REMEMBER...Always contact a Veterans service organization representative from your area for advice.
Almost every County in New York has a service rep to help you in your pursuit . They can help guide you to the proper organization for your particular needs.
** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
Besides the links on this page, there are many "notes" and articles that can help to inform you of possible problems Vietnam vets may face Health wise. Scrool through the whole page and check out the many informative "notes''.
* * * * * * * *
The following is a link forwarded to me from a group of Children from the Brenham community Center in Texas.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 12, 2016No. 16-5
Toxic Exposure Research Legislation Is Needed for Veterans of every Generation
(Wash., D.C.)– On February 10, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald told Members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs that no legislation on Agent Orange or Toxic exposures is needed. This statement by the DVA Secretary is in line with testimony, delivered before
Congress on three occasions in the last eight months, in which the VA claims no research legislation is needed as other Agencies of the Federal Government are doing all of the research studies needed.
John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) responded, “With all due respect to the Secretary, he could not be more wrong. Furthermore, we have yet to receive a list of these research studies referenced in VA testimony which purportedly pertain to veterans and
“The events in the past week highlight the shameless wall of ignorance erected by the VA bureaucrats. Case in point is the Secretary’s recent policy regarding the Blue Water Navy veterans of Vietnam. The policy states that a ‘bright line' can be drawn across the mouth of a flowing river, with
those on the inland side of that imaginary line being ‘exposed,’ and those two feet away, on the harbor side of the line, ‘not exposed,’ ” said Rowan. “Those ‘exposed’ are eligible for presumptive service connection for certain conditions, and therefore medical care and compensation, while
those who served two feet away are not. We are leaving our Navy veterans out in the cold, and sadly, many of them have died and their widows have been abandoned.”
“Also on Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report on Gulf War illness, which I find troubling,” noted Rowan. “Psychiatrists/psychologists comprised half of a panel charged with evaluating medical conditions, most probably caused by exposure to toxic chemicals. It comes
as no surprise that this recent report ignores the many toxins to which Gulf War veterans were exposed and reverts to the canard that unless ‘causality’ can be proved by a specific toxin, there can be no forward movement. One would hope the VA and DOD would be looking for an
‘association’ of exposure to one or more toxic substances and the presence of adverse medical conditions, rather than placing an emphasis on the ‘mind-body continuums.’ ”
“Yes, technically the VA is able to do what is needed without legislation,” said Rowan. “However, the VA has made its case repeatedly that, in the absence of legislation, there will be no justice accorded veterans with Toxic Wounds, nor for their innocent children and grandchildren. America’s
veterans of every generation DO need early passage of S. 901 and H.R. 1769, the Toxic Exposures Research Act, and vigorous oversight after enactment to ensure that VA actually does what is mandated in law; we need immediate passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2015,
H.R. 969 and S.681; and we need to push for the extension and expansion of the Agent Orange Act of 1991, to include veterans of recent and future wars, so that a system is in place to systematically review battlefield exposures, and they won’t need to refight the battles we have.”
Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA’s founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”
Ned D. Foote
NEW INFORMATION ON AGENT ORANGE....
Copy and paste the link in your browser ^
Recent New York State Laws & Initiatives
-- Driver’s License Fees — NYS Department of Motor Vehicles now cannot require any payments for the duplication or alteration of an existing driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card prior to its renewal date, if the purpose of asking for the duplication or alteration is solely to add the distinguishing Veteran’s mark on the card. This law became effective on December 7th.
-- Property Tax Exemption — New law increases the real property tax exemption from $5,000 to $7,500 for Veterans buying real estate with “eligible funds.” “Eligible funds” under this law means money from a pension, bonus, or insurance (or dividends or refunds on an insurance policy), or payments received from the Federal government as POW compensation. This law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.
-- Temporary Hiring List — For temporary employment in public service positions in NYS, NYS must hire a qualified Veteran from a “Veterans Temporary Employment List” rather than going through a temporary employment agency. NYS Department of Civil Service must maintain this list of Veterans seeking temporary employment in a State public service position. This law is effective now.
-- Tax “Check-Off” For Homeless Veterans — NYS taxpayers can elect to contribute a monetary gift to a new “homeless Veterans assistance fund” when paying their State taxes. This gift is purely a gift, in that it does not reduce in any way the amount of State taxes that an individual owes. This law becomes effective with the taxable year beginning January 1, 2015.
-- Supplemental Burial Allowance Changes — Previously, under the law governing the NYS Supplemental Burial Allowance program, a qualifying death had to actually occur inside the combat zone for the surviving family members to qualify for the benefit. Under the amended law, however, a servicemember who dies of wounds incurred in combat will be a “qualifying death” for the benefit, even if the actual death occurs outside of the combat zone. The new application is available on DVA’s website by following this link: http://veterans.ny.gov/content/new-york-state-supplemental-burial-allowance. This law goes into effect on February 14, 2015.
-- In-State Tuition For G.I. Bill Recipients — Anyone who is not a NYS resident and is attending a State University of New York or City University of New York college using the G.I. Bill shall receive the in-state tuition rate, even though they are not NYS residents. This allows them to maximize their G.I. Bill benefits, and not have to pay the extra costs that would come from being charged the out-of-state rate. This law is effective now.
-- Professional Licenses For Military Spouses/Domestic Partners — The spouse or domestic partner of a servicemember who is licensed in another state to practice as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson, or to obtain a barber, esthetics, cosmetology, natural hair styling, or nail specialty license, and who moves to New York State with the servicemember, can receive the same professional license in NYS without re-applying. This law is effective now.
Of course, there are several other NYS programs that recognize a Veteran’s MOS or out-of-state professional license without making that Veteran jump through any more hoops to be licensed in NYS. For the current list of MOS and license programs granted recognition by the NYS “Experience Counts” initiative, see: http://veterans.ny.gov/content/experience-counts.
-- Lifetime Liberty Pass — Veterans with a service-connected disability of 40% or higher can receive a pass for free admission to NYS parks and other State outdoor facilities for fishing, hunting, camping, etc. The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation administers this program. The full guidelines and application form for this pass is available at this link: http://nysparks.com/admission/lifetime-liberty-pass.aspx. This program is effective now.
-- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act — NYS established a goal of awarding 6% of State governments to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses. This program is being administered by a brand-new NYS Division of Service-Disabled Veterans’ Business Development, operated by the NYS Office of General Services. If a business owner wants to apply as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, the application is available at this link:http://ogs.ny.gov/Core/Docs/SDVOBCertificationApplication.pdf. Applications are being accepted now.
-- Veteran Liaison Officers — Each NYS agency has appointed a “Veterans Liaison Officer” to coordinate initiatives affecting Veterans, servicemembers, and military families. This program is effective now.
-- No Income Limit For Gold Star Annuitants — Previously, NYS required an income cap for Gold Star Annuity Program eligibility. Now, there is no income requirement for Gold Star Parents to receive this Annuity from NYS. Gold Star Annuity application form is available at this link: http://veterans.ny.gov/content/gold-star-parent-annuity-program. This law is effective now.
NOTICE.....There are many businesses out there that want to thank veterans by giving them discounts. WARREN & WASHINGTON Counties have a "RETURN THE FAVOR - Thank You for Your service" program in place.
To take advantage of this program, see Warren County clerk PAM VOGEL for a VETS I.D. card. Be sure to bring a copy of your DD214
NEW & NOTEWORTHY - Honor Flight Network is recognizing American Veterans by flying you to Washington D.C. to see the Viet Nam Memorial at NO COST. Top prioroty is given to WW II
and terminally ill veterans from ALL wars. Guardians will fly with veterans on every flight providing assistance to help veterans have a safe, memorable, and rewarding experience.
* * * * * * * *
Below are web-sites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file/ask for them. Accordingly, there are many sites that explain how to obtain books, military/medical records, information and how to appeal a denied claim with the VA. Please pass this information on to every Veteran you know. Nearly 100% of this information is free and available for all veterans, the only catch is: you have to ask for it, because they won't tell you about a specific benefit unless you ask for it. You need to know what questions to ask so the right doors open for you and then be ready to have an advocate who is willing to work with and for you, stay in the process, and press for your rights and your best interests.
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses
Title 38 PART 4--SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES Subpart B--DISABILITY RATINGS
* * *
---VETS WITH E.D.-----------------If you have never had an Agent Orange examination, please go by your nearest VA clinic or medical center and arrange for that to be done. You will get a good physical and a lot of health advice. If you are not registered to receive VA health care benefits, you should register at that time. An appointment will be made for you to see a primary care physician. While you're seeing your primary care provider, you may mention the condition of ED to that person and as a rule, a prescription will be entered for you to receive Levitra, one of the 3 ED medicines available today.
While you are entering the system, you may also find that you're likely eligible for some form of VA disability because of your Vietnam service. Your symptom of ED may be a sign of vascular disease, diabetes, PTSD or other physical and psychological issues.
At this time you should seek out a County Veterans Service Officer and ask for their (no charge) assistance in completing an application for a disability award.
Due to budget constraints, the prescription is for one 20 mg. Tablet of Levitra each month. The dosage is usually 10 mg. per use so you are expected to halve that pill and you have 2 doses each month. Erectile dysfunction is not a priority to VA and there are many ongoing discussions about the politics behind the supposed cost savings.
Many Veterans accept the one tablet each month and then ask their primary care provider to write them a prescription to be filled at a civilian, private pharmacy. The provider will usually be happy to oblige and the Veteran is then required to pay the small cost of the medicine out of pocket.
A word of caution...don't ever be tempted to order any of the advertised (spammed) ED products through the Internet, only use a legitimate pharmacy for your health needs. Anything you may order from these on-line pharmacies may be a fake drug of some sort and cause you a ton of health problems.
I hope this helps.
NEW and NOTEWORTHY............
Vet Toxic Exposure ~ Malathion:
The Vietnam Veterans Association Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee released its report on Malathion. This is the name of an organophosphate insecticide used in Vietnam to combat mosquitoes. Organophosphates were first developed in the late 1930s by Nazi Germany as chemical warfare agents (nerve gas). VX nerve gas and Sarin gas are well-known examples.
Organophosphates operate on humans and insects in a similar fashion by attacking the nervous systems.
During the Vietnam War, large numbers of troops came down with malaria. To kill the mosquitoes that carried the disease, the Department of Defense converted aircraft that were spraying Agent Orange to the spraying of Malathion. This was the start of Operation Flyswatter.
Many Vietnam veterans recall the non-camouflaged aircraft flying over their positions, shortly after dawn or just before dusk, covering them with a mist. Three silver "Bug Birds" were used in Operation Flyswatter. Many connected those flights with the spraying of Agent Orange. It is now known that, in those cases, veterans were subjected to Malathion and its more potent form, Malaoxon.
These were not just one-time missions. Every nine to eleven days, weather permitting, the planes re-sprayed the areas. The spray operation created recurring chemical exposures for Vietnam veterans.
What are the health risks of these spray operations and what are the combined and synergic effects of Malathion with other exposures such as Agent Orange? These questions have not been addressed. We know that a March, 2008 study shows that organophosphates including Malathion significantly increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Knowing that organophosphates work on the nervous systems, the diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system become prime areas of concern.
This is a fresh chemical exposure area for Vietnam veterans to explore as they seek answers to their many health issues. The VVA Agent Orange/Dioxin and Other Toxic Substances Committee also will be researching this area. You can read their full report on this operation at www.scientificjournals.com/sj/espr/Pdf/aId/10482 If you have additional questions about malathion or the health effects from spraying, contact the New York State Department of Health's Environmental Health Information Line at 1(800) 458-1158, extension 27530.
The Vietnam Veterans Association Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee is tasked with accumulating and disseminating information regarding Agent Orange and Dioxin and actively pursuing the recognition of presumptive disabilities from exposure to Agent Orange and Dioxin by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Committee shall provides assistance to State Councils, Chapters, and service programs in the handling of Agent Orange related problems. The Committee shall encourage and foster the sponsorship of legislation to help the victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin, and encourage scientific and medical research in the field of dioxin-related ailments." [Source: VVA National Committee Chair Alan Oates article Nov/Dec 09 ++]
Not addressed here: Where else has DoD used this toxin ?
VA Publishes Final Regulation to Aid Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
VA Health Care and Benefits Provided for Many Vietnam Veterans
WASHINGTON – Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving in Vietnam and other areas will have an easier path to access quality health care and qualify for disability compensation under a final regulation that will be published on August 31, 2010 in the Federal Register by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The new rule expands the list of health problems VA will presume to be related to Agent Orange and other herbicide exposures to add two new conditions and expand one existing category of conditions.
“Last October, based on the requirements of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and the Institute of Medicine’s 2008 Update on Agent Orange, I determined that the evidence provided was sufficient to award presumptions of service connection for these three additional diseases,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It was the right decision, and the President and I are proud to finally provide this group of Veterans the care and benefits they have long deserved.”
The final regulation follows Shinseki’s determination to expand the list of conditions for which service connection for Vietnam Veterans is presumed. VA is adding Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease and expanding chronic lymphocytic leukemia to include all chronic B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia.
In practical terms, Veterans who served in Vietnam during the war and who have a “presumed” illness don’t have to prove an association between their medical problems and their military service. By helping Veterans overcome evidentiary requirements that might otherwise present significant challenges, this “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process and ensure that Veterans receive the benefits they deserve.
The Secretary’s decision to add these presumptives is based on the latest evidence provided in a 2008 independent study by the Institute of Medicine concerning health problems caused by herbicides like Agent Orange.
Veterans who served in Vietnam anytime during the period beginning January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.
More than 150,000 Veterans are expected to submit Agent Orange claims in the next 12 to 18 months, many of whom are potentially eligible for retroactive disability payments based on past claims. Additionally, VA will review approximately 90,000 previously denied claims by Vietnam Veterans for service connection for these conditions. All those awarded service-connection who are not currently eligible for enrollment into the VA healthcare system will become eligible.
This historic regulation is subject to provisions of the Congressional Review Act that require a 60-day Congressional review period before implementation. After the review period, VA can begin paying benefits for new claims and may award benefits retroactively for earlier periods. For new claims, VA may pay benefits retroactive to the effective date of the regulation or to one year before the date VA receives the application, whichever is later. For pending claims and claims that were previously denied, VA may pay benefits retroactive to the date it received the claim.
VA encourages Vietnam Veterans with these three diseases to submit their applications for access to VA health care and compensation now so the agency can begin development of their claims.
Individuals can go to a website at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/AO/claimherbicide.htm to get an understanding of how to file a claim for presumptive conditions related to herbicide exposure, as well as what evidence is needed by VA to make a decision about disability compensation or survivors benefits.
Additional information about Agent Orange and VA’s services for Veterans exposed to the chemical is available at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange.
The regulation is available on the Office of the Federal Register website at http://www.ofr.gov/.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY....... All Vietnam vets should have their primary care physicians check them for Hepatitis C. Mant vets have contracted this disease frim transfusions, and other procedures. It can cause MANY problems. Affecting your internal organs and even CANCER.
So get checked out NOW ! Don't hesitate ! Hepatitis C stays in your body for your lifetime and even though you may have no symptoms now, it can cause problems at any time. It can even affect your spouse and children ! Do yourself AND THEM a favor, and have yourself checked out .
**********PTSD May Raise Risk of Heart Disease
Researchers Link Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to Calcium Buildup in Arteries
By Charlene Laino
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
Nov. 19, 2010 (Chicago) -- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appears to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke, preliminary research suggests.
Atherosclerosis was measured using a surrogate -- levels of calcium deposits in the arteries. And the study doesn't prove cause and effect.
Nonetheless, PTSD is emerging as an independent risk factor for heart disease, says Ramin Ebrahimi, MD, a research scientist at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Center.
In his study of nearly 300,000 veterans, those with PTSD had more than double the odds of dying than veterans without PTSD -- and greater calcium buildup in the arteries appeared to explain the difference, he says.
The findings underscore the need to screen veterans and other at-risk people for PTSD early and to follow up with aggressive evaluation and treatment as needed, Ebrahimi says.
In one in 10 Americans, a traumatic event such as combat triggers the symptoms such as intense fear, helplessness, and horror that characterize PTSD. Affected people may experience flashbacks, become emotionally detached, and be easily startled.
The new findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.
A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
PTSD and Calcium Buildup
The researchers combed the electronic medical records of 286,194 veterans, 85% of whom were male, treated at Veterans Administration medical centers in southern California and Nevada.
Their average age was 63, and some had fought in conflicts dating back to the Korean War.
Among the 637 vets for whom coronary artery calcium CT scan images were available, those with PTSD were more likely to have calcium buildup and had more severe calcium buildup in their arteries than those without the disorder. Calcium in the coronary arteries is a sign of atherosclerosis.
More than three-fourths of vets with PTSD had some calcium buildup, compared with 59% of those without the disorder, the study shows.
The average coronary artery calcium score was 448 in the veterans with PTSD, a reading that reflects a more than 90% chance that plaque is blocking the arteries. In contrast, the average score was 332 in the veterans without PTSD -- a reading that reflects the presence of a moderate amount of plaque.
Ebrahimi says that this is the first study to make a direct association between PTSD and atherosclerosis, as measured by coronary artery calcification.
PTSD and Risk of Death
In the study, veterans with PTSD were also more likely to die from any cause than those without the disorder.
During an average follow-up of almost 10 years, 13% of the vets died. Vets with PTSD made up just over 10% of the entire group of veterans, but nearly 10% of those who died.
After taking into account risk factors for heart disease, veterans with PTSD had nearly two and one-half times the risk of death, compared with veterans without PTSD.
Among the veterans with a calcium buildup in their arteries, those with PTSD had a 48% increased risk of death from any cause and a 41% increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease, compared with those without the disorder.
Questions Linger About PTSD and Atherosclerosis
Former AHA President Robert Eckel, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver, says the study leaves open a number of questions, most notably how PTSD might be linked to atherosclerosis.
"Is the increase in calcium due to high blood pressure, high glucose, inflammation, insulin resistance?" he asks.
Also, "chart reviews" such as this don't have enough information about patients' diets, smoking status, and exercise habits -- all factors that affect heart disease risks, Eckel tells WebMD.
"I'm not saying PTSD is not real and that it doesn't have health consequences. But much more study is needed," he says.
This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.
A STORY OF INTEREST ABOUT A CHAIN STORE THAT IS DOING THE RIGHT THING .....
I know I needed this reminder, since Sears isn't always my first choice. It's amazing when you think of how long the war has lasted and Sears hasn't withdrawn from their commitment. Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?
How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up for active duty.
Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.
I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears at least once, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement & feedback it well deserves.
I decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:
I received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it's cheaper at that store.
This is their answer to my e-mail:
Thank you for contacting Sears.The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback.
Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.
Sears Customer Care
Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!
It's verified ! By Snopes.com at:
ALL VETERANS AFFLICTED WITH MESOTHELIOMA CHECK OUT THIS SITE FOR INFORMATION.........