Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Vietnam Veteran's plea

Navy personnel served in the offshore waters on battle stations providing continuous naval gunfire support, search and rescue, and aircraft carrier support and protection.
In January of 1991, the United States Congress, by unanimous consent of both House and Senate, passed a law acknowledging that components of herbicides (mainly Agent Orange) extensively sprayed over the Vietnamese countryside were the cause of major health problems to all of the men who fought that war.
In 2002, without consulting Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs revoked the eligibility for Vietnam War veterans who did not set foot in Vietnam to receive VA benefits for service-connected disabilities granted by that law.
These offshore veterans are dying in poverty because of medical bills that should have been covered by their VA benefits. They are dying without the dignity and respect they deserve as disabled American veterans.
This is an issue the American public needs to know about, so they can demand their congressional representatives support legislation currently before the House (HR-299) and Senate (S-422) that would restore these lost VA benefits.
Kirk Johnson, Vietnam veteran, Visalia, California

Seize the time!

What are we waiting for?




RAND PTSD Study

Combat veterans and survivors of violence, natural disasters, and terrorism have often experienced disturbing events that may lead to psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). RAND research has evaluated the delivery of post-deployment mental health care to combat veterans, examined the treatment capacity of health care systems in response to PTSD, and estimated the costs of providing quality mental health care to all affected individuals.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Poison Papers

The “Poison Papers” represent a vast trove of rediscovered chemical industry and regulatory agency documents and correspondence stretching back to the 1920s. Taken as a whole, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. These papers will transform our understanding of the hazards posed by certain chemicals on the market and the fraudulence of some of the regulatory processes relied upon to protect human health and the environment. Search instructions for the Poison Papers.
The Poison Papers are a compilation of over 20,000 documents obtained from federal agencies and chemical manufacturers via open records requests and public interest litigation. They include internal scientific studies and summaries of studies, internal memos and reports, meeting minutes, strategic discussions, and sworn testimonies. The majority of these documents have been scanned and digitized by us for the first time and represent nearly three tons of material. The regulatory agency sources of these documents include: the EPA, the USDA Forest Service, the FDA, the Veterans Administration, and the Department of Defense. Chemical manufacturers referenced in the documents include: Dow, Monsanto, DuPont, and Union Carbide, as well as many smaller manufacturers and the commercial testing companies who worked for them.
The Poison Papers are a project of the Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy. The Poison Papers were largely collected by author and activist Carol Van Strum.
The Poison Papers catalogue both the secret concerns of industry and regulators over the hazards of pesticides and other chemicals and their efforts to conceal those concerns.
Corporate concealment is not a new story. What is novel in the Poison Papers is abundant evidence that EPA and other regulators were, often, knowing participants or even primary instigators of these cover-ups. These regulators failed to inform the public of the hazards of dioxins and other chemicals; of evidence of fraudulent independent testing; even of one instance of widespread human exposure. The papers thus reveal, in the often-incriminating words of the participants themselves, an elaborate universe of deception and deceit surrounding many pesticides and synthetic chemicals.
The chemicals most often discussed in the documents include herbicides and pesticides (such as 2,4-D, Dicamba, Permethrin, Atrazine, and Agent Orange), dioxins, and PCBs. Some of these chemicals are among the most toxic and persistent ever manufactured.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9, 2012

The United States began a landmark project to clean up dioxin left from Agent Orange at the site of a former U.S. air base in Danang in central Vietnam, 50 years after the defoliant was first sprayed by American planes on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover.

Blue Water Navy Veterans Declare State of Emergency

Aug 7, 2017 — John Rossie, CEO of Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association, has declared a "State of Emergency" with regards to HR 299 and S 422. These bills are the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017 presently in the House and Senate. Mr. Rossie stated "Its to the point where there will no longer be Blue Water Vietnam Veterans to represent. This is the must do year. We are asking everyone we can reach to please place our poster anywhere that it is legal to do so. At work, on community billboards, at your markets, every place that people congregate." More information is available at the Blue Water Navy website, www.bluewaternavy.org. You can make as many copies as you need and the POST THEM. Posters are available at http://bluewaternavy.org/bwnposter.pdf
In 1977, the first claims of Agent Orange exposure came flooding into the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But it took 14 years for Congress to actually listen, take action and give our Vietnam veterans the benefits they deserved.
The Agent Orange Act of 1991 was implemented to provide much-needed care to veterans who were exposed to the harmful chemical cocktail Agent Orange. Many of us thought the fight to get the medical attention we deserved was over, but that wasn’t the case. In 2002, the VA amended its initial plan and excluded thousands of “Blue Water” Navy vets -- vets who served right off the coast -- from receiving  our rightful benefits. Because we hadn’t served on land, the VA tried to say we were unlikely to suffer the effects of Agent Orange poisoning.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Congressional Representatives are in their districts this month - Remind them of their responsibility

H.R. 299: Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 5, 2017 (Introduced). 

 Cosponsors
295 cosponsors  (show)
115th CONGRESS 1st Session

H. R. 299
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 5, 2017
(for himself, Mr. Walz, Ms. Stefanik, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Ross, and Mr. LoBiondo) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
A BILL
To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hanoi: 3,000 people take walk for AO/Dioxin victims

Hanoi (VNA) – About 3,000 people in Hanoi took a walk for Agent Orange/Dioxin victims along streets around My Dinh National Stadium on August 6 to mark the 56th anniversary of the Vietnamese Orange Agent Day. According to NCC Chairman Pham Van Toi, dealing with aftermaths of chemical warfare and providing care and support to the affected people are long-term and pressing issues today. About 70 percent of families of AO/Dioxin victims are poor, 22 percent of them have more than 3 victims and 90 percent of affected people are unemployed, he said.
The walk started at the national stadium, going though Le Duc Tho, Ho Tung Mau, Pham Hung and Nguyen Hoang streets with state employees and students in attendance.
The NCC has organised a series of similar events for AO/Dioxin victims, for example, a cycling event in May and August, 2016 with the participation of nearly 1,000 people, and a Gala Concert in August, 2016 at the National Convention Centre. It also presented the victims with more than 100 gift packages, worth around 2 billion VND, last year.-VNA
The event, co-held by the National Charity Club (NCC), the Vietnam Association of Young Scientists and Engineers (VAYSE), and Incom Media, aimed to increase local and international awareness of AO/Dioxin in Vietnam and raise funds for the victims. It also supports the quest for justice for affected people and the prevention of use of mass destruction weapons.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

On this date in 1964...

the Tonkin Gulf Incident occurred and was soon transformed into an excuse for massive escalation of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. When President Lyndon Johnson took the matter to the Senate to get a resolution authorizing him to take whatever action “necessary” in Southeast Asia, only two senators, Wayne Morse (D-OR) and Ernest Gruening (D-AK) opposed it. Eventual outcome: 58,318 American military personnel killed, Total estimates of all those killed in the 1955-75 war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, vary widely, from a low of 1.45 million to a high of 3.95 million. This does not include the millions killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide. Other consequences include estimates that up to 1 million Vietnamese are disabled or have health problems due to contact with the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. Americans who handled the chemical also have suffered in large numbers.

Microbial technology proves useful for dioxin detoxification

Hanoi (VNA) – The trial dioxin detoxification using microbial technology at A Sho airfield of A Luoi district, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, has generated optimistic outcomes.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held a workshop in Hanoi on August 4 to report on the outcomes of the test detoxification, which was carried out by the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s biology company BJC and the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment.
By using the RoK’s microbial species, the land area considered to be most contaminated with dioxin at A Sho airfield received anaerobic treatment for three months and then aerobic treatment.
The dioxin concentration in the contaminated land declined from 161.65pg-TEQ per gram to 104.93pg-TEQ per gram, according to scientists from the BJC, the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, and the Korea Institute of Toxicology.
Basing on the test’ results, participants at the workshop highly valued the capacity and efforts of Korean experts. They asked authorised agencies of Vietnam and the RoK to complete necessary procedures to publicise official research findings and facilitate social organisations’ international cooperation in environmental protection and socio-economic development.
The US army sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals from 1961 to 1971, 61 percent of which was Agent Orange containing 366 kilograms of dioxin, over nearly one quarter of the total area of South Vietnam.
Preliminary statistics showed that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, and about 3 million people became victims. Tens of thousands of people have died while millions of others have suffered from cancer and other incurable diseases as a result. Many of their offspring have also suffered from birth deformities.