The President's commitment on behalf of America to "move Heaven and Earth" should have been vetted first by Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration. His promise was made at the dedication of the monument to us.
With the greatest respect to the President, he should know that VBA and VHA both instead prefer tactics to hold claims decisions off, at least in the case of C-123 veterans' Agent Orange. With officials at all levels promising "case by case" evaluations while the Institute of Medicine study progresses, the fact remains that all claims are either denied, or postponed for decisions only after the IOM report is released. Someday.
"Heaven and Earth" apparently does not refer to our claims. Maybe our claims are VA anti-matter?
Apparently, the fewer C-123 veterans left alive once the dust settles, the less VA has to pay, the fewer for whom to provide medical care. And year by year, veteran by veteran, we're doing our bit to help out as fewer and fewer of us remain.
That IOM C-123 report was first officially promised by VA in 2012 by Dr. Wendi Dick of VHA's Post Deployment Health. The promise somehow disappeared without VA comment. It was renewed in 2014 only with legislative pressure and after peer-reviewed scientific articles appeared supporting C-123 veterans' arguments, as VA's stall to prevent any awards based on evolving scientific understanding.
Now, postponed another month, the IOM report is yet unpublished, and C-123 veterans are denied VA medical care for soft tissue sarcomas, ALS, prostate cancer, heart disease, lung cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Waiting for an Air Force to Die? What about moving Heaven and Earth?