19 November 2011

A Monumental Week! Good and Bad, But Justice Will Triumph!

Is VA Mickey Mouse or What?
We were hit with a board upside the head when the VA announced Thursday that they'd already decided our C-123 aircrews somehow, miraculously, haven't' been exposed to dioxin, despite our decade of flying the contaminated birds.

In their determination to prevent veterans'  Agent Orange exposure claims, the VA has invented a new thing called "dry dioxin transfer" to pevert science and logic to keep us from essential medical care. Yes, they say, the planes were certainly contaminated, but no, dry dioxin transfer by dermal contact was unlikely plus we couldn't have breathed any in via dust...somehow, the special kind of dioxin left in the C-123 didn't hurt us. I'll just bet the VA would be first to state that Agent Orange actually helped us! Made us the men and women we are today, thanks to Dow and Monsanto!

But here's your good news. By coincidence, I was traveling to the Air Force Museum Wednesday when my cell phone rang with a call from the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. Seems they've been tasked to look into the issue of C-123 aircrew exposure and they wanted to get our materials. "Surprise, Surprise Surprise" as Gomer Pyle used to say. I was going to be at Wright-Patterson AFB on Thursday anyway, so I suggested we meet. What perfect timing.

Our meeting with USAFSAM did indeed take place the next morning at 0900 at the new building for the 711th Human Performance Wing and included the project leader, his deputy, an AF physician and a bioenvironmental engineer. I provided the project's OIC our large binder with 320 pages of research, plus a DVD of the many source documents. That gentleman was ready with a DVD for us as well, materials he'd researched and some of which we've never seen before. GREAT!!! Unlike our October 27 teleconference with the VA, these guys asked questions instead of telling us where to get off. And even in the face of the VA's new stand against us, on Friday the Air Force has been told to proceed with their investigation. Thanks, Mr. Secretary!

I also was invited to put him him touch with Prof. Jeanne Stellman at Columbia University School of Medicine, researchers at Portland State University who contributed to the Blue Water Navy Institute of Medicine Study, and Dr. Fred Berman who heads the Toxicology Department at Oregon Health Sciences University. These prestigious scientists refute the VA stand! With other scientists and with us, they maintain that the C-123 aircrews have indeed been exposed.

So, fellow veterans, take heart. We've actually moved ahead a step or two because we always knew the VA would oppose any application from us, and now we have their position defined. In addition to the reasons BVA Judge Cohn invented back in 2007 to deny Tim Olmsted (731st TAS) his service connection (couldn't prove his C-123 was used for AO spray in Vietnam and couldn't prove it remained contaminated - both now answered with Air Force documents released under FOIA),  they new invent new objections which we can now begin to research and answer.

Hang in there. Support each other, keep pushing your state and national representatives to not let the VA get away with this injustice. I task each of you to personally walk the halls of your state university to present our cause to the department of medicine or the department of environmental studies to get them to support our position and challenge the stupidity of the VA invention of "dry dioxin transfer."

I love this fight! If it was easy, they'd get some other jerk to do it so why not me?

Get off your butts. You are warriors. You never give up. You never leave an airman behind. You cover your wingman.

Our cause is just and it is important to us and our comrades in arms.

You will prevail. God bless.

Tally Ho!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? Nothing commercial or off-topic, please.