Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NEWS: Blue Water Navy, Agent Orange, Vietnam Veterans, Cancer, Leukemia, Million Veteran Program, Claims Backlog

Bikers rev up for Vietnam veterans

Jim Waschko organized the event with the Laurel Mall to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the moving wall's appearance at the mall.

"Also to honor Agent Orange victims, for disabled American veterans, including Vietnam veterans, soldiers that have passed on and the Gold Star mothers and wives who are also victims," Waschko said.

"It's to remember those who died in Vietnam," DeFazio said.

Cancer study backs NZ veterans' fears
Research showing that a type of leukaemia is diagnosed among New Zealand's Vietnam War veterans at an elevated rate confirms what former soldiers have long known about exposure to Agent Orange.

"It comes as no surprise whatsoever," said John Jennings, 69, who was sprayed with Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant, when he served in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

"From my knowledge, too, they have also got twice the rate of prostate cancer and are twice as likely to have children with congenital abnormalities."

Study backs vets' Agent Orange claims

A new study appears to back Vietnam vets claiming health problems because of they're exposure to Agent Orange.

Pulse of The People: Blue Water Navy veterans are still fighting

Two veterans’ advocacy organizations have sued Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki for failing to provide benefits to Vietnam War veterans who served aboard ships off the coast of Vietnam. The federal court filing claims more than a 100,000 of these Blue Water Navy veterans were exposed to Agent Orange through their drinking water while providing gunfire support, air support and logistic support in the territorial seas off the coast of the Republic of Vietnam between 1962 and 1975.

The suit noted that the VA just ignored the evidence of exposure via drinking water. them. Agent Orange take an a average of 15 years off a life and many veterans are dying leaving their families without benefits.

Vietnam vets stir interest in convention

Next year, the national convention for the Vietnam Veterans of America is scheduled to be in Wichita.

Arden "Kolb" Kobler, Hays, and Larry MacIntire, Natoma, attended this year's convention, which was last month in Jacksonville, Fla. They hope to have more members of the Hays chapter -- which serves northwest Kansas -- by next year's convention, and also have a town hall meeting on the effects of Agent Orange.

Higher cancer risk for Vietnam vets

The study noted veterans deployed in the Nui Dat area of Phuoc Tuy province experienced a toxic environment because of the widespread use Agent Orange, which contained the carcinogen dioxin. However, the study did not have specific data on herbicide exposure of individual soldiers.

Dr McBride said the findings were not at odds with evidence needed for compensation from Veterans Affairs New Zealand for ill-health caused by service in the Vietnam War.

He said the pattern of lower overall mortality was known as the 'healthy soldier effect' which was related to the fact the soldiers would have been selected for health and fitness.

Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, increased cancer risk - study

Many of the veterans deployed experienced a "toxic environment" and were exposed to Agent Orange.

"The study also shows a doubling of the risk of mortality from cancers of the head and neck, as well as an increase in oral cancers of the pharynx and larynx," lead author Dr David McBride said.

"Lung cancer contributed the greatest burden of deaths in both New Zealand and Australian veterans."

Leukaemia threat to Vietnam vets

New Zealand Vietnam veterans deployed in a "toxic war environment" were exposed to a significantly higher risk of leukaemia, a newly released Otago University study finds.

The study found veterans who served between 1962 and 1971 have double the rate of chronic lymphatic leukaemia compared to the general population, lead author David McBride said.

McBride is an associate professor in the university's department of preventive and social medicine.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Million Veteran DNA Sampling
My brother-in-law is a 100% PTSD disabled Vietnam veteran. Yesterday, he brought home a Million Veteran Program Baseline Survey from the VA. As far as I can tell, this program is designed to collect blood for DNA samples from a million veterans. For more information about the MVP, go to www.research.va.gov/mvp .  

While this information could be useful in determining which veterans are most susceptible to the effects of certain toxic exposures on the battlefield and military bases, there are questions to be asked about how in the time of “sequester”, the VA can afford what must be a multi-million dollar study and could DNA data backfire into a “blame genetics not the exposure” scenario. Finally, how can the government spend this kind of money on DNA sampling of a million veterans and not be able to fund a Center to discover why veterans’ children and grandchildren. have birth defects and disabilities?

With best regards,

Betty Mekdeci
Executive Director
Birth Defect Research for Children
976 Lake Baldwin Lane, Suite 104
Orlando FL 32814
VA Secretary stops in Waco to address backlog problems
"Today veterans including those here in Texas wait too long to receive the benefits they earn. This has never been acceptable that's why we put together an aggressive plan to fix what is a decades old problem. Eliminate that backlog in 2015. Not manage it better, not reduce it, but eliminate it," says Shinseki.

The VA says they knew backlog claims would peak this year because more vets are eligible for benefits than ever before.


Friendly fire: Vietnam

The Department of Veterans Affairs has concluded presumptive exposure to Agent Orange can cause health hazards that may be crippling and life threatening. The Institute of Medicine reports Agent Orange can cause serious diseases. This undermines previous statements by the Department of Defense stating agent orange is relatively nontoxic to man, a deliberate conclusion, therefore took no precautions to prevent exposure as stated by the US Comptroller General, November 1979.

With that said, tactical herbicides a chemical weapon was authorized and deliberately used causing illness and death among our troops on land, at sea and air.  This is not friendly fire, but deliberate fire by chemical weapons use engulfing our troops.

Our Congress needs to recognize this responsible accountable action passing a non-loophole law affording care and compensation to all Vietnam veterans who are infected with Agent Orange dioxin poisoning.

Del City Vietnam Vet Gets Home Makeover

Bean served in the Army's 101st airborne as a war correspondent and combat photographer 43 years ago. Exposure to Agent Orange back then has taken its toll in the form of massive health problems.

 "Not really giving up. I had just sort of lost any hope of things getting better," said Bean.

Keller Williams realtor Gary Culver chose Joel Bean to be the subject of what's called Keller Williams annual "Red Day" Project. Culver was a combat medic in Vietnam. Caliber and Mullarky roofing and others are donating supplies and labor to restore Joel Bean's house. Someone even donated a vehicle. Joel hasn't been able to afford one for years.

"There's a whole new life. Hopefully my health will improve. And just being able to drive the Blazer to 7-11 is a wonderful adventure for me. There's something about not having the freedom of movement that can really break your spirit.  And these people have restored it all," said Bean.

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