Thursday, October 31, 2019


Go Ahead and Die! - VA still has no plans to begin processing Blue Water Navy Agent Orange claims until 2020

READ THE STORYBlue Water Navy Vietnam veterans will have to continue to wait until next year before the Department of Veterans Affairs begins to process their long-awaited Agent Orange disability benefits claims.
There was no indication from Congress or VA leaders during a Wednesday hearing on the subject that there was a plan to lift the delay put in place earlier this year.
About a week after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Act -- a long-awaited measure to grant benefits to certain veterans who served in the waters off of Vietnam -- VA Secretary Robert Wilkie issued a stay on processing any Blue Water claims until January 2020, first reported by Connecting Vets.
Veterans and members of Congress have repeatedly called on Wilkie to lift the stay and begin processing at least the claims of the oldest or most critically ill. Veteran service organizations have appealed to the White House, asking Trump to lift the stay himself. Some veterans have gone so far as to file a lawsuit to lift the stay.
Dying veterans exposed to Agent Orange and widows of those already passed have come to Washington pleading for benefits.

Four commanding officers of California Navy base die in unusual string of cancers

Four commanding officers at a premiere Navy weapons testing base in California have died of cancer, one of several alarming clusters in the military’s aviation community found by a McClatchy investigation.
The commanding officers served at California’s Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. They were some of the Navy’s top aviators and test pilots. Each had thousands of flight hours in advanced jets and two attended TOPGUN, the Navy’s elite Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor course. One of them, Capt. Alexander Hnarakis, was part of the inspiration for the Tom Cruise blockbuster movie.
Details about this unusual string of cancer deaths at the top tier of Navy veteran aviators were shared with McClatchy in interviews with pilots who knew them and with family members.
In recent months, members of that usually private group of both Navy and Air Force pilots have come forward to raise attention to the issue and try to answer the question: What’s causing the cancers?
At China Lake, three of the four commanding officers served back-to-back. Capt. John D. Langford, commanding officer from 1998 to 2000, died of brain cancer at age 66 in September 2015. Capt. James Seaman, commanding officer 2000 to 2002, died of lung cancer in April 2018 at age 61.
Capt. Alexander Hnarakis, commanding officer 2002 to 2004, died of thyroid cancer in May 2018 at age 62. Capt. Jeffrey Dodson, commanding officer 2009 to 2012, died of brain cancer in July 2016 at age 55.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Nearly 4,000 SC veterans claim to be affected by burning trash pits during post-9/11 wars

Thousands of South Carolina’s Iraq and Afghanistan veterans carry the weight of war on their lungs.
They suffer from shortness of breath, cancer and disease, and blame toxic smoke inhalation from smoldering trash burned in the desert at the request of the government.
After the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, America’s sons and daughters were jettisoned into wars in two foreign countries. The military, in a hurry, propped up forward operating bases in the middle of the desert and asked for assistance from private contractors for basic needs, such as waste removal.
Contractors had a simple solution: Burn the trash. Despite warnings from military officials on the ground about possible harm, the Department of Defense went ahead with the burn pits.
About 3,700 Palmetto State veterans have put their stories on a registry claiming they have severe health ailments as a result of the decision to burn waste. The smoke has affected their skin, eyes, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, gastrointestinal tract and internal organs through multiple diseases and cancers.
As these Iraq and Afghanistan survivors wait on legislation to push through the cogs of Congress, time is running out for some.
The issue of burn pits became a nearly decade long legal battle that would stretch from the smallest state courtrooms to the U.S. Supreme Court. Overall, more than 3.5 million veterans reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs they may have been exposed to airborne toxins since the War on Terror started.
 “The military recognized that there were certain health risks associated with the use of burn pits, but balanced those risks against the greater risk of harm to military and other personnel should other methods of waste management be utilized,” Roger W. Titus, a U.S. district judge in Maryland, wrote in a July 2017 ruling.

USS Plantree - US Coast Guard Vessel off Vietnam - REQUEST FOR HELP

Gifford, Debra L (MVA sponsored) <>
To: ALL who can help

I worked with the Department of VA for 36 years before retiring and taking a State of Alaska contract Veterans Service Officer (VSO) with the Vietnam Veterans of America and am seeking information about the U S Coast Guard ships associated with Service in Vietnam and exposure to A/O.  This veteran served on the USS Plantree off the coast of Vietnam in 1966.  He alleges he had to interact with the Vietnamese while debarked offshore.  Can you send to some of your VVA contact’s & see if any veterans have similar circumstances in proving “boot on the grounds in Vietnam?”

D Lucy Gifford
Accredited VSO with VVA
P O Box 23220
Juneau, AK  99802-3220

Veterans with PTSD have a higher risk for a stroke

PTSD has been known to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke in older adults — but, according to a recent study, that risk extends beyond older adults into middle-aged and even young adults.
A nationwide study published in Stroke, a journal of the American Stroke Association, that included 1.1 million veterans showed that PTSD may be a "potent risk" for stroke at a young age.
Those veterans were all enrolled in healthcare services provided by the Veterans Health Administration — mostly males between the ages of 18 and 60 with an average age of 30. They had all recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan and none had previously experienced a stroke.
Researchers followed these veterans for 13 years. Within that time period, 1,877 of the veterans had a stroke. That means that veterans with PTSD were 62% more likely to have a stroke — raising the risk more than other lifestyle factors like obesity and smoking.
PTSD affects roughly 8 million American adults — and 30 percent of veterans.

Whistleblower office at VA is failing in its most basic mission, watchdog says

One of President Trump’s signature initiatives to turn around a culture of retaliation against whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs is an office in disarray that instead has punished them — and held almost no wrongdoers accountable.
Those are the conclusions of a scathing report released Thursday by the agency’s inspector general, which found that the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection created early in Trump’s term in 2017 has failed in its core mission.
The president heralded the office as a tool to clean up the troubled agency. More than two years later it resembles a kangaroo court, the inspector general found, running inferior investigations that VA attorneys cannot trust and “floundering” in its duty to protect employees who report wrongdoing.
Just one senior manager has been removed by an office created to discipline senior-level managers involved in misconduct, Inspector General Michael Missal found.
The office has shown “significant deficiencies,” including poor leadership, skimpy training of investigators, a misunderstanding of its mission and a failure to discipline senior leaders, according to the 100-page report.
“Notably, in its first two years of operation, the [office] acted in ways that were inconsistent with its statutory authority while it simultaneously floundered in its mission to protect whistleblowers,” the report says. VA “created an office culture that was sometimes alienating to the very individuals it was meant to protect.”
In response, VA spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci said in a statement that the report “largely focuses on [the office’s] operations under previous leaders who no longer work at VA.” She said its new leadership has independently identified many of the issues the inspector general highlights and is moving to make changes, ensuring greater oversight over investigations and halting retaliation against whistleblowers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October 23, 1983 - Beirut Marine barracks bombing

On October 23, 1983, two truck bombs struck buildings in Beirut, Lebanon, housing American and French service members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF), a military peacekeeping operation during the Lebanese Civil War. The attack killed 307 people: 241 U.S. and 58 French military personnel, six civilians, and two attackers.
The first suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb at the building serving as a barracks for the 1st Battalion 8th Marines (Battalion Landing Team – BLT 1/8) of the 2nd Marine Division, killing 220 Marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers, making this incident the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II and the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Armed Forces since the first day of the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War.[1][better source needed] Another 128 Americans were wounded in the blast; 13 later died of their injuries, and they are counted among the number who died.[2] An elderly Lebanese man, a custodian/vendor who was known to work and sleep in his concession stand next to the building, was also killed in the first blast.[3][4][5] The explosives used were later estimated to be equivalent to as much as 9,500 kg (21,000 pounds) of TNT.[6][7]
Minutes later, a second suicide bomber struck the nine-story Drakkar building, a few kilometers away, where the French contingent was stationed; 55 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment and three paratroopers of the 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment were killed and 15 injured. It was the single worst French military loss since the end of the Algerian War.[8] The wife and four children of a Lebanese janitor at the French building were also killed, and more than twenty other Lebanese civilians were injured.[9]

White House responsible for delayed decision on new Agent Orange diseases, documents show

Two years ago, then Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin decided to add three health conditions to the list of diseases eligible for Agent Orange benefits, but White House officials challenged his authority and impeded enactment, according to internal documents obtained by a veteran through the Freedom of Information Act.
Now tens of thousands of veterans are still waiting.
Shulkin decided to add three health conditions — bladder cancer, Parkinson’s-like symptoms and hypothyroidism — to the list of diseases eligible for Agent Orange benefits. Heavily redacted emails and briefings released recently to former Army Spc. Jeff O’Malley, of Pearland, Texas, show Shulkin made the decision sometime before Oct. 3, 2017 — a move that would have given ailing veterans faster access to disability compensation and health benefits.
But the Office of Management and Budget, including Director Mick Mulvaney, and other White House officials objected, according to the documents.
VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin wrote OMB Director Mick Mulvaney March 8, 2018, requesting support for his effort to expand the list of Agent Orange presumptive diseases.
VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin wrote OMB Director Mick Mulvaney March 8, 2018, requesting support for his effort to expand the list of Agent Orange presumptive diseases.
While the specifics of OMB’s opposition were redacted, legible portions show that that the office believed the scientific evidence supporting the proposed additions was limited and it had concerns about the budgetary impact of the expansion, as well as any adverse effects on the existing disability benefits program.
According to the documents, roughly 83,000 veterans are afflicted with one of the three proposed presumptive conditions. The estimated cost for providing disability compensation to these former service members was redacted.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Department of Veterans Affairs Fast Facts...warts and all

Here is a look at the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
There are 18.2 million veterans in the United States, according to the most recent statistics from the US Census.
More than nine million veterans are served each year by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Health care facilities are made up of 1,074 outpatient sites and 170 VA Medical Centers.
1789 - The new US government passes legislation ensuring pensions for disabled Revolutionary War veterans.
1812 - The Naval Home, a facility for disabled veterans, opens in Philadelphia.
1924 - Congress passes the World War Adjustment Compensation Act, a system of bonuses for veterans of World War I. Any veteran entitled to more than $50 is given a certificate payable 20 years in the future and worth about $1,500.
July 21, 1930 - US President Herbert Hoover signs an executive order consolidating the Veterans' Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions and the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers into the Veterans Administration. The VA has a budget of $786 million and serves 4.6 million veterans.
1931-1941 - The VA builds 27 new hospitals, bringing the total to 91.
1932 - During the Great Depression, thousands of World War I veterans march on Washington to demand payment of their bonuses. After the marchers are forcibly removed, the VA pays their transportation costs home. Congress authorizes early payment of the bonuses in 1936.

Marine fed up with government denials, searches for evidence of toxic herbicides

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Former Marine Brian Moyer is fed up with government denials.
He saw herbicides being sprayed while he served on Guam during the Vietnam War.
The government denies it used the powerful defoliant Agent Orange on Guam.
Moyer, who now heads Agent Orange Survivors of Guam, is not convinced.
 “They continue going on with this lie,” Moyer said.
Former Marine Brian Moyer went to Guam to seek answers and evidence.
He recently traveled to Guam, where following our reports about the use of Agent Orange, local and federal Environmental Protection Agency field staff greeted him.
 “I had witnessed spraying on many many occasions,” Moyer explained.
He took E.P.A. staff to a fuel pipeline that runs from Apra Harbor to Andersen Air Force Base and other military installations.
Lakeland veteran Leroy Foster, who died last year, claims he sprayed hundreds of thousands of gallons of Agent Orange along that pipeline, as well as around military bases, housing and schools.
 “I was spraying the most deadliest substance on earth,” Sgt. Leroy Foster told me two years ago.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Why Lane Evans’ legacy still matters today

My friend and mentor Lane Evans died almost five years ago. He left Congress, due to Parkinson’s disease, seven years before that. Yet, in many ways, Lane was a man ahead of his time.
To confront many of today’s challenges, we might look to Lane’s example. That’s why I and a number of other leaders who were close to Lane will be commemorating his legacy at Augustana College on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1-4 p.m. The Lane Evans “Election 2020: Putting People First” forum will highlight many of the ideals Lane stood for years ahead of his time that are urgently needed now.
One of our country’s biggest challenges today is income inequality -- the large and growing gap between the wealthiest few and the rest of us. For 24 years in Congress, Lane was a steadfast champion of working families and the hard-pressed middle-class. He opposed efforts to weaken unions, which fight for better wages and working conditions for all Americans. And he stood up against repeated attempts to undermine Social Security and Medicare -- critical programs that provide seniors with the dignity and security they deserve.
Lane also recognized, before many others, that clean air and water are essential to our future and he voted consistently to protect our natural environment from harm. Today, as we face the growing effects of climate change, such as rising oceans and catastrophic storms, we could learn from Lane’s example of making the environment a priority -- even in tough economic times.


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

October 19, 2019
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Steve Carr

October 26, 2019
Princeton, West Virginia
ontact: Roger Williams

October 26, 2019
Mankato, Minnesota
Contacts: Windy Block 507-327-3422
Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402

October 26, 2019
Winston, Oregon
Contact: Jennifer Ellis

November 14, 2019
Okeechobee, Florida
Contact: Dan Hunt

I Ran the VA Under President Trump Until He Fired Me

Dr. David Shulkin served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Trump and is the author of It Shouldn't Be This Hard to Serve Your Country.
Around 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, I received a call telling me I was expected at Trump Tower in New York at 2 p.m. that afternoon. After about an hour of sustained panic driving with my wife Merle on snow-covered roads from Philadelphia, my cell phone rang. It was Reince Priebus.
 “Sorry not to have called sooner, but we’re all set. You’ll be meeting with the president-elect on Monday at 2:00 p.m.” Monday, not today.
We found the nearest exit, turned around and headed back home.

Later that afternoon, Priebus called again, this time with some questions for me — mainly, it seemed, to help him figure out how I had gotten on his call list. He wanted to know how I knew Trump. I told him I didn’t. He seemed perplexed that I had no connection to the Trump campaign. He also wanted to know how I became under secretary for Obama. Without commenting on any of my answers, Priebus asked me to meet with him for lunch on Monday prior to my meeting with the president-elect.

Vietnam vet seeks other exposed to Agent Orange in Thailand

Vietnam veteran Roger Jones is seeking fellow servicemen who were exposed to Agent Orange while serving at United States military installations in Thailand.
Jones served at   Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base and Takhli Royal Air Force Base Thailand from from August 1969 to August 1970.
He now has Parkinson’s disease, which was added to the list of ailments caused by Agent Orange in 2010.
Agent Orange is a herbicide used as a defoliant on areas of South Vietnam such as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. It was also used to defoliate the outskirts of bases in Thailand, where American servicemen worked.
Currently, there are two bills in the United States Congress in which Jones wants to make his fellow servicemen aware — House Bill 2201 and Senate Bill 1381.
He hopes  recent bills will bring attention to the plight of veterans who served in Thailand during the Vietnam War era.
In April, the House bill was introduced to allow veterans who served in Thailand the opportunity to prove toxic exposure in order to qualify for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits. 

Military Exposures & Your Health

Military Exposures & Your Health is a new newsletter for Veterans with service from 1990 to the present.  Topics include military environmental exposures, updates about health, benefits, and news for Veterans. This newsletter will be released online twice a year and replaces the Gulf War Newsletter and Post-9/11 Vet Newsletter. 
Find the first issue at:

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bombs in Your Backyard

The link for the contamination map is below. The map was made in 2017, and it includes info through 2015.
The military spends more than a billion dollars a year to clean up sites its operations have contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. These sites exist in every state in the country. Some are located near schools, residential neighborhoods, rivers and lakes. A full map of these sites has never been made public – until now. Enter your address to see the hazardous sites near you, or select a state.


The Military Times has unveiled a new comprehensive job board that aims to connect veterans with thousands of job opportunities with employers seeking to hire people with military experience. 
The new online job board offers employers from around the country an opportunity to target veterans and servicemembers who are planning to return to the civilian job market. Servicemembers can create profiles, target a job search to specific locations and set up job alerts for new postings.
Veterans employment rates have remained strong in recent years, often falling below the national average. The job board is the latest addition to the Military Times' expanding support for veterans, which includes the Military Times Veterans Transition Survival Guide, an annual 'Best for Vets' rankings for employers; and, a news section that provides up-to-date information about education and transition issues.

EPA to test Verona, Mo. private wells for possible cancerous chemical

VERONA, Mo. (KY3) -- Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shared what they could Friday with leaders in Verona, Mo. The EPA is working to discover if a dangerous chemical has seeped into ground and well water.
The short-notice meeting came a little more than six weeks after the agency reported it found two dangerous chemicals at the Syntex site. The site is now operating as BCP Ingredients, but was known to produce Agent Orange decades ago.
At a public meeting in August, the EPA told residents one of those chemicals -- dioxin -- was contained, but the agency was not certain about the status other chemical, dioxane.
Friday, the EPA shared plans to start testing private wells in Verona for dioxane, but the mayor wants answers much sooner than that.
"Why, when there's questions asked, why ain't there just an out forthcoming answer?" Mayor Joseph Heck asked EPA officials in Friday's meeting.
Heck and about a dozen of the people he represents listened to EPA's plans to see if the chemical is in their ground and drinking water.

Congress sparks veterans’ ire with mortgage fee hike

Months after Congress passed a bill temporarily raising the fees that veterans pay for home loans, lawmakers are quietly seeking to tap the same pot of money again, a move that's pitting veterans’ groups against one another.
The House voice-voted a bill, H.R. 3504 (116), this summer that would hike veterans’ mortgage fees by more than half a billion dollars over the next 10 years — with $86 million of that going toward helping offset the U.S. deficit. The money is mostly to be used for the benefit of disabled vets by expanding both housing grants for them and a scholarship program for the children of military members killed in the line of duty.
So the legislation is putting veterans' advocates in a tough spot: Everyone supports the underlying programs for disabled vets, but while some groups are willing to eat the higher fees to get the legislation passed, others are drawing a line.
“Taking from those veterans [buying a home] in order to redistribute their money to another veterans cause is just robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Lindsay Rodman, an executive vice president of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
“The way that they’re paying for it is essentially a cop-out of government responsibility to pay for the wounds of war,” Rodman said.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

URMC research suggests why flu season hits some harder than others

Researchers at the University of Rochester said that they have found links between environmental toxins and weakened immune systems that get passed down from generation to generation.

Paige Lawrence, who runs a lab in the environmental medicine department at the University of Rochester, said the results of the study, published this month in the journal iScience, could help explain why some people are more vulnerable to the flu than others.
The project started with mice.
 “We got mice, we let them get pregnant, and while they were pregnant, we exposed them to very teeny tiny amounts of dioxins -- one part per billion,” Lawrence said.
Dioxins are a type of pollution that is toxic to both people and mice. Their negative effects on immune systems are well-documented.
What has been less clear is whether those effects can be inherited.
To study that connection, the researchers also had a set of mice that they did not expose to dioxins. They tracked both groups for three generations -- until they had what Lawrence called, “the mouse equivalent of great-grandchildren.”

‘Just memory’ of Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam — My husband, Josh Kvernen, and I visited Nguyen Thi Thanh, a 74-year-old woman living in the central part of Vietnam, as we laid the groundwork for a 2018 Mennonite Central Committee learning tour to the area. She was angry.
 “The poison [dioxin] has brought sorrow on the Vietnamese people, and my family in particular,” she shouted. “Why did you bring this poison to us here?”
She was addressing her words to us because we are from the United States, whose military used Agent Orange for 11 years during the war in Vietnam, which lasted from 1954 to 1975. This herbicide and chemical defoliant contained dioxin, a potent toxin that has since been shown to cause multigenerational birth defects and disabilities among those exposed to it.
She had good reason to be angry. Her husband had been bedridden for 10 years. He lay comatose on their bed, requiring her full-time care. During the war he served as a doctor, and he lived and worked in areas heavily sprayed by Agent Orange while he helped care for Vietnamese soldiers.
Ten years after the war he began to experience major health problems and had to stop working. His family connects his illness to his exposure to dioxin through the United States’ Agent Orange spray missions during the war. Their son also has intellectual and physical disabilities that prevent him from working and that could have been caused by dioxin exposure.

Monday, October 7, 2019


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

October 19, 2019
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Steve Carr

October 26, 2019
Princeton, West Virginia
Contact: Roger Williams
October 26, 2019
Mankato, Minnesota
Windy Block 507-327-3422
Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402

November 14, 2019
Okeechobee, Florida
Contact: Dan Hunt

Unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans increases for the fifth time in six months

The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans went up to 4.5% in September, standing out as an exception in a Labor Department report that showed overall joblessness at a 50-year low of 3.5%.
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans, who are classified as "Gulf War-era II veterans" by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, contrasted with the 3.1% rate for all veterans, the BLS said in its monthly report.
It was the fifth time in the last six months that the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans has gone up, according to BLS.
Among male post-9/11 veterans, the unemployment rate in September was 4%; for female post-9/11 veterans it was 7%, according to the data. By contrast, in September 2018, the unemployment rate for all post-9/11 veterans was 3.9%.
For all Americans, veteran and civilian, the unemployment rate is the lowest since 1969, the BLS report said.
President Donald Trump seized on the glowing jobs report to discredit the House impeachment inquiry over allegations that he sought to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on potential 2020 rival Joe Biden.
In a tweet, Trump said, "Breaking News: Unemployment Rate, at 3.5%, drops to a 50 YEAR LOW. Wow America, lets impeach your President (even though he did nothing wrong!)."
For Gulf War-era I veterans (August 1990-August 2001), the unemployment rate in September was 2.6%, compared with 2.8% in September 2018.
For World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans, the unemployment rate in September was 2.2%, compared to 3.8% in September 2018.

More soil sampling for Agent Orange

Local and federal authorities performed additional soil sampling for Agent Orange contamination on Wednesday and Thursday, this time with assistance from Agent Orange Survivors of Guam founder Brian Moyer, who arrived on island on Monday.
Officials from the Guam Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. EPA Superfund Technical Assessment & Response Team took part in the sampling, which occurred at Polaris Point off of Route 1, Nimitz Hill, Yigo and Tiyan. Sampling was completed on Thursday.
"Off-base soil sampling for Agent Orange first occurred in November 2018, at areas off of NCS road along Route 3, Potts Junction, Nimitz Hill and a pipe line tie-in located in Tiyan. Guam EPA, US EPA and Moyer agreed to schedule Moyer’s visit to Guam to assist with future soil samplings," according to a press release from Guam EPA.

Soldiers were exposed at Fort Gordon. Their kids and grandkids could be affected too.

FORT GORDON, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Almost a decade ago, we uncovered the U.S. Army sprayed Agent Orange at Fort Gordon, exposing soldiers to the dangerous toxin.
We’re also learning others that were never even born yet could have been exposed.
What happened in Vietnam has never been black and white. The war is painted in so many shades of gray, and there's a lot of muddy water.
Then, there are the colors: the lush green jungles, the red bloodshed, and a chemical known as Agent Orange.
We first introduced you to James Cripps almost a decade ago after he became the very first person to prove to the government he was exposed to Agent Orange not in Vietnam -- but in the U.S. at Fort Gordon.
"At the time, I thought I was 6 or 7,000 miles away from Agent Orange,” Cripps said in an interview with News 12 in November of 2010. A map obtained by News 12 through a Freedom of Information Act request proves he wasn't.
The map shows where the government tested agents Blue, Orange, and White in Augusta from January 1967 through December 1969.

Environmental toxins impair immune system over multiple generations

New research shows that maternal exposure to a common and ubiquitous form of industrial pollution can harm the immune system of offspring and that this injury is passed along to subsequent generations, weakening the body's defenses against infections such as the influenza virus.
The study was led by Paige Lawrence, Ph.D., with the University of Rochester Medical Center's (URMC) Department of Environmental Medicine and appears in the Cell Press journal iScience. The research was conducted in mice, whose immune system function is similar to humans.
"The old adage 'you are what you eat' is a touchstone for many aspects of human health," said Lawrence. "But in terms of the body's ability to fights off infections, this study suggests that, to a certain extent, you may also be what your great-grandmother ate."
While other studies have shown that environmental exposure to pollutants can have effects on the reproductive, respiratory, and nervous system function across multiple generations, the new research shows for the first time that the immune system is impacted as well.
This multigenerational weakening of the immune system could help explain variations that are observed during seasonal and pandemic flu episodes. Annual flu vaccines provide some people more protection than others, and during pandemic flu outbreaks some people get severely ill, while others are able to fight off the infection. While age, virus mutations, and other factors can explain some of this variation, they do not fully account for the diversity of responses to flu infection found in the general population.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October is Agent Orange Awareness Month

Agent Orange Town Hall Meeting Schedule

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

October 19, 2019
Portland, Oregon
Contact: Steve Carr

October 26, 2019
Princeton, West Virginia
Contact: Roger Williams

October 26, 2019
Mankato, Minnesota
Windy Block 507-327-3422
Maynard Kaderlik 507-581-6402

National Birth Defect Registry-Baby Teeth May Identify ADHD

How a child metabolizes nutrients and toxins may play a role in ADHD and autism
An American national tragedy: Agent Orange veterans need our help now. There are more veterans who have died from Agent Orange-related diseases than those who died in combat during the Vietnam War.
Fort Jackson residents complain of lead-based paint, asbestos, Army report shows. A new watchdog report from the Army found that privatized family housing at nearly 50 bases, including Fort Jackson in Columbia, cited concerns from residents such as lead-based paint, retaliation from housing companies and overpriced rent.
High air pollution may raise preterm risk during second pregnancy. New research shows that exposure to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide can increase risk for premature birth during a second pregnancy.
Five major French cities ban pesticides. Five major French cities simultaneously announced a ban on pesticides on Thursday, in the hope of "changing the law" on such substances, now at the centre of a heated debate in France.
Virginia's Toxic Military Legacy. Over 100 wells on and near military bases in Virginia exceeded federal safety guidelines for contamination by toxic, firefighting chemicals used widely in Navy and Air Force training, according to military documents.