02 December 2012

C-123 Veterans: "Trash haulers, freeloaders" according to DOD official

These are the comments, made in an email released earlier this year, by Dr. Al Young. Anyone is welcome to opinions, even if as offensive as this man's, but what makes this absolutely devastating to C-123 veterans is that Dr. Young is the consultant to the Secretary of Defense, and he recommended destruction of the dioxin-contaminated aircraft stored at Davis-Monthan AFB in part, out of concern veterans might learn learn about the contamination and seek VA "presumptive compensation."

The Result: Contempt for C-123 veterans has played a tragic role in preventing access to vital medical care. Another result: VA honored with award of an unsolicited no-bid sole-source two year consulting contract bringing him $600,000 with his VBA contact Mr. James Sampsel from the Compensation and Pension Service. 

Can we assume that VA did not select this particular contractor based on any opinion he held favoring veterans' exposure claims?

The consultant allowed that he had some respect for holders of the Purple Heart and those who'd been in combat. In his contempt, Dr. Young failed to note that a large percentage of C-123 veterans are combat veterans of Vietnam, the Gulf War and other conflicts. Often, many such conflicts, as with the late Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Olmsted. And we C-123 vets wear wings, parachute jump badges, DFCs, Purple Hearts,  POW Medals, Silver Stars, Bronze Stars and other hard-earned decorations as well. Colonel Charlie Brown...a freeloader? General Mike Walker? Master Sergeant George Gadbois?

These offensive comments in an email made public earlier this year in which he was referencing C-123 veterans who might learn the C-123 Agent Orange contamination and who would naturally seek medical care from the VA for Agent Orange illnesses. 

The Deeper Problem: How in the world was anyone able to encourage government officials at Davis-Monthan AFB, Hill AFB, Wright-Patterson AFB and the Air Staff itself to conduct the C-123 destruction project with special efforts to minimize publicity to keep the press and veterans from learning about such a controversial event?

This calls for an IG investigation of the destruction of the retired fleet of C-123 transports, and into the complete failure of Air Force Public Affairs to meet its mission of informing the public!

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