Saturday, July 30, 2011

Agent Orange Vietnam: Trans-national walk supports Agent Orange victims

Participants in the 2011 Green Itinerary Walk Across Vietnam arrived in the central province of Quang Tri on July 12 and joined many activities to support Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims.

Under the theme “From Sen Village to Nha Rong Wharf”, the charity walk aims to raise funds for AO victims and poor children.
In Quang Tri, the participants presented 120 scholarships to poor students and AO victims.
The Source

Agent Orange Vietnam: Vietnamese embassy in Russia helps AO victims

Image compliments of Danielle Reyes, Co-founder AO Legacy,
Daughter of deceased Vietnam veteran, agent orange victim

The Vietnamese embassy in Russia held a fundraiser on July 11 to raise money for Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims in the homeland.

During the event, more than US$9,000 and 50,000 roubles were collected to support AO victims, and it will be sent to Vietnam as soon as possible.

The event was in response to an appeal by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) for Vietnamese and international friends around the world to help AO victims in Vietnam.

The Source

Veterans Caregiver Program Available 4 Vets of All Eras: Help available for veterans’ caregivers

Many veterans are unaware of the longstanding respite care program, which allows a veteran to receive inpatient care to allow the caregiver to receive medical care or take a break.

Just the other day, she said, a Vietnam veteran, who is totally disabled, and his wife were in her office and did not know the caregiver respite program is available for veterans of all eras.

Veterans can download a copy of the caregiver program application at The application allows the veteran to designate one primary family caregiver and up to two secondary family caregivers, if desired.

Caregiver support coordinators are available at any VA medical center to help veterans and their families with the application process. For more assistance, call (877) 222-8387.

Questions about the comprehensive assistance program for family caregivers and other caregiver assistance programs can also be directed to Smith at (800) 410-9723, extension 9-3559, or emailing

The Source

Monsanto Nation: Taking Down Goliath

"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." - Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994

As the biotechnocrats understand full well, mandatory GE food labels will cripple the industry: consumers will not buy gene-altered foods, farmers will not plant them, restaurants and food processors will avoid them, and grocery stores will not sell them.

Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don't want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or DuPont - the same people who brought you toxic pesticides and industrial chemicals, Agent Orange, carcinogenic food additives, PCBs, and now global warming.
Industry leaders are definitely aware of the fact that every poll over the last 20 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods.

The Source

Contact Your Sentor tell them to vote against Coburn's Amendment - Bill would change standards for Agent Orange Victims

Publish Post

To the editor:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is adamantly opposed to an amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to change the manner in which presumptive disabilities related to exposure to Agent Orange would be determined.

The senator wants to require Vietnam veterans to prove a positive connection between Agent Orange exposure and one or more of the 15 presumptive illnesses that the VA now recognizes. We cannot allow this amendment to pass.

Most Vietnam veterans never knew of the existence of Agent Orange before 1980. Even the veterans who actually did the spraying did not know what they were spraying. For years the government denied any knowledge of dioxin, much less its effects. For years, the VA denied any link to the myriad of maladies that Vietnam veterans suffered from Agent Orange exposure.

Then, finally, the government made admissions. Finally, the VA admitted the link and awarded disability compensation, but not retroactive to the dates of service. The government avoided paying millions of dollars in compensation.

Vietnam veterans have suffered enough from the government deceit. For decades the government denied exposure to Agent Orange made Veterans sick. Now that the VA secretary has determined he has the scientific evidence required to recognize the disabilities, we cannot allow a change in presumptive rules.

The cost of caring for our nation's veterans continues long after the last shots are fired. America and the United States Congress must live up to that obligation.

Please contact both your U.S. senators and congressman today and tell them that Coburn Amendment No. 564 to H.R. 2055 is a deal breaker with America's veterans.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo

(609) 625-5071

(202) 225-6572

Philip Uecker

Veterans' Liaison for LoBiondo

Sen. Robert Menendez

(202) 224-47744

Richard Locklear

Veterans' Liaison for Menendez

Sen. Frank Lautenberg

(202) 224-3224

Bob Ford

Senior Vice Commander

VFW Memorial Post 9462


POW/MIA - Flag theft outrages vets rep

“To steal a POW/MIA flag is disrespectful stupidity that ranks right down with the low of lows,” Stephenson said in a letter to The Eagle.
“The flag is a representation and reminder of men who gave the ultimate sacrifice but their remains have not been returned to America. It is a reminder of the POWs who endured torture, isolation, lack of medical care, and starvation as captives of the enemy. If the thief considered removal of the flag a prank, it is not a matter taken lightly by veterans – it is a slap in the face of all veterans who honorably served in defense of our country.
It also shows a lack of respect for other people’s property and is a deliberate attempt to cause grief to others.”

The Source

Virtual Care Veterans Clinic Will Soon Open In Holbrook

Patients will be greeted in a front office area and taken to an exam room, where a nurse will take vitals such as blood pressure and temperature, and gather medical history, as is usually done in a physician’s office. Then, the patient will visit privately with a doctor, who will be visible to the patient on a computer screen situated in the exam room.

Callahan explains the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding the use of telemedicine to reach veterans nearer to where they live.

The VA has established more than 700 community-based outpatient health clinics around the country, using telehealth technologies to make diagnoses, manage care, perform check-ups and provide care.

Image compliments Jennifer 'Emery' Bakken,
Daughter of deceased Vietnam veteran

The Source

Other Toxic Substances - radition: Atomic veterans meet decades after the testing

Bob Shreiner of Chambersburg and Clyde Stair of Greencastle founded the branch in 1986 as an outlet for veterans who participated in U.S. above-ground nuclear testing between 1945 and 1962, were part of the 1945-1946 occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, or were prisoners of war. According to the parent NAAV, all could have been exposed to ionizing radiation and therefore have related illnesses. They could be eligible for compensation or free medical care.

None of them fully understood the nature of the testing.
“We did not realize how dangerous it was. We weren’t told a thing,” said Stair.

Some in the group have suffered with various cancers or other conditions.

In general, the members are disappointed with the treatment they have received from Veteran’s Affairs since they were discharged.
The department, in conjunction with the Department of Defense, has just begun research into the level of lifetime risks possible from low-level radiation exposure. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the results are expected to apply to people affected in the workplace, during medical exams, from environmental cleanups, nuclear waste disposal or dirty bomb attacks. The project will study 120,000 military personnel who participated in the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests from 1945 until the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

The Source

My Uncle - George Marquardt pilot of 'Necessary Evil' flew along side the Enola Gay

Wrong surgery down, close calls up at VA hospitals

Medical procedures and surgeries on the wrong patient and wrong body part have declined substantially at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide, while reports of close calls have increased, according to a study that credits ongoing quality improvement efforts.

During the 42 months studied, there were 101 medical errors and 136 close calls, out of more than half a million procedures.

The VA's quality improvement efforts encourage that kind of openness. Veterans facilities also are among hospitals that have adopted pilot-style checklists, where a member of the operating team reads off things like the patient's name, the type of procedure, anesthesia and tools needed. Body parts to be operated on are marked, and team members are supposed to speak up if something doesn't sound right. Patients, too, are sometimes involved before being wheeled into the operating room.

Tips for patients on avoiding surgery mistakes:

The Source

Friday, July 29, 2011

Other Toxic Substances - Paternal Exposures: Passive smoking linked to DNA damage and birth defects

Passive smoking can cause genetic damage to sperm cells that may result in birth defects, miscarriages and other reproductive problems which make it difficult to father a healthy child, scientists have found.

Researchers believe that similar DNA changes in boys or men exposed regularly to passive smoke could lead to reproductive problems such as infertility or a higher risk of fathering children with congenital defects.

Scientists led by Carole Yauk, of Health Canada in Ottawa, found that when mice were exposed to the sidestream smoke from a burning cigarette, they suffered a significant increase in the number of DNA mutations within the "germ cells" of the testes which are responsible for making sperm.

"Our data suggests that paternal exposure to second-hand smoke may have reproductive consequences that go beyond the passive smoker," the researchers write in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They say their work on laboratory mice provides "compelling evidence" to support the argument that passive smoking should be regarded as a potential mutation-causing behaviour in human sperm cells.

The Source

Silver Rose Monument to honor soldiers killed by Agent Orange

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 623 will dedicate a monument, “The Order of the Silver Rose,” on July 30 at 11:30 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Matamoras.
The park is located at the end of 6th Street off Route 6/209.
It is meant to stand as a tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice because of exposure to “Agent Orange.”

The monument is a duplicate of the marble used for the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. One of the inscriptions reads “They gave their tomorrows for your todays.”
“The effects of this exposure have now been linked to spinal bifida in our children,” says Tom Ryan, 1st Air Calvary Division, member of the VVA Chapter 623. “It is our belief that more links have yet to be identified and it will continue with our grandchildren and who knows after that.”

'In Memory Plaque' (is on the ground) Washington D.C.

The Source

Agent Orange Korea: 2 veterans urge S. Korean lawmakers to pressure U.S. over Agent Orange

Image compliments Danielle Reyes, co-founder AO Legacy,
Daughter of deceased American Vietnam veteran and AO Victim

In testimony that was critical of the U.S. military and at times emotional, two U.S. veterans asked South Korean lawmakers Monday to pressure their American counterparts to admit the U.S. extensively used Agent Orange here in the 1960s and 1970s.

“I’ve taken this as far as I can take it,” former soldier Steve House said, wiping away tears as he spoke to seven National Assembly members and dozens of reporters in Seoul.

“This wasn’t (done by) the American people, you know,” the Phoenix-area resident and father of two said. “Nobody I know would do something like this intentionally.”

“Agent Orange didn’t stay on the DMZ,” Steward said. “Agent Orange was sprayed through a wide, wide area of South Korea.”

“We were told, ‘It’s totally safe and it won’t hurt you at all,’” he said. “We were told, ‘You can drink it, you can brush your teeth with it, or you can bathe in it. It won’t hurt you. Those were lies.”

The Source

Vietnam Veterans of America: Budget Cuts Must Not Impact Veterans Programs

"However, the ill-advised and serious attempt in the Senate last week to curtail benefits to Vietnam veterans who are ill as a result of exposure to Agent Orange should have convinced all of us that veterans' benefits are in jeopardy. (John Rowan, VVA National President)

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) was one of the key veterans and military organizations present at a briefing at the White House late Tuesday regarding the potential impacts if the nation defaults on its loans on August 2.

"VVA maintains, and we hope that Democrat and Republican agree, that caring for veterans is part of the continuing cost of the national defense," said John Rowan, VVA National President.

"We want to make it clear," Rowan said, "that VVA will oppose any proposal that cuts benefits to veterans, our dependents, or our survivors. These benefits are earned, earned by service, earned by sacrifice, earned by blood spilled from WWII through the current conflicts. Similarly, we will oppose any cuts to already inadequate compensation for active-duty service members and their families, who continue to sacrifice so much."

The Source

Agent Orange Vietnam: Meeting in US to support Vietnamese AO victims

A meeting between US friends and Overseas Vietnamese was held in New York on July 27 in support of Vietnamese Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin vicitms.

The event, which raised funds and fought for justice for victims, was jointly held by the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC) and the Permanent Mission of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United Nations

The Source

Agent Orange Korea: S Koreans protest US pollutant dumping

Hundreds of South Koreans have taken to the streets of the capital Seoul to protest against life-threatening pollution caused by the dumping of the chemical Agent Orange by US forces in 1978.

The protesters say that former US servicemen seeking medical support have admitted to dumping the toxic chemicals in South Korea's soil in 1978. The chemicals were the leftovers of those American forces used to kill and maim hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The Source

Other Stories:
Vet visits base in South Korea where he says Agent Orange was buried

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Veterans at Risk: As Congress eyes cuts, veterans' benefits must remain sacred

The cost of these wars and the impact on the deficit present a significant challenge to our nation. But cutting veterans benefits could have an even more detrimental effect on our society and economy.
We need to remember that the worst burdens of these wars have fallen on veterans and their families.
Returning veterans have higher rates of suicide and mental illness, increased drug and alcohol dependence and higher rates of violence. Those high-risk behaviors have resulted in elevated numbers of car crashes and drug overdoses, elevated levels of homelessness and divorce.

The toll of these wars in terms of human and economic costs will continue for decades, so it’s imperative to remember that caring for our nation’s sick and disabled veterans and their families is a sacred obligation — one promised to them when they volunteered their service, not merely a line item in the federal budget.
As Congress and the president continue to debate a deficit and debt compromise, it’s essential they remember that the resources to meet the needs of our veterans must be sustained and guaranteed.

The Source

U.S. Navy Vietnam veterans fight for benefits

Tom Macarthur - artist - visit Tom's store:​ightymacwholesale

Doug DeWitt served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, but now he feels abandoned by the nation for which he fought.

"I think the way the VA is looking at us (is) they're just waiting for us to die off so they don't have to pay us," he said.

DeWitt is one of potentially thousands of so-called "blue water" Navy veterans who have been excluded from easy approval of their Agent Orange-related disability compensation claims by the Veterans Affairs Department. He's in a group of veterans who served on deep-water ships off the coast of Vietnam but didn't touch land or serve on waterways inside the country.

In recent years, Australia and New Zealand have begun to provide benefits for the Agent Orange-related claims of their blue water veterans.

The blue water veterans say they were exposed to Agent Orange primarily through the water they drank on ships, which often was distilled from water taken from the sea or from harbors when ships were anchored close to shore. Potentially toxic runoff from rivers flowed into that sea and harbor water.

The Source

See Legislation for 2011 - H.R. 812

Agent Orange Korea: Remorseful U.S. veterans apologize for burying toxic chemicals in S. Korea

Image compliments of Rich Preston, Vietnam veteran
"Had I known 42 years ago how dangerous these chemicals were and what they were going to do to me, my men and citizens and villagers around the area," House said, "I'm afraid I would have refused the order to spray them."

Two visiting American veterans on Monday offered an apology before South Korea's parliament for burying toxic Agent Orange on the nation's U.S. military bases decades ago, urging a thorough investigation into the sites and people who may have been affected by the toxic herbicide.

House said he and his colleagues participated in the burial work, hauling rusty, olive-green 55-gallon barrels, some bearing an orange stripe and yellow lettering that read "Chemical Agent, Type: Orange" and dated 1967. Although they first worked with gas masks fitted with orange, combat-ready filters, the soldiers were not required to wear them due to heat and humidity.

After returning home for his next duty assignment, House said he continued to suffer conditions such as skin rashes, a cough, neuropathy, eye problems and post traumatic stress disorder.

The Source

Other articles to consider same subject:

Other Toxic Substances at Home: Uncle Sam’s Dioxin Cover-Up

Tom Macarthur - artist - visit Tom's store:​ightymacwholesale
Another, vital missing element is for a knowledgeable insider to come forth and, like Admiral Zumwalt did on Agent Orange, bang some bureaucratic heads together until they do right the job of protecting the public from dioxin and other toxic substances, and helping the injured.

Vietnam and New Jersey, despite the vast distance between them, share a deadly link. Both places, lushly beautiful this time of year, were poisoned by United States government actions regarding one of the most toxic chemicals, dioxin

A new documentary, Mann v. Ford, that opened on HBO television channels this week highlights the painful reality for a Garden State community that was poisoned despite government assurances that safety measures were in place to protect people's health from industrial pollution. In a stunningly symbolic scene, two leaders of the contaminated neighborhood walk along a path beside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on their way to the Capitol Building, their reflected figures weaving in and out among the long columns of names of soldiers who died in the war.

In the early 1980s, years before Zumwalt’s scathing report, officials in New Jersey created an Agent Orange study commission, which found that contrary to federal government assertions dioxin could be found in Vietnam veterans’ bodies years after the war. As reports of long-suppressed health studies about dioxin exposure piled up, Congress in the early 1990s mandated that the VA treat or pay compensation to Vietnam veterans for a number of cancers, other illnesses, and their children with spina bifida. The list of illnesses associated with dioxin exposure has since grown substantially, and includes many if not most of the illnesses that beset the Ringwood neighborhood nearly surrounded by Ford dump sites.

The Source

TV programme on Agent Orange/dioxin to be aired

A special programme on Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin will be broadcast live on HCM City television channel HTV at 8.30pm on August 7.

The event is organised by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) in coordination with HTV channel, with the aim of marking the 50th anniversary of the Agent Orange/Dioxin disaster in Vietnam (August 10, 1961 - August 10, 2011).

The Source

HONOR THE FALLEN HERO - PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO: Patriot Guard Riders Drown Out Westboro Baptist Church Protesters

"If they [Westboro Baptist Church] get too loud, fire up a couple of motorcycles. Shuts them right down."

Other Toxic Substances - Are Chemicals Making Us Fat?

Average American life expectancy is now dropping because of this disease complex. Even children are being recommended for gastric bypass.

A growing body of evidence in animals and humans suggests that many man-made chemicals contaminating our environment mimic some of the body's own hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Researchers have called these chemicals endocrine disruptors because they wreak havoc with endocrine organs like the thyroid, pancreas, testes and ovaries that depend on hormones to develop and function properly. But a new, more relevant term for these chemicals has emerged. They are now also called obesogens.

For the first time in 200 years, children now have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, primarily due to obesity and diabetes. Every year, the world produces six billion pounds of BPA alone and it is detectable in 93 percent of Americans.
The Source

Camp Lejeune: 300,000 water contamination questionnaires sent to former base residents

If you're a former Marine or civilian worker who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1972 and 1985 and you get a health survey in the mail from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, please fill it out.

Between now and December, about 300,000 health surveys will be mailed out to former Marines, dependents and civilian workers asking various questions about contaminant exposures on the base.

From 1957 to 1987, some of the wells at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene and dry cleaning solvents.

"There's no guarantee that when we finish these studies that set government benefits will accrue to you," he said. "If we see associations that are strong enough, historically, the government has looked at that and provided medical services to those affected, but there's no guarantee."

The Source

OTHER TOXIC SUBSTANCES: Food Packaging and Bisphenol A and Bis(2-Ethyhexyl) Phthalate Exposure

Conclusions: BPA and DEHP exposures were substantially reduced when participants' diets were restricted to food with limited packaging.

The Source

*Note: no fee to sign up with medscape

Agent Orange Vietnam: Leader receives Australian friendship group

Vietnam and Australia will broaden cooperative activities to support Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) victims, disadvantaged families and needy children in Vietnam.

The two countries will continue to cooperate in other fields such as trade, investment and science and technology, aiming to contribute to promote their common development, the State leader said.

The Source

Agent Orange Vietnam: Trans-Viet walk raises funds for AO victims

The charity walk, on the theme “From Sen (Lotus) Village to Nha Rong Wharf,” aims to raise funds for AO victims and poor children by organising music performances and asking people to send SMS.

After 20 days of walking, the charitable campaign has collected more than 8,000 SMSs worth VND18,000 each to aid AO victims.

The Source

CAMP LEJEUNE: USMC pulls controversial water contamination booklet

Marine officials confirmed this week that a much-disputed pamphlet describing the history and effects of Camp Lejeune contaminated water had been pulled from the Marines’ official website.

"It’s still unfinished business, because even though it’s been taken down, the people who read it still don’t know they were misinformed," he said.

The publication heavily cited a 2009 report by the National Research Council that was inconclusive about the effects of chemicals in the Lejeune drinking water and recommended that further study would be unable to produce a more definite conclusion.
The results of that study were quickly called into doubt by former base residents and experts who said the research did not give proper weight to the presence of the known carcinogen benzene or analyze proper concentrations of the chemicals in the water.

Last month, ATSDR began a survey of 300,000 former Lejeune residents and control population to determine the population’s risk of developing a slew of serious diseases, including leukemia, renal cancer, and male breast cancer. It is estimates that up to one million people may have been exposed to tainted water aboard Lejeune between the 1950s and 1980s.

The Source

OTHER TOXIC SUBSTANCES: EPA program on children's toxic exposure "flawed"

According to the IG, “the 23 chemicals selected for the VCCEP pilot were not the chemicals posing the greatest potential risks to children.”
Both phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), for example, were excluded from the start of the pilot program, despite evidence that phthalates can cause cancer, interfere with development, and impair the male reproductive system, and that BPA disrupts the endocrine system and can harm the developing brain, among other hazards.
The VCCEP also failed because the project established guidelines for voluntary submission of the data, but never laid out firm deadlines. Only a fraction of the companies that agreed to come forward with their test data actually ever complied, the IG said.

“This kind of voluntarism isn’t going to work,” said Zoeller. “We need to have regulatory legislation, like Toxic Substances Control Act reform, that really puts EPA in the position of regulating."

The Source

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monsanto's "Superweeds" Gallop Through Midwest

These weeds adapt faster and more vigorously than their weed cousins, choking fields and clogging irrigation ditches so badly water can't pass through. "Pollen can transfer the resistant trait; that's the problem," said Kevin Bradley, a weed scientist with the University of Missouri. "There's not much we can do about pollen flying through the air, and that's why we see such rapid spread of resistance."

It will develop crops resistant to other poisons, creating whole new cycles of profit and ecological destruction. Monsanto is working on developing soybeans and cotton that are resistant to the chemical dicamba. The cotton could be on the market within three years.

Dicamba is a truly nasty poison—it makes the Pesticide Action Network's "bad actor" list, and is classified as a "developmental or reproductive toxin.

Meanwhile, Roundup's status as a relatively benign agrichemical poison is coming under withering attack. The latest: in a report last month (PDF) the European NGO Earth Open Source delivered an impressive body of evidence that Monsanto's flagship herbicide causes "endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer, as well as birth defects."

The Source

Agent Orange Vietnam: Compensation for war victims is long overdue

The main excuse has been the lack of scientific clarity about the connection between Agent Orange and human health. While it is true that questions remain about the health effects of Agent Orange, it is likely that they would have been resolved by now if a long-term epidemiological study had been launched at the end of the military war in 1975.

Consequently, no one – and least of all the United States – is entitled to complain about the lack of indisputable scientific evidence for postulated links between dioxin and various medical conditions, including birth defects.

The Source

VETERANS AT RISK: Brain injury raises dementia risk, US study on vets finds

A large study in older veterans raises fresh concern about mild brain injuries that hundreds of thousands of troops have suffered from explosions in recent wars.
Even concussions seem to raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other dementia later in life, researchers found.

Records showed that 4,902 of the veterans had suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, ranging from concussions to skull fractures. Researchers don't know how long ago the injuries occurred. Many participants were Vietnam War vets and their injuries were during active duty. None were due to strokes — those cases were weeded out.

The Source

Event for families of deceased veterans held

Event for families of deceased veterans held

Ozetta Parker held two small American flags Friday afternoon.

One represented her late husband Fred Douglas Parker, a World War II vet. The second represented her deceased son Kenneth Walker, a Vietnam veteran.

As weeds adapt to herbicides, farmers forced to grab a hoe

Weeds in cotton fields have gotten so tenacious — some with stems 4 inches around — that farmers are paying itinerant crews to chop them down by hand.

"In the Bootheel, they're hiring people to go out there with hoes," said Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau. "I swung a hoe for 15 years, and I fail to see the romance in it."

The problem, farmers and weed scientists say, is getting worse: Weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to Monsanto Co.'s Roundup, sold generically as glyphosate, forcing farmers to use other herbicides or "multiple modes of action."

The Source

Friday, July 22, 2011

Urge your Senator to vote NO - NO on Senator Coburn's Amendment

Please take a look at some of the correspondence received regarding this matter:

The proposed amendment which was tabled could possibly change how AO claims will be awarded

This amendment, that has been offered to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, changes the Agent Orange Act to require a “causal relationship” rather than “positive association” of certain illness to Agent Orange exposure in order to receive benefits.

This will mean that certain diseases would no longer be covered if you can’t prove that your illness was directly caused by Agent Orange and could not have been caused by another source. This would effectively undermine the expansion that the VA did for diabetes, certain cancers and ischemic heart disease.

This vote hasn’t been scheduled yet, but is expected to come up soon as Coburn has said he is insisting on a vote. Please share this post!!

**See Vietnam Veterans of America Press Release for more information about Senator Coburn's amendment.

**Motion to Table Coburn Amdt. No. 564

Time for everyone to contact your US Senator, urging a "NO" vote on this damaging and totally unnecessary amendment that is intended to not only reverse the recent additions of diabetes, ischemic heart disease and certain cancers; but, also to undermine and/or "gut" P. L. 102 -4, which too many of us fought a ten plus year battle getting enacted by Congress and signed by Bush the First in February 1991.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

OPINION: Senator Coburn S.Amdt. 564 to H. R. 2055 Blocked by Senate 69 - 30 - No More AO Benefits for Vietnam Veterans exposed to AO

Opinion by Sharon L. Perry, Founder & Danielle Reyes, co-founder
Agent Orange Legacy

Does the onslaught against our Vietnam veterans ever end?

Once again our Vietnam vets were attacked on Capitol Hill but this time, this attack, was a stab in the back. Senator Coburn (R-OK) submitted an amendment, S.AMDT.564 - to H. R. 2055 - To require evidence of causal relationships for presumptions by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents.

Senator Coburn gave no warning, didn't submit a bill or arrange for a hearing. Is this how our elected officials conduct themselves? No ethics on Captiol Hill? No oversight which defines ethical and/or unethical behavior? What kind of behavior is considered misconduct? Is there no recourse for our veteran community?

The Record shows that 30 of our U. S. Sentors voted nay to table Senator Coburn's amendment which would have stripped our veterans and their families of the service connected benefits they earned. Our Vietnam veterans and their families - struggle - to make ends meet and cope with permanently disabling & fatal/terminal conditions, not just to themselves but also their children and grandchildren, due to exposure to agent orange

**See Vietnam Veterans of America Press Release for more information about Senator Coburn's amendment.

Vietnam veterans and their families are on the brink!! So many of our families are trying to cope with death, dying, PTSD, chronic and terminal illnesses, loss of income along with our careers/livelihoods, and the loss of our home(s). Our children and grandchildren are sick, suffering and also are dying. We do not need to be side swiped by our elected officials who should be willing to help those who have served.

I personally had my career in town management cut short when my husband became ill in 1998. I devoted 8 years of my life to pursuing a college degree and earned a Masters in Public Administration. I am still struggling to heal from 27 years of coping with my husband's severe and chronic PTSD. My husband was sick for 6 years prior to his death (our oldest daughter has been sick all of her life). To be out of the work force that long, esp. at my age, is a detriment.

I was devastated upon my husband's death. I became very ill and nearly died from an infection in my left lung. As a caregiver to a veteran I received no support or compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Caregiver legislation has been passed and cargivers of Post 911 veterans now get compensation to care for our disabled veterans, however. Our Vietnam veterans and their families receive no such support.

All our veterans should be treated equally.

Why must we (the families of Vietnam veterans), when we are down and out, constantly cope with the horrors of a war long since over? Why do our children, who are disabled, have to live a life of poverty for a decision made long before they were born?

Why do we have to endure attacks from our fellow citizens and/or our elected representatives?

Why is it that a long held tradition of serving this nation is not coveted by the same elected officials who have the power to ship off our sons and daughters?

What will it take for our embattled Vietnam veterans to finally receive the respect they have earned?

I had hoped the time had finally arrived. Unfortunately, not soon enough for my deceased husband of 27 years. He didn't live to see this day. Maybe it's better that he did not. I don't think he could have taken another crack at his knees with that Congressional BAT which is reserved, or so it seems, for our Vietnam vets who are facing, and in some cases are still fighting, a slow and torturous death by agent orange.

My husband served his country well. He refused to apply for benefits, although he had health problems and suffered from PTSD, until he was flat on his back in 1999. He dutifully died in 2005 saving America's taxpayers 100s of thousands of dollars.

God Bless America.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rep. Young Introduces Legislation To Expand Veterans’ Access To Medical Care

Alaskan Congressman Don Young has introduced H.R. 2203, legislation that would establish a pilot program allowing veterans in Alaska who receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to have the choice of receiving care at non-VA medical facilities. Specifically, Alaskan veterans would be able to receive medical care at any facility or medical provider that currently receives payments under Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or the Indian Health Program. H.R. 2203 is the companion legislation to S. 1146, introduced by Senator Begich.

The Source
Publish Post

Lawsuits - Homeless Veterans: CA lawmakers: Don't sell parts of LA's VA campus

House and Senate Democrats from California are opposing any efforts to sell off parts of west Los Angeles' Veterans Affairs campus as part of negotiations on the federal debt.

The 387-acre campus is currently the subject of a lawsuit accusing the VA of offering insufficient services for homeless vets.

The Source

Atlanta VA Medical Center: Georgia vets wait for medical care

"You almost have to know someone to get a decent appointment schedule," concurred William Mitiu, a veteran who served our country 24 years and has suffered from suicidal thoughts.

According to the report, the investigation started after a "confidential complainant alleged that as a result of excessive wait times, patients may be placed at risk."

The report found that some of those veterans attempted suicide while waiting, although it stopped short of blaming the suicide attempts on delayed treatment.

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Monsanto & GMOs - Organic Consumers: Growing the Revolution

Monsanto & Agent Oragne: Those who committed ecocide must pay up

Destruction of the environment is no small crime, and Agent Orange is no small culprit
A July 8 post by Stephen Messenger on the Food Freedom blog, titled “Monsanto’s Agent Orange being used to clear Brazil’s rainforest,” has given rise to hundreds of comments in just a few days.

The story has also prompted many to remember the deadly results of ten years of defoliant rain dropped over southern Vietnam by the US military. People are asking questions about the liability of those who produced Agent Orange, and about the US army’s responsibility in the matter, and about the lack of compensation for the victims.

Serious environmental restoration and reforestation projects, such as the Ma Da Forest Farm project, are thankfully being carried out. After cleaning the areas invaded by the pernicious grass (“the American grass”) left behind by Agent Orange, one has to establish a cover of fast growing trees underneath which indigenous species can be replanted after a few years. Within a century or two, one can hope to see again the slow-growing precious trees that provide the beautiful dark red wood columns to temples and pagodas.

Restoration of the war-ravaged environment is an enormous task that requires substantial resources and long term commitment. Vietnamese have the know-how, they need the funding.
Monsanto, Dow and other Agent Orange producers made an enormous profit selling poison to the US army. They must give back the money to this wounded country.
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VAMC Pharmacy Mail Program: Many veterans use pharmacy mail program

My husband received his meds via the mail. A pharmacy mail program is great if the meds, esp. narcotics, get to the veteran on time. When they are late, for what ever reason, it becomes a crisis. The last thing a veteran, suffering from chronic and severe PTSD, Hep C, and a long list of AO related illnesses, needs or their family is a crisis.

The only option available to the veteran who does not receive their meds is to contact the local VA clinic. Many times we would have to drive more than an hour to pick up a temporary prescription.

Don't bother driving to the VAMC in your state because we did. After driving for over 2 hours we were told, to our surprise, we could not pick up the prescription. This was an ongoing issue for my husband even though the VA started using Fedex. The medication still did not arrive on time.

Sharon L. Perry, Founder of AO Legacy, and widow of a Vietnam veteran.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy mails prescription medications and supplies to veteran patients.

The goal is delivery of medications or supplies to the patient within 10 days of request. VA typically gets the prescriptions delivered in less than five days.

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JARDINE: Modesto area Vietnam vets band together to write book

In fact, some local Vietnam vets are doing just that. When I mentioned our project to Modesto Vet Center Director Steve Lawson, he told me several vets a few months ago began collaborating on a book. Each is writing a chapter or two detailing his experiences and feelings.

They've produced a rough draft of eight chapters so far, with hopes of publishing it within the next year. Their stories all are compelling. Some are entertaining, and all of the contributors bare their emotions and souls.

They meet weekly at a restaurant in Riverbank to compare notes and give progress reports, each wearing a cap or shirt proudly telling the world they are, indeed, Vietnam veterans. Most of the men in the group are contributing to the book. Most have endured major health complications from Agent Orange exposure and struggled with Veterans Affairs to get their ailments recognized and covered.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Other Toxic Substances: New round of pesticide tests Triangle Lake residents confront state & federal officials w/questions on contamination

“What we’re trying to do is assess whether or not exposures are happening to people in the Triangle Lake/Highway 36 area,” she said.

Dozens of people, from among the 100 of so who attended the meeting, posed some tough questions for the governmental visitors: How can you get my landlord to stop spraying Round-up? How do other communities with these same concerns get your attention? Why don’t you just ban these dangerous chemicals? How can we trust the state agriculture and forestry departments when they have been fighting us tooth and nail?

The inquiry by state and federal officials came about after testing by a respected researcher earlier this year found traces of herbicides that are commonly used to kill weeds in forest clearcuts in the urine of more than 30 people in the Highway 36 corridor.
Some of those tested a second time, following aerial spraying of herbicides in April, showed even more herbicides than had been found in the initial tests.

But Dana Barr, the researcher who analyzed the Triangle Lake area residents, found 2,4-D and atrazine in all the samples. Nationwide, those chemicals are found in just 2 percent to 4 percent of the population, Barr said.

In humans, some research suggests a link to prostate and breast cancer and infant mortality. Some evidence suggests that 2,4-D can cause cancer.

Pesticides — a category of chemical products that includes herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides — are so pervasive in the country that studies have shown most people have detectable levels of them.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

PTSD: Iraq vet, rescued from suicide, tells of VA gaps

'The Warrior' - this is my rendition of my deceased husband's crazed PTSD face
Sharon Perry, Founder of AO Legacy, widow of a Vietnam veteran.

“We’re taught how to be soldiers, not civilians,” he said, and “once we’re put out, we’re hung out to dry.”

The human costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were on full display in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday when an Iraq veteran explained, haltingly, how he only got care for post-traumatic stress disorder after he attempted suicide.

He testified that in order to get care after he was discharged from the Army, he had to be arrested by Veterans Affairs police. “People are talking on their cellphones, telling me to wait,” he said, describing the bureaucratic hassles he faced as he tried to get care.

“How do you define timely [treatment] for a veteran with a gun in his mouth?” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked William Schoenhard, the deputy undersecretary for health operations and management at the VA.

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