shots of insulin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Onomastic, DaNang65, operculum

    then a shot of another insulin to be repeated at noon and then again at dinner, I swear the same oath:

    May the executives at Monsanto and the Brass at the Pentagon who authorized Agent Orange die slow, pain-wracked deaths.

    Some graves were meant to be pissed on.

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:41:41 PM PDT

    •  I know what you mean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, llbear

      I think of you nearly everyday.. been too sick to call....
      but know I have been thinking about you and wondering how the diabetes was..

      llbear....call us anytime ...of course you know you can do that !!!

      I was on FB with Dorrie the other night and we got  riled up again over Toxins.   I got riled when some person on here what was wrong with Monsanto and I kinda went off on them...I said start with Agent......f....ng Orange.. I did not say it but spelled it this way.  Testvet is right too about all the other toxins....Ft, McClellan with their toxins, and Edgewood, and so many more we are yet to be told of.

      Be well my friend.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen and Amen. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, WakeUpNeo, llbear

      Oh, bear.  I'll join you in pissing on those graves.

      (((((((((((llbear)))))))))))

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 08:18:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Hon. Ted Weiss said, back in 1989, 1990... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaNang65, Vetwife, llbear

    Lawmakers: Agent Orange Study Was Doomed To Fail

    By Christopher Scanlan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
    Posted: July 12, 1989

    WASHINGTON — It was to be the study that finally settled the debate over Agent Orange, the herbicide that transformed lush Asian jungles into wastelands and two decades later still haunts thousands of Vietnam veterans who believe it poisoned them and their unborn children...

    A fatal mix of political interference from the Reagan White House and scientific bungling doomed the five-year effort almost from the beginning, according to Rep. Ted Weiss (D., N.Y.), chairman of the subcommittee that investigated the study.

    "Either it was a politically rigged operation or it was a monumentally bungled operation. There really is no other alternative for me to accept," Weiss said. "In the meantime the American people, and especially the veterans of Vietnam, are left hanging high and dry."

    Herbicide Probe Called `Obstructed`
    August 10, 1990 | By New York Times News Service.

    WASHINGTON — After 14 months of investigation, a House committee concluded Thursday that the Reagan administration had ``obstructed`` a $43 million federal health study of Vietnam War veterans exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange, causing the study's cancellation.

    A panel of federal officials and scientists halted the study in 1987, saying it was scientifically impossible to establish levels of exposure for individual veterans. But the House committee, after reviewing evidence from the National Academy of Sciences, the Defense Department and the Centers for Disease Control, said military records were adequate and could be used to identify veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

    The report, by the House Government Operations Committee, said the White House feared that if a health study found a link between the veterans' exposure to Agent Orange and illness, the government could be liable for billions of dollars in compensation claims...

    Tick...tick...tick...
  •  I have to always remember Wayward Wind also (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear

    Such a  fine patriot and lost his child to that deadly poison.  He brought so much attention to AO.  A humanitarian and advocate to be admired.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 07:54:36 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, vetwife, for this heartfelt Diary (0+ / 0-)

    Sickness comes in and takes us hostage.  Growing old is not fun.  These are not the so-called "golden years."  They could be filled with gracious and loving healthcare and brainstorming with healthcare professionals, with innovative treatment regimens, with good drugs.  Instead, veterans are in a constant fight to get meds - compensation- benefits - travel pay - disability benefits (even when a presumed AO disease has been diagnosed).

    I wrote whitehouse.gov.  Apparently, the White House took my email very seriously - contacted regional office in St. Petersburg, FL (the regional office handling the two cases I have in (an Appeal and the newer AO presumed IHD/CAD AAA coronary artery disease claim - both in 17 months) - and Salt Lake - the large VA oversight office.  So even the White House did not make a difference in the Claim and Appeal being decided.  I got a flurry of calls from St. Pete and Salt Lake - from VA Employees & Supervisors - all telling me they don't know when my cases will be decided!  It never end.

    It never ends.

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