Monday, August 25, 2014

SIGN THIS PETITION! - Release all of the US Navy ship names that carried or housed Agent Orange

For over 50 years our veterans have been dying from the side effects of the herbicide called Agent Orange, with next to little or no help from the Department of Veterans Affairs simply because the Department of the Navy and DOD will not release the information of the ships that carried Agent Orange.
Every few years the Department of the Navy and DOD release a few names of the ships that carried Agent Orange, but by that time there's already been several service members who have been killed by Agent Orange. My father is dying from a rare heart condition that can only be caused by www.gofundme/myoung and we desperately need the funds for medical equipment ( Medical bed lifts shower stand wheelchair in-house nursing ect.) and medical care. On that matter no US Navy aircraft carrier has been added to the Agent Orange list to this day. It is beyond time for The Department of the Navy and Department of Defense to release the names of the ships, so our veterans can get the care that they desperately need and have rightfully earned. DEMAND change and DEMAND integrity and honor from our government! We can use all the help we can at Please sign my petition to hold our government accountable for our veterans who have been grossly neglected. Please help me help the thousands of US Navy veterans who do not have a fundraiser or a advocate and who are dying right now.
Agent Orange, which includes several side effects. My father has experienced strokes, heart attack, heart condition, blindness, and multiorgan failures. This is just what my father has experienced there are many many more side effects. As you can imagine the medical bills for dealing with this is staggering, currently we are over a million dollars in debt and counting with no help from the VA because my father is not service connected because his ship ( The USS Oriskany ) has not been added to the Agent Orange list. We do you have a fundraiser for my father at

Agent Orange Town Hall Meetings - September - October

Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting calendar

Faces of Agent Orange/Facebook

Hypothyroidism and Pesticide Use Among Male Private Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study
Thyroid disease is common with a prevalence of approximately 7.5% in the US population. This may be an underestimate because some studies have reported an additional 9% of adults with unidentified clinical or subclinical disease.1–3 Known risk factors for thyroid disease, such as age, genetic predisposition, and female sex,4 are nonmodifiable, making the identification of modifiable risk factors for thyroid disease all the more important. Thyroid disease is less common in men than in women and has been less studied, so there is a paucity of data regarding risk factors in men.
Some pesticides have been reported to act as endocrine disruptors with effects on many systems, including the thyroid.5–7 Studies focusing on the effect of pesticides on the levels of circulating thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) or thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), have found conflicting results.8–10 Mechanisms for thyroid disruption may include interference at the level of the hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axis, inhibition of iodine intake in the thyroid gland by the sodium–iodide symporter, increased synthesis of uridine diphosphate glucoronyltransferase, altered binding of the transport proteins resulting in increased excretion of thyroid hormone, decreased cellular uptake of thyroid hormone, alteration in the expression of deiodinases, altered transcriptional activity of thyroid hormone receptors, and up- or downregulated expression of thyroid hormone–regulated genes.11–13 Nevertheless, not all pesticides have been classified as endocrine disruptors, and those that have do not all have the same effect on thyroid function or have the same mechanism of action.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Judge’s Surprise Ruling On Veteran’s Exposure to Toxic Chemicals On U.S. Military Base Called “Turning Point”
For the past decade, U.S. Army veteran Steve House has been on a mission. Riding the highways of America from Oregon to Virginia on his Harley, he has visited dozens of fellow vets and medical and military experts to hear their stories and collect information to bolster his claim that he is entitled to disability payments after being exposed to toxic chemicals during his service in the late 1970s. 
House, 56, a burly, deep-voiced man with a long beard and ponytail who was stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea, suffers from diabetes, liver disease, glaucoma, neuropathy and other illnesses. He has been locked in a bitter, protracted battle with the Department of Veterans Affairs over his claim that his illnesses are linked to his work burying 250 barrels of Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant, in 1978 -- three years after the last Marines left Vietnam.
House has doggedly pursued any information that might help get his claim approved and prove to VA that he’s not fabricating his exposure. His claim was repeatedly denied by the VA until last week, when a judge with VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) acknowledged that House’s suffering resulted from chemical exposure at Camp Carroll, though it stopped short of naming Agent Orange.
“I was determined to show that I was telling the truth about why I’m so sick,” House said. “I gave up countless hours of my life, including years of my vacation time that I should have spent with my family, digging for facts. I have a very understanding wife. I had to do what I had to do.”
The VA portrayed the ruling as a single administrative finding that applies to this one man. But House and others who have long alleged a government cover-up regarding Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals say it is an acknowledgement of the malevolent consequences of veterans’ exposure to those chemicals, even if, at this stage, it is unclear how the ruling will affect cases that are specifically about Agent Orange.
Rick Weidman, executive director of government affairs for Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), called the judge’s decision on House’s claim historic. “It’s a precedent, a real turning point that we haven’t had before,” Weidman said. “Despite the fact that VA is still not saying that Agent Orange was buried there, virtually no one to date has gotten recognition for exposure to toxic chemicals, Agent Orange or otherwise, outside of the war zone. VA finally admits they sprayed Agent Orange along the DMZ [in Korea], but as far as toxins harming veterans at any other location, they very rarely admit it.”

Times Beach, Missouri: Abandoned City Demolished due to Dioxin Exposure
At over 2,000 miles from coast to coast, it’s no wonder that the United States is a repository of abandoned cities and settlements, from Wild West ghost towns like Bodie in California to modern ruins such as Centralia, Pennsylvania. And just as Centralia became a ghost town after suffering a strange underground mine fire which still burns today, the city of Times Beach, Missouri was abandoned just 60 years after its founding in 1925 due to the worst case of civilian exposure to dioxin in U.S. history.

Located just 17 miles southwest of St. Louis, Times Beach was a thriving resort town during the Roaring Twenties, an easy escape for urbanites looking for a break from the big city. But when summer homes became less practical following the Great Depression and post-World War Two petrol rationing, the city declined into a low income community supported by a small store and gas station serving travellers along Route 66, the historic highway connecting Chicago to Los Angeles.

Though the first several decades since its founding brought economic woes to Times Beach, the ailing city’s final death knell was dealt in the 1970s due to an environmental disaster of epic, if local, proportions. Plagued by dust problems due to miles of unpaved roads, a contractor was hired to spray waste oil onto the area’s highways to contain the spread of dust. And thus came the beginning of the end.


Dioxin cleanup downstream from Dow Chemical to enter next stage
The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan for cleaning up soil contaminated by dioxins along the Tittabawasee River floodplain. The floodplain extends along 21 miles of the river below the Dow Chemical plant in Midland.
The EPA says the dioxins, which can cause cancer and other serious health effects, came from waste disposal, emissions and incineration from the plant.
The EPA has been directing Dow to do temporary cleanups around people’s homes whenever the river floods.

“The issue is, when it floods, is the water comes up, it takes the contaminated sediments out of the river; and it deposits them in their backyards, under their swings, under their trampolines, in their gardens, in their chicken coops, on their farm fields,” - Michelle Hurd Riddick, community activist  says.
Hurd Riddick is a member of an environmental group in Saginaw called the Lone Tree Council.
Hurd Riddick says they’ve been doing those temporary cleanups until they can get to this proposed cleanup of the Tittabawasee River floodplain.
The EPA did not provide an interview for this story. But the EPA’s plan says the agency will not clean up the entire floodplain. Instead, federal and state agencies will evaluate each property and work with the homeowner if cleanup is needed.
Dow Chemical will clean up properties under the EPA’s supervision.
Riddick says her group is concerned that not enough properties will get cleaned up.
“Our problem is, even though they’re telling us what they’re going to do, there’s a lot of things we’re not sure about the direction yet and I don’t think EPA’s articulating it well enough.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"I gotta tell ya..." George Claxton's "Smoking Gun" Studies

Effects of endocrine disruptors on the human fetal testis
The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) as a Mediator of Adverse Immune Reactions
Evolution of sperm quality in men living in the vicinity of a municipal solid waste incinerator possibly correlated with decreasing dioxins emission levels
Developmental Exposure of Mice to Dioxin Promotes Transgenerational Testicular Inflammation and an Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Unexposed Mating Partners
Agent Orange exposure and cancer incidence in Korean Vietnam veterans: A prospective cohort study
Agent Orange exposure and disease prevalence in Korean Vietnam veterans: The Korean Veterans health study.
Liver Tumor Promotion by 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Is Dependent on the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and TNF/IL-1 Receptors

Monday, August 18, 2014

For the children, grandchildren, and future generations...

S.2738 replaces S.1602--Introduced by Senators Moran (R-KS) and Blumenthal (S.CT)

  2d Session
                                S. 2738
To establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis and 
treatment of health conditions of the  descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during 
service in  the Armed Forces, to establish an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances, 
and for other purposes. 

                             July 31, 2014

Mr. Blumenthal (for himself, Mr. Moran, and Mr. Begich) introduced the  following bill; which was read 
twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


                                 A BILL
To establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for research on the diagnosis 
and treatment of health conditions of the  descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances 
during service in  the Armed Forces, to establish an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances, 
and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in 
Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2014''. 


"Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: a retrospective cohort study"
On August 13, 2014 the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) journal article "Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: a retrospective cohort study" was published (
The purpose of this study was to determine whether potential exposures to the drinking water contaminants at Camp Lejeune are associated with increased risk of death from specific cancers and other chronic diseases among civilian workers employed at the base. The study evaluated specific causes of death in 4,647 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Lejeune during 1973-1985. ATSDR also evaluated a comparison group of 4,690 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Pendleton during 1973-1985 but were not employed at Camp Lejeune during this period. The Camp Pendleton workers were not exposed to contaminated drinking water.
This study is one of several health initiatives that ATSDR is expected to complete in the next several years. For more information about these studies, visit or call (800) 232-4636.
Since 1991, the Marine Corps has supported the health initiatives conducted by various scientific agencies. We are also working diligently to identify and notify individuals who, in the past, may have been exposed to the chemicals in drinking water. For more information about these efforts or to update your contact information, please see:, call (877) 261-9782 or e-mail
To contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about health care benefits, please visit or call (877) 222-8387 (Healthcare) or (800) 827-1000 (Benefits).
The Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water Program

Four decades later, following the trail of Agent Orange
Remember the Agent Orange controversy?
For 20 years after U.S. military veterans returned from Vietnam — where the notorious herbicide and similar exfoliants were used to expose bombing targets — claims that they and their children experienced side effects from this new giant step in military warfare were shunted aside for lack of scientific evidence.
It wasn't until the Agent Orange Act of 1991 that Congress took veterans' concerns seriously enough to order an independent evaluation of what toxic chemical reactions might have occurred back in the jungle. Eventually, strong links were identified between the highly potent form of dioxin used in Agent Orange and certain types of cancers, and the public spotlight moved on.
Now, as our Vietnam vets are swiftly joining the ranks of our elders, I was surprised to learn that the research begun in 1991 has quietly continued. Every two years, the Institute of Medicine — an independent advisory organization that is part of the National Academy of Science — has been publishing exhaustive updates as more is learned about the health effects of herbicide exposure.
The latest is "Update 2012," more than 1,000 pages of scientific scrutiny that adds strokes to the list of outcomes with "limited or suggestive evidence of an association" to chemical exposure.

Top US general visits dioxin cleanup in Da Nang
Top US military officer Martin Dempsey said in Da Nang on Friday that he was impressed by the progress being at a dioxin cleanup project being conducted at a former US airbase.
Dempsey, the first US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to visit Vietnam since the war, said the project represents an important milestone in bilateral relations.
The US Department of Defense will continue to support the initiative, he said.
The US$84-million project, funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to eliminate the extensive dioxin contamination at the former airbase.
The former airbase served as a primary staging site for the US' indiscriminate use of toxic chemical defoliants throughout the war.
The first phase of the project, which started in August, 2012, involves heating 45,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated excavated soil in a temporary treatment structure at 335 degrees Celsius.
The high temperature will destroy the toxin.
The second phase of the project began last February and will treat 35,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated excavated soil.
Dempsey stopped in Da Nang during his four-day official visit to Vietnam.

Friday, August 15, 2014

International Agent Orange Day fundraiser at Addison Rd Centre
Please find in this youtube a glimpse of some of the remarkable events that took place in Sydney to mark the International Agent Orange Day on August 10.
Agent Orange was first sprayed in Vietnam on August 10, 1961. It went on for 10 years.
Our deep gratitude to Addison Road Community Centre for the enormous support that it has given us to make this series of activities and events possible and with such fantastic results.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away...
LET’S TALK ABOUT….AGENT ORANGE! A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, people were engaging in a conflict that was hidden under a thick layer of trees, bushes, and crop growth. In order to make it easier to spot the “enemy”, Huey helicopters were used to spray herbicide over the countryside to kill the trees, bushes, and crops. At the same time, the spray reached the people engaging in the conflict under that landscape.
The year was 1961. The country was Viet Nam. The people engaging in the conflict were from all over the world—including the United States. The herbicide was “Agent Orange”.
Agent Orange was a nickname derived from the orange identification stripe painted around the 55 gallon barrels that stored the deadly herbicide. In chemical scientific terms, Agent Orange is an approximately 1:1 mixture of two phenoxyl herbicides – 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) – in iso-octyl ester form.In 1976 the UN General Assembly considered the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament addressing the use of, and destruction from, Agent Orange. In the fall of 1978 the Environmental Modification Convention was signed and ratified. This convention “prohibits the military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects.”
The US sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange over Viet Nam foliage assuring the public that it was only going to destroy the foliage—“no humans were going to be affected”. For decades this statement was confirmed by “those in the know”.READ MORE:

USDA ignores Americans, looks to approve 2,4-D crops
Over a hundred million additional pounds of toxic pesticides associated with cancers and birth defects are coming to a field near you. UNLESS YOU STOP IT!
“Agent Orange” crops are genetically engineered by Dow Chemical to promote the use of 2,4-D, one of the herbicides in the toxic mixture Vietnam veteran’s know as Agent Orange. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on the cusp of approval, even though they acknowledge the use of this toxic pesticide will skyrocket.
There is a 30-day public comment period and it MIGHT BE OUR LAST CHANCE to stop this chemical assault - Sign the petition today!
USDA’s announcement is an outrageous abdication of the agency’s responsibility to protect our health and our food supply. The Obama Administration has ignored the interests and demands of millions of Americans, Members of Congress, scientists, farmers and health professionals.
Americans have one last chance to speak to the agency and the Obama Administration and demand a halt to 2,4-D crops before it is too late!
Last month, over 500,000 people around the country wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and 50 members of Congress sent a letter to USDA and EPA urging the agencies to reject approval of these crops.
Wide scale use of Roundup with Roundup Ready GE crops has already led to an epidemic of resistant weeds, and the next step in the chemical arms race is 2,4-D — a chemical linked to major health problems including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems. Industry tests show that 2,4-D is contaminated with dioxins—often referred to as the most toxic substances known to science. EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S.
We have less than 30 days to tell USDA to reject Dow’s  2,4-D resistant GE crops – please sign the petition today!

"Burn Pit" Whistleblower Military-Veterans Advocacy Files Suit After Sexual Assault And Forced Discharge
SLIDELL, La., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Military-Veterans Advocacy has filed suit August 1, 2014, in the United States Court of Federal Claims on behalf of former Navy Environmental Health Officer, Lieutenant Commander Celeste Santana who strongly argued against the unrestricted use of open air burn pits in Afghanistan. Santana was responsible for the environmental health and safety of American Marine forces at Camp Leatherneck and outlying forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan.
Logo -
After raising concerns about water purity and bottled water storage procedures, Santana apparently ran afoul of her superiors. Her subsequent efforts to curb the use of open air burn pits at Camp Leatherneck and subordinate FOBs led to further ire. She drew criticism by reporting her concerns to higher authority and for demanding to see the Commanding General. While on a routine mission to FOB Fiddler's Green in 2009, she awoke to find that she was being sexually assaulted. An investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was closed due to the "lack of logical leads or suspects." The Camp Pendleton NCIS office, responsible for the investigation into activities occurring with the Fiddler's Green unit refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Shortly after the sexual assault, LCDR Santana was relieved of her duties. She was told that she was "uncooperative" and created a "hostile" environment. She was returned to the United States where she was immediately relieved of all other duties and it was suggested she take a psychiatric exam. After receiving an adverse fitness report, she was not elected for promotion to Commander.  Although she was within three years of retirement, he was not selected for continuation on active duty - the only officer of her grade and experience who was not selected. As a result she was forced to leave the service, two years and eleven months shy of retirement. 
Military-Veterans Advocacy Executive Director John B. Wells, a retired Navy Commander, called Santana a "true hero" who lost her career while trying to protect the health of the Marines assigned to Afghanistan. 

All Agent Orange Ingredients Unearthed at U.S. Military Dumpsite on Okinawa
More than six months after dozens of rusty chemical barrels were unearthed from former U.S. military land in Okinawa City, their contents have been identified – and they appear to offer conclusive proof that the toxic Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange was buried on the island.
Announced in early July, the results of two separate studies – one conducted by Okinawa City and one by the Okinawa Defense Bureau – both detected the three signature components of Agent Orange: the herbicides 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D as well as highly-toxic TCDD dioxin.This is the first time that all three ingredients have been discovered on ex-Pentagon property on Okinawa.
About half of the 61 barrels also bore markings from the Dow Chemical Company – one of the largest manufacturers of Agent Orange for the U.S. military.
Commenting on the results, defoliant expert, Wayne Dwernychuk, stated, “The presence of 2,4,5-T, that portion of Agent Orange containing TCDD and 2,4-D, the other half of the Agent Orange mixture, unequivocally defines at least some of the media sampled as being contaminated with this defoliant. Dow Chemical markers on the drums further contribute to this conclusion that the original contents of some of these drums was Agent Orange.”
Likewise, Honda Katsuhisa, an Ehime University professor specializing in defoliants and dioxins, asserted that the results proved without doubt that defoliants had been buried at the dumpsite.
The Pentagon denies that Agent Orange was ever present on Okinawa despite testimony from more than 250 U.S. veterans who claim they were sickened by the defoliant on the island during the Vietnam War era. A 1971 U.S. government report on Agent Orange cites the presence of a herbicide stockpile at Kadena; the site where the 61 barrels were buried was part of Kadena Air Base, one of the Pentagon’s primary transport hubs for the Vietnam War, until restored to civilian usage in 1987.
According to the data released by Okinawa City, all 61 barrels contained traces of dioxin and standing water near the barrels showed dioxin at levels 64 times the environmental standard. However dioxin readings from the soil were below maximum permitted limits and there was no evidence of contamination of the water table.
Twenty of the barrels also contained traces of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
This article also appeared in the Asia-Pacific Journal

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Demanding justice for Agent Orange victims
The seventy-two-year-old lady gets attention from everyone in the room for her confidence. It is not surprising that I don't notice any signs of ailment, not to mention serious diseases that Nga has contracted as a consequence of dioxin.
Unlike most people who might have collapsed after being diagnosed with dioxin in their blood, Nga remembered that she was in tears but felt extremely joyous when receiving medical test results which showed her exposure to high levels of dioxin in her blood.
"It doesn't matter if test results are available or not as the diseases are already there in my body. What is important is that they are proof for us to file a lawsuit against US chemical companies," Nga says softly.
She knows without a shadow of a doubt that it is not only her and her loved ones being tortured by the fatal disease, but several millions of people who are living in physical and mental agony.
It is nearly 40 years since the anti-American war ended, but Nga - a petite Vietnamese French national decided to sue giant US chemical companies for producing and providing Agent Orange, also known as one of the herbicides and defoliants, which were then sprayed by the American forces in Viet Nam's southern battlefields.
Working side by side with her is Paris-based William Bourdon & Forestier law firm. The two, as one, filed the lawsuit against the US chemical companies on June 11 in a local court in Evry City, demanding compensation.
"If it had not been for the millions of Agent Orange victims who died and/or could not go to the courts to sue US companies for reasons beyond their control, I would not have come forward to file this lawsuit," Nga says, denying what someone said about her being courageous.
"It is Agent Orange victims and advocates of the lawsuit who gave me strength and braveness to confront the US chemical companies. I am not brave at all," she says.
A victim and witness at an International People's Tribunal of Conscience in 2009, Nga lodged a complaint in the court by herself, narrating the heart-breaking stories of Agent Orange victims and those who died from breathing and being affected by the toxic chemicals.
Her stories moved many people at the tribunal which included lawyer William Bourdon, who later represented Nga.
"Compared with other Agent Orange victims my story is just normal," she says sincerely, not talking about her current role as a claimant, but simply comparing herself as a 'hyphen' between people.
"I have been playing my role as a 'hyphen' between people. In the wartime, I used to be a courier. Through working with donors I have also connected them with 400 children who suffer from a cleft lip and/or cleft palate to undergo smile operations. And now I go between the court and Agent Orange victims," she says. 

Agent Orange Town Hall - Wichita
WICHITA, Kansas — A national group of Vietnam veterans gathered in Wichita Thursday to discuss issues with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Among the issues discussed at the Vietnam Veterans of America Kansas State Council town hall meeting, were the medical effects of exposure to Agent Orange on veterans and their families. Agent Orange is a defoliant that the United States used against Vietcong forces in war.
The toxic chemical has been proven to have devastating medical consequences on those who came in contact with it and on generations afterward; including birth defects, learning disabilities, and diseases.
Thursday’s “Vietnam Veterans of America” forum, held in downtown Wichita, was the fifth town hall meeting of its kind in Kansas. More than 100 veterans were in attendance.
Larry MacIntire, of the Hays chapter Kansas State Council president of Vietnam Veterans of America, was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.
MacIntire was only 19 years old when he received his first assignment. MacIntire served on swift boats in Hanoi from 1967 – 1968.
MacIntire was there, “when they sprayed the whole island, so in case any prisoners escaped, they could find ‘em,” he explained.
Larry MacIntire has a long list of medical problems including prostate cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. His son, as a newborn, experienced serious medical issues believed to have been caused by the exposure.
“One of my sons was born with what they call Esophageal Tracheal Fistula, and that’s where wind pipe and throat pipe connected… I just thought it was some kind of fluke. That’s one of the causes,” said MacIntire.
“We cannot be silent about the effects of our battlefield exposures on our children in the face of overwhelming evidence connecting many diseases and birth defects to exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals,” said Ron Zink, VVA Kansas State Council President, as written in a press release distributed by the group.
Republican U.S. Senator Jerry Moran addressed the audience at the town hall meeting, offering remarks about the current state of the VA.
“Americans, Congress, the president, [they] can’t look the other way. The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot look the other way with the circumstances that so many families are now facing,” said Sen. Moran.
Sen. Moran spoke about the current need by family members of Vietnam vets for assistance due to the medical conditions caused by Agent Orange exposure.
“Our responsibility remains to see that we care for those who served our country, and now that there’s an additional requirement, that we care for their children and grandchildren,” said Moran.
The senator has introduced a bipartisan bill called the ‘Toxic Exposure Act.’ If passed, it would fund research into the long-term effects of Agent Orange; with the hope of eventually also covering the family members suffering from the effects of the toxic chemical.
“What really matters is that we do the medical research that prevents more and more veterans, and their family members from experiencing the consequences of war,” said Moran.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion...

but not their own facts!
Phony claims at heart of VA problems

To the editor:

The problems with the Veterans Administration benefits are due in large part to phony disability claims. It was announced that the VA approved thousands of claims without validation simply to reduce the backlog. I am referring only to PTSD and Agent Orange claims, not all claims.

Every claimant knows if he or she suffers or is disabled. I have not met one person getting disability checks from taxpayers who shows any signs of disability due to PTSD or Agent Orange.

As for PTSD, if people in the military can cope with combat situation, memories should not be a problem. Every time I hear a helicopter, very bad life and death memories return. Do I suffer from PTSD? Of course not. Am I disabled? Of course not. Do I deserve disability payments from the taxpayers? Of course not. Should I claim disability when I am not disabled? Of course not.

As for Agent Orange, more phony claims. There is no proof Agent Orange is the cause of any medical problem. If anyone thinks they have proof to the contrary, I would like to hear it. Not supposition, probability or maybe. Only proof. I served five years in Vietnam with special forces between 1962 and 1972 (easily verified, of course). Since I’ve had seven cancer surgeries and over one dozen basal cell cancer spots removed from my skin, do I deserve disability payments? Of course not. There is no proof it was caused by Agent Orange.

Just because the VA is loose with taxpayers’ money, doesn’t justify filing phony claims. I can look in the mirror and see a person who would not do that. Can you? How much disability payment does it take to erase only bad memories?

I am extremely pleased and proud to say I am not disabled and sure not phony. I could be paid a million dollars a day, and still have “bad” memories.

Marcus L. Huston

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Senate passes autism bill
The Senate passed a bill Thursday night that reauthorizes federal support for autism programs.
The Autism CARES Act, H.R. 4631, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to designate an official to oversee national autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research. It also extends autism education programs through 2019.
“The Senate’s action today ensures these vital autism programs are reauthorized and continue providing research, services and supports individuals with autism and their families have come to rely on,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said. “The Autism CARES Act is a model of bipartisan, bicameral cooperation – and I am proud I was able to work on it and look forward to seeing the President sign this critical legislation into law.”The House passed the measure by voice vote last month and the Senate agreed to it through a unanimous consent agreement. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

Monsanto in bed with DOD over Ebola can't be good
Monday, Fox news reported that "The experimental drug used to treat two American aid workers who have been infected with the Ebola virus has never been tested on humans before and was only identified earlier this year as part of an ongoing research program backed by the U.S. government and military."
Fox also said, "The Defense Department has long had a hand in researching infectious diseases, including Ebola. During much of the Cold War period this served two purposes: to keep abreast of diseases that could limit the effectiveness of troops deployed abroad and to be prepared if biological agents were used as weapons." It was also stated that the U.S. military currently has no biological weapons program.
But not to worry, a new player has entered the ring. It seems that Monsanto and the DOD have teamed up to invest in an Ebola virus treatment company. Monsanto, the company that has given us Agent Orange, Roundup pesticide, and GMO food, is now working to give us an Ebola vaccine. What is Monsanto's gain one must ask. The deal is, the seed money Monsanto will contribute begins at $1.5 million. The value of the deal has the potential to grow to an estimated $86 million dollars. The company’s name is Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TKMR) (TKM.TO), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. “TKM-Ebola, an anti-Ebola virus RNAi therapeutic, is being developed under a $140 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Medical Countermeasure Systems BioDefense Therapeutics (MCS-BDTX) Joint Product Management Office”. That's a pretty sweet deal by anyone's calculations.