01 April 2011

May 14-15: C-123K documents gathered, VA benefits explained

Lots of time on the Internet. How did folks ever put one and one together to make a case about something before the Internet came along? I found one of my father-in-law's concept papers which he wrote while with Rand Corporation...published back in the '60s and still online! 
Anyway, lots of time writing veterans' organizations, with specific appeals to noted military writers and the Air Force Times to try to get some traction on this issue of C-123K contamination. 
No FOIAs in yet, with the first expected June 10 or so. Some very kind advice from very skillful FOIA officers in many instances...our thanks! 
Today I posted the 21MB  complete presentation of our Agent Orange-C-123K argument, suitable for reprinting with a cover, title page, concept, supporting documentation (what we have thus far, absent the FOIA results), and back cover. What we also need is professional guidance...somebody to smack some science into this, taking the various source documents like the site surveys and the flight records, and building a case for certain exposure to Agent Orange. 
We also don't have a word from any of our maintenance guys! John Harris knows some of them, and we need the word put out to those units which were at Rickenbacker and Pittsburgh. 
I'm "fortunate" in having a 100% VA disability rating and Air Force retirement as well, but we all know that most of the folks we flew with aren't that blessed. Lots have their AF retirement and some a VA disability, but more  deserve it. What are the advantages of having BOTH?

1. if you are rated over 20% disabled with the VA you may qualify for rehab education (another degree, whatever)
2. VA disability is tax-free
3. many states have special benefits for disabled veterans
4. a VA 50% disability brings care for everything except dental and long-term health care, unless those are justified by service-connected issues
5. a VA rating of 70% or more service-connected disability brings long-term health care in a VA facility or private setting
6. many things are provided by the VA which don't come from TriCare, such as glasses, dental, and hearing aids. My dental care last year was over $4000, provided by the VA at my local dentist because the VA had a long backlog to clear. My wheelchair was $5500, my power scooter $2200, and my hearing aids over $6000. My glasses, two pair a year with free exams, would be about $400 a year. These are earned benefits well-worth pushing to get! Often, VA care is among the best available, especially where their facilities are co-located with a medical university. And nobody knows spinal cord care better than the VA, and their prostate cancer care is tops as well. With TriCare you need not turn to the VA for medical care...but you just might if you want the best!

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