02 April 2014

Air Force Times Publishers Demand VA Recognize C-123 Exposures – "VA CALLOUS & TONE DEAF!"

The editorial staff at The Air Force Times took a principled stand stand last week.

The Times, published by Gannett, and in allied issues of the Navy Times, Coast Guard Times, Marine Corps Times and Military Times, published what is always recognized as an editorial statement when they used a full page for their overview of the C-123 and our exposures. This could have been a single column review of facts and a couple quotes...a few column inches, but instead the Times went deep into reporter Patricia Kime's investigation. That full page is a statement of the editor's appreciation of the problem.

Remarkably, that editorial emphasis continued to page 36. I missed this at first, but veteran Paul Bergeron is a more careful reader. Today on learning of Paul's retelling of the editorial, I got a copy and quickly came to appreciate what's been done for us: The Times took a stand, and that stand is in support of us, and proclaims the need for VA to do the right thing. No need for Congress to step in, however...the VA has enough evidence, and has enough interest in justice for its veterans, that it should come to the realization that presumptive service connection is precisely the correct choice to make. Folks at VA will realize that constructing time delays, such as the interesting but claims-irrelevant Institute of Medicine C-123 study, form both intrinsic and extrinsic ethical failures.
AF Times, 31 March

There is no legal or moral or scientific reason not to receive a complete C-123 veteran's FDC today and process without the C&P automatic orders for denial. 

There must be a moral condemnation of any VA employee who takes such an delaying action knowing it is only to prevent access to medical care by a fully eligible C-123 veteran. 

There should be, perhaps, an even stronger, more formal action taken by authorities – and not just authorities in the VA itself –  addressing the full range of actions by VA staffers who engineered these delays once the full price in C-123 deaths and suffering over the period 2012-2014 is known.
Air Force Times, 31 March 2014, page 36

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