Extremely kind of him, and extremely important as we former aircrews and maintainers try to convince the Air Force, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs about our extremely worrisome problem.
You've noticed my use of the word "extremely"? It is an extremely perfect way to describe the Agent Orange contamination of the aircraft we flew, because that's exactly the word used by the Air Force about the C-123K dioxin contamination! The United States Government, acting through the General Services Administration and the United States Air Force in their April 2000 brief to Judge Martha DeGraff (Board of Contract Appeals, GSA, Washington DC), determined on Page 24 that "There is no question, that dioxin contaminated aircraft constituted extremely hazardous and/or dangerous personal property."
I don't see how the Department of Veterans Affairs can fail to reach the conclusion that if other US Government agencies establish the aircraft we flew in and maintained to be extremely hazardous and contaminated, we therefore have been exposed to the contaminants! Neither can I understand why the Air Force, having in April 2000 reached this conclusion in their report to a Federal judge, decided on 9 June 2011 that it was not possible or appropriate to alert the veterans who'd been contaminated! I'm extremely disappointed!
Here's my take on this. We flew airplanes that were already contaminated with Agent Orange residue left over from Operation Ranchhand in Vietnam, from 1972 to 1982. Multiple Air Force tests establish the dioxin contamination of these airplanes even 20 to 30 years after their last spray missions! The planes were so contaminated in 2000 that the base safety and medical officials insisted that hazmat suits and respirators be used to protect workers entering the remaining stored planes. Multiple US Government agencies testified as to the dioxin contamination of the planes we flew that remained in the Davis-Monthan storage area. The planes were so contaminated that the Air Force opted to decontaminate them by melting them into scrap metal ingots.
The VA requires non-Vietnam veterans claiming Agent Orange exposure to prove we were actually exposed to Agent Orange...these testimonies and the referenced Air Force test clearly establish that proof for all veterans also able to prove they maintained or flew the C-123K/UC-123K. It would take a tremendous and false, even vicious twist of logic to somehow determine the aircraft were contaminated and "extremely dangerous" enough to require hazmat protection yet also determine we weren't exposed to the contaminants in 1972-1982 when the dioxin had had even lesstime to decompose.
Ideas on this?
Wes Carter, 74AES
Entire GSA/USAF Report to Judge Martha Degraff...click HERE
AF Museum Data Sheet on Patches, Tail 362...click HERE
AF test report showing Patches Tail 362 is contaminated...click HERE
AF JAG recommends "keeping information in official channels" only...click HERE
Davis-Monthan requires hazmat protection inside C-123K...click HERE
SAF/IG decides not to alert C-123 crews about our dioxin exposure...click HERE
University study confirms C-123K aircrew dioxin contamination...click HERE
Our Point Paper & Support Documents about our dioxin exposure...click HERE
COMRADES: (I've never used that word before...this is fun!)...please contact Paul Bailey to provide your name, Agent Orange-related illnesses if any, and names and illnesses of other C-123K/UC-123K people that you know of. Please spread the word to others.