Friday, September 18, 2015

Important Update for BWN Sailors

Our friends at the Fleet Reserve Association have passed on information about three issues that should concern you: 
Affected Vietnam Veterans should consider Filing Reconsideration of Claim
As reported in the May 1, 2015 issue of NewsBytes, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has ruled that veterans who served aboard ships in the harbors of Vietnam more than 40 years ago should not be arbitrarily excluded from Agent Orange claims—a significant step forward for these veterans. Former Navy seaman Robert Gray has been denied multiple disability claims by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on the fact that he was aboard a ship—not on land—during the Vietnam War, when the herbicide Agent Orange was liberally sprayed by American forces to remove foliage and eliminate enemy cover. The chemical was later found to cause numerous health problems for service members who were exposed, but the VA has denied disability claims to U.S. Navy sailors under the argument that the seamen were offshore and were not directly exposed. Veterans who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam who later developed specific health problems tied to exposure to Agent Orange should consider filing a claim for VA benefits or filing for re-consideration of previously denied claims.
In related news, FRA is supporting the “Agent Orange Extension Act,” (H.R. 3423) which would extend by two years the original sunset deadline of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and ensure that Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange receive just compensation and care. The Act expires on September 30, 2015, and the legislation would extend it to September 30, 2017.

In addition, FRA supports the “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act,” (H.R. 969/S. 681) which would clarify a presumption for filing disability claims with the VA for ailments associated with exposure to Agent Orange herbicide during the Vietnam War. Congress should recognize that so-called “Blue Water” veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange herbicide. The bill authorizes presumptive status for VA disability claims associated with this exposure for this group of veterans. Members can weigh in on these proposals through the FRA Action Center (action.fra.org/action-center).
Please be sure to click on the link above to access the FRA's Action Page, and make your voice heard in Congress!

As usual if you are not a member of the Fleet Reserve Association you should be!

Get membership information here:   FRA Membership

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 © 2005-2015: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eleventh 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.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Where is the outrage?

We have repeatedly said right here in this space that we are convinced that the Department of Veterans Affairs is too big to succeed. 

Proof was presented a week ago when the DVA's Inspector General released a report that some 307,000 Veterans died while waiting for their claims to be processed so they could receive medical treatment by the DVA.

307,000!

Even if you could somehow discount two-thirds of that number you would still have over 102,000!

By any standard this is not just criminal negligence, and criminal malfeasance, but mass murder as well.

Where is the outrage? 

Unprocessed claims, according to a report on CNN, were found stuffed in desk drawers, and others were as old as 14 years.  Granted, not all those claims would be approved, but the number is staggering, and along with the problems uncovered earlier this year of long waits for VA Medical treatment by Veterans with approved claims, is indicative of the inability of the DVA to function from top to bottom. 

Lay this one squarely at the feet of the last three presidents, who appointed top positions at the DVA that were simply political gifts to donors, and who used the system to enrich their friends back home, and at the feet of the United States Congress over the past 25 years, which literally looked the other way while the DVA became the mass murderer that it is today.  

Congress, and the presidents are silent.  So is the main-stream media.

Treatment of Veterans in this manner reaches into the realm of treason: young people will not volunteer, and if a national emergency occurs, they will run to Canada rather than get drafted, much more than they did during the Vietnam War. Why serve to survive on the Battlefield only to die waiting for treatment from the DVA?  Can you blame them? 

This is so much more than a national disgrace, this is a national catastrophe, and it appears that no one in the main stream media, or the Federal Government -- not the White House, not Congress -- cares.

Where is the outrage?

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 © 2005-2015: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eleventh 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, September 03, 2015

Help renew the Agent Orange Act!

From our friends at Fleet Reserve Association:

[Note:  This is NOT about the Blue Water Navy Act of 2015!]

Support Extension of Agent Orange Act (HR 3423)

Time is Running Out for Agent Orange Act.  Congressman Tim Walz (MN) recently introduced the FRA-supported “Agent Orange Extension Act,” (H.R. 3423) which would extend by two years the original sunset deadline of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to ensure that Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange receive just compensation and care. The Act expires on September 30, 2015 and the legislation would extend the sunset to September 30, 2017.  FRA warned the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees regarding the sunset of the Act during its March 18, 2015 testimony.

The Agent Orange Act of 1991 (AOA) established a presumption of service connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, relieving Vietnam veterans from the burden of providing evidence that their illness was a result of military service. This law directs the the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to periodically research and review diseases that might be associated with Agent Orange exposure. The VA is required to add diseases the NAS finds to have a positive association to Agent Orange exposure to the VA’s list of presumptive service connected diseases. Since the enactment of the AOA, the NAS has issued reports that have led to the presumption of service connection for diseases such as Parkinson’s, B-cell leukemia and early onset peripheral neuropathy. Without these studies, thousands of Vietnam era veterans would have gone without the benefits they greatly deserve.

If the AOA expires before the final report is issued, the VA would no longer be obligated to review the NAS report or add any new diseases to the presumption of service list, in the process denying thousands of veterans their right to compensation.

Members are urged to use the Action Center to ask their Representative to support this important legislation.

 Take Action!

 If you aren't a member of the Fleet Reserve Association you should be!  Click Here for Membership Info.

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 © 2005-2015: VNVets Blog -- Now in our Eleventh 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.