Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Veterans: What Priority? by John Bury

Here is the second of two pieces by Blue Water Navy Veteran John Bury:

Military service personnel of all branches of service, be it Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force or Coast Guard. They serve with pride and honor and are sworn to protect our Country’s borders, our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They serve in peace time and war time, all with one common goal, our Country’s Freedom.

We who served and those who now serve, ask only to be cared for by our Government if we have become sick with disease or injured in the line of duty. We are from all walks of life. We represent all religious faiths, all races, all political parties.

A bullet, a disease, does not discriminate who we are or what we are in time of war. A bullet or a disease does not care if we are of any one religious faith, black or white, yellow or red, democrat or republican or independent. We are all equals. Some of us are injured by a bullet or explosive device. Some of us get sick by the use of poisonous herbicides that causes cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and Ischemic heart disease, just to name a few. Some of us end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes, some of us even end up with a whole deck full of problems.

Some of our Legislators introduce Bills to the House and Senate to care for us who are in need. We submit claims to Veterans Affairs. Mountains of paperwork is required for us to prove we have disabling problems during our time in service to our Country. It can take months, more likely even years for that paperwork to get through the system. In the mean time those Legislative Bills receive little to no action in a hurry up and wait mode of operation. Some of our Legislators aren’t sitting on their hands, some support us, they are of the minority. A few can not do the job needed, it takes a majority.

What are the priorities of our Legislative Body? Do they tax the very wealthy, millionaires and billionaires or give them tax breaks? To what countries do they give billions of dollars? To what banks do they give assistance? To what giant manufactures do they give assistance? What Pork Barrel projects do they support? Just to name a few top priorities. But our military personnel who are sick and injured, where are they on this priority list? At what point does the almighty dollar stop to help those who served? It seems to me, if the bureaucracy waits long enough and makes VA claims difficult enough, more of us will just die out, then there are fewer of us to be concerned about. Sounds like a rotten death sentence?

What say you, The American People, is this what it has come to? Are those who fought for Freedom to be forsaken? Ask your Congressional Representatives and your Senators, are those who served to be forgotten?

By: John J. Bury, US Navy/retired/war veteran

Bravo Zulu, John, Bravo Zulu.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vietnam War Veterans: Burden of proof by John Bury

We are posting a pair of op-ed pieces that have been published in newspapers around the country. You may have seen these, or not. They are written by Vietnam Veteran John Bury of Pennsylvania. They are re-published here with his kind permission:

Vietnam veterans who never had boots-on-ground Vietnam, who are sick from presumptive exposure to agent orange dioxin poisoning are tied up in paperwork. The burden of proof is placed solely upon the veteran. Burden of proof is mainly directed to those service members who never had boots-on-ground. Presumptive exposure for these service members is most difficult of all to provide evidence for.

In nearly all cases, the Veterans Affairs (VA) requires evidence relative to exposure to this deadly herbicide. The mere fact that the service member without boots-on-ground can show proof of military service, and proof of having been awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and medical proof of illness is in nearly all cases, not evidence enough for VA disability. Except for those who had boots-on-ground.

The herbicide was sprayed on the lands of the Republic of Vietnam. Consequently, much of this herbicide found its way miles out into the South China Sea because of run-off. This spraying was authorized by the Department of Defense and our Federal Government. The governing authorities knew the use of this deadly herbicide could be harmful to members of the U.S. Armed Forces engaged in the Vietnam War on land, at sea and in the air. The Institute Of Medicine (IOM) report has proven the toxicity of Agent Orange Dioxin. This was an irresponsible action on the part of our Government to poison we who served. That authority should be held accountable. In 1991, the Congress passed a Bill that authorized the VA to approve all agent orange exposure claims for disability. In 2002, The Bush administration took away authorized disability claims from those service members who did not have boots-on-ground Vietnam.

Ask why do we who served and fought in this war need insurmountable evidence of proof? Evidence other then the above evidence provided by the veteran? Is the afore mentioned evidence not enough that we were there? No matter if we were on land, at sea or in the air? Is this just another way our Government has authorized the VA to make disability claims impossible to get, by creating unnecessary paperwork placed upon the service member? The reality is, we were there and we were poisoned.

If more evidence is required by the VA, then that burden of proof should be on the VA, other then evidence the veteran has submitted for disability health care claim for dioxin poisoning, to include due compensation. Our Legislators must be urged to do what is right and correct the errors made in times past. The Senate and Congress Veterans Affairs Committees need to approve Senate Bill S-1629 and House Bill HR-3612. These Bills then need to be sent to the Floor of both Houses and swiftly passed.

By: John J. Bury, US Navy/retired, Vietnam Veteran
Media, Pa.

Thanks John! Well said.

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

House Campaign over. Congressional Visits starting!

The full membership of The Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam War [VASVW] has completed the mailing campaign in the US House of Representatives. Membership will begin the second Senate Campaign late this month, which will be followed by a second campaign in the US House.

Additionally, the VASVW Legislative Advocates are now starting their appointments on behalf of members by visiting Members of Congress in DC. Members are being recruited over the next two weeks, to serve as Legislative Advocates, and will receive on the job training from our experienced Senior Legislative Advocates.

It is never too late to join VASVW. Join us and have a hand in your future, while being a part of a well respected and honorable organization. Click here to join VASVW today!

VNVets

”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2012: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eighth Year of Service to Veterans; All Rights Reserved. Reprinting or copying of the contents of this blog without the express permission of the author is unlawful.