15 March 2013

Its Official: AF Fails to Notify Exposed C-123 Veterans

It is official. According to a 2012 HQ USAF Washington DC memo accompanying the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine paper addressing C-123 contamination, Major General Travis, Deputy Surgeon General of the Air Force decided NOT to notify exposed veterans of their decade of dioxin exposure!

The reason. Of course, it is not a cover up. Heaven forbid! We were not told about our 200 times greater risk of cancer, and dioxin exposure equal to or greater than Vietnam War ground troops, because the General felt it best, as he put it, " to avoid distress." He's a general, a physician and a Command Flight Surgeon, and flight surgeons are the flyers personal physician, so I know we can trust him!

Still, I am worried beyond measure these days. Perhaps if we'd been told to take normal dioxin-exposure precautions back in '94 when the Air Force confirmed our airplanes' contamination we could have taken precautions like monitoring PSA numbers and reducing fat intake. But, thanks to the General's concern about our stress levels, we lost the chance to observe those helpful steps.

Why can't I feel grateful for my unnecessary stress being spared me? General? Doc? What's the deal?

The General's letter and the AF Consultative Letter were initially only distributed to the VA, so I guess it was written to address the VA's needs, not the veterans. Certainly, the veterans are the only ones disserved, as the VA uses the letter as part of their justification for denying C-123 veterans' claims.

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