26 September 2011

Response Sought from Hill AFB PA Officials

A question left this morning with George at the Hill AFB Public Affairs Office:

Regarding William Boor's 5 August 2009 Position Paper On Immediate Disposal/Recycle of 18 UC-123K "Agent Orange" Aircraft":

1. Why did the base final press release about these aircraft not mention "Agent Orange"?
2. Why did Mr. Boor in Para 7* cite the issue of presumptive compensation as one of the reasons to immediately dispose of the aircraft, when the veterans who were involved were exposed about 30 years earlier? Why cite as justification for immediate disposal of all remaining aircraft the prevention of presumptive compensation by veterans when the veterans have already been exposed to Agent Orange and would otherwise be eligible for VA benefits? Why the intense effort to prevent veterans from knowing about their exposure. Why the effort to sweep the problem of Agent Orange aircraft under the rug of an obscure and misleading press release? Shouldn't the Air Force be concerned about helping veterans who'd been exposed to Agent Orange toxins know about their exposure?

My point is that we've already been exposed...that's a done-deal. Mr. Boor and Dr Young cite the need to get rid of the airplanes to PREVENT claims for presumptive compensation...to prevent veterans who've already been exposed and made ill from presenting their valid claims to the VA. These gentlemen seem unconcerned about CONTEMPORARY risks of personnel becoming exposed (because the AF required personnel working around the stored contaminated aircraft to wear HAZMAT protection and respirators), but the need to prevent a "media storm" (as Dr. Young described it) from bringing the issue into the public eye, to keep "those trash-hauling, freeloading Reservists from finding a sympathetic congressman for tax-free dollars."(Dr. Young's words).

(*from the Position Paper) "7. Supporting this document is a Memo For The Record dated 27 July 2009, from Alvin L. Young, Ph.D. Dr. Young serves as Consultant to the Undersecretary of the Air Force for Installations and Environment and as Consultant on Agent Orange to the Office of Secretary of Defense. The memo explains why the Air Force should dispose of/recycle the 18 UC-123K "Agent Orange" aircraft as soon as possible to avoid further risk from media publicity, litigation and liability from presumptive compensation."

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