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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

AGENT ORANGE NEWS



McMinnville Veteran Makes Headway In Fight With VA

After the Vietnam War, Wes Carter and his comrades flew planes that had previously been used to spray Agent Orange. Carter says aviators used to eat, sleep and live with what smelled like the herbicide Roundup.

Many Vietnam veterans have been compensated for exposure to Agent Orange, but not those who were exposed after the conflict.

VA Does about-face, gives Agent Orange disability benefit to Air Force Veteran 

According to the Washington Post, the decision to give benefits to Paul Bailey, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who is gravely ill with cancer, may be the first of its kind for veterans seeking compensation for postwar exposure to the toxic defoliant.
"The preponderance of the evidence suggests that you were exposed to herbicide onboard U.S. Air Force C-123K aircrafts,” said the VA decision, dated July 31, the paper reports. “Reasonable doubt in regards to the exposure to certain herbicide, to include Agent Orange, as the result of occupational hazards onboard C-123K aircrafts is resolved in your favor"”

LETTER: Veterans Administration Must Do Better

Today the astonishing backlog of Veteran disability claims at the VBA is not new — just ask any Vietnam veteran. I served in Vietnam in 1968 and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1969 after spending nine months in a military hospital recovering from my leg wounds. It took me over 20 years to be awarded a service connect disability from the VBA for my service connected wounds.

There are 780,000 claims pending and about 496,000 are considered to be backlogged. Veterans of all ages have actually died before their disability clams where processed by the VBA. For the most part this embarrassing situation regarding processing of disability claims is not caused by the VHA; it’s caused by VBA leadership in Washington D.C.


Brown has plan to help VA catch up on disability claims

"Far too many veterans are waiting too long to have their disability claims processed"” Brown said.


Brown announced the introduction of two bills aimed at addressing the backlog. A bill he is sponsoring would require the VA to notify veterans who file claims electronically that they can receive help and time-saving information from veterans’ service groups. Another bill would require the VA to periodically report its progress toward eliminating the backlog.


In petition, veterans call for Obama to fire VA secretary

A petition signed by a reported 26,000 veterans and sent to the White House on Tuesday calls for President Obama to fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying a change of leadership is needed to eliminate the lengthy backlog of veterans awaiting action on their disability claims.

VA said the measures it has taken to reduce the backlog — including reorganization, new training and new technology — amount to “the largest transformation in its history to eliminate the backlog of disability compensation claims and transform the way benefits and services are delivered to veterans, their families and survivors.”

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