Thursday, January 19, 2017

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE










January 7, 2017
(Postponed due to weather-will reschedule)
Lebanon, Oregon
Contact: Tom Owen 541-619-8140

January 21, 2017
Hollister, North Carolina
contact: Chief W.R. Richardson (252) 382- 9743

February 18, 2017
Balboa Park, California
Contact: Sunny Richard  Farrand 
619-791-6694 
rcf14@sbcglobal.net

March 9, 2017
Newport, Oregon
Contact: Tony Molina 270-270-0569
Tom Owen  541-619-8187

March 10, 2017
Lebanon, Oregon
Contact: Tom Owen 541-619-8187

March 11, 2017
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Gary McAdams 503-577-6639
Tom Owen 541-619-8187

March 11, 2017
Sedro Woolley, Washington
Contact: Chapter President Bob Garrison (360) 770-0545
Pete Sill (360) 420-3891

April 22, 2017
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Contact: MA State Council
413-772-1571
413-775-1825
Gumersindo Gomez
sgtgomez@aol.com

April 22, 2017
Faribault, Minnesota
Contact: Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402
James Mayr 608-556-0617

April 29, 2017
Arvada, Colorado
Contact: Lee White                 
303-519-2252

Diseases Associated With Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune

SUMMARY 
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its adjudication regulations regarding presumptive service connection, adding certain diseases associated with contaminants present in the base water supply at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune), North Carolina, from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.

(f) Disease associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. If a veteran, or former reservist or member of the National Guard, was exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune during military service and the exposure meets the requirements of § 3.307(a)(7), the following diseases shall be service-connected even though there is no record of such disease during service, subject to the rebuttable presumption provisions of § 3.307(d).
(1) Kidney cancer.
(2) Liver cancer.
(3) Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
(4) Adult leukemia.
(5) Multiple myeloma.
(6) Parkinson's disease.
(7) Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes.
(8) Bladder cancer.
[FR Doc. 2017-00499 Filed 1-12-17; 8:45 am]
This final rule establishes that veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at Camp Lejeune for no less than 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) during this period, and who have been diagnosed with any of eight associated diseases, are presumed to have incurred or aggravated the disease in service for purposes of entitlement to VA benefits. In addition, this final rule establishes a presumption that these individuals were disabled during the relevant period of service for purposes of establishing active military service for benefits purposes. Under this presumption, affected former reservists and National Guard members have veteran status for purposes of entitlement to some VA benefits. This amendment implements a decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that service connection on a presumptive basis is warranted for claimants who served at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period and for the requisite amount of time and later develop certain diseases.

MCAS Beaufort commander: ‘No reliable information yet’ connects Laurel Bay, health problems

Leukemia cases in children of past Laurel Bay residents is causing concerns in the Beaufort military community. Public meetings to address those concerns have been scheduled for Jan. 17-18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m., in the theater at the Marine Corps Air Station. The agenda will include the status of underground oil storage tanks and other environmental testing in the housing community, according to a letter sent to residents last week by Col. Peter Buck, the commander of MCAS Beaufort. Amanda Whatley, the mother of one of the children diagnosed, told her story this month in a YouTube video that gained national attention. 
The commander of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort said “no reliable information yet” connects a nearby military housing development to health problems after concerns gained widespread attention this month.
Col. Peter Buck made the statement in a letter Thursday informing Laurel Bay residents of upcoming meetings to talk about the status of underground oil storage tanks and other environmental testing in the community. The meetings were scheduled in response to concerns raised by Marine mothers whose children had been diagnosed with leukemia after the families lived in the community while stationed in Beaufort.
One of the mothers, Amanda Whatley, told her story this month in a YouTube video that gained national attention.
One meeting was held Tuesday night, and another is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the MCAS Beaufort theater.
“At this point, no reliable information yet establishes that conditions at Laurel Bay cause health problems,” Buck wrote in the letter to residents. “However, like the video, we encourage you to promptly seek a medical provider if you suspect symptoms of illness.”

Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/community/beaufort-news/bg-military/article127000104.html#storylink=cpy
 

Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/community/beaufort-news/bg-military/article127000104.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, January 16, 2017

VA’s Rule Establishes a Presumption of Service Connection for Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune

Service Connection for Exposure at Camp Lejeune 

VA to provide disability benefits for related diseases

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
•           adult leukemia
•           aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
•           bladder cancer
•           kidney cancer
•           liver cancer
•           multiple myeloma
•           non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
•           Parkinson’s disease
 “We have a responsibility to take care of those who have served our Nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “Establishing a presumption for service at Camp Lejeune will make it easier for those Veterans to receive the care and benefits they earned.”

Latest Quarterly Reports on Recent Veterans’ Health Care Use

courtesy of Paul Sutton

VA Health Care Utilization by Recent Veterans

VA Facility Use by Recent Veterans with PTSD

More veterans allege Agent Orange use at military bases

New accounts support the statements by Leroy Foster, 68, and Guam resident and veteran Gerard Laitres that Agent Orange was used on Guam — and not only at Andersen Air Force Base, but at Naval Station, Naval Magazine, Naval Communications Station, Naval Air Station, Navy Harbo, and the Marbo housing complexes.
Foster, who lives in Florida, has been reaching out for years to anyone who would listen to his story of personally spraying thousands of gallons of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange at Andersen during his 10-year hitch with the 43rd Supply Squadron Fuels Division.
Foster’s story has been supported by Ralph Stanton, who was stationed at Andersen from March 2, 1969, to March 31, 1970. In notarized testimony submitted to the U.S. Veterans Administration, Stanton described his job with the 43rd Civil Engineering Squadron as liquid fuel systems maintenance and repair.
Stanton and Foster regularly crossed paths at the base, as Stanton performed maintenance on fuel and delivery systems, including the cross-island pipeline Foster was assigned to spray.
Stanton remembered Foster because, he said, “The spray made me sick at my stomach, so I hated to see him coming our way.” Stanton would often try to leave if he saw Foster coming, but would sometimes just step out of the way, cursing, as Foster pulled through with his five-ton truck and 750-gallon tank spray rig.
Foster regularly wore rubber boots to his knees, rubber gloves to his elbows, a rubber apron to his ankles, a clear face shield, and no breathing protection.

Florida delegate helps Guam's inquiry into Agent Orange exposure

Guam is getting some support from Florida Representative Dennis Ross. The Senior Deputy Majority Whip has requested to be briefed by military officials about Agent Orange exposure in Guam and he wants it done January 17 - Wednesday Guam time.
KUAM reported about the exposure six years ago, but it recently made headlines again but in Florida after a news station there reported the story of 68-year-old Leroy Foster. As he did in 2011 with KUAM, Foster shared his story with media there about how he suffers from over twenty diseases including multiple cancers. He blames the medical conditions from being exposed to Agent Orange when he served at Andersen Air Force Base for a decade beginning in 1960.
Foster says it was his job to spray the herbicide for vegetation control. Representative Ross called for the briefing to get to the bottom of what happened here during World War II. "We are talking about men and women who put our country and our lives before their own. Our government owes it to them to tell the truth."
Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has also requested a similar briefing. Meanwhile, local Senator Fernando Esteves has created a task force to also conduct an investigation.

Freshman senator tackles Agent Orange reports on Guam

Guam - After troubling reports surfaced of the use of Agent Orange on Guam, one freshman lawmaker decided it was time to do something about it.
Republican Senator Fernando Esteves is establishing his own task force following veteran accounts of the herbicide use on Guam’s military bases.
He says that his office never initially planned on tackling the issue, but the reports were too troubling to ignore.
"Based on current and recent reports and also past reports historically, I've always kept my ear to this because I have a background in the environment and health field, …but now with recent stories coming out and people verifying their personal experiences as well as actually having sprayed the aggregate in the air, I wanted to bring it to the forefront and see do we have the entire truth? And how do we get these answers for the people?” he said. 
Senator Esteves plans to officially announce the members of his task force in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Head of Veterans Health System Is Trump’s Pick to Lead Veterans Affairs

In a move that left many veterans groups breathing a sigh of relief, President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday selected the current head of the nation’s sprawling veterans health care system, Dr. David J. Shulkin, an appointee of President Obama’s, to become secretary of veterans affairs.
If confirmed, he will be the first secretary to lead the department who is not a veteran.
While Mr. Trump’s chosen cabinet is largely made up of Washington outsiders, Dr. Shulkin, 57, is a relative insider. He has helped lead several private health care systems, including Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. In 2015, he was appointed under secretary for health by Mr. Obama and told to cut wait times in the troubled health care system, which includes 1,700 hospitals and clinics that serve nearly nine million veterans.
In that time, Dr. Shulkin has nearly doubled the amount of health care that veterans receive through private doctors. But he has also rejected calls for broader privatization, saying that it would cost untold billions and undermine the hospital system — a stance that puts him at odds with Mr. Trump.
While campaigning, the president-elect regularly criticized the department as hopelessly corrupt and incompetent, and said he would allow all veterans to choose to go to private doctors. But the selection of Dr. Shulkin may signal that Mr. Trump plans to take a more measured approach.
“The Trump campaign made a big deal of what a sucking chest wound the V.A. was,” said Phillip Carter, an Iraq veteran who studies the agency for the Center for a New American Security, a research organization that focuses on the military and veterans. “Then they realized how hard it would be to turn around, and decided they needed to continue with the reforms that are already taking effect.”

Task force will investigate reports of Agent Orange use on Guam

A new investigative task force will “review and record reports from the community” on the use of polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, DDT and Agent Orange on Guam, Sen. Fernando Esteves announced in a news release Jan. 10.
Esteves, who serves as vice-chairman of the Guam Legislature’s Committee on Health, will be joined on the task force by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., the committee's chairman, and Sen. Louisa Borja Muna.
The task force will reach out to the community, review records and compile recent research data, Esteves said, and will attempt "to correlate these environmental pollutants with an array of congenital health problems that plague our island.”
“For example, if certain diseases are attributed to specific hazardous constituents, then we want to correlate that with a mix of subjective and objective historical data about the surrounding area,” Esteves said. “Much work has been done over the years. ... It is our intention to bridge the various entities and compile their findings with ours.”
Due to small spikes in PCB contamination levels, the Coast Guard has begun the federal regulatory process for procuring a contract for environmental remediation service on Cocos Island. The Coast Guard hopes to begin physical remediation work of the area in 2017.

Federal agency to discuss Camp Lejeune health activities

(Jacksonville, North Carolina) - (Atlanta)-- The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) invites the public to hear from the scientists who conducted public health activities to understand the impact of exposure to contaminated drinking water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The scientists will discuss these public health activities during a 5 p.m. special session, followed by a public meeting at 6 p.m. on January 21, 2017, in Jacksonville, NC. The Community Assistance Panel (CAP) meeting also will take place on January 21 at 9:00 a.m.; that meeting is also open to the public.

Monday, January 9, 2017

AGENT ORANGE TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULE










We update our meetings regularly on the Town Hall Meeting Calendar:

January 7, 2017 (Postponed due to weather-will reschedule)
Lebanon, Oregon
Contact: Tom Owen 541-619-8140

January 21, 2017
Hollister, North Carolina
contact: Chief W.R. Richardson (252) 382- 9743

February 18, 2017
Balboa Park, California
Contact: Sunny Richard  Farrand 
619-791-6694 
rcf14@sbcglobal.net

March 9, 2017
Newport, Oregon
Contact: Tony Molina 270-270-0569
Tom Owen  541-619-8187

March 10, 2017
Lebanon, Oregon
Contact: Tom Owen 541-619-8187

March 11, 2017
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Gary McAdams 503-577-6639
Tom Owen 541-619-8187

March 11, 2017
Sedro Woolley, Washington
Contact: Chapter President Bob Garrison (360) 770-0545
Pete Sill (360) 420-3891

April 22, 2017
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Contact: MA State Council
413-772-1571
413-775-1825
Gumersindo Gomez
sgtgomez@aol.com

April 22, 2017
Faribault, Minnesota
Contact: Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402
James Mayr 608-556-0617